Elder law is a broad field of law aimed at addressing many of the issues that seniors face. There are many misconceptions about what is involved with elder law, with the biggest myth of all centered around the fact that only seniors need help from an attorney within this field. The reality is, the issues which are addressed in elder law are issues that matter to everyone of all ages. The field gets its name because much of the law in this area focuses on planning for incapacity or death and seniors have a statistically greater likelihood of these things happening. In reality, however, anyone could become sick or injured at any time and it is best to have a plan in place.
Mark S. Eghrari and Associates PLLC is an experienced Smithtown elder law firm which provides representation to people of all ages. We will help you to deal with the most pressing issues in this area of law and we’ll offer you the guidance and advice you need to make informed choices and create a plan for your future.
A Look at Three Pressing Elder Law Issues
A recent article from The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging addressed three core focuses of elder law. According to the ABA article, the primary goals of elder law include the preservation and enhancement of autonomy; dignity; and quality of life.
- Autonomy refers to taking control of your future. Where will you live as you age, and how will you pay for it? Do you have enough money to support yourself and get the medical care or nursing care you need? What will happen if you can no longer make decisions on your own?
- Dignity refers to maintaining control of your own destiny. Under what situations do you not want to continue to receive medical treatment? How will you be cared for, and by whom, if you are no longer able to care for yourself?
- Quality of life refers to how you- and your loved ones- will live life. Will you have enough money to pay for what you need? Under what conditions does prolonging your life though medical intervention become undesirable? Will you be able to leave a legacy to your loved ones so your heirs can maintain or improve their own quality of life once you have passed away?
There is often overlap between these three pressing elder law issues- however, the preservation and enhancement of autonomy, dignity, and quality of life should guide all of the other decisions that you make as you create a plan for your future.
In order to help ensure you maintain and preserve autonomy, dignity, and quality of life, it is best to start planning early. Some of the different ways that you can ensure you have done everything possible to address these pressing elder law issues include:
- Creating a living will /advanced medical directive. You should specify when you don’t want to be resuscitated and when you want extreme live-saving measures taken. By taking control over your medical decisions, you can preserve autonomy, preserve your dignity, and make sure you are no longer kept alive once your quality of life is gone.
- Naming someone to act as a power of attorney. You should have a durable power of attorney so an agent you select can make decisions and manage assets for you. You should also have a healthcare power of attorney so your agent can address questions about your healthcare not addressed in your living will. This helps to ensure that even when you cannot speak for yourself, you still maintain some degree of autonomy because you have chosen who will act as your agent.
- Creating an asset protection plan. With a Medicaid plan, you can make sure you qualify for Medicaid coverage so you can afford to get nursing home care when you need it- without spending down your assets and losing all you have worked for.
- Creating an estate plan. You want to be able to leave a legacy for your loved ones.
These are just some of the ways that you can deal with the three most pressing elder law issues.
How a Smithtown Elder Law Attorney Can Help You
Everyone of all ages and at all stages in their life should create a plan to protect their dignity, to protect their autonomy, and to try to preserve a high quality of life both for themselves and for their loved ones. A Smithtown elder law attorney at Mark S. Eghrari and Associates PLLC can provide the assistance you need to create a comprehensive plan that achieves your goals and offers you security in the future.
Give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to learn more about how an experienced lawyer can help you. You can also find out some essential information on elder law matters by joining us for a free seminar.