You already know that life is different now that you are retired and getting older. You have different abilities, different interests, and different goals in your 60s and 70s than you had in your 30s and 40s. What you may not realize, however, is that your legal needs are also different as a senior than they were when you were working, raising a family, and growing your assets.
Elder Law attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in the areas of the law that affect seniors, and they can be a valuable resource as you face the challenges that come with getting older and planning for the end of your life.
Services Offered by Elder Law Attorneys in Arkansas
Elder Law attorneys offer specialized legal services that cater to the needs of older people. Some of the services they offer overlap with general practitioners, but Elder Law attorneys have special insight into the needs of seniors. Other services they offer are unique to retirees and the elderly. Services offered by Elder Law attorneys include the following:
- Estate planning. Assist seniors in creating comprehensive estate plans that may include Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and advance health care directives. This helps ensure that their wishes are carried out and their assets are distributed as they desire after their passing.
- Medicaid planning. Guide clients through the complex process of qualifying for Medicaid benefits to pay for a nursing home or assisted living while preserving assets whenever possible. This involves understanding and navigating the eligibility requirements and planning strategies to manage income and resources appropriately.
- Long-term care planning. Advise families on various long-term care options, such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or home care services. The attorney can help create a plan to finance the cost of long-term care and make informed decisions based on the individual's specific needs.
- Guardianship and conservatorship. Assist families in establishing guardianship or conservatorship for elderly individuals who can no longer make sound decisions or manage their affairs due to incapacity or cognitive decline. The attorney will ensure the process is legally sound and in the best interest of the senior.
- Social Security and disability benefits. Provide guidance on obtaining and maximizing Social Security retirement benefits, survivor benefits, and disability benefits for seniors and their eligible family members.
- Veterans' benefits. Help veterans and their spouses access benefits and assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including Aid and Attendance benefits and other programs available to support them.
- Asset protection. Implement strategies to protect seniors' assets from potential threats such as creditors, long-term care expenses, and financial exploitation. This may involve the creation of Trusts and other legal instruments.
- Probate and estate administration. Guide families through the probate process after the death of a loved one, ensuring that the deceased's assets are distributed according to their wishes and in compliance with Arkansas state laws.
- Living Trusts. Advise clients on the benefits of setting up living Trusts to avoid probate, maintain privacy, and efficiently transfer assets to beneficiaries.
- Health care advocacy. Help seniors and their families navigate health care-related issues, such as medical decision-making, health insurance coverage, and long-term care options.
- Retirement planning. Provide tailored retirement planning advice to seniors, considering factors such as Social Security benefits, pensions, savings, and investment strategies to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.
- Special needs planning. Offer advice on special needs Trusts and other planning tools for seniors with disabilities or special needs family members, ensuring they receive proper care and financial support.
- End-of-life planning. Assist seniors in documenting their end-of-life wishes, including funeral arrangements, organ donation, and other personal preferences.
Consult Our Arkansas Elder Law Team to Learn More
If you would like to learn more about how an Elder Law attorney could help you navigate your senior years, reach out to the Hot Springs or Magnolia offices of Ross & Shoalmire. We would be happy to explain what we do and how we might be able to provide you with the peace of mind you have been seeking. You can also access free information and a schedule of our upcoming seminars elsewhere on our website.