Help with financial planning
The statistics around retirement are scary. More than a quarter of a million Americans turn 65 every month, and 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 54 believe they will not have saved enough for retirement. 45 percent of Americans have nothing saved for retirement, and the average retirement lasts 18 years. Under the circumstances, it may seem strange to recommend that seniors spend money on the services of an elder law lawyer, but doing so is likely to not only save them far more than they spend, but to secure their peace of mind in a way that you can’t put a price tag on.
For example, when you’re drawing up your will, an elder law lawyer can help make sure it includes all your assets and transfers them exactly the way you mean it to. You won’t have this assurance if you try to make out your will yourself.
You should also advise your heirs and your executor to avail themselves of the help of an elder law lawyer. When you’re gone and your will is read, the probate process will begin. This will involve determining the validity of the will, collecting taxes and settling debts. An elder law lawyer can tell you if the estate can go through a shorter form of the probate process, or if the longer form will be needed. In case the process goes on longer than you want, look for an attorney who is willing to take care of all the paperwork and court appearances personally
Preparing for a nursing home
If you’re going into a nursing home, you may want to prepare a durable power of attorney. This will mean appointing an agent to make your financial decisions for you if you lose the ability to make them yourself. But this has to be drawn up the right way in order to give your agent the options he or she will need. Only an experienced elder law lawyer knows how to do this.
There are other ways that an elder law attorney can help you save money and protect your assets. Another thing people often do when considering going into a nursing home is plan to take advantage of Medicaid in order to manage the costs. In this case, there is a monthly maintenance allowance of $1,991.25 for you and your spouse. That is only the minimum — with the help of an elder law lawyer, you might be able to keep more. The best time to learn all this is years before you need a nursing home.
Elder law lawyer in Gastonia, near Charlotte
Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law. Call and make an appointment today.