By definition, an elder law attorney deals with the issues we all face as we age. (S)he has the necessary education, experience and background to help you and/or your parents navigate the often complicated and confusing Medicare and Medicaid systems. (S)he can also help you or your parents apply for such things as veterans benefits, Social Security disability benefits, etc.
FindLaw explains that an elder law attorney can help you or your parents in any number of specific ways, including the following:
- Drafting wills, trusts and other estate planning documents
- Drafting advance healthcare directives
- Drafting durable financial powers of attorney
- Helping you obtain the federal or state benefits to which you are entitled
- Advising you of your rights as an assisted living or nursing home resident
- Representing you if you fall victim to nursing home neglect or abuse and need to file a lawsuit
Unfortunately, elderly people often fail to sufficiently advocate for their own rights and interests. Whether because of age, illness, disillusionment or other reasons, your parents, or even you, may tend to sit back and accept whatever comes your way, believing it an inevitable consequence of growing older.
This is where an elder law attorney can prove most useful as a trusted resource person. Not only can (s)he recognize red flags that you may not, (s)he can also advise you of opportunities you may not have thought about to make your or your parents’ golden years really golden. Finally, (s)he can become just the assertive advocate you need at the time when you may most need it.