Once you realize the need for an elder lawyer, you may find yourself spoiled for choice. Many attorneys may be qualified to help you make long-term care decisions and create an estate plan. So how do you choose the one to help you protect everything you worked hard for over your lifetime?
Start With Experience and Reputation
First, you need the right kind of attorney for your elder law needs. An elder lawyer doesn’t just create one plan, but a series of plans that become active whenever certain situations arise. This requires experience with a wide variety of legal fields, including estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid, Veterans’ Benefits, asset protection, and retirement planning. For this reason, lawyers who do most of their business representing injury cases or insurance claims are usually not the best fit.
If a good portion of an attorney’s business is dedicated to elder law, they are more likely to be familiar with each of these services and how they interact. From here, you can browse through their testimonials to get a feel for how clients are treated and what they have to say about their experiences at the firm.
A Good Elder Law Attorney Goes Beyond Estate Planning
Once you have narrowed the field to a few select attorneys, you should start to look at the different approaches each lawyer takes. Some lawyers offer little more than a fill-in-the-blank Will drafting service, and they might be enough for your situation. However, if the attorney doesn’t understand who you are and what you have, your Will may not do everything you thought it would—and your heirs are the ones who will pay the price.
Our Florida elder law legal team doesn’t leave anything up to chance when it comes to you and the people you love. If you need help, we will:
- Dig into the details. When it comes to your end-of-life wishes, no two clients are exactly alike. Your estate plan should be as unique as you are, and we work to create a customized plan that prevents issues with your estate and family later.
- Go beyond your Will. We have the insight to provide for you while looking at the wider picture. What if you are incapacitated in your later years? Who will take care of you, and who can make medical decisions? We help you designate a medical power of attorney and set up advance directives so that your family has a plan in place if anything happens to you.
- Provide attention and assurance. We know how difficult it is to discuss these sensitive topics, and we work hard to make you feel comfortable. Our clients are encouraged to ask questions, and we’re available to make changes to your plan when and if problems arise.
- Not leave anything on the table. Many people don’t realize that they have access to benefits to pay for long-term care, such as Medicaid, VA Aid & Attendance, or pensions. Our elder law team can help you spend down your assets to maintain Medicaid eligibility and help you through the Medicaid application process, protecting your life savings.
- Answer both wants and needs. We aren’t just looking to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. We spend a lot of time learning about you, your life, your family, and your wishes for the future. Once we know what’s important to you, we implement the plan that best accomplishes your goals and gives you peace of mind.
- Use our resources. An ideal elder law attorney has built connections to elder care coordinators, social workers, and nursing home directors to get you help beyond your legal needs. We can act as your point of contact for Medicaid caseworkers and other professionals to take as much off your plate as we can.
The lawyers at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis have one goal: to help you and your family through the most difficult times in your lives. To get started, simply fill out our quick contact form or call us at (727) 397-5571, or learn more in our free book, Protect Your Nest Egg From The Nursing Home: Your Florida Survival Guide.