Senior Legal Assistance: What To Take To Your First Meeting With An Elder Law Specialist

When you’re seeking senior legal assistance from an attorney who is familiar with the many aspects of elder law, it can be intimidating. You may not know what to expect from your initial consultation or you may be confused about whether you need to see litigation attorneys or estate planning lawyers. Fortunately, if a law firm specializes in senior legal assistance, it generally has a variety of expert attorneys to address all of your needs and concerns. Going to your first meeting may seem daunting, but if you have the right paperwork with you, it will save a good deal of time and money down the road. In order to determine what kind of paperwork you’ll need, you need to know what you intend to accomplish. Are you setting up a guardianship? Writing your will? Confronting an elder care center about potential elder abuse concerns? Each scenario requires that you bring the appropriate documentation.

Elder Law: Abuse Or Neglect

If you or someone you love has been the victim of elder abuse, you’ll need copies of any documents associated with the care of the person who has been victimized. You should have a contract or agreement that outlines the quality of care expected as well as any legal documents that have amended the meaning of the agreement over the years. If you suspect financial abuse or neglect, try to get copies of any monetary documents such as cancelled checks, bank account statements and records of cash withdrawals. Medical records pertaining to any treatment received as a result of suspected abuse are crucial to the success of litigation attorneys in these kinds of cases. Any records such as diary entries or a log of specific instances of neglect or poor care will also be important, so document everything you can and bring it all with you when you meet with an attorney specializing in elder law.

Senior Legal Assistance: Estate Planning

Estate planning is one of the most common reasons an individual seeks out senior legal assistance. Planning for the future of your heirs is a wonderful gift; it can reduce or do away with any family squabbles after you’ve passed on. In order to properly provide senior legal assistance regarding your estate, your attorney will need to have a good understanding of all your assets. Bring copies of bank account statements, any property deeds, photographs and appraisals of particularly valuable items such as jewelry, antique furniture and family heirlooms. You’ll also need a complete accounting of any IRAs, pension funds, stocks or bonds. Generally speaking, if it’s worth something, documenting it will help your litigation attorneys protect your estate and heirs.

Guardianship Or Caregiver Agreements

Planning for who will take care of you in the event that you can no longer care for yourself is a crucial decision that requires the attention of senior legal assistance lawyers who are experienced in drafting guardianship or caregiver agreements. To prepare the appropriate documents, you’ll need the same assets documentation you would need for estate planning as well as an outline of what you want included in your guardianship or caregiver agreement, such as duties to be performed and what you feel would be appropriate compensation for those tasks. A recent medical report outlining any care needed can help to establish guidelines for appropriate care along with itemized receipts for any necessary home improvements that are made to accommodate the needs of the individual being cared for.

Having the appropriate documents and notes with you when you meet with an elder law specialist in order to get senior legal assistance is the first step toward resolving any legal issues so that the need for litigation attorneys is minimized and family strife is kept to a minimum. If you’re still unsure of what to bring, contact your elder law attorney and ask for suggestions.