9 Tips For Hiring a Good Real Estate Attorney

Baltimore investment property requires hiring a good real estate attorney. This is because most of the attorneys are unfamiliar with property transactions and have never invested themselves. Hence, they are good only for giving advice that prevents them from getting sued. They cannot tell you how to churn more dollars from a deal. Surely, you don’t wish to be content with such an attorney, right?   A competent real estate attorney for Baltimore investment property is one who tells you everything about the risks involved in transactions. Not only this. They also suggest options of carrying out real estate transactions profitably. In other words, he or she points out at the problems and offers solutions. When an attorney refrains from talking about risks of real estate; when he or she detects problems but doesn’t talk about solution; or when your attorney kills the deals methodically (most attorneys are famous for killing deals), you are with the wrong person.

4 Things To Do For Hiring A Good Real Estate Attorney

  • Join an association for real estate investors in your city and ask for referrals.
  • Ask around people who have invested and used the services of an attorney.
  • Contact title companies as well as real estate agents for referrals.
  • Forget the Yellow Pages. You can’t just pick any attorney who claims to know about Baltimore investment property.

Remember, there are 5 subgroups of real estate law:

  • Agricultural
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Residential
  • Landlord-Tenant

For each subgroup, there are lawyers. There are also lawyers for environmental law and construction law. Each lawyer is an expert in his or her field and can’t give you sound advice in other fields. Therefore, it’s important that you choose a lawyer, who is specialist in a particular field. Typically, in real estate, there are two kinds of lawyers – one who tackles lawsuits and the other who deals with contract matters. The former are known as litigators and the latter are the transactional lawyers. There are also some lawyers who handle both matters. However, it’s best to hire someone who is a specialist in one matter or the other. So, for Baltimore investment property, a transactional lawyer is ideal, unless you’re entangled in a lawsuit for which you may require a litigator.

5 Things To Know About Your Attorney Before Hiring Them

  • Whether they possess any rental property.
  • The number of closings that normally carry out every year.
  • Their recent odd transactions.
  • Whether they have done foreclosures, evictions, condo conversions, or zoning board appeals.
  • Whether they are well versed with terms like installment land contract, lease or option, wraparound mortgage, and other such real estate jargon.

When an attorney opens his or her mouth, you can at once get a feel of whether you’re sitting with an expert or a fake. That’s why it’s always recommended that you have a face-to-face talk with a lawyer before hiring him or her for Baltimore investment property. 

Why You Should Hire an Uncontested Divorce Attorney

Uncontested divorce is the way many individuals handle their divorce. Therefore, it makes sense to hire an uncontested divorce attorney to explain and handle all the details. The fact is, a no contest divorce can be extremely simple and very inexpensive, and it gives you and your spouse a way to end your marriage in a quiet manner and with dignity for both people involved. Needless to say, it is not the right move for everybody, but it can be the right choice for many more couples who want a speedy divorce.

In this day and age, divorce is a word that has become, unfortunately common to hear often, if not every day in someone’s life. Married couples who decide they are not able to live with one another for whatever reason many times feel that a No Contest Divorce is the way to go.

An uncontested divorce is when a married couple decides that although they do not want to be married any longer, they also do not want to enter into a messy divorce. A messy divorce meaning that the couple cannot come to any agreement on how to split the marital assets. Often time’s bitterness and anger can develop between the man and woman when no agreement can be made. When a couple decides to go through with an uncontested divorce, they are not only sparring themselves with a long, drawn out battle, they also will spend less money and less time on getting the divorce final.

Hiring a divorce lawyer is quite simple and easy. A good divorce attorney will sit down with the couple and explain how fast, easy and easy on the pocketbook an un-contested divorce can be.

An uncontested divorce attorney will usually be able to handle the details of the divorce in the attorney’s office. Because of the fact that the couple are not in conflict about any material items that was obtained during the marriage, going in front of a judge will most likely be none or one to two times.

Getting a divorce, whether uncontested or contested can be a scary ordeal and often times expensive. The attorney you choose to represent you should be not only applicable to take on the uncontested divorce, but also should speak with both parties and make sure that this is the type of divorce that they both will benefit from. So with that said getting a knowledgeable uncontested divorce attorney makes sense for both parties involved.

An uncontested, also often times can be called a “no-fault” divorce is one in which there is a simple and mutual agreement to get a divorce and in which both man and woman have agreed together who gets what in regards to the division of any assets, debts that were acquired in the marriage, liabilities, custody of any children, cash, child support and, in some cases, spousal support.

