Elder Law is a rapidly growing area in the practice of law. As Manhattanites age, and the “baby boomers” begin to retire within the next few years, there will be an even greater demand for attorneys who understand the law and regulations, both federal and state, that affect elderly persons.
Elder Law encompasses many different fields of law. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys lists some of these:
– Preservation/transfer of assets seeking to avoid spousal impoverishment when a spouse enters a nursing home
– Medicare claims and appeals
– Social Security and disability claims and appeals
– Supplemental and long term health insurance issues.
– Advanced Medical Directives
– Disability planning, including use of durable powers of attorney, living trusts, “living wills,” for financial management and health care decisions, and other means of delegating management and decision-making to another in case of incompetency or incapacity.
– Conservatorships and guardianship
– Estate planning, including planning for the management of one’s estate during life and its disposition on death through the use of trusts, wills and other planning documents
– Administration and management of trusts and estates
– Long-term care placements in nursing home and life care communities
– Nursing home issues including questions of patients’ rights and nursing home quality
– Elder abuse and fraud recovery cases
– Housing issues, including discrimination and home equity conversions
– Age discrimination in employment
– Retirement, including public and private retirement benefits, survivor benefits and pension benefits
– Health law
– Mental health law
Unfortunately, there are some attorneys who hold themselves out as “elder law attorneys” but who have little or no experience in this area of practice. They recognize that the aging of America represents a business opportunity for them and they hope to “cash in.” (This is not limited to lawyers, by the way. Financial planners, insurance agents, accountants, and bankers, to name just a few other occupations, have been known to do the same thing.) For that reason, you will want to be particularly careful in narrowing down your selection of an elder law attorney.
Step 1. Go to a directory of attorneys (choose Elder Law as specialty and NYC/ NY as the City/ State). Click here for Martindale-Hubbell
Step 2. Browse around and ask the right questions and make the right observations
when asking (here are some important questions)
- Were they courteous over the telephone? Did they respond back promptly? Were they patient over the telephone?
- How many years experience in elder law do they have?
- How many years experience do they have in the specific area of elder law that you need?
- Are they associated to any elder law organizations (like the New York State Bar
Association Elder Law Committee, NAELA)?
- Do they have a website (review it and see if it is informative)?
- How confident are they that they can come up with a favorable result in the area of elder law assistance you need?
- What are the fees associated with an initial consultation?
- What are the fees associated with the work you need?
- Do they have any references you can call on? (it could be a client, their family
member or even another professional that works with them (like a homecare
agency, like ours))
Step 3. After collecting all this information, try and make the best decision based on all these elements. Go with your gut instinct!!!
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a Manhattan, NYC senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services, please call us at 212-614-8057 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a full service licensed home care services agency (with the NYS Department of Health), we accept all long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff of over 250 trained and certified home care personnel covering Manhattan.
Christian and Claudia
Home Instead Senior Care
400 East 56th Street
Professional Wing, Suite #2
New York, NY 10022