How An Elder Law Attorney Can Help You by KulasLawFL

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									HOW AN ELDER LAW
   ATTORNEY
  CAN HELP YOU
 Learn More About the Different Legal Issues
   Elder Law Attorneys Help their Clients
      and their Loved Ones Deal With




              ROBERT J. KULAS
   FLORIDA ESTATE AND MEDICAID PLANNING ATTORNEY
         A lot of people realize that they need to talk to a lawyer if they are
         involved in an accident, are being sued, or are facing a criminal
         charge. But fewer people realize that there are many legal issues that
         affect people as they get older that require an attorney’s advice and
         assistance. These issues include everything from financial, to health
         care, and similar related topics that seniors and elderly people
         commonly have to face. Further, children and relatives of elderly
         people often have numerous questions that revolve around what their
         options are as their loved ones get older.

         Attorneys lump all of these topics together into the broad category of
         “elder law.” As its name implies, elder law deals with issues that
         mostly affects the elderly. The term elder law doesn’t have a specific
         legal definition, but instead is a general term to describe issues that
         seniors, and their loved ones, most often face. Here are several issues
         that elder law attorneys help their clients deal with.

         ESTATE PLANNING

                                                   No one lives forever, and
                                                   preparing for your eventual
                                                   demise is what estate
                                                   planning is all about. With an
                                                   estate plan in place, you can
                                                   rest assured that you have
                                                   properly addresses such
                                                   issues as inheritances. You




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         can protect and provide for your family after you are gone, as well as
         make sure that your final wishes will be honored.

         Like many elder law issues, estate planning is something that affects
         more than just seniors. Younger people should also pay close
         attention to estate planning issues because of the possibility that they
         might one day die prematurely, or become incapacitated.

         Creating an estate plan involves
         determining what your current
         situation is, what options you
         have available to you, and what
         you would want to happen after
         you are gone. Typical estate
         planning instruments include
         wills, trusts, and other devices.

         INCAPACITY
         PLANNING

         Similar to estate planning, incapacity planning deals with issues that
         arise should you lose your ability to express yourself or make choices.
         This is especially important for seniors because many of the health
         concerns they worry about often have incapacity issues associated
         with them. For example, people who are diagnosed with medical
         conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have to make
         difficult choices about their future. These conditions will eventually




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         lead to the loss of capacity. When that happens, someone else will




         have to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf.

         An incapacity plan looks ahead to this time and creates tools that give
         you the ability to effectively make your choices now. For example, an
         incapacity plans include advance medical directives. Through these
         directives you can tell your doctors what kind of medical treatment
         you want to receive when you are incapacitated. You can also appoint
         someone who will be able to speak to your physicians, review your
         medical records, and then make choices on your behalf in accordance
         with the guidance you have laid out in your directives.

         LONG-TERM CARE PLANNING
         Our ability to look after ourselves decreases as we age. For some people this
         decline is slow and gradual, while for others it occurs quickly. Regardless of
         your individual circumstances, you can create a long-term care plan that
         looks ahead to the time when you might possibly need others to care for
         you.




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         Long-term care planning involves financial evaluations, looking at potential
         sources of government assistance, as well as choosing between different
         care options. For example, some elderly people who require assistance only
         require occasional help. In these situations it might be beneficial for an
         elderly person to stay in
         their home but acquire the
         services of a part-time
         assistant to perform some
         basic tasks.

         In other situations elderly
         people are perfectly
         capable of looking after
         their day-to-day needs, but
         prefer to give their
         financial responsibilities over to someone else.

         In yet other situations an elderly person might require care that can only be
         provided by a nursing home or elder care facility. Nursing homes and elder
         care facilities are often very expensive, with an average yearly expense
         exceeding $70,000. A long-term care plan can include strategies that will
         help you pay for these costs. Whether you structure your assets to protect as
         much of your property as possible, use long-term care insurance, or plan on
         using government programs such as Medicaid, having a long-term care
         plan in place is essential.




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         DISCRIMINATION AND ABUSE

         Not all of the issues that elder law attorneys deal with arise out of
         planning concerns. Some issues, such as age discrimination or elder
         abuse, occur because others seek to take advantage of elderly people.

         Age discrimination is a serious concern for many working seniors or
         people above the age of 50. In many situations employers can illegally
         discriminate against older workers. When an older worker suffers age
         discrimination, they often have the right to sue employers for lost
         wages, liquidated damages, injunctive relief, or even reinstatement.

                                                        Elder abuse and neglect
                                                        is also a significant issue
                                                        that many elderly people
                                                        face. Abuse of the elderly
                                                        has risen significantly in
                                                        recent years. Not only
                                                        are many elderly people
         becoming the preferred target for con artists and identity thieves, but
         elderly people who have entrusted their finances to others can also be
         victimized by those they trust the most. In other cases, elderly people
         who are living in a nursing home or assisted living environments can
         suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of staff members who are
         supposed to care for them.




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         ELDER LAW ADVICE

         No two elder law situations are identical, and everyone facing a legal
         issue needs legal advice from an experienced attorney who has
         experience dealing with these issues. Many of the elder law issues
         people face have time components associated with them. If you delay
         in seeking legal counsel, you risk limiting your legal options and
         harming your interests. Whether you are a senior, an adult child with
         an elderly parent, or anyone concerned about an elder law issue, you
         need to speak to an elder law attorney as soon as possible.




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         About the Author

                               Robert J Kulas

                               Robert is the founder and principal shareholder in the Port
                               St. Lucie and Vero Beach law offices of Robert J. Kulas,
                               P.A. Because he believes that helping his clients manage
                               their personal affairs wisely is one of the most worthwhile
                               professional activities he can pursue, he has devoted his
                               practice exclusively to estate planning.

                                Robert has invested considerable time and energy helping
         to educate others in estate planning and is widely regarded as a dynamic speaker
         who can make even the most complex estate planning issues easy to grasp. He
         provides free monthly seminars to inform the public on the importance of proper
         estate planning. Over the past fifteen years, thousands of people have come to
         hear him speak. “Helping people understand their options for estate planning is
         very important to me,” Robert said. “I like to think that people in our community
         can look to me for the kind of quality information they need to decide what is best
         for them and their families.”

         About Robert J. Kulas, P.A. Attorneys at Law
         Robert J. Kulas, P.A. Attorneys at Law is a full service estate planning and wealth
         preservation law firm servicing Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, Florida.

         The firm is dedicated to providing you with quality estate planning resources, so
         you can become familiar with all of the existing options. When you visit or call the
         office, we want you to feel comfortable discussing such an important issue
         concerning both you and your family. We want to arm you with the information
         you need to make an informed decision about your family's future.




                                     www.kulaslaw.com
             East Lake Professional Center                     Univest Building
           2100 SE Hillmoor Drive, Suite 105           2770 Indian River Blvd., Suite 321
               Port St. Lucie, FL 34952                      Vero Beach, FL 32960
                Phone: (772) 398-0720                       Phone: (772) 778-8481




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