Maryland Elder Law Attorneys Protect the Elderly and Infirmed
Protecting You or Your Loved One’s Interest as You Advance in Age
The toll of time and age is something which no one can ultimately avoid. It is a natural part of life, and one which you can prepare for with the best possible attitude and plans. Far too often, a friend or loved one gets into a position where they can no longer take care of themselves and there is little planning and even less knowledge regarding the potential pitfalls of the next steps. We’ll help you understand the tools and legalities of caring for elderly individuals who need assistance in their daily lives. They deserve love and protection. With the right knowledge and support, you can provide that for them.
An Aging Population and Difficult Decisions
As it is widely reported, the U.S. population is aging. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the population aged 65 and older will almost double between 2012 and 2050 – growing from 43.1 million to 83.7 million. Moreover, the overall percentage of elderly Americans is expected to more than double in the next twenty years alone. This will place the significant responsibilities associated with caring for the elderly on progressively less and less family members and friends.
Deciding that a loved one needs assistance in their daily lives is a difficult decision to make. There are many factors to consider, such as whether the person needs to be in a nursing home with 24-hour care, whether they can live in their current home with assistance, which family members will be in charge of their care, and who will be responsible for any assets the person might have. Elder law is a unique, comprehensive area of the law which addresses all of these important considerations in the face of an elderly loved one who needs assistance. These considerations often have serious emotional and financial consequences for families and can lead to problematic legal situations. With such difficult decisions and an aging population, it is no surprise that elder law is an important and growing area of the law.
Planning and Preparedness Are Always Key
The time to start thinking about elder law issues is not when a loved one needs significant assistance. Rather, every individual should factor elder law considerations into their retirement and estate plans many years earlier. Even the best laid plans can change, but having a plan and including your friends and family in the discussion will help facilitate a smoother transition later. People who are well-prepared for their aging can use traditional retirement and estate planning tools to direct and support their lifestyle – even in the event that they need significant assistance. Among the questions a family should closely examine are:
- What type of setting would the individual prefer in the event that they need significant care, and is this something the family can support?
- Which family member(s) will be entrusted with the individual’s care, or is there a situation where an outside party may need to assume this role?
- To what extent will the individual have assets to support the significant costs associated with aging and assistance?
- What will Medicare cover, and what will it not?
- If there are disagreements regarding living arrangements, financial matters, or medical decisions among family members, how will these be resolved?
- What should a family member entrusted with an individual’s care sign or agree to, and what should they not?
- How will the family guard against abuse of the elderly individual or financial indiscretions with the individual’s assets?
We’ll help to guide you through answering these important questions.
Guiding You Through an Important Transition
The realization that a family member can no longer care for themselves almost never happens in a calm, emotionally-detached manner. Instead, some kind of unfortunate event or trauma occurs which compels the family to act. In these times, emotions can run very high and normally objective minds can be clouded by an over-arching concern for the elderly individual and the overall family dynamic. This transition period is fraught with potentially harmful legal situations. Caring for the elderly is a big and growing business in the U.S., especially with an aging population. Like all businesses, groups that offer care and assistance to the elderly need to ensure revenue and will often use tactics which render a family member personally and financially liable for the care of an elderly individual.
Do not agree to or sign any document without carefully reviewing it and understanding the financial and legal ramifications. Sitting down with an experienced elder law attorney can make all the difference. We’ll help you plan for and address even the worst elder law situations, such as professional or family member impropriety in the care of an elderly individual. The law is designed to protect elderly individuals who cannot care for themselves. It’s our job to help you understand the law.
Difficult Decisions – You’re Not Alone
When facing difficult decisions regarding advanced aging, you do not have to act alone. We advocate for elderly individuals and their families in times of need. To schedule a time to meet with us, call (301) 468-3220 or submit an inquiry on our site.