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How to Find An Elder Law Attorney - Holistic Lawyers that Focus on Legal Needs of Seniors


by JB Bardot
See other articles by JB Bardot

(The Best Years in Life) Elder law is not so much a defined branch of the law, rather an area devoted to legal issues pertaining specifically to the needs of senior citizens. Attorneys who participate in elder law tailor their services to the particular areas of need for their clients, according to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Due to the increase demand for legal services, support and advocacy required by the baby boomer generation, elder law grew from the need for a more holistic approach to fulfill the requirements of an aging population. Elder law attorneys offer a wide range of assistance using various legal tools and techniques to fulfill the goals of senior clients outside the traditional legal requirements of the general population.

What follows is a walk-through to help you understand what it is that an elder law attorney will do for you, and how to go about finding the right attorney specializing in elder law before you need his services.

Elder law attorneys provide valuable advice covering a wide range of areas. An elder law attorney will often do more than offer advice, getting involved with his clients' affairs and acting as an advocate for people needing assistance. Senior clients should expect their elder law attorney to handle the following areas:

• Assisting with Medicaid applications and clarification of health insurance laws.

• Handling estate planning and asset protection.

• Preparing living wills and powers of attorney including a durable power of attorney.

• Planning for long-term care possibilities including nursing home care and hospice.

• Discussing and planning for possible incapacity and preparing appropriate documents for alternative decision-making.

• Arranging guardianship for clients who are incapacitated.

• Locating and coordinating resources from private and public sources to fund long-term care.

• Protecting the older client's right to dignity and quality care in all forms.


Guide to Finding an Elder Law Attorney

Ask friends and family members first to recommend an elder law attorney. Additionally, check the local phone book or online for legal firms specializing in elder law in your area. Legal aid centers and community outreach centers specializing in senior care are good resources for referrals to qualified attorneys.

Every state has a senior services branch devoted to the needs of the elderly and information is available online under the state government web page. The Chamber of Commerce and the state bar association are reliable resources when looking for an attorney who practices elder law.

Interview each prospective elder law attorney to determine who is most knowledgeable, experienced and where you feel most comfortable. Bring with you a written list of questions to ask the attorney addressing areas of concern. The attorney should be able to answer all your questions leaving you with a feeling of confidence in his abilities to fulfill your needs.

Request references and inquire about what percentage of the attorney’s practice relates to elder law. Ask about his previous experience, years in practice and cases won and lost in related areas. Inquire about his fees and if he will provide a payment plan if you need one.

Look for an elder law attorney who demonstrates compassion, caring and concern for seniors. It is important to determine that the person you hire is empathetic and considerate as well as affordable and a highly qualified legal expert. The more experienced the attorney, the easier things will be for you when you need his services.


Copyright 2013 Jean JB Bardot, all rights reserved worldwide. Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.

About the author:

JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine.

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