What is Elder Care Law
Elder law is focused on addressing the issues faced by people over the age of 55 and their families. The practice of elder law involves preparing each client to deal with the complex issues that arise as we grow older. There are also many legal options available to manage future age-related mental or physical disabilities-that are mentioned in this guide to elder care law. Elder care law covers the following topics:
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Estate Planning
- Wills and Testamentary Trusts
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Living Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney or Health Proxies
- Guardianships for Minors or for Incapacitated Adults
- Living Wills or Health Directives
- Asset Management
- Contract Review
- Medicaid Assistance
- Real Estate Issues
- Retirement Planning
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do
It is a common misconception that guardianship is a simple process that simply involves a family member asking a doctor to be appointed as guardian. In reality, establishing guardianship involves a judicial procedure subject to court-related costs and time delays. You should expect that the process will take 8 to 10 weeks. One of the most important things an elder law attorney does is helping you properly execute a Healthcare Power of Attorney. This document establishes a guardian for you so if you were ever experiencing incapacity, this person can make medical decisions for you.
Similar to guardianships, family members cannot simply write checks and make use of other financial resources when a relative becomes mentally or physically disabled. In such cases, you must obtain written authorization, called a financial or durable power of attorney. If you did not execute Power of Attorney documents while the aging relative was competent than the court may appoint a guardian or conservator, potentially costing the family thousands of dollars. By establishing a financial or durable power of attorney before you experience incapacity, you will not fall behind on any bills and your financial assets will be protected.
Knowledge of intentions
It is a common misconception that children know what is best for a parent with declining health. In reality, children are often unaware of their parent’s thoughts on particular health and financial decisions. One of the best things to occur when you create your healthcare power of attorney documents is that you take the pressure off your family from making life-changing healthcare decisions for you. Similarly, a financial power of attorney lessens the chance that your relatives or children will fight over your assets.
Contact our DC Law Office for More Information
For more information relating to a guide to elder care law please contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.