Elder law is the area of the legal field that is dedicated to the interests of senior citizens. When you are younger you may not understand why you would need legal advice with regard to the eventualities of aging, but there are some serious issues to consider.
One of these is the matter of long-term care. Before you look into all of the facts, you may feel rather secure about your health care costs during your senior years because you expect to be qualified for Medicare. At the current time, the age of Medicare eligibility is 65. If you work and pay taxes throughout your life, you will indeed be qualified for Medicare coverage.
However, Medicare will not pay for a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community. This type of care is considered to be custodial care rather than medical or convalescent care. Medicare doesn’t pay for custodial care.
Long-term care is very expensive, with average annual nursing home costs exceeding $100,000 in the state of New York.
This is a matter that elder law attorneys deal with. Many people ultimately apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, because this government program will assist with custodial care costs. However, because of the fact that Medicaid is a need-based program, you must take certain steps to divest yourself of assets in advance of applying for eligibility.
Long-term care is not the only elder law issue, but it is at the top of the list.
Locating an Elder Law Attorney
Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful force. If you know someone who has had a good experience with an elder law attorney in the past, it is likely that you will have the same type of experience. If you are ready to discuss your future with a lawyer, ask around among your family, friends, and trusted colleagues.
Now that we are all connected to the Internet we have a ready resource available to us when it comes to locating service providers. You can search the Internet for an elder law attorney, and you may want to look for affiliations with reputable professional organizations.
For example, our firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. The Academy has been around for over 20 years, and you can search their database for members in your area.
If you live in or around Smithtown, New York, you have already identified an elder law attorney who can assist you as you prepare for the contingencies that you may face as a senior. Our firm would be glad to provide you with a free consultation. To request an appointment, contact us through this website.