Monday, November 4, 2013

MANY ISSUES AN ELDER LAW ATTORNEY FOCUSES ON

There are many issues that an Elder Law attorney will focus on, including estate planning, retirement planning, and planning to preserve wealth (tax planning). The Law Office of Lynn A. Dean offers a comprehensive portfolio of Elder Law services, including:

1.      Probate
2.      Conservatorships
3.      Medi-CalPlanning 
4.    IrrevocableTrusts 

Elder Law deals with legal issues that may arise with a person’s advanced age. In recent years, attorneys have been called on to fight the growing problem of elder abuse. Elder abuse may take many forms, from mistreatment in a nursing home, to financial abuse by a caregiver or family member. Elder Law attorneys can prepare documents, allowing one or more persons to become the agent for an incapacitated or vulnerable senior. If the senior did not prepare these documents prior to being mentally incapacitated, then the Elder Law attorney may need to establish a conservatorship for the senior.

WARNING SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE TO WATCH FOR:
  1. Taking a large amount of cash out of various financial accounts or multiple smaller amounts at a time that don’t have obvious reasons.
  2. Writing a large check to someone, especially if the they do not know the person.
  3. Changing power of attorney or beneficiaries on insurance or investment accounts.
  4. Bills going unpaid or overdrafts from accounts that should have enough money.
  5. Making unusual or unnecessary purchases – Jewelry or camping gear.
  6. Agreeing to make unnecessary home repairs – new siding on the house.
  7. Becoming too close with a much younger person or an inappropriate person.
  8. Having a caregiver or house-cleaner too involved in the finances.
The challenge of Elder Law is that every family situation is unique. An Elder Law attorney will often act as a counselor as well as an attorney, helping to facilitate relationships between family members. Attorneys are even called upon in extreme situations to fight elder abuse. It’s critical that these situations are dealt with swiftly and effectively, which is why choosing an attorney specialized in Elder Law is so important.

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