As a person gets older, the legal issues they encounter differ from those that other people face. To address these needs, Elder Law is a relatively new practice area that focuses on the issues affecting the aging population, helping to prepare them, and their loved ones, for any future problems that might arise. As Elder Law deals with some of society’s most vulnerable people, attorneys who work in this practice area take into account the difficulties that accompany the aging process. The practice of Houston Elder Law encompasses many different areas of law. Below are some issues normally included within the practice of Elder Law.
Securing Senior Housing
Helping a senior transition to a new housing arrangement can often be difficult. Elder Law attorneys are often consulted to assess an elderly person’s situation and determine whether a nursing home or life care community is necessary. If a move to a nursing home is required, Elder Law attorneys will help explore all housing options, investigate nursing home quality and inform seniors of their patient rights.
Determining Eligibility for Government Benefits
An essential part of Elder Law is determining eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Benefits. An Elder Law attorney can help ensure that as a person ages, their housing and medical bills do not bankrupt the family. Because long-term care facilities can be extremely expensive, often costing anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000 a year, families can plan ahead by protecting their assets and determining if they are entitled to public benefits.
Creating Guardian Documents and Financial Management Advisement
It is critical to make sure a loved one’s guardianship and health care documents are created before a person can no longer express their wishes. An Elder Law attorney can help families draft documents designating durable powers of attorney and living wills for financial management and health care decisions, as well as determine how a senior’s funds should be handled. For instance, many seniors use their personal assets to pay for nursing home care, and then apply for Medicaid, which will continue to pay for the care. In order to prepare for such a situation, an Elder Law attorney may recommend preserving or transferring assets to avoid spousal impoverishment when a spouse enters a nursing home. Part of an Elder Law attorney’s job is to advise a family of all of their financial options, while ensuring care for a loved one does not jeopardize the family’s well being.
Because Elder Law is a unique and vital practice, it is important for aging people to consider their future, taking into account the issues they may face. By consulting an Elder Law attorney, seniors and their loved ones, can have peace of mind they are ready to face any challenge that may come.
Contact a Houston Elder Law Attorney
If you are looking for an experienced Houston Elder Law attorney, McCulloch & Miller, PLLC is here to help you. We assist seniors and their families in making long-term care and estate planning decisions, understanding the unique needs of every client. Contact us at 713-333-8900 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help your elderly loved one prepare for the future.