Woodbridge Elder Law Attorneys Helping Seniors and Their Families With Elder Law Matters
Elder Law is a unique area of law that combines a few different practice areas to provide a holistic approach that caters to the needs of seniors and their loved ones. The Johnson Law Firm, PC dedicates a good portion of our practice to Elder Law as we understand our clients require a wider spectrum of services associated with aging.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?
An Elder Law attorney brings together three main practice areas to benefit the very specific needs of aging clients. Elder Law attorneys focus primarily on estate planning, incapacity planning, and long-term care planning. He or she can help seniors understand their options to preserve their assets and plan for how they wish their assets to be passed on and divided after death.
In addition, an Elder Law attorney can also assist in planning for what should happen in case you become incapacitated and mentally unable to make important decisions. Incapacity planning covers financial, health, and personal issues and includes important documents that authorize a loved one to make decisions for you and informs doctors of your preferences for the type of treatment you wish to receive.
Long-term care planning includes assistance with financial planning that would be necessary in case you or a loved one requires placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Attorney James Johnson is knowledgeable about the process of applying for long-term care coverage through Medicaid and can offer valuable insights into this process.
Besides estate planning, long-term care, and incapacitation planning, an Elder Law attorney can also assist with other needs such as contracts and personal agreements about care. In cases when legal action is required to file a claim for elder abuse or fraud, an Elder Law attorney can also provide guidance in investigating the case and setting the claim in motion.
When Should I See an Elder Care Attorney?
There are many situations when you may want to consult with an Elder Law attorney. For example, if you are ready to begin your estate planning process and need to create basic documents such as a will, power of attorney, or healthcare directive, an elder law attorney has the knowledge to help you protect your assets and minimize taxes for your estate.
An attorney who focuses on Elder Law can also advise you and your loved ones throughout the process of applying for benefits such as the Veterans Administration programs or Medicaid. You may also want to see an attorney to learn how to protect your assets and manage costs in case you require long-term care at a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Anytime you need to update your estate planning documents due to an important life event such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child or grandchild, you should consult an Elder Law attorney to make sure your documents are current and will work for you the way they are supposed to. The same goes for changes in your personal preferences and goals.
Another important time to see an attorney is when your health (or that of a loved one) changes. If you or a spouse are diagnosed with a chronic condition or a disabling condition, you will need to create or update your long-term care plans and realign your finances to your future care needs. And finally, an attorney can handle litigation in all elder law matters involving tort claims, personal injury, nursing home neglect or malpractice, elder abuse, and fraud.
Should I Wait Until I Need Medicaid Before Seeing a Virginia Elder Law Attorney?
If you believe you might need Medicaid in the future, there are important steps you need to take that will affect your eligibility to receive the benefits and also to protect your assets. That is why it is a good idea to see an Elder Law attorney as early as possible, so you can take the necessary measures to preserve your estate and your rights and still receive maximum benefit.
How Can The Johnson Law Firm, PC Help?
Medicaid can be complicated to understand and navigate, and an Elder Law attorney can help you along the process and can also be instrumental in helping you avoid common yet costly mistakes. The Johnson Law Firm, PC focuses on Elder Law and has the knowledge to help seniors in Woodbridge, VA plan for the future and preserve their legacy. Contact our office at 703-670-0761to learn your options and schedule an appointment today.