What an Elder Law Attorney Does
It is not unusual for attorneys, much like physicians, to specialize in a certain area of the law. There are so many areas of specialty in the legal field, but few clients are aware of the field of elder law or what an elder law attorney does. An elder law attorney typically handles all legal issues relating to seniors and the aging process, including, estate planning, guardianship, retirement, nursing home services and Medicaid issues.
A Dallas elder law attorney has specific training and experience
A Dallas elder law attorney should have specific training in the legal issues that are relevant to seniors. With this awareness, elder law attorneys are better prepared to recognize and meet the needs of seniors and their families. Elder law attorneys are also trained to anticipate potential legal issues for seniors, as well. In the end, the practice of elder law encompasses legal advocacy, education, counseling and planning for the future.
It is important for your attorney to be familiar with relevant legal issues
Your elder law attorney should be we very knowledgeable of the real challenges seniors will face, versus the common misconceptions that most people have regarding the senior community, especially issues related to competency or legal capacity.
Nurturing connections with the community for support
There is a persistent need to balance reasonable concerns with the need to preserve the freedom and autonomy of seniors as much as possible. In order to help maintain the necessary balance, attorneys must create and nurture connections with the professionals in the community who customarily provide services to the aging population. In all, the practice of elder law goes far beyond simply drafting wills and other legal documents.
Common legal matters handled by a Dallas elder law attorney
Some of the legal issues most often handled by elder law attorneys in Texas include:
- Estate planning and administration
- Medicaid and Medicare
- Nursing home and other long-term care
- Establishing and administering trusts
Can your Dallas elder law attorney address your concerns?
The first step in choosing an elder law attorney is determining whether he or she actually handles the type of legal matters with which you need help. There are certainly some straightforward legal matters that most attorneys are familiar with and may feel comfortable handling, but not every Dallas elder law attorney is prepared to handle everything. In other words, be sure to ask whether the attorney handles your particular legal issue.
Preparing for the first meeting with your attorney
One of the first questions a client should ask is whether there will be a fee for the initial consultation. Typically, elder law attorneys do not charge an initial fee, but it is still a good idea to ask ahead of time. Before your first meeting, it often helps to know which documents or information, if any, you are expected to bring to that meeting. Knowing what is expected in advance can save you both time and eliminate the need to reschedule only because you need to gather information.
What do elder law attorneys typically charge for legal services?
Elder law attorneys usually offer a free initial consultation with potential clients. In other words, there is usually no charge for discussing what your legal issues involve and determining what type of legal assistance you might need. As for any subsequent legal work that may be done, the fees will depend on the type of services and the nature of the work required.
Factors that impact the cost of probating an estate in Texas
There are some factors that can increase probate costs. For instance, if you die intestate (or without a will) probate costs are often higher than if you had a will. If someone disputes the validity of the will or specific terms or provisions, those disputes can also considerably increase the cost of probate. Any issue that may arise is when some of the assets in the estate are located in states other than your resident state. In that case, there will most likely be additional probate costs associated with ancillary probate proceedings in each of those states.
If you have questions regarding your Dallas elder law attorney, or any other elder law issues, please contact The Vermillion Law Firm, LLC for a consultation either online or by calling us toll free at (972) 366-7201.