As we grow older, there are a range of needs that come up which are different and unique from those we experienced as young adults. We wonder what happens if we can’t take care of ourselves. How can we ensure that our needs and wishes are met? What happens when we pass away, and how can our assets be distributed?
A relatively new kind of attorney has arrived on the scene, who is focused on handling these issues that are specific to seniors and their needs. These elder law attorneys can help you handle your needs, but you want to be sure the service you hire is one you can trust. Learn five questions you can ask attorneys specializing in elder care, to be sure you’re getting the right advocate to stand up for your rights and assets.
Are You Certified in Elder Law?
This is the first, and most important question you should ask. A good elder law attorney will have a certification with the NELF, or the National Elder Law Foundation. This organization offers certification that says your attorney is educated in all aspects of the law that relate to seniors and their needs.
Those with NELF certification are licensed to practice law, have at least five years of experience, have demonstrated excellence in practice and results, have a wealth of professional references, complete a minimum of 45 hours of continuing education and have passed a certification exam.
What Is Your Elder Law Focus?
Not every firm has a specific elder law focus, but many do. Ask where the majority of their cases lie, and ask what their experience is in dealing with the problem you’re having. There’s no rule that says you have to sign on with an attorney that doesn’t meet your needs, and a good attorney will recommend you to another if they can’t match what you require.
What Organizations and Agencies Do You Belong to?
Does the agency belong to any professional organizations like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Special Needs Alliance, or any other state or local elemental law agencies? Membership in these professional organizations speaks highly of the quality of the services you will receive.
What Education Do You Provide?
Does the attorney help to educate others about elder law issues, through a resource center or even an ongoing blog? If so, this demonstrates a commitment to what they do. It shows that they care about not just their clients, but what they do. It’s even better if they can present you with educational resources.
How Much Do You Know about Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare and Medicaid are essential to almost every aspect of elder law and estate planning. Regardless of their overall focus, your elder law attorney should be well-versed in the legalities of issues related to elder healthcare, and they should be able to educate you as well.
Attorneys Specializing in Elder Care
If you’re in Cuyahoga County, OH, and are in need of attorneys specializing in elder care you can trust, contact Stano Law Firm for a consultation about your needs today.