Assisting Seniors Throughout Missouri

As we age, a variety of legal issues come into play that require the foresight and care of an experienced elder lawyer. Issues such as planning for long-term care, choosing retirement plans, and planning for the transfer and settling of your estate are just some of the considerations that must be made as we enter retirement age. For some senior citizens, there are government benefits available that would assuage the financial burden of ensuring these essential care components are provided for in our later years. Accessing these benefits requires meeting a series of qualifications that are best addressed by an experienced Springfield elder lawyer.

Whether you’re a senior citizen with questions about how to proceed through the next phase of your life, or a loved one making arrangements for an elder parent or relative, a Springfield elder lawyer at Parks & Jones can help. Our counsel aims to guide you through these issues with sensitivity and care they deserve. We focus on helping you and your family navigate elder law issues, such as dealing with government agencies, social programs, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Our attorneys can help answer your questions related to Medicare, long-term care and planning, probate and more. 

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law encompasses many different issues involved with aging, including medical powers of attorney, living wills, retirement planning, life insurance, and the prospect of long-term care and the expenses of living in a nursing home.

Why do I need to be concerned with it?

These issues will greatly affect you in your later years, so it is important that you consider your options now and make informed, thoughtful decisions. If you don’t take control of your future, the government might end up deciding what happens to your income, wealth, and family. Wouldn’t you rather decide these things for yourself?

When my future is so uncertain, how can I plan for it?

Through proactive planning you can ensure your assets are protected and your plan has the flexibility to adapt to your uncertain future. With the help of a lawyer experienced in elder law, you can begin making some of those difficult decisions.

What should I expect when it comes to elder law?

Some of the most important choices you will make involve the following:

  • Estate Planning: You need to choose how you will be provided for during your life if you are disabled and who will inherit which pieces of your estate and under what conditions.  Estate Planning puts you in control of your property and financial affairs!

  • Probate: Probate is the court system’s method of processing a person’s estate after they have died. It can be costly and time-consuming, so your goal is to avoid it altogether. Estate Planning will help you do this.

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is the program which will pay for your nursing home care if you are impoverished.  Medicaid will force you to spend down nearly ALL of your assets before qualifying.  If you plan for this scenario ahead of time, a Springfield elder lawyer can help you plan how to get the best possible care, while protecting the most amount of assets.  This is one of the most important parts of planning for an individual he or she can do.

  • Advance Directives: These documents state what you would like to happen if you are not able to make healthcare decisions for yourself in the future. If you don’t prepare this in advance, the court will appoint a guardian to make these decisions for you.

So what is elder law? It’s many things! Estate planning, Medicaid planning, advance directives, protecting assets and more. It’s a very broad term and it covers many legal issues which encompass the aging process. It’s an important subject for all of us, but it’s especially critical for those who are concerned about how to pay for the rising costs of nursing home care.

Preparing to Meet Your Springfield Elder Lawyer at Parks & Jones

A Parks & Jones Springfield elder lawyer will help you address concerns and streamline solutions for your future needs. In order to ensure that we come up with a comprehensive plan that considers all of the benefits available to you, it’s best to come to the meeting with a sense of the special benefits already available to you – such as veteran or Medicare benefits, information on any current or supplemental insurance policies, social security and retirement benefits and plans, and ideas about how and where you would like to live, and who might care for you in illness. We recommend that family members and loved ones take part in this discussion so everyone feels like they are engaged with the solution. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.