Such prior arrangements allow the divorce to start and end with less hurt feelings. The ability for both people in the divorce to be at peace with the decisions that were made and moving forth in your life is what an uncontested divorce attorney ultimately wants for any client. Of course there are no winners or losers when one faces a possible divorce, basically it is really a simple and quiet end of a legal relationship.

So when you are facing a possible divorce, explore all your options. Talk to a divorce attorney before doing anything on the spur of the moment. You may be glad you did.

Homemade Deeds, Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney Can Lead to Disaster

Before I became a lawyer, I thought I could do things myself and not have to pay exorbitant attorney’s fees. Now I am educated enough to know that lawyers are trained to help you execute your legal documents correctly. The fee you pay is far cheaper than doing it yourself and getting hit with unexpected tax or inheritance consequences. Here are a few examples.

Transfer property to children or make children Joint tenants. I had a client whose parents had put her and her sister’s name on property the parents already owned as joint tenants. The idea was that the children would inherit without probate when the parents died. They did inherit without a need for a probate order, and because they were children, there was no increase in taxes when the parents died. But when sister died, my client was hit with a hefty jump in property taxes because she and her sister were not original purchasers and a transfer between sisters, even as joint tenants, is not exempt from reappraisal. The cost of the yearly jump in taxes could have been avoided by consulting a lawyer before they took matters into their own hands and added the children to the deed.

One lady was advised by “friends” to put her only son on title of her home as a joint tenant to avoid probate and not have to make a trust. After she transferred the house to her son, her son got in an accident while driving drunk, was sued and had a judgment against him and his property, which included the house. Mom lost the house because she tried to avoid probate the cheap way.

Record deed. Sometimes clients want to avoid the relatively small fee the attorney charges to draft and record a deed for them. I had one lady who sat on the deed and never recorded it for 25 years because she didn’t want to pay the attorney $250. That meant her trust was unfunded (nothing was put in it), and, had she died, her estate would have gone through probate, even with a trust, because she never “funded” the trust. An unfunded trust is not a valid trust.

Another client tried to draft, execute, and record the deed funding the trust on his own. When he had tried three times and had it rejected by the recorder each time, he came back to me to do it correctly. The time and effort it takes to keep doing it wrong is not worth a few hundred dollars. At least the Recorder informed the man the deed was improper. He could have recorded it and after the client’s death, the trustee could have discovered it was not a valid deed and been forced to submit a Heggstad petition to the Probate court at a significantly higher cost than letting the attorney do it in the first place.

One couple had 8 properties and insisted they would record all properties by themselves rather than pay me $250 each for me to do it for them. Three years later, they had not yet done so and their trust was still unfunded. Result: the trust I did for them is not yet valid. If they died today, their estate would go through probate, even though they spent a couple of thousand dollars executing the trust.

Finally, another client did not make sure his niece in another state signed and notarized the grant deed transferring property into his estate, so it was not in his estate when he died. Result: the client did not legally own the property and the heirs were out of luck.

Durable power of attorney that doesn’t include the proper powers. I frequently see powers of attorney done from an internet form that don’t include the power to revoke, amend or terminate trusts. Of course, the client wants to be able to amend the trust and has no authority to do so. I see many do-it-yourself forms that are called “limited powers” but the space where the limited power is to be stated is left blank. Result: the power is not limited. Finally, the do-it-yourself forms you find on the internet don’t tell you how to sign as “attorney-in-fact ” and I’ve seen people get in trouble for simply signing the name of the principal and thinking they were signing properly as attorney-in-fact when they were actually committing forgery.

Having an attorney draft a complete power of attorney and give the principal adequate warnings about the awesome power he or she is entrusting to the attorney-in-fact is by far the safest and, in the end, cheapest way to obtain these important, and essential, documents.

Executing an Advance Health Care Directive on a standard form that doesn’t include your particular wishes or exceptions. Though these forms are adequate, I like to make sure my clients have thought about and decided on their wishes for life-sustaining treatment, so the agent doesn’t have to guess and will be required to follow the principal’s stated wishes. The standard forms have no options for the possible wishes a client might prefer, so I attach the client’s desires to my advance health care directives.

The reason I’m in estate planning is to help people. However, I prefer helping people create good planning documents that will prevent those issues that might arise from poor planning done by an amateur rather than a professional. My advice is: Don’t try to do estate planning documents yourself. The money you save by letting a qualified attorney prepare your estate plan is your own! And it can be a significant savings!

