What an elder law attorney will know
Legal counsel for the elderly is a field of law that requires a particular expertise. According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the lawyer who practices elder law may handle a range of issues but has a specific type of clients — seniors. Here are some of those issues.
Help with Medicaid and assets
If you apply for Medicaid, there are limits to the income and resources an elderly, blind or disabled person is allowed. In North Carolina, these limits are $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, and monthly income is limited to $981 for an individual and $1,328 for a couple. If you place your assets in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust within five years before applying for Medicaid, a penalty will be imposed. Legal counsel for the elderly can help you plan your application more than five years in advance, protect your assets and gain the most from Medicaid rules.
You may also need legal counsel for the elderly to help you draw up a power of attorney. This means designating someone to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the ability to do so yourself. There is financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney. In the case of financial power of attorney, you will want an attorney who can insert the right language in order to make the document an effective way to protect assets. In the case of health care power of attorney, if you have a living will you will want it drawn up properly so that your agent can enforce it.
When you make out your will, you will want legal counsel for the elderly to make sure that it is clear and consistent, so that your assets are transferred and distributed according to your wishes. If your estate is large enough, then any of your assets which you have not placed in a trust will go through the probate process after your death. In this process, the court will judge the validity of your will and your estate will be subject to both taxes and creditors. Looking after your assets and carrying out your wishes will be the last job of your legal counsel.
Charlotte NC Legal counsel for the elderly
Robert C. Whitt, Charlotte attorney, servicing the areas of Charlotte, Gastonia, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on those fields of law that particularly affect the elderly, and he keeps his clients informed at every step of the legal process. Thousands of North Carolinians have benefited from his expertise. If you need legal counsel for the elderly, call his office today.