What Is Elder Law?
Broadly speaking, elder law can be described as the field of law that addresses the legal needs of older adults. In particular, elder law allows the elderly to preserve their financial freedom through financial planning and long-term care. Elder law attorneys work with older adults and their family members to help them navigate the legal issues surrounding estate planning, long-term care, guardianship, and other complex matters.
Estate planning is one of the key areas of elder law. With an estate plan, a senior individual can make sure that their assets are transferred to beneficiaries according to their wishes. A well-drafted estate plan will usually contain several types of legal documents, including a last will and testament, trusts, financial power of attorney, and others. Estate planning allows older adults to make their wishes and end-of-life decisions known and legally documented. An elder law attorney can be a great asset during the estate planning process.
Healthcare/Long-Term Care Issues
This area of elder law addresses the services that senior individuals use when they can no longer take care of themselves. Long-term care issues include arrangements for a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Texas, and provisions regarding long-term health insurance.
An older adult may also protect their life savings and property by qualifying for Medicaid and other health insurance programs to cover some of their expenses related to healthcare and assisted living. A skilled elder law attorney can review your particular situation and determine if you are eligible for public insurance programs.
Having plans for guardianship is critical if the elderly individual becomes incapacitated. The guardian is authorized to make legal, financial, and health care decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.
During their lifetime, a senior individual can choose a person who would oversee decisions regarding their medical care as well as financial and legal matters. Without the necessary provisions for guardianship and medical/financial power of attorney, the court will use discretion to appoint someone to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Elder law attorneys advocate for the elderly and their family members. Seeking legal counsel is critical because an experienced elder law attorney will:
- Assess your situation and help you explore your options
- Guide you through the elder law process
- Prepare and implement an estate plan tailored to your needs, goals, and wishes
Redding Law Office handles a wide range of matters affecting older adults in Texas, including issues related to long-term care, incapacity, healthcare, guardianship, estate planning, medical/financial power of attorney, Medicaid/Medicare, and more.