When hiring an elder law attorney, caregivers shouldn’t simply choose the first one they find. Family caregivers should vet potential lawyers to ensure they have the right experience, skills, and temperament. Here are five questions caregivers should always ask elder law attorneys.
1. Does the Practice Specialize in One Aspect of Elder Law?
Before you can select an elder law attorney, you need to determine whether his or her experience overlaps with your senior loved one’s needs. Elder law is a broad category, and attorneys can specialize in areas like estate planning, elder abuse, power of attorney, and long-term care. If you’re looking for a lawyer who specializes in pensions, an attorney who focuses on asset protection may not be a good fit. Find an attorney who’s an expert in the right area of elder law.
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, Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults address their health issues and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.
2. Have You Dealt with Similar Cases Before?
Once you’ve found an attorney with the right specialty, ask about his or her previous cases. Ask whether the attorney has had cases similar to your loved one’s, and inquire about the outcome. Once you’ve laid out the particulars of your loved one’s case, ask the attorney how he or she thinks the case should proceed. If the attorney has multiple examples of similar cases that led to positive outcomes, it’s usually a good sign.
3. How Much Will It Cost?
When communicating with an elder law attorney, don’t hesitate to ask about costs. If you hire an attorney, you’ll be handing over your hard-earned money with the hope of a positive outcome. Attorney-client relationships usually proceed smoothly if the attorney is up front about potential costs and fees. An attorney may not be able to give you an accurate breakdown of costs during the first meeting, as that will require a deeper examination of what your loved one’s case entails. However, the attorney should be able to provide you with a range of fees, which should give you some idea of the associated costs.
While it may be tempting, try not to select an attorney based solely on cost factors. You want to get the best value for your money, which may mean choosing an attorney with mid-range fees but vast experience in the right field of elder law.
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, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Does Your Firm Have a Response Policy?
Before selecting an elder law attorney, find out whether his or her communication style matches yours. Busy law firms receive many phone calls and emails every day, and potential attorneys may not be able to guarantee an immediate response. They may have a “We respond within 24 hours” policy or a “We respond to any calls that come in after 2 p.m. the following morning” rule. If your loved one wants to communicate one-on-one with the attorney, find out whether the attorney prefers to do business via phone or email.
5. Are You an Expert in State Laws?
Many elder law cases are contingent on state laws, which change all the time. If your loved one’s case is heavily dependent on guidelines that vary from state to state, such as those for Medicaid, make sure prospective attorneys are fully aware of the latest state rules.
Elder law attorneys aren’t the only individuals who can make positive contributions toward a senior’s wellbeing and overall quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Des Moines homecare
. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (515) 264-2438.