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How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Family Caregivers

Couple meeting with Elder Law Lawyer

Taking care of an older adult with health issues can be difficult for a family.  Taking care of an older adult with health issues often means navigating unfamiliar decision making.  It can be overwhelming, especially when the well-being of a loved one hangs in the balance. Families do not have to go it alone, however. An experienced, qualified elder law attorney can help a family sort through all the decisions that have to be made while also helping the family make the right decisions for their goals and their loved ones. 

There are several ways an elder law attorney can help family caregivers. Whether a family member is facing the prospect of long-term care or a debilitating illness, an elder law attorney can help the process run more smoothly. . 

Objective

For instance, family members often have different ideas on what is best for an older family member in need of care. An elder law attorney comes to the situation as an outsider, with an objective view of what is happening. They can advise what is best for the client, without the emotional baggage a family member carries. According to the rules of professional responsibility, attorneys have a duty to have the client direct the goals/objectives of the relationship while the lawyer helps design the “means” by which the client may choose to meet those goals. The lawyer will use their expertise/experience to present the client with the options that are most likely to meet their goals. For instance, an elderly loved one may want to stay in the home, but it may not be safe for them. This can be an incredibly hard decision to make for the siblings or children of the person. An elder law attorney, however, will look at what is best and safest for the elderly family member. 

Experience

An experienced elder law attorney can also help to create a long-term plan for a family, and their elderly loved one. An attorney with experience has come across any number of financial situations, and tools and knows best how to navigate them to create a long-term plan health and financial plans. Developing plans like this without an attorney can be overwhelming at best and futile at worst. The attorney should   know what needs to be done in terms of protecting a loved one’s assets. 

A durable power of attorney is a powerful legal document that essentially gives decision-making power to another person (known as an attorney-in-fact) for the grantor, or in this case, an elder family member. With a durable power of attorney, the provisions in the document remain in effect even if the grantor becomes incapacitated. An attorney can help to ensure this document is in place, done correctly, and that the client’s choice for the attorney in fact gets the powers discussed.

If a loved one is looking at a long-term care facility or nursing home, they may seek enrollment in Medicaid to help pay for their living arrangements. This can be a complicated process that involves asset reductions and lookback windows. An elder law attorney can help plan for applying for Medicaid and guide the client to strategies that meet their goals. Medicaid eligibility includes a five-year lookback period, so consulting with an elder law attorney sooner rather than later is a good idea. 

Contact The Mattar Firm

When facing the prospect of a loved one needing more care than they are currently receiving, it is natural to want to keep decisions within the family. However, an elder law attorney, like those at The Mattar Firm, can be sure the client’s decisions are enacted according to their wishes.  Call today at 844-444-4444.

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