If you suspect elder abuse, the first step is to keep the victim physically safe. You should immediately contact an elder abuse attorney to discuss your legal options and ensure that your actions do not make obtaining the legal authority needed to protect your loved one more difficult. When family members act to protect a loved one, they may appear to be the perpetrator, making it more difficult to be appointed by the court to protect the individual.
Elder abuse and the laws that govern it can be complicated. This guide will explain elder abuse law and why you should hire an elder abuse attorney.
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What is Elder Law?
This area of the law was developed to serve and protect the needs of seniors and their family members. While there are protections available for any vulnerable adult, a senior (or elder) 65 years or older has greater legal protection and remedies available to them. Elder law rules cover conservatorships, elder abuse, estate planning, and Medicaid/Medi-Cal planning.
Who Should Hire An Elder Law Attorney?
With the ageing process comes increased vulnerability to undue influence and the willingness of family members, caregivers, or opportunists to exploit these vulnerabilities. To protect your loved one, there are laws and procedures in place, most of which can be confusing. An elder abuse attorney can assist you in putting the necessary documents in place to protect your loved one. While an estate plan will not protect a vulnerable elder on its own, it will notify the court of the elder’s wishes regarding who should manage their money and make healthcare decisions. Unfortunately, when the elder loses capacity, it may come down to one child’s word versus the other. This can lead to time-consuming and expensive conservatorship and elder abuse litigation.
Unfortunately, many people will wait too long to hire someone who can adequately advise them for far too long. So, the best advice we can give you is to hire an elder attorney as soon as possible because you’ll need this experienced professional on your side before your health becomes questionable and you end up in an abusive situation.
Can A Good Elder Abuse Attorney Help Your Family Avoid Costly Mistakes?
An elder abuse lawyer will make the best plan possible because:
Their entire attention will be on you, their client.
They will have access to a wide range of legal tools and strategies tailored to seniors’ goals and needs.
Typically, an elder abuse lawyer will take a comprehensive approach to the legal advice they provide. When developing the best plan, they will consider key issues such as housing, financial well-being, health, long-term care, and quality of life.
They will remain informed on knowledge and issues affecting elders, allowing them to provide you with the best advice possible.
Elder abuse attorneys understand the real-life issues that seniors face, allowing them to recognize physical and mental difficulties and empathize and be compassionate.
Should the need arise, they will have a team of social workers, psychologists, professional fiduciaries, and other senior care professionals ready to help.
Hiring an elder abuse attorney can also help with:
Making a living will, a trust, a power of attorney, and a last will and testament.
Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare claims
Discrimination in the workplace
Estate planning and conservatorships
Unfortunately, the vulnerable nature of seniors makes them easy prey for abuse and fraud. Meeting with an elder abuse attorney can help your family avoid emotional and costly mistakes, as well as correct them after they have occurred.
How Can I Find A Qualified Elder Abuse Attorney?
Before researching a qualified elder abuse attorney, make a list of specific concerns for the near future. This will assist in determining the qualities and skills required of your attorney. You should also ensure that the elder abuse lawyer you hire is experienced, educated, and approachable.
You can narrow down your search by asking trusted sources for referrals and reviewing websites. It is also suggested that you arrange an in-person meeting with elder abuse lawyers to ask the following questions:
How long have they been practising elder abuse law?
Are the lawyers licensed to practice elder abuse law in their state?
Does the lawyer have litigation experience?
What type of fee structure do the lawyers offer?
Working with an experienced elder abuse attorney who understands the law, family dynamics, and the emotional challenges that this situation entails will be your saving grace.
The attorneys will be aware of the legal steps that must be taken to protect your vulnerable loved ones. The elder abuse attorneys will go to any length to ensure justice is served.
Lewis G. Khashan is the founder and practising attorney at Khashan Law Firm. He is a Personal Injury Attorney having over 20 years of combined experience representing seriously injured clients in California and obtaining millions of dollars in monetary compensation on their behalf.