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Blog Articles: What Is Elder Law?

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Estate Planning may not be something you necessarily WANT to think about, but it could protect your interests and wishes long after you are gone.

WAGM’s recent article entitled “A Closer Look at Elder Law“ takes a look at what goes into estate planning and elder law. With over 47 years in practice in these two areas, Rudy Beck of Beck & Lenox Estate Planning & Elder Law, LLC, is still actively educating the general public and his own clients about what is elder law. Many are still not familiar with elder law and why it is so important as we age and begin to have health issues.

Wills and estate planning may not be the most exciting things to talk about. However, in this day and age, they can be one of the most vital tools to ensure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. People often don’t know what they should do, or what direction they should take.

The earlier you begin to consider your senior years, the better off you’re going to be. Completing your basic estate planning is a wonderful accomplished.  That said, as you begin to age, you need to consider how both the aging process and health conditions may impact your needs. Age 55 seems to be the time when people begin to think about long term care issues.

Elder law attorneys focus their practice on issues that concern older people. However, it’s not exclusively for older people, since these lawyers counsel other family members of the elderly about their concerns.

A big concern for many families is how do I get started and how much planning do I have to do ahead of time?

If you’re talking about an estate plan, what’s stored just in your head is usually enough preparation to get the ball rolling and speak with an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney. They can create an estate plan that may consist of a basic will, a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney and a living will. Depending upon your needs, a trust may be recommended.

For long term care planning, people will frequently wait too long to start their preparations, and they’re faced with a crisis. That can entail finding care for a loved one immediately, either at home or in a facility, such as an assisted living home or nursing home. Waiting until a crisis also makes it harder to find specific information about financial holdings.

An experienced attorney, like the ones at Beck & Lenox, will know the laws and will be able to counsel you on your situation. Whether you are coming in to plan ahead for possible future needs or you are in a crisis, a competent attorney will know what laws apply to your situation.

Some people also have concerns about the estate or death taxes with which their families may be saddled with after they pass away. For the most part, that’s not an issue because the federal estate tax only applies if your estate is worth more than $12.06 million in 2022. A number of states have their own estate tax, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, plus Washington, D.C.

Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have only an inheritance tax, which is a tax on what you receive as the beneficiary of an estate. Maryland has both.

Elder Law is invaluable when we may need care during life. Estate planning will take care of distributing our assets after death. Make certain that you have both in place.

For more information on what is elder law, check out the link here from our website: https://beckelderlaw.com/elder-law/

Reference: WAGM (Dec. 8, 2021) “A Closer Look at Elder Law“

 

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