An elder law attorney is invaluable to the rapidly increasing population of individuals 65 and older. As current numbers stand, more than 52 million in the United States are living well past the age of retirement.
But the word “retirement” brings with it a new set of challenges, including talk of Medicare/Medicaid, retirement plan withdrawals, Social Security, and more. In this article, we look at how you can find the right elder law attorney to help you or your loved ones navigate the times ahead.
Get a Grasp of Your Situation
Before you can find the best law firm, it helps to have a handle on your responsibilities and overall situation. How much money will you need to retire?
What special needs will you have in terms of living arrangements, healthcare, and more? Brainstorm a list of your specific challenges, tastes, and preferences. Be able to communicate those expectations before you meet with an elder law attorney.
Talk to Others
The best attorney is a bit too broad of an inquiry. You want someone with knowledge and experience in the field. So, as you talk to others about their experiences, make sure you’re on the same page.
Referrals are great if they’re relevant, but you don’t want to take someone’s first suggestion or hire someone sight unseen because they helped Aunt Sally get through her divorce. Those are distinct facets of the law that require specialized training.
The best lawyer isn’t always the first one to whom you speak. You’ll want to be discerning as you look into the possibilities. That means investigating things such as educational background, relevant certifications, case litigation experience, and how many years of specialized practice.
The internet is a treasure trove of information for consumers. Inevitably, someone has had a positive or negative experience with the attorney(s) you are considering.
Check out sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google to see what previous clients are saying. You can’t take every review seriously, but you can distinguish serious feedback from bogus. Look at what people are saying good and bad, as well as how the attorney has responded to it.
Know What to Ask
As something goes to trial, there is something called the discovery process where the two sides receive materials to help instruct their cases. You should enter your own discovery process before you hire.
You can do this successfully by knowing what to ask. Some suggestions include the following:
- Which areas of elder law do you have the most experience in?
- How much have you worked with Medicare/Medicaid cases?
- What are some examples of elder law cases that you’ve worked on in the past?
Make your own list that pertains to you. Pull out all the stops before you meet.
Cast a Wide Enough Net
Your “Medicaid planning attorney near me” search should go well beyond a few blocks. Look for the best attorney in your county or state.
Anyone licensed to handle your case, really. The wider your search, the better your chance of finding the right person. If you’ve done the other steps on this list, you’ll be able to parse the data pretty quickly.
Finding the Right Elder Law Attorney Will Put You at Ease
An elder law attorney can help you or your loved one navigate the many legal and financial concerns associated with the golden years. By having a firm grasp on your own situation, seeing what others are saying, and knowing what to ask, you’ll find the right person for the job. For more legal articles, check out some of our additional posts!