A lot of people who first contact a North Carolina elder law attorney have never heard of elder law, and do not really know what an elder law attorney does. If you have thought about contacting a lawyer because of a legal issue you are facing but are not sure if you should talk to an elder law attorney, all you have to do is call us and ask. Until then, here is some important information you should know about elder law and elder law attorneys.
Your Elder Law Attorney: Planning For the Future
Despite our desires or hopes for eternal youth, the aging process is inexorable, and affects us in different ways. As we get older we are more likely to suffer a serious illness or injury, more likely to lose our ability to make decisions for ourselves, less likely to work or be able to work, and more likely to need ongoing medical care.
These types of issues all have legal aspects to them, and it is these legal aspects associated with the aging process in which elder law attorneys specialize.
Put simply, elder law lawyers help people who face legal problems that arise as a consequence of the aging process. At the same time, many of the legal issues that most commonly affect elderly people can also affect younger people. This is why elder law attorneys do not only serve elderly clients. Anyone facing an elder law issue can benefit from having an elder law attorney at their sides.
Your Elder Law Attorney: Planning For Your Family
To help explain how an elder law attorney can help, let’s take a look at a couple of situations. Let’s say that you have an elderly parent who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or some medical condition that compromises a person’s ability to make decisions. What can your parent do? Can your parent choose someone to start making financial decisions on his or her behalf, or will you have to go to court?
And what about you? What do you need to start protecting your parent? Are there documents you need to create? Will you have to ask a court to get involved? If you go to court, will you be able to have any influence on the court’s decision?
These are the questions that elder law attorneys advise their clients about every day.
Your Elder Law Attorney: Planning For Yourself
So let’s say that everyone in your family is healthy and you aren’t anticipating any problems. You can still benefit from hiring an elder law attorney because your attorney can help you protect yourself. For example, if you are a young professional who is recently married, an elder law attorney can assist you in creating tools that will protect you against some future calamity.
Why is this important? If something should happen to you, and you don’t have an incapacity plan in place, your family will be left with some difficult problems. How will they manage your financial affairs for you? How will they know what kind of care or treatment options you want or don’t? How will they know where your important documents are located?
If you don’t have a plan, your family will face a difficult and emotionally stressful situation in which they’ll have to ask a court to assign someone the responsibility of protecting your affairs. On the other hand, having a plan in place will allow these issues to be answered quickly and easily.
Your Elder Law Attorney: Legal Issus Facing the Elderly
It’s also important to understand that even though an elder law attorney specializes in helping elderly people, families of elderly people, and those who are facing problems most commonly associated with elderly people, not every legal problem you face will be warned that an elder law attorney can help you with.
For example, if you are a senior citizen who has received a speeding ticket, or are interested in creating a corporation, you probably need to speak to an attorney who specializes in those areas. Just because you might be a senior citizen and are facing a legal issue, that doesn’t mean you should hire an elder law attorney.
On the other hand, if you have a legal issue and need advice, talking to your elder law attorney is always a good place to start. Even if we don’t believe we can help you with your specific legal problem, we will always be able to recommend someone who we believe can provide the necessary assistance. You can also join us for your upcoming, and free, elder law seminar.