When Should You See an Elder Law Attorney?

Maybe you’re reading this and you find yourself wondering when or if you should speak with an Elder Law attorney. If you’re in a position to be in charge of a loved one’s property or other things, you might want to consider speaking with an Elder Law attorney before either you, your spouse, or your parents make any big transfer of property. Below are some examples of situations where you might want to look into getting the advice of an Elder law professional:

  • Before giving away a house, a part interest in a house, or a remainder interest in a house.
  • Before selling a home, regardless of if you intend to take cash, sell on contract, or buy another home.
  • Before giving away significant gifts like stock or money to a child, relative or charity, and finally,
  • Before buying an annuity.

It’s also a good idea to seek counsel before you, your spouse, or parents need any type of long-term care. Good times to do this would be:

  • When you start to feel that either you, your spouse, or your parents might need long-term care in the foreseeable future.
  • Before you, your spouse, or your parents get too overwhelmed by the responsibilities and work that home care requires.
  • When you first start to notice that you, your spouse, or your parents might be becoming less able to manage business or any financial issues, in order to take steps and establish Powers of Attorney and other such things so that others will be able to handle business later (and also to make transfers in order to help someone qualify for Medicaid while also saving money for the well spouse).

Another good time to seek Elder legal advice would be if anyone says that you, your spouse, or your parents should try something new. Be sure and use caution if someone tells you:

  • That you, your spouse, or your parents should really do something to better prepare for Medicaid.
  • That you, your spouse, or parents should do something that will preserve any assets from a Medicaid spend down.
  • That you, your spouse, or parents need to do or should do something in order that your assets can be passed to your spouse or children, instead of being used for things like paying bills or other necessities.

If you contact an attorney in times like these, she or he, can then look over the situation and your goals, and then work with you to help create a plan that will best fulfill your goals and remedy the situation at hand, while limiting any negatives. By preparing with an elder law attorney beforehand, you might better position yourself to take advantage of more programs, services, and options for your loved one. It could also help to keep assets from Medicaid spend down or recapture later on, or it might even help to save expenses that any family members might have to cover if preplanning isn’t done first.