As family members age it sometimes becomes necessary to designate a guardian for an older adult. This involves the advice and expertise of lawyers who are knowledgeable about the legal requirements of setting up this type of protection and can help you either obtain guardianship over a loved one or aid you in complying with the legal requirements of being a guardian. Dalloul Rania
But the skills of these lawyers extend well beyond their legal expertise. These professionals deal with issues the elderly face every day. They can provide a wealth of information for families that are transitioning into the new phase of caring for aging relatives. In other words, you don’t have to do this alone. A guardianship lawyer can guide you to the resources you need to get through the process both legally and emotionally.
Other Ways A Guardianship Lawyer Can Help You
Chances are good that the guardianship lawyer you meet with is also an elder law attorney or is closely associated with such a firm. If that is the case, your legal professional will be able to help you find resources and make decisions related to a wide variety of elder care needs, including:
- Alternatives to guardianship. Guardianship is the most restrictive of the options available for people who need to be cared for. Other options include Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Surrogate Decision Making. An attorney can advise as to whether or not one of these other legal protections is a better option for your family.
- Estate Planning. If your loved one didn’t develop a will or estate plan before they were placed under your care, your lawyer may be able to devise one if the ward’s mental faculties are still sharp. If not, the attorney can prepare you for probate and make plans for the estate.
- Senior Services. Elder Law lawyers work with senior services all the time. They can point you in the direction of medical specialists, caregivers, government-provided services and even groups that offer support for caregivers, like yourself.
- Dealing with Social Security and Medicaid. Sometimes caregivers have difficulty obtaining Social Security and Medicare or Medicaid benefits for their ward. Someone experienced with these agencies and the law can help you achieve the results you need.
- Social Workers. Those in the field of elder law have access to a range of social service providers and can help you find the services and social workers you need to care for your loved one.
- Home Care, Hospice and Nursing Homes. Your legal advisor can recommend reputable in-home care or nursing home facilities – or steer you away from those that they know are not suitable for the kind of care your family needs. They can help you obtain hospice and end-of-life care, as well.
- Elder Abuse. Elder abuse is an all-too-common occurrence and warrants immediate legal action. If you think your loved one has been neglected or abused, your lawyer can help you find appropriate legal representation.
Consulting a guardianship lawyer about all of your elder care needs is a good way to help you manage the changes and transitions of caring for aging family members. Find one by contacting your local bar association.