As you age, you may encounter legal and healthcare challenges that can impact your quality of life. Having a plan to deal with these challenges as they arise can help you preserve your quality of life, receive the absolute best care, and protect your wealth and property. It also helps lift the burden borne by caregivers and adult children so that they can focus on other aspects of the family. At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we help clients just like you plan for and meet your evolving needs as you approach your later years.
Benefits of Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
- Avoiding crisis - At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we will help you analyze your options, prioritize your wishes, and create a long-term care plan in advance. We help you avoid a scenario where you may become incapacitated or require home care services without an appropriate plan.
- Safeguarding assets - We will help you create an estate plan encompassing long-term care insurance, personal care agreements, and asset protection trusts. For instance, we can help you create a plan to avoid asset recovery if you run out of money to pay for your healthcare. We will also ensure your assets are well managed to avoid them ending up in the wrong hands if you become incapacitated.
- Mitigating problems in case of a crisis - If there are disputes or any estate law-related crises, we will facilitate an early settlement that will help eliminate costly mistakes.
Applegate & Dillman Elder Law Services
- Estate planning - An estate plan contains details of what individuals expect to happen to their assets in case of their incapacitation. We are ready to help whether you want to create a will, a living will, or designate a power of attorney.
- Medicaid Planning - You don’t have to wait until you have spent your hard-earned savings on healthcare. We will help you safeguard your assets before applying for Medicaid. Our Indiana elder law attorneys will also help you or your loved one understand how Medicaid benefits affect your retirement plan.
- Long-term Care Planning - Whenever a medical issue arises, you are most likely to require rehabilitation. Your rehabilitation or long-term care needs can easily deplete your assets. We will help you figure out whether you can afford in-home care and how you can save up for the future. At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we have on-staff healthcare professionals who will conduct psychological and physical evaluations to ensure you are on top of your mental and physical health throughout the process.
- Mediation - Our attorneys are ready to respond in case of disputes to ensure an early settlement before the situation worsens.
- Guardianship - We will offer the help you need to secure a temporary guardian in emergencies that may arise when you do not have a spouse or power of attorney to help you.
- Veterans Benefit Planning - If your loved one is a retired military service person, we will help to ensure they recover the veteran benefits owed. These benefits can help reduce the cost of taking care of them in old age.
What Key Legal Documents Should You Have in Place?
As you get older, there are a few key legal documents you should have in place to protect yourself and your loved ones. These include:
- Will: A will specifies how you want your assets and property distributed after you pass away. Without a will, the state will determine who inherits your estate according to the intestacy laws.
- Advance Healthcare Directive: An advance care directive or living will outline your wishes for medical care if you become incapacitated. It allows you to specify whether or not you want life-prolonging measures taken when you can no longer communicate your preferences.
- A Durable Power of Attorney: With a durable power of attorney, you can designate someone to make your financial and legal decisions if you become incapacitated. It ensures your bills, taxes, and other responsibilities are handled according to your wishes.
- A Healthcare Power of Attorney: A healthcare proxy or medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make your medical decisions when you cannot. It allows the person you choose to consent to or refuse treatment, access medical records, and handle other health-related responsibilities.
What Are Signs of Elder Abuse and How Can I Protect Myself or a Loved One from It?
Signs of elder abuse can vary, but some common indicators include:
- Unexplained injuries, bruises, or burns
- Sudden changes in behavior, mood, or financial situation
- Neglected personal hygiene, malnutrition, or dehydration
- Isolation from friends and family or restricted access to the individual
- Unusual financial transactions or unauthorized use of the elder's assets
To protect yourself or a loved one from elder abuse, consider the following:
- Maintaining regular contact with older adults and being vigilant for signs of abuse or neglect.
- Learning about the different forms of elder abuse and how to recognize the warning signs.
- Consulting with an elder law attorney to establish legal safeguards, such as powers of attorney, that can help prevent and address potential abuse.
- Seeking support from community resources, support groups, and professional organizations specializing in elder abuse prevention for guidance.
How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help You?
An elder law attorney can assist you in navigating the complex legal landscape associated with aging and provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances. Some ways an elder law attorney can help include:
- Estate Planning: An elder law attorney can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan to protect your assets and fulfill your wishes, including drafting wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
- Long-Term Care Planning: Your attorney can guide you on long-term care options, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or home care, and help you navigate Medicaid and other benefit programs.
- Healthcare Decision-Making: An Indiana elder law attorney can help you establish advanced healthcare directives, such as a healthcare proxy or living will, to ensure your medical treatment preferences are honored when you cannot make decisions.
- Social Security and Benefits: A lawyer can provide advice on social security benefits, Medicare, and other entitlement programs available to seniors, ensuring you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Why Applegate & Dillman Elder Law?
At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we provide a holistic approach to elder law, providing unmatched estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, and many more services. We have a team of nurses on board who are ready to help assess the situation and create a plan for your life care. Contact us online or call us at (317) 492-9569 to discover how we help our community’s most vulnerable members.