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 want or need 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 (the WHAT and the WHO)
- A Nomination of Conservator Of Person (the WHO w/ Court supervision)
- PHYSICIAN ORDER: Physician Order Life Sustaining Treatment ORDER effective 1/1/ 2009 is a DOCTOR’S ORDER, not an AHCD ~ NO ATTORNEY is needed: this is a conversation between you and your Doctor.
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 (the WHAT and the WHO)
- A Nomination of Conservator of Estate (the WHO w/ Court supervision)
- A Revocable Living Trust (to avoid conservatorship and/or probate)
Pre-death planning for passing the person’s estate on to others (family, heirs, beneficiaries, school or charity) may include other methods plus a Trust:
- 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 of the step-down Care Plan are identified, so Who knows What and When, then the family can get on with the family business of taking care of each other.
If you have had someone take care of you in a way that you did not want, have a confidential conversation with an elder law Attorney to avoid that future possible outcome!