All too often, people contact an elder law attorney when an emergency has arisen and they need legal assistance. While an elder law attorney can help you in such a situation, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are approaching retirement age or have an elderly family member, you will want to talk to an elder law attorney before an emergency situation arises. Here are some common scenarios that show why this is a good idea.
Your parents lose their ability to make choices.
As we age, we find ourselves having a more difficult time making decisions. At some point, people may lose their decision-making abilities altogether. When someone loses the ability to make choices, someone else has to make decisions for that person. If you aren’t prepared for this possibility, the process of going to court and asking the court to name a guardian can be expensive. On the other hand, acting early and creating durable powers of attorney that allow you to choose your own decision maker is a much easier process.
Your parents need eldercare assistance.
Along with the loss of capacity comes a loss of the ability to care for oneself. If an elderly parent has to move to a nursing home or assisted living facility, planning ahead for the transition will make it much easier for everyone. Planning ahead will better allow you to take advantage of government services, such as Medicaid.