Getting Older – What You Need to Know, The Basics About Planning Ahead
Enjoying retirement, traveling, spending time with family or exploring new activities and interests are part of growing older. But age can also bring with it anxiety and worry and some unique concerns about health and well-being and taking care of family. These concerns are usually grouped together in an area of law known as “elder law”. The following is a thumb-nail of topics that an elder law attorney can help with.
Estate planning is really caring for your loved ones, seeing that they are provided for, and making sure your property is distributed according to your wishes. This can be accomplished through a variety of techniques, including wills and/or living trusts.
Durable Power of Attorney
A person can appoint someone else to manage his financial affairs if he is unable to do so. This Durable Power of Attorney is a preferred way of providing for the proper management of one’s financial affairs in the event of incapacity.
Advance Directive for Health Care
A person can give health care instructions to his physician and name a person to make health care decisions, such as the selection of hospitals, doctors or type of medical treatment, if he is unable to make those decisions for himself. This is called an Advance Directive for Health Care. This document also allows a person to give specific instructions about life support measures.
Guardianship & Conservatorship
If a person becomes incapacitated and has done no advance planning, the only legal means by which even a family member can take care of that person is to petition the court for the appointment of a guardian and conservator. This process is an ongoing and court controlled proceeding that is time consuming and expensive. It is the least desirable way of property and personal management.
Medicaid eligibility rules are complex and ever changing. Strategies for long term care planning and asset protection are always in a state of flux. An elder law attorney can guide you and your family through the many challenging issues that arise as life circumstances change.
When the End Nears
Healthcare crisis management is one of the biggest reasons people seek out an elder law attorney. But, the best time to find an elder law attorney is before a crisis. Advance planning avoids many problems, and helps achieve peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.
Article Provided by:
Kathy Belcher, McGinty & Belcher, Attorneys