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5 Things You Should Ask an Elder Law Attorney

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Seniors have unique legal needs, which may include healthcare concerns, guardianship, Social Security, retirement, and other important issues. Elder law attorneys focus specifically on these needs and are equipped to manage many challenging situations the elderly face. Allentown, PA, live-in home care professionals recommend asking these 5 questions when helping your senior loved one choose an elder law attorney.

1. Are You a Certified Elder Law Attorney?

There is a significant difference between attorneys who can assist clients with elder law and those who have been certified by the National Elder Law Foundation. Once certified by this organization, the attorney must maintain high scores on his or her bars and continue to complete educational courses. The attorney must also focus most of his or her time on aging clients. 

2. Does My Loved One Need a New Will?

A will only remains valid for a set period, which is why an attorney should look over your loved one’s will once every few years. Your loved one should also have the lawyer update the will if there have been any life major changes, such as a spouse passing away or paying off a home. In addition to discussing assets, the will must also cover information like medical power of attorney and final wishes. 

3. Who Should Have Power of Attorney?

This is a delicate question that your loved one might need to speak with the attorney in private about. Most older clients give their spouses medical power of attorney, but this process becomes slightly more complicated once the partner has passed away. As your loved one grows older, he or she may need to offer durable power of attorney to a sibling, child, or grandchild. 

4. Can I Claim My Loved One as a Dependent?

Multigenerational homes have become extremely common over the last few decades. Though these living arrangements can be beneficial in many ways, they often complicate finances. Families who provide an elderly relative with Allentown senior care may be able to claim him or her as a dependent on their taxes. 

5. Will I Be Responsible for My Loved One’s Debt If I Claim Him or Her?

A number of different states have filial laws on the books that make adult children responsible for some medical expenses if they claim their parent as a dependent. This is one more reason why it is so important to speak with a certified, experienced, and local elder law attorney. A different financial arrangement might need to be made if you live in a state with strict filial responsibility laws.

To learn more about the unique legal needs of older adults, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and respite care, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Allentown, PA, families can trust and rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, please call 484-350-3874 today.