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Home > Elder Law - Do You Need an Attorney? 

There is no requirement in most states that you be represented by an attorney for many of the issues discussed here.  However, it is often a very wise action to take advantage of someone who has an expertise in an important area.  Decisions regarding your health and welfare are most assuredly important matters, as are making sure your assets are protected, and then distributed in the manner you wish.  

 

Do I need a Last Will and Testament?

What is Estate Planning?

What are Living Trusts?

What is a Power of Attorney?

What are Living Wills and Health Care Power of Attorneys?

Guardians and Conservators

What is Long Term Care Insurance?

The Role of the Elder Law Attorney

Helpful Publications

How to Find an Attorney

We offer a comprehensive directory of attorneys in your geographic area.  It is important to select an attorney with an expertise in the particular area of law that you need advise in.  There is a new specialty of law that is now being practiced.  That specialty is elder law, and the practitioners of this specialty should be familiar with many of the issues that you may have.  . Elder law attorneys are attuned to many of the special needs of elderly clients and their families. Be certain to that the attorney you choose has such experience and training. Also friends and relatives are a good source for recommending attorneys who have successfully helped them in the past, but keep in mind the purpose for which you are seeking legal consul.  Just because an attorney has successfully handled one type of transaction, you may require an expert in another area of the law.

Your attorneys will ask you for a great deal of information and will request original documents such as deeds, account statements and insurance policies. It is in your best interest to honestly disclose all of your assets to your attorney so that you can receive the best advise on asset management.  Know also that all of the information provided to an attorney is confidential and may not be disclosed to others without your permission. If you are selecting a new attorney, be sure to ask questions about the cost of their legal services, including all support services.  Many attorneys charge on an hourly basis, while others may have a set fee for certain procedures.  If your attorney charges a set rate, be certain you know exactly what is included in the charge, and be aware of phrases like usual and customary services, know what to expect when the bill arrives.  Also some attorneys will charge a percentage of the probate estate for estate planning.  It is a good idea to obtain a written fee agreement, covering all services to be rendered, thus avoiding any misunderstandings regarding the bill.

Selecting legal counsel should be no different than any other consumer transaction and, accordingly, the interested party should interview several attorneys to determine whether the attorney has sufficient expertise in the area and the type of legal practice that will allow for a smooth and cost effective process. 

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