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It is so easy to connect with the wrong attorney. We have had our share of bad choices.

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maybe because I was covering all the issues concerning my elderly mom....but yes its necessary to have a good specialist attorney in this area...
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The post I created is "How do we vet and find the right attorney?" UncleDave
Why do you refer back to a discussion of swindling and scamming? please stick with how to vet and find the right attorney
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Concerned, the post you created a while ago has a lot of answers and suggestions, but it's on a different topic.

For anyone who wants to read about her situation:

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/elderly-mom-swindled-by-organized-scammers-188474.htm?cpage=5
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can anyone give me suggestions.....from what I've written above this question..??
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An Estate Planning Practice Group may be a poor choice. One needs to determine if the goal is estate preservation VS and elder affairs lawyer who's goal is establishing all the stuff needed by elderly clients for example durable power of attorney and who handles family bills and caring for family members with Alzheimer's, medicare and Medicaid etc. Have they actually prepared fail elder waivers etc. Have they worked with Area agencies and are they known and respected by the AAAs
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I agree with GardenArtist.
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Although the NAELA list is a good place to start, it's no guarantee that the lawyer you choose is excellent at what they do. It just means that they can hang out a shingle saying they practice elder law. I chose one off that list, paid the consult fee & walked out feeling great that we had hashed everything out & had a wonderful care contract plan in the works. Weeks went by without any word from the lawyer. I was consumed with dealing with Mom's ever-burgeoning dementia behaviors & the next thing I knew a month & a half had gone by with no contact from the lawyer. I called the office & they sounded completely shocked & clueless that they were working on a care contract for me but they assured me they'd send me the contract in the mail for review. A week and a half later, I finally got that contract....and it didn't have a THING in it that we had discussed! Honestly, it looked like they had just gone online, Googled 'care contracts', pasted Mom's & my names into it & printed it off! Needless to say, I never signed & returned that contract......and I never consulted that lawyer again!!

I can't remember what site I used, but there are websites out there that give lawyers "grades" just like those doctor grading sites. Within the sites, you can customize the search to include just those lawyers who do elder law/Medicaid planning. I wasn't at all surprised that the original lawyer received only a 6 out of 10 on her profile. I live very rural so I ended up having to choose a lawyer 3 hours from me but he scored an 8.4 out of 10 and has been an absolute Godsend! I couldn't be more pleased with him. Caregiving is stressful enough on it's own & it's been a real blessing to know the legal matters are being handled!
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I believe I have found the right attorney. I will keep everyone informed on the process and what take place. I believe it will help many on here.
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I should clarify that to reflect that I am not an attorney, and that "our firm" did not mean a firm with which I was affiliated but rather the firm we chose to handle our estate planning needs.
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Randall, like FF, our firm has multiple (10) attorneys in its Estate Planning Practice Group, including: Basic estate planning, advanced estate planning, estate administration, living, irrevocable and charitable trusts, elder law, and charitable giving.

I also worked for them before hiring them, so I knew they were reputable as I saw it first hand as an employee.
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Easy answer: Ask for references through your financial planner.
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I went to a highly recommended family lawyer in a large firm when it became necessary to have my Mom adjudicated incompetent. BUT she was in a clique of women promoting a corrupt elder care Guardianship/Executorship. She made it seem to me that this business was the only option for me.They were intent on completely burning off my Mom's estate; they "lost" her diamond engagement ring. We had to hire another lawyer to get rid if them. At the hearing, the corrupt Guardian/Executor was so dressed down by the Judge that she left in tears. Who will watch the watchman? In New Mexico, an Executor only has to be audited by a Judge one time a year. How thorough can the Judge be? Wall Street Journal did a story this week on this type of burgeoning crime --- and it is a crime. A breach of fiduciary trust.
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UncleDave, that's good news. For us we used the bundled services which worked out quite well for myself and for my parents.

In fact, I paid for my parents new Will, POA's, Medical Directives, etc. because I knew my Dad would drag his feet at the cost and I wanted my parents Wills to be updated ASAP while my parents still were of clear mind [they were in their mid-90's].... whew, glad I did, because six months later my Mom wouldn't have been able to sign due to a serious head trauma from a fall.
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We have a good one. Found her through AAA and Alzheimer's org and caregivers comments. Expensive offers AlaCart and bundled services. Good detailed engagement contract. Also good reviews from assisted living homes I talk freeley on the phone and people like to help
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Randall, the firm I used has over 50 Attorneys, of which 6 specialize in Elder Law/Estate Planning. This isn't uncommon in very large metro areas.
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Well as you may know,of all the info I've given here concerning my elderly mom being horribly scammed by organized groups and now I'm my mom's dpoa and taking control of the little property she has changed to my name(for her security),what kind of attorney should I consult with...or should I follow up with federal law enforcement?...since local law enforcement hardly give a dam about this??I've already spoken to the DA in the state my mom lives in.......they just keep pressing on having viable proof...which is tough to get when my mom doesn't want to tell me who were the scammers....
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I did an internet search and found a woman in my zip code. She advised me on the phone for no charge. Just told me to "pay it forward."
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It can be difficult. I really liked the guy I hired, but after having him for a month, I realized he never kept me informed of the next step. Then I found out I had not done my research enough. He was a personal injury attorney. I needed to find one who specialized in Trusts and Wills. See that they speciallty is and go from there.
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No better way than by personal recommendation. Ask friends and family...ask why they like whoever it is they recommend. Ask business associates. Ask your doctor who he uses and for what.
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You ask a great question-how to find a great elder law attorney? To this day, most people do not understand what elder law attorneys do. Even other attorneys. By the way, I have never heard of an elder law attorney working for a big firm. In my experience, elder law is such a specialized area that you will be lucky to find two attorneys at the same firm that practice elder law. The suggestion to look to NAELA is great advice. Also, NELF can recommend specialists in this area. FYI-I practice in this area of law myself and recently uploaded a seminar video on YouTube which largely compares estate planning vs. elder law. Another tip for finding an elder law attorney, is to ask them if they practice in the Veterans Benefits area and are VA accredited. The best elder law attorneys work with VA Benefits. Hope that helps.
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Here is my suggestion:

Get in touch with your state's BAR Association and get the names of all elder law attorneys. Choose a few to call. If you are not satisfied with any of those, choose a few more.