5 Qualities to Look for in a Divorce Attorney

When it’s time to decide on a divorce lawyer, take advantage of the free visits that most attorney’s offer. Talk to several lawyers. When you’re done, how does this lawyer stack up? Here are 5 things to consider.

  1. Is the Attorney Honest with You? Ask some hard questions. Is there a special asset you want to keep? Ask if it can be protected? Do you want spousal support? See if the attorney thinks it could happen. Judge the answers and compare your first visits. If any lawyer is telling you just what you want to hear, cross that firm off your list.
  2. Can the Attorney be Your Champion? Do you sense that he believes what you have to say about why you’re getting a divorce and does he agree with the outcome you are seeking? You want a lawyer who is firmly on your side and ready to fight for you if necessary.
  3. Is this Attorney Knowledgeable? Ask about the attorney’s experience and ready any online reviews or rankings. Be sure to ask if he has handled cases that have the same rough spots as yours and what was their outcome. You want an attorney who is knowledgeable about divorce laws in your state and one who is knowledgeable about any special issues or concerns you case might have. You also want an attorney who is looking ahead at your future and helping you plan for life after divorce with advice on anything from dealing with child custody issues to financial issues.
  4. Can the Lawyer Act and Not React? Words you don’t want to hear are “let’s see what the other side has to say”. You want a lawyer who is willing to act on your behalf; not one who is just reacting to the demands or requests made by the opposing side. Check the attorney’s reputation in the legal community. Is he or she well respected by peers and judges? That respected legal professional is who you are looking for to represent you.
  5. How Does the Lawyer Treat You? Do you feel that this attorney is ready to help you through a hard part of your life? You should feel respected and you should feel that the attorney is compassionate and ready to help. Again, ask some questions. How long will it take the attorney to respond to a phone call if you have a question? Will you meet with him or a member of his staff? Even a simple divorce is difficult and you want to find an attorney that will give you the support you need.

An experienced divorce lawyer should answer your questions and never be irritated or antagonistic because you are asking them. You want a divorce attorney who understands you, understands the issues in your divorce and will help you come out the other side ready for a new start.

How to Choose the Best Estate Planning Attorney For You and Your Family

Legacy & Estate Planning allows clients to address their values, finances and legacy plan progress. For most professionals and entrepreneurs the importance of proper estate planning need not be stressed. When you hear the term estate, it refers to everything that you have worked hard to accumulate. Your home, real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cars, life insurance, business interests, artwork and jewelry. Without proper planning and based on the amount of total assets that you own there could be a hefty tax bill to upwards of 55%. Additionally, your beneficiaries may also be delayed and inconvenienced with all of the requirements in settling your estate.

When you arrive at the important decision to hire an estate planner you want the best for your family. You will have to consider if you want a traditional estate planner who only focuses on the hard numbers and physical assets or would you prefer a holistic counselor who also incorporates legacy development and planning into the process. Conscientious adults make an effort to bank with the best, invest with the best and associate with the best. When seeking to hire a planner the qualities you need to look for include the following.

Trustworthiness

The sensitivity of your personal financial matters dictates that you need to have a high level of trust in the counselor who assists you with planning. Most high net worth individuals utilize a team approach that includes their accountant, their financial advisor and an estate planning attorney. Each of these professionals typically are competent and knowledgeable and have earned the clients trust over time and through reputation. The importance of using the team is that most already have these separate advisors in place, in order to keep an orderly ship, communication and collaboration is stressed so that all goals can be working simultaneously toward similar objectives. A separate approach often leads to undesired inefficiencies.

Professionalism

You should hire an estate planning lawyer that is highly professional. Your estate planning lawyer should be a recognized leader in his or her field and typically hold a special certification or advanced legal degree. In many instances your estate planning lawyer will be standing in your shoes as a professional representative of your interests and affairs. It is important that such an important representative properly represent your family’s good will and precious resources. If you have a complicated situation or lots of assets, choose someone experienced with complex situations and issues so they will always be a shining reflection of your initial decision to hire them in the first place.

Ethics

Since estate planning will deal with all or most of your assets, you should hire an estate planning lawyer that is reliable and ethical. This fact can be checked by asking the lawyer if anyone has ever filed a complaint against them in the past. Most will answer honestly, but it is a question of ethics so one should always stay alert. An ethical estate planning lawyer should consider all your needs and best interests above everything else. An ethical planner will always provide sound and legal advice and never recommend faddish or illegal scams to save or hide money.

