When planning for the future, finding an experienced and knowledgeable elder law attorney can feel like an overwhelming task. Although an online search for an “elder law attorney near me” yields countless results, determining which elder law firm on the East End of Long Island can best navigate elder law matters and offer peace of mind can create more confusion.
Knowing the right questions to ask an elder law attorney can assist in making the best choice to fulfill your wishes and protect your legacy.
Our experienced elder law team at Sheryll Law, P.C. in Riverhead, New York, has helped many clients take the necessary steps to protect their families and ensure their asset protection with personalized legal services that provide peace of mind. This blog compiles the top 10 questions to ask an elder law attorney before making your decision. Continue reading to learn more, and then contact us at (631) 506-8440 to schedule a consultation.
Sheryll Law: Protecting Your Legacy.
1. What is Elder Law?
Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal services catering to the needs of aging individuals. From mapping out your health care to securing your finances and safeguarding your assets, a NY elder law attorney can create a comprehensive legal framework that provides for the inevitable needs that accompany age, such as a Health Care Proxy and long-term care.
2. What Documents Can an Elder Law Attorney Prepare?
A knowledgeable and experienced elder law attorney on the East End of Long Island can answer your questions about the specific documents required for seniors and other clients seeking dedicated estate planning.
Before signing on as a client with a NY elder law attorney, inquire about the specific documents that comprise an all-encompassing estate plan to address the following areas:
- Financial Matters
- Long-term Care Planning
- Advance Directives
- Community Medicaid
- Medicaid Planning
- Nursing Home Medicaid
- Health Care Proxy
- HIPAA Planning
- Living Will
- Powers of Attorney
Choose an elder law attorney on the East End of Long Island who can inform and guide you through these critical topics with confidence.
3. Why Isn’t Savings Enough?
Over 55 million Americans, comprising 16.8% of the population, are aged 65 or above, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reveals that a person who turns 65 today has an almost 70% chance of needing long-term care in the future. Long-term care entails services for people with chronic illnesses or disabilities who struggle to care for themselves. To guarantee financial stability and access to high-quality care, it is wise for individuals and their families to consult long-term care planning attorneys.
The top long-term care options in New York are nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care. These expensive options can quickly deplete your savings.
Nursing homes provide dedicated care for residents, offering a hands-on approach. According to the New York State Department of Health, the average daily rate for nursing homes in Long Island is $465.
Assisted living facilities provide room, board, and support for individuals who have some mobility but don’t require ongoing medical assistance. Residents enjoy their own apartments and shared common areas. SeniorLiving.org reports that the average daily rate for assisted living facilities in New York State is $151.
In-home care might be the best choice if you prefer the comfort of your home. With a caregiver assisting you, the average hourly rate for in-home care in New York ranges from $17 to $29, per Genworth.
As these sobering statistics indicate, your retirement savings might not be enough to cover long-term care expenses. Seek advice from a seasoned elder law attorney who will assess your financial situation and provide clarity on your future funds.
4. What Are the Necessary Core Planning Documents?
As mentioned, the most crucial estate planning documents include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, asset protection, special needs planning, and business succession planning.
5. Is Power of Attorney (POA) Necessary?
With a Power of Attorney (POA), you can empower someone you trust to make financial decisions on your behalf. An individual appoints someone else (an “agent”) to make financial decisions for them.
There are two types of POAs:
- General Power of Attorney for broad authority.
- Limited Power of Attorney for specific purposes.
Don’t overlook the significance of a power of attorney—without one, accessing finances and making medical decisions for an incapacitated loved one becomes a challenge. Save time and money by avoiding court disputes with a well-prepared power of attorney.
An experienced lawyer can help you decide if you should create a power of attorney to protect your health and financial assets and which type suits your needs and goals.
6. Does Power of Attorney Protect People with Dementia?
Elder Law Attorneys include vital provisions in POAs to address specific needs related to dementia and long-term care.
One urgent issue is the burden hospitals and nursing homes place on adult children for their parents’ unpaid bills. These facilities require the patient’s and the children’s signatures on admissions agreements.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, ensure that your power of attorney includes a provision authorizing your children to sign these agreements on your behalf. When they sign as representatives, it releases them from individual liability.
Moreover, experienced elder law attorneys implement provisions for Medicaid planning. In light of recent legal changes, your agents must have the necessary authority to safeguard your assets even if you cannot sign. Does your power of attorney specifically waive self-dealing prohibitions? Does it grant the agent(s) the power to transfer assets?
Remember, a power of attorney is not generic; it presents an opportunity for a skilled elder law attorney to tailor it to your unique needs and circumstances.
7. How Much Experience in Elder Law Do You Have?
Find a law firm whose attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience dealing with matters similar to yours. When you search online for an “elder lawyer attorney near me,” you want assurance that you can trust the results. Ask the attorney about the extent of their elder law experience, specifically with situations similar to yours.
For example, if you wish to create a Dynasty Trust, ensure that the elder law attorney has helped many clients do the same thing in the past. Aside from the lawyers, inquire about the experience of the law firm and the length of time as an elder law practice.
8. What Documents Should I Bring to the Consultation?
Prepare for your attorney meeting by gathering important legal documents, such as property titles and insurance information. Don’t forget to inquire about any additional materials you should bring beforehand.
9. How Much Does Elder Law Planning Cost?
Elder law attorneys and firms offer different payment options. Ask about all fees and possible payment plans upfront to avoid surprises. Investing in the services of a knowledgeable and experienced NY elder law attorney will protect your loved ones and save you money in the long run.
10. What’s the Best Way to Store Legal Documents?
Seek guidance from your attorney on proper storage for your legal documents. The recommended approach is to duplicate the originals and securely store them in a fire-resistant safe.
Sheryll Law, P.C., on the East End of Long Island, Wants to Protect the Assets You’ve Worked Your Whole Life For
Have you been searching for a NY elder law attorney on the East End of Long Island? At Sheryll Law, P.C., our experienced lawyers and staff provide each client with individualized attention and legal services and documents that specifically suit their family’s lifestyle, protect assets, and pay for future healthcare costs or special needs that may arise.
From Medicaid benefits to advance directives and all elder law matters, we want to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. Our practice concentrates on New York elder law; you can trust our knowledge and experience to guide you and your family in navigating the complexities of health care law and creating a comprehensive estate plan that accounts for contingencies. Call us at (631) 506-8440 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.