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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, June 29, 2020

5 Qualities of a Great Elder Law Attorney

Whether you need someone to advise and assist you with your elder law questions or you need help for an aging loved one, a California elder attorney can help. If you need to find someone to guide you through the process, it can help to know the five qualities of a great elder law attorney.

The Elder Lawyer Performs the Services You Need

Elder law attorneys can cover a wide variety of subject areas that are relevant to older adults. Some examples of these practice topics include things like:

  • Retirement planning
  • Wills and trusts
  • Powers of attorney and healthcare proxies
  • Guardianship and conservatorship
  • Planning for the possibility of incapacity, such as for a person with dementia
  • Social Security issues, including disability claims and appeals
  • Medicare or Medicaid claims and appeals
  • Nursing home planning

You will want to make sure that the attorney covers the areas that you need before you incur charges, like consultation fees. If you need to file a will contest, for example, it will not do you any good to hire a lawyer who does not go to court or handle litigation.

Elder Law Is a Specialty

A great elder law attorney devotes a significant portion of his law practice to the subject area of elder law. State and federal laws can change every year. A general practice lawyer, one who handles many unrelated things like contracts, divorce, adoptions, real estate, wills and trusts, personal injury, traffic court, and disability claims, will not have the time to keep up with all of the new legislation and court decisions that can affect elder law issues.

Is Candid About Legal Fees

When a lawyer practices a specialty for a long enough time, he can give you a reasonable estimate of how much it will cost to prepare your documents or perform other services. There can be some variation from the estimate, for example, if you change your mind about the terms you want in the document after the lawyer has done some of the work. In general, however, an elder law attorney should be able to give you a feel for how much the legal services will cost.

Does Not Make You Wait

Some lawyers try to recruit hundreds of new clients at a time, and then make them wait an unreasonably long time for an appointment. If you feel as if you are a low priority for the attorney at the beginning, things are likely to get worse, not better. Consider the initial dealings with the lawyer’s office as the honeymoon phase. The lawyer should be eager to get started on the task of helping you.

On a similar theme, the lawyer should be compassionate. A great elder law attorney will make you feel as if you are family and that the lawyer cares about what happens to you and your loved ones.

Word of Mouth Reputation

In this era of online reviews and testimonials, a professional’s reputation on the street still has value. You want an elder law attorney who has a positive reputation. You might want to ask your friends and neighbors if they know an elder lawyer they can recommend. Contact us today. Our California elder law attorneys can help you and your family prepare for the future, no matter who unpredictable that future might seem.


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