Americans are living longer than ever before. However, even after retirement, older adults can face unique challenges—challenges that affect entire families, who will often do everything in their power to ensure the well-being of an aging parent or mentor. This is where an experienced elder law attorney in Sun City Center, FL, can make a difference.
Elder law, a rapidly expanding legal discipline, seeks to mitigate these difficulties by providing families with the necessary strategies to preserve assets and navigate the complexities of pensions, insurance policies, and assisted living arrangements.
Here are just a few ways an experienced elder law attorney can help you.
What is Elder Law?
Elder law specializes in the needs of:
- Senior citizens
- Adults with disabilities
Every state, including Florida, has legislation and statutes that define the rights and responsibilities of older adults.
These laws frequently change and can impact senior citizens’ estate plans, Medicaid and Medicare eligibility, and long-term retirement plans. Elder law is a far-ranging field that seeks to proactively assist older adults in navigating these legal complexities.
What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law attorneys are legal professionals who work with older adults. Most elder law attorneys take on a variety of unique cases and claims.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?
An elder law attorney can advise on and do any of the following:
- Create a will or revocable living trust
- Establish a special fund for an adult with special needs
- Initiate probate and resolve probate-related disputes
- Enact powers of attorney
- Locate long-term care and assisted living facilities
Some elder law attorneys in Sun City Center also help families protect their loved ones from suspected nursing home abuse or medical neglect.
When Should I Hire a Sun City Center Elder Law Attorney?
You may need an elder law attorney if:
- You’re retired or plan to retire in the foreseeable future.
- You or your loved one has had a dementia diagnosis.
- You or your loved one are becoming unsafe in living at home.
- You’re not sure how—or if—you can afford the high costs of long-term care (assisted living, nursing home, etc.).
- You’re considering home care as an alternative to assisted living facilities or nursing home care.
Even if you or a loved one is in good health, you should never wait to speak to an elder law attorney in order to help get your affairs in order. If you’re in an accident (such as a fall) or are diagnosed with an age-related medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may not be able to execute an estate plan or make informed decisions about your medical care the way you wish. You and your family will have better peace of mind knowing there’s a trustworthy elder law professional to turn to if anything happens.
How to Find a Good Elder Law Attorney in Sun City Center
When searching for an elder law attorney in Sun City Center, FL, there are many steps you should take to ensure you find the right lawyer for you. Not all attorneys are the same, and finding one that you feel comfortable working with is just as important as any other aspect. Below, we suggest a few tips to help you get started.
- We tend to trust the people we know the best the most, so why not start by asking your friends and family for recommendations.
- Look for Board Certification in Elder Law - this is a specific designation that your attorney specializes in this particular field.
- Do your research. Not all attorneys are the same. Some may have more experience in one field, and less in another. Look for accolades, awards and other factors like peer reviews, that makes one stand out above the others.
- Schedule an initial consultation (and ask lots of questions!)
- Client testimonials. Whether you're watching or reading online reviews on sites like Google and Yelp, or browsing the law firm's website, getting an understanding of how past clients have worked with the attorneys can go a long way.
While most elder law attorneys represent clients in a wide range of matters, some lawyers prioritize certain types of cases. Before making a commitment, ask whether an attorney has experience handling similar claims.
How Much Do Elder Law Attorneys Charge?
Elder law lawyers don’t always have pre-set fees for their services. For example:
- If you need help with estate planning, your attorney will likely charge a fixed fee to write to create any estate planning documents.
- If you or a loved one need assistance in getting care, navigating the long-term care process or obtaining Medicaid benefits, most attorneys will quote a fixed fee for their work.
- If you suspect that an older relative has been abused or neglected in a nursing home or another health care facility, an injury attorney could accept your case on a contingency-fee basis. This means they only accept payment as a percentage of any eventual settlement.
Every elder law practice is different. Contacting an experienced elder law attorney in Sun City Center, FL, is often the most efficient way to understand the costs of representation.
What Questions Should I Ask an Elder Law Lawyer?
Before hiring an elder law attorney in Sun City Center, schedule an initial consultation. During your meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to better understand your lawyer’s background and experience. You should ask:
- How many years of experience do you have?
- Are you board certified by the Florida Bar Association in elder law?
- Have you handled cases similar to mine?
- How much do you charge?
- Who will handle my case?
Contact Our Sun City Center Elder Law Attorney to Schedule a Consult
There's no time to waste. To schedule a consultation with one of our elder law attorneys, give us a call at 813.429.4529 or fill out our online contact form now.