Who is a Qualified Elder Law Attorney? | Chicagoland Estate Planning & Eldercare Attorney-CPA Anthony B. Ferraro
Today I want to give you a brief lesson on what you need to know when selecting an elder law attorney. Remember that an elder law attorney’s practice focuses on the areas of estate and longevity planning, Medicaid, special needs trusts, and VA benefits for those over the age of 65. Unfortunately, you will see general practitioners who also identify themselves as elder law attorneys. The fact of the matter is, drafting simple wills and trusts DOES NOT make an attorney an elder law attorney. Sure, wills and trusts are certainly part of the elder law process at times, but elder law consists of so much more than that. What is not often communicated to the public is that wills really only control what happens after you die. Therefore, today’s seniors really need both an estate and longevity plan. A longevity plan will allow for seniors’ families to know what their wishes are in the event that they become incapacitated before they die. A traditional estate plan (a.k.a. death plan) is designed to do three things:
- Minimize estate taxes
- Avoid probate court
- Distribute assets from the deceased person to his or her heirs
- How many Medicaid applications does the firm do in a year?
- How many veterans does the firm assist with VA aid and attendance benefits per year?
- How many Elder Law oriented estate plans has the firm done this year?
- Are your powers of attorney documents tailored to senior issues?