Kiren Manning, Negosentro | Elder law’s major focus is the seniors and their families. This specialized legal area helps our elderly loved ones with their life problems, long-term care, insurance issues, trusts, housing, wills, retirement, elder abuse, etc. This is why you need to carefully choose an elder law attorney that has a broad understanding in all areas of elder law and a good amount of experience in dealing with these cases.
Here’s how to choose an elder law attorney that you can really trust.
The elder law attorney must have specialized experience.
You need to find an attorney with specialized experience in elder law. An attorney’s experience is not only measured by the number of years in practice, but also by the number of cases regarding elder law he/she has dealt with.
- Do not limit your choice to one elder law attorney. If possible, try to talk with multiple attorneys to find one with a good amount of experience.
- If you need assistance with long-term care planning, estate planning, or power of attorney, ask your potential attorney to describe their experience in these matters.
- Only an elder law attorney has the knowledge needed to provide you with a specialized plan that works for your unique situation and accomplishes your specific goals. For instance, lawyers here can help you if you have concerns with asset protection.
Seek referrals or recommendation.
Talk to your relatives, friends, accountant, financial advisor, family attorney, or anyone else you know and ask them if they know of an elder law attorney in your community.
- One of them might know of an elder law attorney or has personally hired that attorney for their services.
- If you can’t get referrals, you can try calling the local bar association. They may put you in touch with a reliable elder law attorney.
Evaluate the credentials of your potential candidates.
You want to hire an elder law attorney that is fully registered and licensed to serve in the state where they practice law.
- Ask your potential candidate for credentials or certification that proves their outstanding skills, ethics, and proficiency in elder law.
- Ask your attorney if he/she has connections with psychologists, social workers, and other elder care professionals which could be of assistance to you.
Asking these things will help you be more comfortable in choosing the right elder law attorney who can resolve your legal problems.
Ask a couple of important questions first.
If you can’t physically meet with elder law attorneys, you may call them and ask a couple of questions first. Here are some questions that you would want to ask your potential candidate:
- How long has the attorney been practicing elder law?
- What is the attorney’s specialized area of elder law?
- How long has the attorney been specializing in this particular area?
- Does the attorney spend all of his/her time working on elder law cases?
- Is there a consultation fee? If so, how much would that cost you?
- What information should he/she suggest that you bring to the initial consultation?
You need to know how the attorney will be charging you.
There are elder law attorneys that will be charging you hourly, while others may charge you a flat rate for their services.
- It is important that you ask your potential candidates about how are they going to charge you for their services before you even hire them.
- It’s best if you can choose an attorney that will charge you a flat rate. Flat rates might be high at first, but you won’t have to worry about dropping a couple of bucks every time you call your attorney.
Pick an elder law attorney that you can trust.
It is important that you can choose an attorney that you can trust to look after your best interests.
- There are other attorneys that may provide you with an end result, such as a power of attorney or a will, but your attorney should also provide you with a good number of options and solutions that may be appropriate for your situation.
- A good elder law attorney will explain to you the pros and cons of each option so you can come up with a better decision.
Always put your arrangement into writing.
Once you decide to hire an elder law attorney, it’s important that you ask your arrangement to be put in writing.
- You could have your arrangement written in a letter or a formal contract.
- Make sure to spell out the services that the elder law attorney is going to provide you, as well as the legal fees and other expenses.
Lastly, you need to establish a positive and open relationship with the attorney that you are going to hire. Use the tips mentioned above to determine whether the elder law attorney you are talking to is the right one for you and if he/she can look after your best interests or those of your loved one.
Kiren Manning – Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.