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What elder law can do for seniors

Aging comes with no shortage of questions. Whether you are an adult thinking about your parent or are starting to think about yourself as you get on in years, you no doubt have concerns about money, medical issues and the possibility of assisted living or other types of care.

The field of elder law can address each of these concerns. The legal professionals that practice in this field are equipped with the specialized knowledge needed to draft the various documents and plans a person needs to make sure their wishes are upheld. These are among the most common ways they assist older individuals.

Creating a power of attorney

As you may know, a power of attorney is a legal document in which one person appoints another to make legal decisions on their behalf. A power of attorney can be as broad or as simple as the granter wishes and can even remain in effect if the granter become incapacitated.

Granting someone power of attorney is useful when an elder has a difficult time managing their day-to-day affairs. For example, a parent may grant their child power of attorney to manage their bills, oversee their retirement assets and manage their doctor's appointments.

Managing plans for senior care

Massachusetts offers MassHealth, or Medicaid, to our seniors. This state and federally funded program grants people with limited income the resources they need for nursing home residency and personal health care services.

Applying for and receiving MassHealth can be a complicated process, however. And appealing should someone be turned down can be even more complicated still. An elder law attorney can provide the support some elders need to get the care they need to live a happier more fulfilled life.

Establishing medical wishes

It is important for everyone to have their medical wishes down in a legally binding manner should they ever become incapacitated. Many people think that simply telling friends and loved ones what they want is enough - the unfortunate reality is that it isn't. Conversations over coffee won't hold up in court, but a health care proxy will.

A healthcare proxy, also known as an advance medical directive, is a document in which an individual states their medical wishes. These wishes can be as detailed or as broad as the individual chooses. It is always better to leave nothing to question.

The adage that it is better to be safe than sorry is a fitting moniker for elder law. With a little extra planning, you or your parent can live with the peace of mind that you will be taken care of and that your wishes will be upheld.

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