Commitment

Commitment to a high standard of quality is a good characteristic in an estate planning attorney. Your planner should provide a warm and courteous environment that fosters a sense of security and accomplishment. Attention to the smallest detail in addressing every last issue in your legacy and estate planning process is the trademark of and excellent planning institution. Your planner is willing to stay until the job is complete and will not have problems working with your investment advisor, accountant and insurance professional. In the most productive relationships your planner is a multi-generational partner who will work with you side-by-side through a process that at times can be long and arduous, but is made simple and enjoyable due to their enthusiasm and pride in their work.

When you take the time to consider the long term implications of preparing a solid plan the question of who will prepare my plan becomes far more important. Utilize these tips and you should find a rewarding and securing planning experience just around the corner.

Attorney Wardrobe Advice From An Image Consultant

ATTORNEYS

This article explains how attorneys should dress. It focuses on suits, hairstyles, footwear, and accessories.

LAWYERS AND SUITS

As we look at the legal profession we usually see men and women in suits, but few attorneys, including the most experienced, are aware of the unwritten rules covering their most prized outfit, the business suit. As image consultants we look beyond the surface and can tell you that your suit needs to be in earth tones, tailored neatly, and made of wool or a wool blend, except in the summer when Belgian cotton is acceptable.

Men often forget to have a second fitting. Demand one. Women usually neglect to have their jackets tailored, leading to bumps and wrinkles that will cost them points in the minds of clients, colleagues, and judges. The best advice we can give you is to look at Jay Leno and observe how his suits fit. Copy that style. Shop at Brooks Brothers or other quality stores. Avoid stores that don’t have tailors on staff.

SHOES FOR ATTORNEYS

The only two shoe styles acceptable for male attorneys are black cap-toes and wingtips. No other shoes are as inoffensive and effective. Yes, F. Lee Bailey does wear boots. But he’s F. Lee Bailey.

Female attorneys often make the mistake of matching shoes to suits. This only works when your outfit is black. Female attorneys should not wear light-colored shoes. They send the wrong signals. Nor should your toes be visible. You need to wear black pumps, with heels no more than two and a half inches high.

HAIRSTYLES AND ACCESSORIES

Male attorneys need to have neat hair, trimmed around the ears. It should not be too shiny with gel. It should not have the spiky look common with college students. Judges react unfavorably to such styles.

Female attorneys can wear different hairstyles as long as their hair does not pass their shoulders. They can even wear it up in a semblance of a beehive or bouffant look, if it’s not excessive and if it’s neat.

Attorneys should have the best accessories. Luxurious leather briefcases. Gold Cross pens. Leather wallets. Movado wristwatches. Simplicity. Fine lines. No sport watches at work.

Following these suggestions will ensure that you’re at least not making major mistakes and turning off clients, colleagues, and judges.

Copyright (c) 2011 William Cane

Five Common Misconceptions About Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a binding legal document, one that effectively allows someone you nominate to make certain kinds of decision and act on your behalf. Powers of Attorney are usually used if you either become unable to work for yourself, or you do not wish to act for yourself.

There are many reasons why you might choose to make one, including being out of the country or hospitalised for an extended period and you need someone to mind your assets while you are away; or to protect yourself and your assets should you lose mental capacity.

However, a lot of us put this job off due to, among other things, certain misconceptions.

This article aims to debunk some of the most commonly held misconceptions regarding a Power of Attorney.

Misconception One: Attorneys, once nominated, cannot do whatever they like

This is one of the main fears people have about giving someone else control over their assets. However, it is entirely unfounded as attorneys are heavily restricted in what they can and cannot do.

There are various checks and balances in place to make sure an attorney does not abuse their position, including a set of rules regarding getting the power registered so it can be used at all.

The first set of restrictions come from you. When creating a power, specifically a lasting power, there is an opportunity for you to put as many or as little restrictions on your attorneys. For example, if you are setting up a financial lasting power, to allow our relatives to look after your finances should you lose capacity, then you can state clearly on the paperwork that while your attorneys can do X, Y & Z they cannot sell your home, or they must all decide together before spending an amount over £X.

The second set of restrictions comes from the Office of the Public Guardian which lay down clear rules for how an attorney must behave, including preventing them acting outside the power given in the power and making sure they always act in the donor’s best interest.

Misconception Two: You must use the Power of Attorney the moment it is made, or You cannot make a Power of Attorney until you know you will need it soon.

