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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Finding a Qualified Elder Law Attorney in Fair Oaks, CA

May 8, 2015

As the need for elder law attorneys in Fair Oaks, CA grows, it’s important for people to understand what they should expect from this type of professional. While lawyers each have areas in which they excel or focus their efforts, an elder law attorney should be able to meet the specialized needs of the population they serve. Rather than simply picking a name off the Internet, it’s a good idea to do some research to find someone who can handle what you bring to the table.

For example, some elderly folks are looking for ways to protect their estates while still qualifying for Medicaid (Medi-Cal) or Veterans’ benefits. Others are in need of someone who can advocate for their rights when it comes to nursing home treatment. Still others are in need of a legal guardian (conservator) or designating powers of attorney for medical and financial purposes. A good elder law attorney in Fair Oaks will likely be able to do all of this and more.

  • Creating wills/Setting up trusts
  • Working with Social Security benefits
  • Planning for healthcare
  • Long-term care planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Guidance on life insurance, annuities, etc.

The elder law attorney should be able to take a look at your entire situation to determine which areas need attention. Additionally, he or she should be willing to work directly with the elderly person when possible or with that person’s family or conservator, if necessary.

Aging in our society brings with it a variety of changes, and a good elder lawyer will be able to anticipate some of these changes, as well as help clients transition through them.  Often, an elder lawyer doesn’t even enter the situation until clients are already in the midst of these changes, such as when a catastrophic illness or injury arises bringing with it the need for legal intervention.

The best case scenario is when an individual is able to start planning with an elder law attorney in advance. This allows more time for wealth to accumulate, for medical options to be discussed and decided ahead of time, and to avoid having decisions second-guessed after the fact. That said, it’s never really “too late” to find a Fair Oaks elder lawyer to help in whatever phase of life you’re in.

In addition to the lawyer’s areas of focus, there are some other factors to consider when comparing attorneys:

  1. How long has the lawyer been working in elder law?
  2. What specialized training has the lawyer had?
  3. What do others have to say about their experiences with the lawyer?
  4. Can the lawyer answer your specific questions?

Finding the right Fair Oaks elder law lawyer can make a big difference in meeting your needs, so don’t be afraid to do your homework until you feel like you’ve found someone who is not only knowledgeable, but who also makes you feel comfortable and heard.

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Heather was wonderful. She explained, in understandable terms, why it is important to establish an estate plan. I never realized what would happen, without a plan in place, and we could not bear the thought of our child in arms of absolute strangers while the court system sorted out his future.

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