People today are living longer, but with longevity comes the need for greater planning for those golden years. Our elder law attorneys guide clients through the maze of issues affecting retirement, asset protection, Medicare and Medicaid, health, and even mental health with practical and compassionate advice, recognizing that legal issues often have social and familial implications. From wills and estate planning to guardianships and conservatorships, our elder law attorneys have the expertise to deal with the complex issues of an ever-growing aging population.
WHAT IS ELDER LAW?
Elder law focuses on senior citizens’ concerns, including age-related health problems, wills and trusts, social security, retirement, long-term care and housing, and elder abuse. Unfortunately, the latter is quite common in the United States, with many nursing homes and long-term care facilities facing allegations of neglect and abuse.
Attorneys specializing in elder law are typically not seen in court as most of our work is done drafting transactions including wills, living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and establishing estate plans and inheritance tax returns. This practice area often includes family members and close friends of older adults as they care for aging loved ones who may begin to suffer cognitive problems from dementia and other ailments.
An elder law attorney establishes the power of attorney and other important matters with the senior citizen, ideally before their health begins to fail. Hiring a lawyer to oversee your wishes and ensure your rights are guaranteed can give you much peace of mind as you get older and make certain that the appropriate parties are in charge of your care and estate.
ESTATE PLANNING AND WILLS
It’s essential for any adult to have a living will, and our attorneys advocate that you establish this evolving document at a young age, particularly when you have dependent children. If you were to die or fall ill suddenly, your finances and other personal matters would go into probate. The probate court resides over wills and administration of estates and will distribute your assets to the closest living relative, which may be your spouse and/or children, parents, or siblings. Most senior citizens and adults of any age do not wish for a court to determine how their estate is distributed or to whom, including what will happen to their dependents.
Our elder law attorneys can establish a living trust for you to avoid the probate process in Alabama and surrounding states. We can draft advanced healthcare directives outlining your wishes in the event of a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury that leaves you without brain function.
NURSING AND ELDER CARE
A lawyer can also ensure your wishes for your final days, months, and years are followed by establishing documentation and living arrangements when significant medical care is required or a degenerative brain disease such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia has taken hold. You can use this time to research facilities and ask for our legal counsel to make sure you spend your remaining time in comfort at a center that provides the appropriate standard of care and more. Our elder law lawyers can draft a power of attorney for your healthcare and financial decisions.
Elder abuse cases go through litigation or the courts. These claims are sadly common as aging loved ones are neglected or harmed physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially by the very people charged with caring for them. Nursing home facilities, nursing home staff, at-home staff, family members, and anyone responsible for the mistreatment of an older adult can be held liable for failing to provide at least the basic needs and medical care required for the individual. Our elder law attorneys can pursue litigation against the person(s) responsible for these egregious actions and seek justice for injured loved ones.
CONTACT OUR ELDER LAW ATTORNEYS IN MOBILE
Johnstone Adams, LLC has served clients for more than 125 years, and our lawyers have expansive knowledge in many practice areas. We can help you guarantee the succession of your estate and make sure your final wishes are protected through our elder law services.