Aging is inevitable. There comes the point in life when people cannot care for legal matters and estate planning anymore. An elder law attorney helps seniors with tax planning, living wills, administration of an estate plan, deciding about the replacement of nursing home, and other key aspects. Here’s why you may want to consult a New Jersey elder law attorney.
An elder-law attorney specializes in working for aging people (typically over the age of 60) and their caregivers/family members. When hiring an attorney for the first time, check if they are a “Certified Elder Law Attorney”, also called CELA. These lawyers may specialize in Medicaid planning and can guide seniors in creating & managing their estate planning documents. If you have an attorney on your side, they will take steps to protect your assets and investments, especially if you have a debilitating illness. You can rely on the attorney for helping you with wills, living wills, and the durable power of attorneys.
The need for an elder law attorney
An attorney is your best resource for understanding key legal issues that may crop up with age. For instance, you must consider a living will to express your wishes regarding medical treatments and healthcare. Anyone who is over the age of 60 should consider working with an elder law attorney. A lawyer can help with things like –
- Guidance on Medicaid
- Protect & transfer assets
- Advice on Medicare, Social Security, and disability claims
- Estate planning, including living wills and powers of attorney
- Guide with disability claims and appeals
- Help with conservatorships and guardianships
Hiring an elder law attorney
Most elder law attorneys in NJ work at an hourly rate. You may not have to pay anything for the initial consultation. The eventual cost of lawyering up largely depends on the attorney’s experience and the complications of your case. If your lawyer has to work more or revise your estate planning and other documents, you will end up paying more.
Law firms in New Jersey have ready websites where you can find details. You can also search the National Elder Law Foundation to find local lawyers. Websites like Avvo and Nolo also have listings. Always hire an attorney who has expertise working for similar clients. They should be accessible and available and must answer your questions. Don’t let aging impact your decisions or quality of life– Get an attorney on board and ask for advice for specific matters.