Idaho Falls Elder Law Attorneys
Elder law, also known as aging law or elder care law, encompasses a range of legal services related to the needs of seniors. Elder law attorneys specialize in providing guidance and advice on an array of issues that affect elderly individuals, from matters related to health care, Social Security benefits, long-term care insurance and Medicare coverage to estate planning and guardianship issues.
ELDER CARE & ABUSE
Incredibly, seniors are now targeted because of their age. In what has been called the “Crime of the 21st Century,” seniors are the target of more than one-third of scams even though they make up only twelve percent of the population. Those scams do not always come from strangers, nor do they result only in financial abuse. Make sure your loved ones are protected. Be proactive. If you suspect elder abuse but are hesitant to talk to law enforcement officials directly or immediately, we can help.
Eldercare also involves helping your elderly loved one find a living situation that is right for him or her. For 70% of seniors, this will include some type of long-term care. Of course, the cost of paying for that care is a real concern. We can help you understand long term care planning strategies and can even help when a crisis occurs, and a nursing home or other assisted living must begin immediately.
A comprehensive understanding of the complexities associated with aging is necessary for an attorney who specializes in elder law. Many state bar associations recognize elder law as its own practice area, requiring attorneys pursuing this specialization to demonstrate a minimum level of experience and knowledge. This can include additional training and certifications beyond the standard state bar requirements.
Tax Preparation & Planning: Elderly Americans may qualify for special tax deductions that younger people do not qualify for. Thus elders should take advantage of them when possible. It’s important to be proactive when it comes to taxes even if one might not expect significant returns from them due to lower income levels. Elderly Americans may still be able claim certain credits which could significantly lower their overall tax burden. Proper planning around gifts & inheritance taxes is important if passing on wealth between generations is desired. This must adhere strictly to federal guidelines in order to avoid potential penalties from the IRS down the line. An experienced elder lawyer should be able to provide appropriate guidance so clients don’t end up paying more taxes than necessary.
Long-Term Care Planning: As people age they may require more specialized medical attention than would be provided through traditional methods such as visiting a doctor’s office for routine checkups. Elder Law attorneys can offer guidance with regards to long-term care planning, which involves strategies like private pay options for nursing home costs or Medicaid eligibility requirements for subsidized senior living facilities. Elder Law attorneys also review existing long-term care policies for accuracy and clarity even before the need arises to ensure clients are prepared with reliable financial resources.
Medicare & Health Insurance Assistance: Navigating complex insurance rules is daunting but an experienced elder law attorney can provide assistance in understanding health insurance coverages including Medicare provisions (Part A & B) plus Part D prescription drug coverage along with supplemental policies such as Medigap or Advantage plans tailored specifically for seniors’ needs without overwhelming them with jargon that might otherwise seem confusing or overwhelming.
Estate Planning: Estate planning involves creating documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney and advance directives (also known as living wills). These documents allow individuals to make decisions regarding their assets before they die or become incapacitated. An elder law attorney can help ensure that those wishes are carried out after the individual’s death or incapacity by helping his or her clients create a comprehensive estate plan that takes into account all needs and wishes.
Guardianship & Conservatorships: Elder law attorneys can assist families who are considering guardianship or conservatorship proceedings when an elderly individual is unable to make sound decisions on his/her own behalf due to mental capacity issues. Guardianships involve appointing someone to make decisions regarding personal matters such as medical care while conservatorships involve appointing someone to manage financial affairs like banking activities and investments.
Retirement Planning: Many seniors rely on social security benefits as part of their retirement plans. A specialized elder lawyer can help navigate the complicated rules surrounding these benefits so that retirees understand how much they are eligible for based on their income level and other factors such as number of dependents they have or any disabilities they may have been diagnosed with over time.