What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a practice area devoted to the needs of a particular type of client as opposed to a particular area of law. While not all elder law clients perceive themselves as elderly, many of them have similar needs. Elder law attorneys must be knowledgeable in many areas of the law, including guardianships, long-term care planning, advance health care directives, powers of attorney, estate planning, probate and trust administration, asset protection, special needs trusts and planning, and elder abuse. Elder law attorneys take a holistic approach to addressing clients’ concerns by focusing on the problem to be solved and not one particular area of law.
Source: American Bar Association
Do I really need an elder law attorney?
If you are concerned about planning for a time when you might not be able to make decisions on your own, then an elder law attorney can explain to you the various options that are available to you and your family to make sure your wishes are carried out in the event you become incapacitated. Elder law attorneys stay abreast of the ever changing laws and requirements related to guardianship, wills, trusts, estate planning, Medicare and Medicaid and other matters specific to elder law.
What’s the best way to find an elder law attorney?
The good news is that if you are reading this at Tabory Law, than you have found one of the most experienced elder law attorneys in the Kansas City area. Experience is crucial as every family and every situation is different so engaging an attorney with a wide breadth of experience is extremely important. Elder law is a specialized field of the law and attorneys that specialize in this field generally stay abreast of the ever changing landscape of laws, procedures, and documents related to elder law. To find attorneys with elder law experience you may also want to look for an attorney through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys found at https://www.naela.org/
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, finance, health or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power). The one authorized to act is the agent.
What is the difference between a general power of attorney and a durable power of attorney?
If a power of attorney is durable, it remains valid and in effect even if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. If a power of attorney document does not explicitly say that the power is durable, it ends if you become incapacitated.
Are there advantages to having a durable power of attorney?
If you were to become disabled for any reason during your lifetime and did not have a durable power of attorney, then the only way your financial affairs could be managed would be for someone to commence a Probate Court proceeding requesting the Court appoint someone to act on your behalf. These proceedings are referred to as Guardianship proceedings. These proceedings take time and great expense and unfortunately require someone to prove that you are unable to manage your financial affairs. Having a durable power of attorney avoids court intervention and the possibility that someone not of your own choosing will manage your financial affairs if you become disabled.
What other documents should I have in order?
In addition to a Durable Power of Attorney it is important to consider the following:
- Health Care Directive
- HIPAA Release Form
- Will & Revocable Living Trust