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estate planning and elder law

How Do I Find a Great Elder Law Attorney?

Long-Term Care Planning and Timing a Move into Assisted Living
Did you know someone who is 65 today has a 70 percent chance of needing long-care treatment in the future? Even seniors who have saved up for their waning years can find it a challenge to pay for nursing home costs, especially when relying only on Medicare coverage.

Given the aging population and the need for long-term care that often accompanies aging,  it is no surprise that elder law services are often needed.  Beck, Lenox & Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, LLC, was one of the first local law firms to get into this special area. How do you find a great elder law attorney? With the high cost of long-term care, Zobuz’s recent article entitled “4 Tips for Hiring a Lawyer to Help with Medicaid Planning” says you may need to turn to an attorney who can help you with Medicaid planning for long-term care expenses.

Here are some tips in choosing the best elder law attorney:

Referrals and Recommendations. Look for an elder law attorney in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys database (NAELA) or in the National Elder Law Foundation. Beck, Lenox & Stolzer attorneys all belong to NAELA. You can also ask local agencies who work with seniors, hospital and nursing home social workers, local Senior assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. And be sure to ask family, friends and neighbors who may have faced long-term care situations and have utilized the services of an experienced elder law attorney.

Experience. Elder law attorneys specialize in legal and financial issues that affect seniors. This includes areas such as estate planning and Medicaid planning. Look for an elder law attorney who’s been successful in Medicaid planning and is board-certified in elder and special needs law. Increasingly, the internet and online reviews have provided prospective clients with important information about how an attorney has handled clients and their needs. Today, well over 60% of internet users are heavily influenced by online reviews.

Fees. Be sure that you understand how fees are structured. You should get a client engagement letter that outlines the services he or she will provide, as well as the fees they charge. You should feel comfortable asking questions if there is something you do not understand.

Customer Service. Dealing with Medicaid planning is a process that takes time. You need an elder law attorney you can contact when you have questions.

A Few Other Thoughts…

Meet the elder law attorney in person for a consultation. This will help you to get a sense of his or her personality. Ask if it is free. According to Rudy Beck of Beck, Lenox & Stolzer, the initial consultation should be free. He states, “You should not have to pay to find out if the attorney can help you.”

Look for a lawyer who will speak to you in a way you can understand and clarify points as needed. You should not feel pressured in any way.

Remember: if you don’t feel at ease with the attorney, look elsewhere.

When you select a qualified lawyer to help you with Medicaid planning, you can feel confident in the help you receive.

When it comes to needing a nursing home, it is a myth that you have to spend down most of your money before you can receive Medicaid benefits.

Don’t risk your financial security or that of your family by not taking action.

Reference: Zobuz (April 22, 2022) “4 Tips for Hiring a Lawyer to Help with Medicaid Planning”


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