Blue Bell Elder Law Attorney Providing Legal Services for Senior Citizens and Their Families
Serving Philadelphia, Chester, Lehigh, Montgomery, Delaware And Bucks Counties
Elder Law is a somewhat new practice area that focuses on the needs of senior citizens and their families. If you have a relative that is aging, he or she may have unique needs that span across several practice areas. Instead of hiring multiple attorneys, senior citizens and their families may rely on a single Elder Law attorney who can combine legal services from a few different practice areas.
What Role Does an Elder Law Attorney Play in Pennsylvania?
The average lifespan of the US population today is estimated to be 78.6 years of age. What is even more interesting is that among the adults that do make it past the age of 65, about half of them reach far into their 80s, with women living almost five years longer than men. The percentage of the American population that is living into their 80s and 90s continues to increase every year, thus increasing the demand for Elder Law.
Elder Law is a unique practice area because an Elder Law attorney combines his or her knowledge of several different practice areas to cater to senior citizens’ needs, which means it is a practice area that focuses on the needs of its customers rather than on any particular areas of law. Elder Law lawyers handle a multitude of issues in connection with aging, including helping seniors qualify for Medicaid and other healthcare-related benefits, estate planning, financial planning as well as long-term/incapacity planning.
Most Elder Law attorneys not only provide legal counsel if there is a dispute but also help seniors and their families be prepared to handle a future health crisis. Having the right plans in place is important for the senior citizen to receive the care they need and, at the same time, protect their assets and ensure there is enough left to pass on to the next generation.
What Kind of Services Does an Elder Law Attorney Provide to a Senior Citizen’s Family?
Whether you have just recently realized that your aging loved one is facing a health crisis or is showing signs of dementia or another form of incapacitation, it may be overwhelming to know what needs to be done to care for your loved one and look after their interests. An Elder Law attorney’s main role is to advocate on behalf of aging clients and their families, serving as a valuable and trustworthy resource and guide for a senior’s relatives to understand their legal options and do what is needed to ensure their loved one receives the care they need without jeopardizing their finances.
If you believe your loved one would do better if placed under the protection of a conservatorship, speaking to an Elder Law attorney should be your first step. The same applies to seniors that need to qualify to receive government benefits–an attorney can help you understand the process of making sure your loved one can receive benefits and also help you navigate the ever-changing rules and updates that may affect Social Security and Medicaid. Finally, if you are dealing with the unfortunate situation of trying to protect your loved one from elder abuse (such as nursing home negligence or financial exploitation by a caretaker or relative), an Elder Law lawyer can advise you on your options to end the abuse and take action against the responsible parties.
Is There a Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning?
Elder Law attorneys often cross over into the estate planning field to cater to the needs of their clients, but it is important to understand that there is a key difference between each of these important practice areas. Generally speaking, the focus of Elder Law is to ensure the rights of seniors are protected during their lifetime by ensuring they can access the care they need while they are still alive without depleting the assets they worked for.
On the other hand, estate planning is more focused on the distribution of an individual’s assets after he or she passes away. Estate planning addresses aspects such as ensuring the client’s wishes for asset division are recorded and respected, minimizing estate taxes, and shielding assets from creditors or other external threats.
When Is the Right Time to See an Elder Law Attorney?
While most clients tend to visit an Elder Law attorney when they are facing a problem or believe they will soon be dealing with one, the sooner you can start working with an Elder Law attorney, the easier it will be to tackle issues as they arise. If you are looking to make plans for yourself, it is best to work with an attorney now while you are still well and not mentally incapacitated. It is also important for you as a caretaker of an aging loved one to get the right legal advice before a major health crisis occurs, threatening the financial integrity of your loved one and his or her ability to leave a legacy.
At the Pile Law Firm, PLLC, Attorney E. Nego Pile provides Elder Law legal services and advice for clients in Blue Bell, PA, and surrounding areas. If you are looking for help with legal issues related to aging, reach out to the Pile Law Firm, PLLC, at 267-281-1675 and request a free case evaluation to discuss your situation and learn your options. We look forward to assisting you.