Home Law Why Elderly People Need Law Attorneys

Why Elderly People Need Law Attorneys

As we grow older, there are many age-related legal issues and concerns which will require the services of a qualified and experienced attorney.  Some specific lawyers and partnerships specialize in elder law.  Elder law focuses primarily on legal issues that affect the elderly.  Almost any lawyer can draft a will, but it requires a certain level of expertise to handle matters of estate, personal injury, malpractice, or power of attorney. Elder lawyers also specialize in end-of-life arrangements and deal with issues of fraud and exploitation of the elderly. It is best to be proactive in these matters to avoid conflict, confusion, and unnecessary stress down the road.

Personal Injury and Elder Abuse

When an individual is no longer capable of performing daily tasks on their own, they may require the assistance of other people.  This reliance upon other people can lead to certain problems which can only be resolved legally.  Elder abuse at the hands of family members, health care practitioners, and nursing homes is one of the most common problems facing the aging population.  Currently, there are nearly 6 million elder abuse cases in the United States each year for instances of physical abuse, neglect, and exploitation to name just a few examples.  It is important to protect those who may not be able to protect themselves, especially in cases where the client has diminished capacities, both mentally and physically. Elder lawyers have experience dealing with these issues and can help protect and deal with any legal hurdles that may present themselves.

End of Life Arrangements

Many people also seek out legal assistance to ensure that their end-of-life arrangements are outlined for their loved ones.  Services such as planning and drafting legally sound wills, management of estates, funeral arrangements, and power of attorney can alleviate the stress and confusion for your family and close friends.  It is particularly important to make advanced decisions

concerning health care and funding for medical treatment.  This may include obtaining medical insurance, income

assistance, medical compensation, or other income-related support.

Advanced care directives allow you to make your wishes known even if you are not physically or mentally able to convey this after an accident or medical emergency.  Family members can become entangled in bitter arguments over the best way to care for an elderly relative.  The drafting and notarization of advanced care directives prevent these nasty situations and safeguard the wishes of the individual so their loved ones can remain united during the final stage of life.  It will also give them peace of mind if your personal treatment preferences are clearly outlined.  It is best to view these directives as a “work in progress” since you can amend your preferences as long as you are still capable of making your own decisions.

Fraud and Exploitation

One of the biggest issues facing the elderly population is the problem of fraud and exploitation, physically and financially. Unfortunately, the elderly are often seen as easy targets due to the unfamiliarity with certain systems and procedures.  Many criminals target senior citizens and take advantage of their trust or deteriorating mental state.  Fraud, identity theft, and solicitation schemes are among the most common scams to which the elderly fall prey.

Due to the increasing occurrences of such crime, there are laws in place to provide adequate protection for the elderly.  It is also important that senior citizens know their legal rights and seek legal counsel in these circumstances.  It is important to have access to an attorney who is well versed in dealing with these issues to avoid any problems and protect the elderly and their loved ones.

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