Elder Law Attorney Tampa Florida | Elder Law is a Unique Type of Legal Practice
Elder Law Attorney Tampa | There are many types of attorneys. But not all attorneys are created equal. For example, a personal injury attorney would be of little help when you need assistance handling the estate of a deceased loved one.
Elder law attorneys cover several areas of law that may overlap a bit. Let’s take a look at how an elder attorney would be beneficial in someone’s life and why elder law is unique.
Areas of Practice
Elder law attorneys focus on the legal needs for people as they age, such as estate planning, wills, trusts, guardianships, elder abuse litigation, Social Security, VA benefits, long-term healthcare planning and benefits like Medicare and Medicaid. In general sense, there are several broad categories, and each elder law attorney might or may not practice in each.
Estate planning: This entails the preparation and signing of important documents such as durable power of attorney, last will and testament, naming healthcare surrogates, and establishing trusts, to name a few. Generally, clients seek at least two or three of these documents or, in many cases, an entire package of documents.
Guardianships: When someone becomes incapacitated to the point of needing someone else to make financial and healthcare decisions for them, the court may need to appoint a guardian. There is a well-defined process in the court system requiring that the incapacitated person and the would-be guardian have legal representation.
Probate: When someone dies, their assets must be passed to beneficiaries. If the assets are significant, they must go through a court-approved process called probate. Again, there is a court-administered way to go about this and representation is necessary.
Asset protection: Some people want to avoid the costly and time-consuming process that is probate. There ways to protect the assets from being whittled away or exposed to creditors and lawsuits. Assets can also be protected when someone applies for government benefits.
Medicaid/Medicare/VA benefits: There are procedures and eligibility requirements to receive these benefits. Sometimes the skills and knowledge of the attorney paves the way for a quick approval.
Elder abuse: If a senior is the victim of a financial scam or physical or mental abuse, these attorneys step in to seek justice.
Key Attributes of an Elder Attorney
As you can see, an elder law attorney can have a large set of skills and wide range of knowledge. But as much as those attributes are important, a good elder law attorney needs to be sensitive, compassionate and caring. Seniors sometimes feel like they are overlooked or underserved. The right elder law attorney will be empathetic and take the time to listen carefully and really understand and appreciate the situation. These attorneys work to build relationships that may last many years.
Michelangelo Mortellaro has been practicing elder law in the Tampa Bay area for more than a decade, assisting clients with estate planning, probate, and Medicaid and VA asset protection. The first consultation is always free.