Los Angeles elder law attorneys specialize in legal issues that relate to seniors. This legal specialty became more recognized in the 1980s when the legal issues facing seniors became more complicated for various reasons. Changes to the Medi-Cal laws, along with an increase in the need for nursing home care for seniors, as well as many other issues, made elder law attorneys more necessary. If you are wondering why you would need a Los Angeles elder law attorney, here are a few things to consider.
What are Los Angeles elder law attorneys?
An elder law attorney is like any other attorney, but with special training and experience in the common legal issues affecting seniors in our country. This makes them experts in the legal field of elder law. Another thing that makes elder law attorneys special is their ability to anticipate issues which help their clients plan for the future. Elder law requires more than just legal advocacy but involves client counseling, education, and planning.
Customized legal advice for you and your family
The key to providing the best customized legal advice is to work closely with clients and families so that their specific needs and goals can be addressed. As Los Angeles elder law attorneys, we need to become familiar with our client’s health care needs and the family dynamic. This exceptional insight makes Los Angeles elder law attorneys better equipped to handle their client’s legal needs.
Recognizing common myths surrounding the elderly
Another vital part of being Los Angeles elder law attorneys is recognizing the myths from the facts when it comes to seniors and the real issues they face. There are so many myths circulating out there regarding the elderly and their competency in general. It takes understanding and expertise to be able to recognize the real physical and mental challenges that seniors often face, as opposed to the fallacies that society may perpetuate. It is also important to recognize the importance of maintaining as much freedom and autonomy for seniors as possible.
Legal issues Los Angeles elder law attorneys handle
As with every legal specialty, there are a few common legal issues that are commonly handled by elder law attorneys. The most common legal matters include Medi-Cal planning, estate planning and administration, conservatorships, and trust formation and administration.
Elder law issues require professional advice
Some clients believe they can handle certain legal matters on their own, such as drafting a will or power of attorney. If you are considering substituting the advice of a professional with an online do-it-yourself product, you need to first understand the risks. Your Los Angeles elder law attorneys can tell you that the false sense of security do-it-yourself products provide can be dangerous.
The risks involved in a DIY will
Take for example the DIY will products you can purchase online. You might fill in all the blanks and sign the document, feeling secure that everything is in order. However, every state has its own requirements, especially with regard to the number of witness signatures required to make the will valid. If the DIY will you purchased does not comply with the requirements for your state, then your will may not be valid. Furthermore, if the will provisions you write in on the form are not clear, it may be necessary for the probate court to interpret your intentions. These issues may ultimately cost your family a substantial amount of money especially if the will is found not to be valid.
Potential issues that could arise with a DIY power of attorney
Even in situations where your DIY power of attorney is properly drafted and executed, you may still experience resistance from banks and other businesses that are hesitant to honor your power of attorney. However, if you obtain assistance from an attorney who has the legal expertise required to draft complex documents you will have a better chance of accomplishing the planning you need for yourself and your family.
Estate planning is not one size fits all
Estate planning, especially for elders, is not “one size fits all” endeavor. Therefore, it is wise to work with an elder law attorney with experience and knowledge regarding your particular situation. Your Los Angeles elder law attorney will be knowledgeable of California’s laws regarding various elder law issues and they will be skilled in drafting wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools. Without their skill and experience, you and your family may encounter many unnecessary challenges in the future.
If you have questions regarding elder law, or any other estate planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group for a consultation, either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.