Elder Law Ensuring That Your Wishes Are Honored


We’re all going to get older — maybe some of us already are. There are certain issues that come with aging; many of them are physical. However, there are also certain legal aspects that key into the aging process, as strange as that may sound. Many people are unaware of the different legal issues that go into ensuring that an aging person’s wishes are respected. This isn’t just in regard to their will, but their wishes regarding medical care and end of life care as well. All of this may seem a bit morbid to consider in theory, but it’s better to have a plan in place than to be left unsure in later years. This is equally important for the elderly person and their loved ones. The person planning their future will want to ensure that their desires are fulfilled — even if they’re gone. Their loved ones will appreciate the legal help that comes with having such plans already made. Elder law make this process a lot simpler, but such legal actions cannot be taken without the help of elder law attorneys. Elder law attorneys can help manage things like estate planning, writing a will, Medicaid planning, and much more. Below, we’ll discuss some of the things elder law attorneys can help you or your loved one handle.

Planning A Will

Planning a will is not something that most of us like to think about. It’s difficult and awkward, and for that matter considered somewhat morbid by certain people. If you don’t have a will, you’re not alone — it’s estimated that over half of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 don’t have wills. In general, about 64% of Americans don’t have ills. While it’s true that planning your will is not the most uplifting prospect in the world, it will make you feel better once it’s done. You’re getting a lot of practicalities out of the way, and for that matter you can relax a bit more knowing that your assets and those you love will be taken care of the way you wish. Try not to put off planning a will — anything can happen, no matter what your age. Should your assets be in the six figure range or higher, you might want to consider a trust in addition to a will. This will minimize your estate taxes and help you avoid probate. As of 2015, you’ll be allowed to leave bequests of up to $5.43 million free of any federal estate tax. This is called the estate tax emption.

Medicaid Planning

Medicaid is something that can be partially handled by an elder law attorney. It’s a complicated legal issue, too be sure, and certainly can’t be taken lightly. Medicaid is the Federal-State health insurance program for low income individuals, and it helps many. However, many have failed to realize what they’re entitled to through Medicaid, how Medicaid benefits work, and how you can make plans regarding Medicaid. In Alabama, Medicaid eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to those with incomes below $3,800 a year for a family of four — that is to say, below 16% of poverty. Those with families are not the only people who can benefit from Medicaid — low income elderly people can as well. Medicaid can help elderly people who need healthcare to get it. As such, it’s important that if you can take advantage of it, you do.

Medical Care

It’s extremely important that people take care of themselves — and their loved ones too. Elderly people have certain healthcare concerns that others don’t. With a lawyer’s help, elderly people can make plans for medical situations in which they aren’t able to communicate. For example, some elderly people will not want to be revived should they lose consciousness. Others will want to stipulate that they are never taken off life support. A lawyer makes this happen — and ensures that a person’s wishes are respected no matter what.

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