Charlotte Elder Law Protection Firm
Find out how we can help you with your Charlotte Elder Law.
What is Elder Law?
It is a legal practice field that specializes in issues that senior citizens face, such elder abuse; age-related health concerns; wills and trusts; Social Security and retirement; and long-term care and housing. The elder law planning prepares an older adult for financial freedom and autonomy through long-term care options and proper financial planning.
For the most part, you will rarely see elder law attorneys, Charlotte, NC, in court since they often don’t litigate. Their work is mostly transactional, such as working on inheritance tax returns, drafting wills and trusts and putting together estate plans.
Elder law, Charlotte, NC may also deal with certain matters involving loved ones and friends of senior citizens, such as caring for parents with dementia and getting a power of attorney.
You can handle some elder law issues without a lawyer; including the health care power of attorney, living trusts, and the last will and testament. However, we don’t recommend it. You should at least consult with a Charlotte elder law attorney first since it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything right before making such crucial and legally binding decisions.
Categories Of Elder Law, Charlotte, NC
The elder law has three major categories:
- Medicaid, disability and other long-term care issues;
- Estate planning and administration, including tax issues; and
- Conservatorship, guardianship, and commitment matters, including fiduciary administration.
Other issues that make up the elder law include areas such as wills:
|* Estate planning||* Guardianships|
|* Trusts||* End-of-life planning|
|* Protection against elder abuse, fraud, discrimination and neglect||* All levels of medical care and disability|
|* Physicians’ or medical care powers of attorney, declarations, and directives||* Different levels of counseling, advice, and advocacy of rights|
|* Medicaid planning||* Medicare and Medicaid coverage|
|* Nursing homes and in-home care||* Consumer protection|
|* Retirement planning||* Powers of attorney|
|* Real estate and mortgage assistance||* Landlord/tenant needs|
|* Social Security benefits||* Tax issues|
What Does a Charlotte Elder Law Attorney Do?
The following are common things that Charlotte elder law attorneys handle and a brief description of the area of law:
- Estate Planning and Wills
It is advisable to write a living will while you’re still young, especially if you’ve dependent kids. If you become incapacitated or pass on without a will, then your assets and other matters will go into probate.
Therefore, the court will decide on the distribution of your assets and what’ll happen to your dependents (if you have any). An elder law attorney, Charlotte can help you draft a legal will and undertake proper estate planning to avoid issues after your death.
- Nursing Homes and Elder Care
Helping a senior citizen with living arrangements can be very difficult, especially when dementia is involved or medical care is required. Finding the right facility needs proper research and time, but sometimes you will need additional legal help to act on behalf of your elderly loved one. Elder law lawyers in Charlotte, NC can assist to draft powers of attorney for financial and/or health care decisions.
- Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is an area that usually involves litigation, mainly injury lawsuits against family members, nursing home operators, or others who’re responsible for the elderly. You might consider talking to our Charlotte elder law attorney about your legal options if you notice signs of elder abuse and have reported it, to no avail.
Probate is a court system’s method for processing the estate of a deceased person. It involves gathering all assets of an estate, paying all taxes and debts and distributing the balance to the beneficiaries.
It’s a useful process. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming. For that reason, the primary goal of estate planning is to avoid probate altogether, which an elder law attorney, Charlotte can help you accomplish through a living trust.
- Medicaid Planning
Nursing home care is expensive, and Medicare does not cover it. Medicaid can sometimes pay it if you run out of cash. However, you must be almost entirely out of cash for Medicaid to come to your rescue and you can’t give away your cash just to qualify.
The situation becomes more complicated if one partner in a marriage needs nursing home care and the other is in good health. The Medicaid has complex rules for the money you can protect and the prevailing circumstances under which you can do that. Elder law attorneys, Charlotte can help families to plan how to get the best possible nursing home care for their seniors.
The courts will check the advance directives of an individual to find out who has the legal authority to make decisions for him or her when he or she becomes unable to make decisions. The court must appoint a guardian to do it if the person hasn’t prepared an advance directive.
The probate court appoints guardians to oversee the care of the elderly or disabled people. It’s good to prepare advance directives to avoid guardianship. Unfortunately, most people fail to do this, and guardianship becomes a necessity. Charlotte elder law attorneys can help families and senior citizens who find themselves in this situation.
Elder law lawyers at Houston & Schantz PLLC usually charge by the hour depending on the type of work. In some cases, our Charlotte elder law lawyers charge a predetermined flat rate fee depending on the type of work, such as will preparation, the filing of tax returns and review and signing of documents.
What Questions Should I Ask a Charlotte Elder Law Attorney?
Most elder law attorney, Charlotte don’t specialize in all areas of law affecting senior citizens. Therefore, it’s essential to hire a lawyer who has vast experience in your specific area of concern.
Also, you should feel comfortable that an elder law attorney will represent you or your loved one in an understanding and sensitive manner before choosing him or her.
The following are some questions you should ask:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What percentage of your time do you devote to elder law?
- Do you’ve a particular emphasis on a specific area of elder law?
- What documents or information should I prepare for our first meeting?
- How do you charge for your services?
How to Find a Charlotte Elder Law Attorney
There are several ways of finding a qualified elder law attorney in Charlotte, NC. Online research or referrals from family and friends may be a good start. However, not all websites are the same.
Unless you have unlimited hours to spend online or live in the same state as your relative or friend, you may wish to visit or call Houston & Schantz PLLC to find a qualified and experienced Charlotte elder law attorney.
Why Choose Houston & Schantz PLLC?
At Houston & Schantz PLLC, we focus on the individual needs of senior citizens, those with special needs, and their loved ones. Our estate planning and elder law practice go beyond the traditional realm of Health Care Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney and Wills and Trusts. Our firm provides these essential legal services, and much more. We address the social and legal issues affecting the elderly, the disabled, and their families.
Our primary goal is to address each contingency you and your family may face with incapacity, aging, or illness. Planning for your estate guarantees flexibility since different circumstances may arise. We always take a holistic approach to Elder Law, Charlotte. We believe this approach guarantees the quality life and helps maintain dignity and autonomy while preserving your assets.
- Housing Transitions
Today, there are various living arrangements available for the elderly. They include senior communities, independent living, skilled care, assisted living, and other permutations. The common thing among these living arrangements is that they involve a transition from an apartment or house.
The transition involves several medical, financial, and personal intricacies. Under ideal circumstances, the transition may take place when everybody is sound and healthy.
However, decisions often happen in a rush once dementia or other issues creep into the picture. You can rely on a good elder law attorney in Charlotte to guide you through this delicate process successfully.
One vital skill that our elder law attorneys possess is the ability to listen to clients. They address very personal issues of senior citizens, and their ability to cater to the needs of these seniors makes them the best choice.
Other lawyers may solve these legal matters, but the process would be entirely different. Our Charlotte elder law attorneys not only know how to handle the legal matters discussed above, but they also know how to take care of older adults.
If you need any assistance regarding elder law in Charlotte, NC, call us today at (980) 299-0121 or fill in our online contact form.