Elder Law: When Do I Need an Attorney?

Worried about your parents or relatives as they age? The following situations require elder law legal advice:

Estate Planning

An estate planning lawyer can help your loved one distribute their assets after death while avoiding taxes and liabilities. If your parents have more than $2,000 in assets when they begin receiving nursing home or end-of-life care, they are not allowed to use MassHealth funds until they have exhausted their own wealth. By placing your loved ones’ assets in trusts or in certain types of insurance and annuities, however, estate planning lawyers can exempt their wealth from this requirement, ensuring you a larger inheritance.

Nursing Home Care

Placing your loved ones in a nursing home is as difficult financially as it is emotionally. If your parents cannot pay for their own care, Massachusetts law requires you to reimburse Medicaid for their nursing home costs. To avoid these costs, you will either have to prove that your parents did not support you in your youth or that you do not have sufficient means.

Age Discrimination

If your loved ones continue to work in their old age, they may be vulnerable to age discrimination. Employers often try to force their elderly employees to retire or deny them standard raises and opportunities, making it difficult for the elderly to maintain steady employment. Age discrimination is illegal, but often difficult to prove. If you believe your loved ones are suffering from discrimination, consult a lawyer and gather as much evidence as you can of mistreatment. You may have cause for legal action.

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