What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do?
An “elder law” attorney can assist a person who wants to get their legal affairs in order, so that the person is able to do whatever else they need or want to do: fight an illness, go on a trip, finish a grand project; whatever is crimping on or calling to that person’s soul.
Health Care Choices
On the health front, an elder law attorney can listen, suggest, draft, prepare, and document the person’s health care choices. These documents are planned for the person’s future lifetime care. Often used are:
- An Advance Health Care Directive
- A Nomination of Conservator Of Person
- Speak with your doctor regarding California “P.O.L.S.T.” form (Physician Order Life Sustaining Treatment) effective 1/1/ 2009 for which NO ATTORNEY is needed: this is a conversation between you and your Doctor and the Health Care Professionals on your Doctor’s medical support team.
Financial and Estate Planning Choices
On the financial front, an elder law attorney can listen, suggest, draft, prepare, and document the person’s estate planning choices. Disability planning for the person’s own future lifetime care could include:
- A Power of Attorney for Finances
- A Nomination of Conservator of Estate
- A Revocable Living Trust (to avoid conservatorship and/or probate processes in the probate court)
Pre-death planning for passing the person’s estate on to others (family, heirs, beneficiaries, school or charity) could include:
- A Revocable Living Trust (to avoid probate)
- An Irrevocable Trust (for anti-tax reasons or other reasons)
Additionally, an elder law attorney, upon receiving needed information from a Geriatric Case Manager about the Care Plan, can draft the written agreement for the family members and caregivers, if one is needed, addressing such issues as:
- How the house is to be used?
- Who is to live there?
- Who is to pay rent and who is not? Why?
- What are the governmental programs that need to be considered in making these decisions?
Once the triggers are identified for the step-down Care Plan, and who is to do what, everyone can be relieved of the worry about the unknown(s), and so get on with the business of our families taking care of each other.
Have you ever had someone take care of you in a way you didn’t want? An elder law attorney can help you to avoid that outcome!