May 25, 2016

Did you know that May is National Elder Law Month? The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a nonprofit organization for Elder and Special Needs Lawyers, established this recognition as a way to honor attorneys across the nation who are serving the senior community.

What Is Elder Law?

Elder Law refers to the representation, counsel and assistance to seniors (those 65 years and over) and individuals with disabilities. Elder Law attorneys typically help clients in applying for financial assistance, such as the VA or Medicaid. While not necessary to hire an Elder Law attorney, wrong information and/or file processing on applications can be detrimental to the applier and leave them unqualified.

The work that Elder Law attorneys provide their clients is crucial and often underestimated. It’s no secret that the senior community is vulnerable to exploitation by family, friends and nursing facilities. And in a state like Florida where many individuals and couples come to retire, it is sadly not out of the ordinary to read a headline about elder abuse.  That is where the work of an attorney is invaluable. It’s extremely important that seniors protect themselves, and their assets, by having plans set in place should they have a health crisis.

Things Seniors Should Consider

It is the American Dream to work hard, provide for the family and one day retire with enough funds to cover expenses and pass along wealth to family as well. While attainable, there are many factors to consider when it comes to planning for the future:

-Do you have estate planning documents?

-Who do you trust to handle your affairs in a moment of incapacity or death?

-Is your retirement savings enough to cover unexpected in home care or nursing facility stay, while still providing the same quality of life to which you’re accustomed?

-If applying for Medicaid, would you pass the 5-year lookback period on transfers to family or friends?

These are just some of the many questions seniors and families of seniors need to be asking. If you or a loved one needs help with starting the conversation, call our office and schedule a consultation with attorney Geoff Hoatson at 407-574-8125. Having the choice on how to live out the rest of your life is a right everyone has—and we want to guarantee that for you.