A lot of us put this job off as we are not in the position where we need it now or (to our knowledge) in the imminent future.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always give you warnings and powers of attorney are not just for the elderly who may have concerns about dementia. Anything can happen that could cause you to need an attorney immediately, including a sudden and unexpected hospital admittance, an unplanned trip out of the country, or, tragically, an accident which causes you to lose capacity.

It is wise to create a power long before it is needed, especially a lasting power of Attorney (expressly designed for a loss of capacity).

It is entirely possible to write and sign a lasting power but keep hold of it until you need it or want to use it. This is because for a Lasting power to be used it must be registered until it is registered it is just a piece of paper with no power or purpose, and it can sit in a drawer until needed.

You could easily create and sign a Lasting power when you are in your 30’s and not register it until you need it in your 70’s.

Misconception Three: You can wait until someone loses capacity before making a Lasting Power of Attorney

This ties in with the above misconception and is completely wrong. Making this mistake can cost you and your loved one’s thousands of pounds.

To make a lasting power or a general power the person making it must have capacity. There is no way around this. If you lose capacity, you cannot make a Power of Attorney and your loved ones must apply for what is called a Guardianship of you and your assets, which costs over a thousand pounds and takes several months to sort out.

Considering that you could put together a power yourself for free or use a solicitor for £200 (depending on the firm, shop around) it should be a no brainer that this is the superior document.

It is also worth noting that if you make a general power and then lose capacity your general power loses all its power. If you had made a lasting power when you had capacity then subsequently lose capacity your attorneys can register the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian immediately and start helping you with your finances and care.

Misconception Four: A Power of Attorney is for Life

This simply is not true.

There are different types of Power of Attorney, Lasting and General. Lasting powers (you might have guessed from the name) are usually long term. However, a general power is not.

A general power is a document that you can set up to allow someone to look after an affair of yours while you are not able to, if, for example, you are out of the country, hospitalised for a few months or unable to leave the house for a while. A general power gives someone else authority to act on your behalf for a particular reason, to perform a specific task or for a specific length of time. As soon as you become able to manage your affairs again, you can destroy the general power.

Misconception Five: You can only have one attorney

The role of attorney is challenging at times, and there is a lot of responsibility.

So rather than put all of that responsibility onto one individual you can spread that about by having more than one attorney. This second person is called a joint attorney.

You can appoint any number of attorneys in the same power, and you can specify if they can act on their own separately or if they must cooperate and come together to decide. You can have them act jointly on some issues such as sale of property but have them work singly on all other matters there is a lot of flexibility, and it is entirely up to you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is a lot to consider when making a Power of Attorney, but it is not a decision that should be put off.

When to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Are you a motorcycle rider? If so, you need to know that there is a saying that it’s not if you’re going to have an accident, it’s when. There are two kinds of cyclists – one who has had an accident, and one who hasn’t had one yet. Not very encouraging if you get around on two wheels.

If the inevitable has happened, and you found yourself sprawled along the asphalt, chances are that you have suffered pretty significant injuries and probably have lost your bike as well. This is about the time to consider seeing a motorcycle crash attorney.

Hopefully, there was a police report taken, and witness statements given. Medical records will be helpful, as well as the insurance claim information. These will all be a vital part of the case that your motorcycle accident attorney will use to establish your case. Dealing with the insurance companies involved, both yours and the other parties’ as well is a major undertaking. This is what the staff of your motorcycle injury lawyer will coordinate and gather information on.

Due to the fact that cycle riders are very vulnerable, the injuries are frequently very serious, if not life-changing. Common injuries caused in motorbike accidents often include head injuries, internal injuries, broken arms, legs, and neck injuries as well. Many riders suffer from TBIs, otherwise known as Traumatic Brain injuries. The cost of medical for these types of injuries can be enormous.

If you do not have adequate medical insurance coverage, these costs can be personally catastrophic, often resulting in having to declare personal bankruptcy. It may be tempting to reach a quick settlement with the insurance company, but do not let fear rush you into a low settlement. Remember that it is the job of the insurance company to reach a low, quick settlement.

Remember that it is the job of your motorcycle crash attorney to represent you in the best way possible, and fight for the best settlement possible for you.

Know More on How To Hire A DUI Attorney

If you have got involved in a DUI case, you are in serious trouble. And that is the reason you need a good attorney specializing in DUI field. You have the right to find the most experienced attorney to meet your needs. If you are not comfortable with one who is there just to empty your pocket and run away, you should wait and hire one who you have complete trust in. Given below are a couple of tips that may help you to make this choice with ease so that you can get out of trouble as soon as possible.

