Have you ever wondered what elder law is? Well, elder law and estate planning aren’t exactly the same things, but in many cases these areas of law overlap. Primarily, a skilled elder law legal team works to protect the rights and preserve the assets of people over a certain age.
How Elder Law Attorneys Help Secure Your Future
Essentially, elder law focuses on helping older adults explore their wishes and intentions now while considering how to plan ahead for their care and how to distribute assets after their passing.
So, elder law attorneys examine aspects such as projecting for eventual needs including, but not limited to:
- Health care
- Long-term care insurance
- Nursing homes costs
In the scope of estate planning, the crossover of elder law expertise might have to account for other future contingencies, such as:
- Designating a durable power of attorney to help make financial and health decisions.
- Protecting ownership of your home and other assets in revocable or irrevocable trusts to provide financial stability for you and your heirs.
- Determining the extension or continuation of military benefits if you or a spouse need long-term care.
- Providing for a child or grandchild with disabilities through a special needs trust.
- Strategizing how assets can be secured if you or a spouse need to qualify for Medicaid to cover long-term care.
These and other elder law estate planning tools require detailed information and advance preparation. This is particularly true for Medicaid planning because as a needs-based program, the federal government “looks back” for any assets transferred for less than fair market value in the last five years. If such transfers are found, it might be perceived that you still own the asset and thus, have too many assets to qualify for assistance.
Take Control of Your Future Now
Just because elder law and estate planning deal with topics that seem to align with growing older doesn’t mean you have to be over a certain age to establish your intentions. We can’t stress enough how critical it is to create a sound financial strategy and make your wishes known now while you have the ability to do so.
Additionally, many elder law and estate planning techniques require the signature of the person we're trying to help, so it’s vital that the individual is legally competent when plans are being made before any serious health conditions are present. Simply put, it's never too early to consider elder law estate planning. The sooner you receive legal advice concerning your options and intentions, the better off you and your family will be.