The specialty of Elder Law is becoming more important as our population ages. People are also living longer but in many cases are not living better. In fact, there are many issues associated with aging that could be made better with the right help. An attorney specializing in Elder Law could be of great benefit to an older person or his or her family by helping with some of the issues below.
Potential for Financial Exploitation
The trusting nature of many elderly people makes them vulnerable to financial exploitation. Here are some examples of the most common types of financial exploitation.
- Telephone Solicitations for Dishonest Charities or Fraudulent Investments
- Identity Theft to Get Credit Card Numbers and Other Information
- Pay in Advance Prize-Winning Schemes
- High-Pressure Door-To-Door Sales
- Dishonest Home Improvement Contracts
- Dishonest Miracle Health Cures
- Unnecessary Living Trusts through a Trust Mill
- Dishonest Funeral Arrangement Plans
All elderly should be made aware of and told to avoid any financial transactions that require upfront deposits. No contracts are to be signed without two or three days of consideration in consultation with knowledgeable family members. All dishonest schemes promulgated through the mail are guilty of mail fraud and appropriate complaints should be filed. All states have consumer-reporting departments to take complaints on consumer fraud. Again a good source for help is your local area agency on aging.
Settle Family Disputes
It is becoming more common to use an attorney, an arbitrator or a mediator in solving disputes among family members relating to the care of elderly parents. For instance, one child may have stolen assets and the rest of the family wants that person brought to justice. There may be a disagreement over the final disposition of property in an estate plan and it may take an attorney to solve that. A lawyer may be necessary to settle the differences either through the courts or through mediation.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace
The Age Discrimination In Employment Act protects people who have been laid off or fired because of age discrimination. Some companies consider older employees less valuable than younger employees. As baby boomers approach their 60s many will be opting to continue employment or find employment with another company. Age discrimination issues will become more prevalent in the coming years.
Help with Medicare and Medicaid
Qualified legal help is available from elder law attorneys to help individuals in applying for and accelerating payments for Medicaid. An elder law attorney can also help with disputes with Medicaid. Likewise attorneys who specialize in Medicare can help with disability claims and sometimes this help is the only way claims are ever granted. The local area agency on aging has an advisory service for help with understanding Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare advantage and Medicare part D.
At Idaho Estate Planning, we have the skill and resources to help you put your long-term care plan together, including preparing for the possibility of Medicaid. We have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your loved ones now and into the future. Remember, good planning is no accident!