Ask questions

Hiring a good law professional is very important, especially if you use your car to go to your office or workplace. You should ask questions to your attorney before hiring him. Ask them if they can keep your case off the record? What strategies do they use to win cases? How many DUI cases have they handled so far? Do they specialize in taking DUI cases, or do they take all types of cases? How many cases have they won so far?

Answers to these questions will resolve a lot of your concerns, and you will be able to make the choice easily.

Do they give clear answers?

If the attorney is not giving clear answers to your questions, go for some other professional. If you are not convinced by their answers, do you think the judge will be convinced either? The answers to your questions should be understandable. Good attorneys keep answering their clients’ questions until they are totally satisfied.

Know the Costs

The attorney should give you a good idea of how much the whole process will cost them. At times, it happens that clients get an extra bill of $5000 just because their case got complicated and went to trial. You thought it was included in the fee you already agreed on, but it was not. So, make sure you get all the fees in writing, and each item should be clearly defined in the agreement.

Interview several attorneys

Don’t hire the first attorney you were impressed by. In some cases, when a defendant is getting to know about the legal matters of a DUI case for the first time, an attorney may leave them awestruck. So, don’t just hire the first professional you interview. They may not be the best attorney in the world. The only way to hire the best one is to interview as many professionals as you can. This will add to your experience and you will be able to differentiate between a good attorney and a bad one.

Stay informed

Make sure you stay in touch with the attorney you hired. This doesn’t mean they should call you over and over again for tiny details. What this means is that they should be willing to answer your calls when you need an update on the progress. Your attorney should never avoid you. They should get in touch with before making major decisions related to your case.

So, with these tips in mind, you will have a great chance of hiring the best DUI attorney.

Why You Need An Elder Law Attorney

A lot of people make plans for retirement but don’t map out a way to achieve those plans. Other times, we make plans for our golden years with blinders on. We imagine only happy circumstances in which our biggest concern is which cruise to take in any given year. The reality is, people get sick, they age and they run out of money or they lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. This is where a good elder law attorney can help.

These attorneys specialize in helping people plan for the future and provide legal services to seniors. Not only that, they can help seniors make the most of the challenging situations they may face. With years of experience in the field and plenty of resources at their disposal, these legal professionals may be the greatest resource you can have to get you through your golden years with the support you need.

Elder Law Areas Of Expertise

Elder law professionals help their clients navigate the legal situations that are unique to older and retired individuals. Common areas of expertise include:

• Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, claims and appeals

• Tax Law

• Estate Planning and Administration

• Healthcare Directives, Planning and Insurance Needs

• Wills, Trusts and Probate

• Long-term Care Planning

• Conservatorships and Guardianships

• Nursing Home Placement, Abuse and Neglect

• Asset Protection

• Social Security and Disability

• Powers of Attorney

• Elder Abuse and Fraud

• Housing Issues

• Age Discrimination

• Retirement Planning

When To Seek The Help Of An Elder Care Specialist

Anytime you are facing legal issues as a senior citizen or need to help aged family members, it’s a good idea to consult an elder law attorney. Although you may feel that a family attorney can handle your needs just as well, this is not always the case. These attorneys lack the specialized legal knowledge needed to navigate the issues facing seniors and many not understand the unique situations seniors face. Attorneys who work with seniors regularly have other non-legal senior resources at their disposal that may prove helpful as well. They can often refer clients to social service agencies, nursing homes or home health care agencies based on their professional network alone.

Choosing A Lawyer

Once you start researching elder law attorneys you’ll notice that each attorney has his or her own area of expertise. It is rare to find one attorney who is fluent in every aspect of the field. It’s much more common to find one who has focused his or her practice on a few specific areas. This being the case, it makes sense to first identify what specific area you need help with. Do you need help designing a will or making an estate plan or do you need help with Medicare claims? Whatever your needs, find an attorney who has experience in that area but who has enough knowledge to know if the actions you take will affect you under other areas of law.

Start your search for a lawyer with local senior services agencies or healthcare providers. Ask for recommendations. Check with the local area council on aging, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys or the state or local bar associations. You may even be able to get a referral from attorneys you already know. Once you have some names in hand make time for a face-to-face interview. You will be sharing some very personal information with this attorney. You want to find someone who you connect with and trust and who understands your needs and feelings and can provide you with the moral support you may need to get through the legal issues you’re facing.