The term “elder law” encompasses many areas of law. As the elder population has quickly grown, more and more attorneys have identified specific legal issues that these individuals commonly face. Generally speaking, an elder law attorney provides advice and guidance in this variety of areas, which may include:
- estate planning (i.e. execution of wills and trusts) for management during life and after death
- trust administration and probate
- powers of attorney
- advance directives for healthcare
- guardianship and conservatorship
- planning for incapacity and long term care
- health care and mental health
- nursing homes
- Medicaid planning
- veterans benefits
Some of these areas fall into the financial realm. Who will manage your financial affairs if you become unable, and with what authority will they do so? How can you establish that authority for someone to help manage your finances? What if someone has been abusing that authority? Where do you want your estate to go when you are deceased? Do you need to worry about estate taxes? These questions reflect the type of financial issues that an elder law attorney would typically assist you with.
Another realm is the home place. Is it suitable for you? Have mental or physical issues arisen that are not being addressed? Can you navigate physically, and cook and clean for yourself? What are the costs and benefits of moving out of the home into independent senior living or assisted living? What are the differences between the two? If you move, should you sell the home to pay for care?
The third major realm is healthcare. Have you made decisions regarding end of life care, and have you selected someone to communicate those decisions on your behalf if you are not able to? If you need to move into Assisted Living, or into a nursing home, how will you pay for it? Will Medicare pay? Medicaid? What about VA benefits, how does that work?
These questions are extremely common, and they have countless variations. The Law Office of Cathleen A. Gulledge LLC, has many years of experience with Elder Law. Please contact us at 316-265-2227 for more information or to schedule an appointment.