Each year millions of Americans become senior citizens. Protecting them is important. Elder law is a large and growing field. While many elder law attorneys focus on how estate, medical, and other laws and regulations affect older adults, no attorney can specialize in every field.
When looking for an elder law attorney who can help you with your specific issues, keep the following tips in mind:
- Ask where the attorney or attorneys focus their work.
Some law firms include attorneys who can cover nearly any area of elder law; other lawyers choose to focus on specific issues of the law. Common elder law concerns include dealing with elder abuse or fraud, estate planning, protecting and preserving assets, and working out nursing home or long-term care issues, including issues with Medicare and similar programs. Choose a lawyer who has experience handling problems similar to the one with which you need help.
- Make an appointment.
Once you’ve found an attorney, make an appointment to speak on the phone or in person. Ask about the attorney’s experience and what information you should bring to an initial consultation. Before you meet in person, write down your most important questions – this will help you stay on track and have a productive consultation.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss fees and costs.
Because many elder law issues deal with protecting and preserving finances, elder law attorneys are aware that most clients are working within a budget. Don’t hesitate to ask for an estimate of fees or costs, how these will be billed, and when payments are expected. Choose an attorney who fits within your budget and whom you trust.