Ocala, FL Elder Law Attorney
Elder law refers to the branch of law that concerns Americans over the age of 65. As we age, certain issues that were not necessarily in focus during our youth become important, sometimes more important than we imagined they could. For example, questions about your retirement plan might come to the forefront of your mind or you might begin to think seriously about planning your estate.
At Schatt Hesser McGraw, we understand the unique issues that older Americans face. We handle every client's case with sensitivity and a drive for justice.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?
An elder law attorney specializes in the diverse legal needs of people over the age of 65, including Baby Boomers. There are three main branches of elder law:
- Estate planning and administration, which includes the creation of wills, trusts, and the naming of beneficiaries of your estate. This includes probate law, which is the branch of law dedicated to distributing an individual's assets to his or her beneficiaries after he or she passes.
- Guardianship, which covers all issues related to fiduciary administration, conservatorship, and power of attorney. Related issues include living wills, designating a guardian before the need for one arises, and HIPAA releases.
- Issues related to Medicaid, end-of-life planning, long-term care, and Social Security benefits. This includes advocating for nursing home residents' rights and investigating claims of elder abuse in long-term care facilities.
In many cases, these branches intersect. Whether you find yourself facing multiple legal issues or you simply need professional guidance as you begin the process of planning your estate, enlist the help of an experienced elder law attorney Ocala, FL. Do not attempt to manage your legal needs on your own. We can help you understand the terms you are facing and guide you toward solutions that work for you.
Who Needs to Hire an Elder Law Attorney
Anyone with complex family and/or financial situations should hire an elder law attorney. State laws are exact about what can and can’t be in a will, trust, advanced medical directive, or financial power of attorney. They also dictate who can act as personal representative, trustee, health care surrogate, or attorney-in-fact. Though there are many forms for elder law issues which can be found on the internet, due to the complexity and exactness of state laws, an elder law attorney in Ocala, FL will help you avoid costly mistakes.
Specifically, if you and your life fit into one or more of these categories, it is recommended you contact an elder law attorney.
- Have a taxable estate for federal and/or state estate tax purposes
- Own one or more businesses
- Own real estate in more than one state
- Have a disabled family member
- Have minor or no children
- Wish to leave some or all of your estate to charity
- Have been married two or more times
- Have substantial assets in 401(k)s and/or IRAs
- Recently divorced
- Recently lost a spouse or other family member
- Have incapacitated spouse in need of long-term care
Elder Issues are a Hot Topic in Florida
People over the age of 65 make up more than 18 percent of Florida's population. Because this age group comprises such a significant portion of the state's population, it is important for Florida law firms to equip themselves to properly handle these issues. At Schatt Hesser McGraw, we have the knowledge and experience to confidently handle your legal needs. The following elder issues are examples of the many elder law areas we help Floridians with every day.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney can be one of two forms, general and durable. A general power of attorney has the authority to conduct legal business on your behalf, whereas a durable power of attorney allows them to conduct business on your behalf should you become ill or otherwise incapacitated. Most states allow a durable power of attorney to also make medical decisions on your behalf.
If no pre-planning, such as a disability plan, was done before a person is incapacitated, a family member or friend must go before a court and request a guardian be appointed on the incapacitated person’s behalf. It is called “living probate” as the court supervises the process of administering the incapacitated estate, rather than a predetermined executor or power of attorney. Schatt Hesser McGraw can help you and your family navigate guardianship and will work for the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Ocala attorneys specializing in elder law can help determine what kind of assisted living arrangement will best suit you as you get older. For some, hiring an in-home assistant suffices, while others will need to transition from in-home living to a nursing home facility. Schatt Hesser McGraw can assist in planning for expenses associated with long-term care and how to structure possessions and assets for these expenses.
How Elder Law Attorneys Can Help You
Our attorneys who practice the many areas of elder law can break down the timelines, deadlines, legal terms, and variables you may find yourself facing as you approach the issues listed above. We can also provide you with quality legal advice developed by examining your case's circumstances.
When you work with the Ocala lawyers at Schatt Hesser McGraw, your goals are the most important component of our relationship. Your estate is your legacy. Your healthcare is a vital concern. You have the right to seek recourse following an act of fraud or discrimination. All these need protection and we passionately fight for and protect your rights as elder law attorneys.
Contact Our Firm Today for Your Consultation
Legal planning later in life can be overwhelming and confusing, with required legal documents varying state to state. We recognize the unique position that older Americans have in society and the challenges they often face. During your consultation, we will examine the details of your case and advise you about the next legal steps to take. For quality legal counsel as you work through your elder law issues, contact Schatt Hesser McGraw.