When senior citizens experience health problems, their loved ones often wonder what to do next. What if a legal issue arises? How do you find the best lawyer to protect the interests of your elderly family member? And when does a senior citizen need a lawyer? For assistance with these or other confounding issues, consider contacting an expert elder law attorney from Burzynski.
This write-up will discuss what to consider when finding a good elder law attorney. This information will help take the guesswork out of finding a knowledgeable and competent elder law counselor for your loved one.
Consider the Elderly Family Member’s Needs
Before searching for an expert elder law attorney, you should keep a few aspects in mind. For starters, consider the needs of your elderly family member. What legal issues are they facing? Do they need help with estate planning, long-term care planning, or other issues? It’s crucial to find an attorney who specializes in or is familiar with the area of law that would best serve your loved one’s needs.
The Lawyer’s Reputation
Next, you’ll want to consider the reputation of the lawyer. What do other people say about them? Sure, a quick online search for “elder law attorneys near me” can reveal several options. But, not every council who holds themselves out as the best in their line of work is actually what they claim to be. Thus, once you’ve narrowed your options, you can set up consultations with each lawyer on your list. That way, you’ll better understand who would be the best fit for your loved one.
To get to know an elder law counsel and their practice, you need to ask pointed questions during the initial consultation. Here are examples of questions you can ask prospective candidates:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you have experience working with senior citizens?
- What is your approach to elder law cases?
- Do you have time to take on new clients?
- What are your fees, and how do you charge for your services?
Asking these questions will give you a better idea of the lawyer’s experience and whether or not they would be ideal for your loved one’s situation. An experienced lawyer could make all the difference when handling a senior citizen’s affairs. While at it, evaluate the prospective attorney’s mannerisms. Do they appear interested in your issue, or are they quick to interject and provide solutions? Ideally, it would be best to find a personable, attentive, and compassionate lawyer who understands your loved one’s plight and is genuinely interested in helping them.
Seek out Recommendations
Talk to the people in your circle- family members, friends, family lawyers, or other people you trust- and seek out their referrals or recommendations. You may get reliable referrals from people who know a particular attorney professionally or have benefited from their services.
Your local bar association may come in handy if a referral isn’t forthcoming. In that regard, they can give you the names of attorneys in your area who specialize in elder law. Also, you may check out the American Bar Association, which offers referrals or searchable bar directories on their site.
Alternatively, contact local agencies that regularly work with seniors. These include:
- The Alzheimer’s Association
- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
- Nursing homes or elder care facilities
- Support groups for cancer, dementia, and Parkinson’s patients.
Such agencies can point you in the right direction. They are more likely to deal with elder law counselors or handle senior citizens needing legal services.
Check Credentials and References
Once you have a few names to work with, it’s time to do your homework and check each lawyer’s credentials. Are they licensed to practice law in your state? Do they have any disciplinary actions against them? You can check this information on the state bar website or by calling the bar office.
It’s also a good idea to ask for references from each lawyer. These should be clients who have used their services in the past and can attest to their abilities. Once you have all this information, you’ll be able to decide which lawyer is best suited to help your elderly family member.
If everything checks out and you’re ready to enlist the help of a specific attorney, ensure you make the most out of your initial and subsequent appointments. And for the best outcome, communicate openly with the attorney so they can address your elderly family member’s legal pain points.