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Important Questions to Ask an Elder Law Attorney

When consulting with an elder law attorney, it’s essential to cover a range of topics to ensure comprehensive planning and protection for elderly individuals. Here are some important questions to ask:

  1. Experience and Specialization:

   – How long have you been practicing elder law?

   – What percentage of your practice is dedicated to elder law?

  1. Estate Planning:

   – Can you help with creating or updating a will and/or trust?

   – What are the benefits of setting up a living trust versus a will?

  1. Healthcare and Long-term Care:

   – How can I plan for potential long-term care needs?

   – What are the best ways to protect assets from long-term care costs?

   – Can you explain the different options for long-term care insurance?

  1. Medicaid and Medicare:

   – How can we qualify for Medicaid without losing all our assets?

   – What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare in terms of coverage for long-term care?

  1. Legal Documents:

   – What documents are essential for elder care planning (e.g. power of attorney, healthcare proxy, living will)?

   – Can you assist with drafting and executing these documents?

  1. Guardianship and Conservatorship:

   – What is the process for establishing guardianship or conservatorship if it becomes necessary?

   – How can we avoid guardianship or conservatorship through proper planning?

  1. Elder Abuse and Fraud:

   – What steps can we take to protect against elder abuse and financial exploitation?

   – What should we do if we suspect elder abuse?

  1. Social Security and Retirement Benefits:

   – How can we maximize Social Security benefits?

   – What are the implications of working while receiving Social Security benefits?

  1. Tax Considerations:

   – Are there any specific tax benefits or pitfalls related to elder care and estate planning?

   – How can we minimize estate taxes?

  1. Cost and Payment:

    – What are your fees, and how are they structured (e.g. hourly, flat fee, retainer)?

    – Do you offer any payment plans or sliding scale fees based on income?

Asking these questions can help ensure you cover all critical areas and receive the necessary guidance for elder care planning.