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Finding Legal Advocacy

Transitioning into the retirement lifestyle can be difficult. Aging often brings many new needs and challenges, ranging from new emotions to learning how to navigate services like Medicaid. Addressing these needs requires an understanding of the laws surrounding services for the elderly as well. With all of the different factors at play, it’s no surprise that many older adults and their loved ones wind up feeling overwhelmed. One way to make sure that your needs are met is to seek the services of an elder law attorney.

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

Elder law attorneys are lawyers that specialize in helping older people. They serve as advocates for older adults and can help you and your loved ones understand legal issues that you may experience. While many people expect these issues to only include the big legal issues like writing a will, elder law attorneys can also help you and your loved ones find care services. Everyone has their own individual physical and emotional needs, and elder law attorneys are experts at accommodating them!

Which Legal Issues Affect Seniors?

Before seeking an expert on elder law, it’s important to find out which legal needs you may have.

  1. Healthcare: Oftentimes, we require more medical care as we age. Elder law attorneys can find long-term care for older adults and help you accommodate the cost of these services. They also help you understand their rights as patients. Patient rights and nursing home resident rights both help ensure that you are being treated well. If there is a possible violation of your rights, elder law attorneys can help hold caregivers accountable as well.
  2. Financial: After retirement, your financial situation may look different. This can require adjustments and more long-term planning, which elder law attorneys can help with! You can also access Social Security and other retirement benefits, which may necessitate legal help as well. Besides general financial planning, elder law attorneys can also help you find housing opportunities and understand taxes.
  3. Long-term Planning: Long-term planning is tough to think about, but it’s necessary. You may want to determine a power of attorney, or someone that has the legal power to make decisions in your stead if you are unable to. You may also want to sort out their will. Elder law attorneys can help with estate planning and making sure that a durable power of attorney is determined. For more information on end-of-life planning, please read our article on the subject.

How to Find Legal Services for Seniors

While legal services for older adults generally fall under the umbrella of elder law attorneys, there are many different ways to seek their help. In many cities, there are nonprofit organizations that will provide legal services to you for free. These can be found through services like Legal Aid, which operates nationally, or through searching databases like the American Bar Association’s pro bono database.

Aging may bring many new needs, but elder law attorneys can help make understanding and addressing them much easier. No matter what the situation is, seeking additional help can make it less overwhelming.

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