You want to be treated well by the person handling the initial call. Is this person receptive, too busy to pay close attention, irritable, etc.

Set up an appointment with one or two that seem receptive and treat you with respect. Even a phone consultation is good enough initially. This should not cost you since you are simply explaining what your needs are.

Be respectful also by limiting your time on the phone. After explaining what you need ask what the attorney's fee would be to handle your needs.

If all of that goes well, make an in person appointment,

Good luck!
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Sorry, last post should have been CaMussen....sorry for the mistake.
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Canussen, as FF points out, practice areas in law are highly specialized. Law is incredibly complex, new cases are handed down regularly and attorneys need to keep up on all the changes via case law as well as statutory law.

General practitioners who have a smattering or hands in a number of fields likely don't have the time or expertise (because their focus is more broad) to keep up on a lot of the intricacies of estate planning and elder law (a term developed as more firms began to specialize in this area).

E.g., an estate planning attorney such as we hired would be knowledgeable in all aspects of that, including specific ways to best address certain kinds of assets (such as IRAs.) A critical issue is knowing the compressed rates that apply to trusts. Some so-called financial planners have been hawking "free seminars" accompanied by rubber chicken dinners and giving advice, all with the goal of getting access to older folk's money so they can change the investment portfolio.

It's critical to know these issues; someone who advised funding a trust with IRAs is setting the client up for paying higher levels of taxes than if the IRAs were left in individual names and not funded in the trust.

Attorneys who aren't familiar with these intricacies can make some major mistakes.

A few things our attorney did which make life so much simpler was to create a Certificate of Trust... which synopsized the empowered Trustee, co-Trustees, successor Trustees, and authority. I took this shorter version with me when I needed to document my authority. Otherwise I would have had to bring the entire voluminous trust and allow banks, etc. to make copies, which would also give them access to specific terms for specific heirs, which was really none of their business.
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I spent 3 months getting recommendations from people. Visited 3 attorneys and found one I was happy with. Definitely use a elder care attorney. They know how to jump threw hoops for Medicaid and Medicare
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Mickey, attorneys in large firms don't "shadow"; that's a misunderstanding of their role. Younger associates' work is monitored by more experienced attorneys to ensure that no errors or mistakes are made. It's not a reflection of deliberate double billing but rather of quality control and training, both in law but in client relations and integrity as well.

I've just seen a family just go through an example of a sole practitioner behaving like a child as well as likely misrepresenting a situation and being deliberately contrary. He also made a made screwup and failed to do something that would have been common knowledge for an attorney of the same level of experience who'd practiced in a reputable firm.

The partner in a large firm will bill at his/her rates and the associates bills at a much lower rate. But the benefit is that the work produced is done primarily by the younger attorney with less involvement on an oversight basis by the more experienced attorney.

Remember that law school unless it's changed recently isn't necessarily applied law; it's theoretical for the most part. Younger attorneys came to work at firms not knowing anything about the practical and process side of practicing law. They learned this not only from the partners, but from paralegals and secretaries. It's one reason why many secretaries didn't want to work for "baby attorneys" - they felt they shouldn't have to help train attorneys.
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Camussen, it is similar to going to a doctor who specializes compared to a primary doctor. I remember my parents used their real estate attorney to draw up their Wills, years later when I saw the Wills yikes those Wills were a landmine, so I quickly got my parents to an Elder Law attorney to draw up new Wills, POA, Medical Directives, etc.

Plus using an Elder Law attorney, if one's parents need Medicaid advice in the future, said attorney would be the one who knows all the current information regarding Medicaid.
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Why does one have to have an "elder attorney" at all? We found a very good attorney in 2013, she drew up our wills, and has worked with us on a couple of changes we wanted to make in the last couple of years. Can't we just stick with her?
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have to be careful, make sure you do a check when you do find an elder attorney. I also live in PA close to MD border. there was one person in another town that did my parents will and when we had to get an elder attorney, we were checking the will that this "other" attorney did.......they made a copy of the first page of my fathers and made the same thing for my mother. meaning that what my dad was leaving to my brother and I......was also the same things my mother possessed. Well needless to say, we did NOT get that person. The Elder attorney we found is highly ranked in our area and some surrounding areas because that is ALL he deals with. I mean he has some highly qualified degrees. he is very good.
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I would first find out who handles elderly people, such as (YOUR County) Senior Services.) I live in Pa., and I called Pa. Dept. of Human Services, and they gave me numbers for different services in my area. Senior Services can point you in the right direction. If you need elder abuse, your state and local senior services could help with that. I have been GUARDIAN of my sister because her grandson was POA and spent all of her money, and I have an attorney appointed to me and one for my sister that COUNTY Senior Services set up.
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not sure where you are from but IF you are from an area in PA I can give you the name of a good Elder Attorney. I don't know how much I can personally put here, but post me privately and I can give you a name.
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