What Does Elder Law Include?
Elder law can include any of the legal issues that can affect people who are in the later stages of their lives. This can incorporate matters like probate, estate planning, wills, trusts and in California, Medi-Cal planning. As we begin to near the end of our lives, there comes a time when it becomes necessary for us to consult with a life care attorney to put together a plan for what is going to happen regarding the future care of our children, spouses, other loved ones, and assets upon our death or our untimely incapacitation.
Probate is simply the process of officially going through a deceased person’s estate in a court of law. Included must be notifying all their heirs, distributing all their assets, and settling their debts. Any time an individual dies, there are multiple options available for avoiding the stress and expenses of probate, if proper estate planning occurred before their death. A Woodland Hills life planning and elder law attorney can educate you on how to use trusts and other tools to avoid probate and ease some of the suffering that your loved ones will have to experience after you are gone.
As we approach the later stages of our lives, many people will find themselves in need of long term care in a nursing home. The average cost of a nursing home in California is about $8,000 a month. Many California residents require the assistance of Medi-Cal coverage to pay for this type of long term care. Medi-Cal, however, requires very strict income and asset limitations be met in order to qualify for the assistance program.
If you or a family member has not taken the time to plan for when Medi-Cal coverage and nursing home care becomes a necessity, they may not qualify for Medi-Cal coverage and then be required to lose most of their assets in order to qualify later. This does not have to happen. The Medi-Cal planning attorneys at The Estate Planning Law Center in Woodland Hills, California can help you to arrange your assets and income in advance, in a way where you can qualify for Medi-Cal and also save much of your estate.
Why Do I Need An Elder Law Attorney?
Probate and elder law are two very complex and technical areas of law with stringent rules and regulations. In many California counties, it is not allowed for an individual to attempt to probate an estate without an elder law attorney due to the amount of errors that are simply unavoidable for people without real legal training.
If you find yourself facing a family member’s need for nursing home care and you can’t afford to spend many thousands of dollars on care each month, you need legal help. The complicated details of Medi-Cal planning, especially once the situation has become an emergency, require prompt consultation with a California elder law attorney. You simply will not be taken seriously by a nursing home without a lawyer.
What To Look For In An Elder Law Attorney In Woodland Hills, CA?
These days, attorneys seem to be everywhere, and all of them seem to be claiming that they are the perfect attorney for you. How could they possibly know that if they’ve yet to sit down and talk to you in person? The decision to choose a certain elder law attorney in Woodland Hills, CA shouldn’t be made as a result of being bombarded by ads touting the superiority of that attorney, nor should it be made simply on the basis of what you think you can afford. In order to ensure a strong relationship with your attorney for years to come, there must be a foundation characterized by the following:
Perhaps nothing is more important than feeling as though you can trust your elder law attorney. When dealing with end-of-life matters such as estate planning, emotions can run high, and people often feel nervous and vulnerable. A good elder law attorney will not only acknowledge and understand this, but treat their clients in a way that makes them feel heard, understood, and cared for.
Calling up or walking into the office of your elder law attorney in Woodland Hills, CA should not be a stressful undertaking for you; it should be more like a reprieve—a place that provides a sense of stability and security during an otherwise unfamiliar and uncertain time. It’s critical that you feel comfortable communicating with your attorney, as this will allow you to ask all of your questions without hesitation, without feeling rushed, and without feeling judged. When you speak with your attorney, you should feel as though you are their only client.
- Effective communication
You may trust and feel comfortable around your attorney, but if you still feel as though you don’t really understand all of the options available to you, or why one course of action is being taken over another, then you and your attorney may not be communicating effectively. This will put you at a disadvantage for as long as you allow that attorney to handle your estate planning matters. Your attorney should make it their priority to ensure that your decisions are well-informed by their knowledge and expert advice, but that ultimately, only you are making them. After all, it is your life, your family, and your assets, and your attorney works for you: not the other way around.
- Experience and a good reputation
Of course, you should look for an elder law attorney who has extensive experience handling all matters of elder law and estate planning in Woodland Hills, CA. An attorney who specializes in elder law will be much better equipped to handle any issue you throw at them than an attorney who focuses on DUI defense or bankruptcy law, and only handles the occasional elder law case. Prior to hiring an elder law attorney in Woodland Hills, CA, you should also confirm their credentials and reputation by searching for their name on The State Bar of California website, and by reading reviews from prior clients, such as those on Avvo.
Why Choose The Estate Planning Law Center?
Estate planning can be a very sensitive matter. The issues surrounding estate planning and elder law require people to acknowledge their own mortality and, often times more difficultly, that of their beloved friends and family member. These are delicate issues that also require discussing private and personal details about our romantic lives, secretive family matters, and sometime troubled finances. As you put into place the final plans for what is going to happen to all the assets and income you’ve worked hard for upon the event of your death in Woodland Hills, CA, there is no question that you will require an elder law attorney you can really trust. The Estate Planning Law Center will expertly assist in your estate planning case with care and without judgment. Our seasoned elder law and life planning attorneys will listen to you respectfully and do precisely what you wish for your California estate. We offer direct communication and you will never again have to face feeling unsure of what might happen to your family if you pass away. Start Medi-Cal and estate planning as early in life as you possibly can. Call The Estate Planning Law Center today.