how to pick an elder abuse lawyer

by Annabell Bartoletti 4 min read

One of the best ways to choose an elder financial abuse attorney is to follow the recommendation of a trusted friend, relative, or business associate. Keep in mind that each legal case is different.

2 ways to find an elder law attorney
  1. 2 ways to find an elder law attorney. Get a referral from someone you know. ...
  2. Get a referral from someone you know. Getting a referral from family or a friend is a great way to find a lawyer. ...
  3. Check the National Academy of of Elder Law Attorneys.

Full Answer

What do you need to know about Elder Abuse Lawyers?

Elder abuse lawyers need to focus their attention on the changes in elder law and regulations of the health care industry. While elder abuse has unfortunately become a common occurrence, many times personal injury lawyers or other similar professionals can handle an elder abuse case.

How do I find an elder law attorney?

The National Academy of of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is the professional organization for attorneys who specialize in elder law and special needs planning. Their website includes an attorney finder to help you find an elder law attorney in your area. After getting referrals, you’ll still need to choose an attorney.

What kind of lawyer should I hire for an elder law case?

Also, good lawyers typically know other good lawyers and will probably be able to refer you to a colleague they respect. Similarly, financial advisors, accountants, and fiduciaries (someone legally appointed to manage money) are professionals who often work with elder law attorneys.

What to look for when hiring an attorney for an older adult?

So, it’s a good idea to look for a lawyer with experience handling matters similar to your older adult’s. For example, if they need a Power of Attorney, long term care planning, and estate planning, ask prospective attorneys to describe their experience with those matters.

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How to choose an elder financial abuse lawyer?

You must choose a lawyer who understands you, your family, its dynamics, the psychological issues that often come into play, and communicates clearly, sets firm boundaries, has proven experience, and is strategically able to prosecute your claims in your loved one’s county of residence. It is imperative that your elder financial abuse attorney is familiar with the decedent’s local superior or probate court.

What is elder financial abuse?

Elder financial abuse amongst family members is a common element of trust disputes, conservatorship disputes, and will disputes. It can involve everything from simple forgery to psychological coercion.

What is undue influence?

However, the term undue influence can refer to many other types of situations wherein any individual takes advantage of another, regardless of age, or familial relationship. A frequent example of elder abuse involves coercing a parent to change a will or trust to benefit the abuser.

What is contesting capacity?

Contesting Capacity. A core element of elder financial abuse often is the premise that the victim does not have the mental capacity to make financial decisions for themselves, whether due to a mental health condition or similar deficiency.

What are the warning signs of elder financial abuse?

Frequently, victims are afraid to admit missing items or money in accounts because they’re embarrassed, or they worry it’s their own memory at fault. This can be emotional for the victim, as it creates anxiety, self-doubt, and depression. Here are a few specific examples of warning signs we’ve seen in cases we’ve successfully prosecuted.

What is a power of attorney?

Using a Power of Attorney, given by the victim to allow another person to handle his/her finances, as a license to steal the victim’s monies for the perpetrator’s own use. Taking advantage of joint bank accounts in the same way. Using ATM cards and stealing checks to withdraw monies from the victim’s accounts.

Is it important to retain an elder financial abuse attorney?

Yes, it helps. However, it’s more important to retain an elder financial abuse attorney who has experience in your loved one’s county of residence. For example, if your one lives (d) in Los Angeles County, you would be best-served to retain an elder financial abuse attorney who practices regularly in the Los Angeles Superior Court. ...

How can an elder law attorney help seniors?

2 ways an elder law attorney helps seniors and family caregivers. 1. Plan for the future and protect assets. An elder law attorney has the expertise to make recommendations on how to plan for future care needs. They often answer questions like:

What is elder law?

Elder law is a specialized legal area focused on older adults and their adult children. This legal specialty focuses on specific needs, including: Power of attorney and other important legal documents. Long term care planning and paying for care. Medicare and Medicaid planning.

Why is elder law important?

Having the essential legal documents in place gives you the necessary legal rights to provide the best care for your older adult, now and at the end of life. That’s why it’s so important to find an expert lawyer that you trust to draw up the right documents.

Who can work with elder law attorneys?

Similarly, financial advisors, accountants, and fiduciaries (someone legally appointed to manage money) are professionals who often work with elder law attorneys. If you know and trust one of these professionals, ask them for a referral. 2. Check the National Academy of of Elder Law Attorneys.

What to bring to an estate planning appointment?

Once you have arranged an appointment, be sure to bring all information necessary to get the most out of the time with your attorney. Fully informed, open communication will result in the best outcome for estate planning services, long term care planning, and asset protection. Information to bring: 1 Bank and investment account statments including joint accounts 2 Retirement statements including pensions, IRAs and 401 (k)s 3 Mortgage and property tax statements 4 Debt summaries 5 Asset summaries including vehicles, significant posessions, pre-paid funeral plans, and/or expected inheritance 6 Life insurance policies 7 Health insurance policies, including long term care or disability policies 8 Income sources of self and spouse 9 Dependent information 10 Prior estate planning documents including wills, trusts, POA

Do people realize the degree of specialization that exists among attorneys?

“Many people do not realize the degree of specialization that exists among attorneys,” Heiser notes. “You want to make sure that the attorney you hire matches your particular area (s) of concern.”

Who is Bruce Rosenblatt?

Bruce Rosenblatt is a senior housing expert with decades of experience in the elder care industry. Bruce developed Senior Housing Solutions in 2009 and now uses his expertise to educate clients on all available living options and assist them in finding the best fit for their needs and lifestyle.

What is the law in California for elder abuse?

California elder abuse laws can be used to address financial elder abuse that involves coercion or manipulation of elderly Californians to alter their wills or trusts.

How to choose an elder financial abuse lawyer?

One of the best ways to choose an elder financial abuse attorney is to follow the recommendation of a trusted friend, relative, or business associate. Keep in mind that each legal case is different. A lawyer who handles nursing home abuse claims, for example, may have little or no experience as a trial attorney contesting wills ...

What is financial abuse in California?

Under California law, financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity: Takes, conceals, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud. Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property ...

What is financial elder abuse?

Financial elder abuse often includes an element of emotional abuse, such as threatening to abandon an elderly or dependent person, withhold food or medicine, or otherwise harm the victim unless he or she agrees to revise a will or trust.

What is LRS in California?

An LRS can refer you to a lawyer in your area who handles the type of legal issue you need assistance with.

What is financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation is a growing form of abuse of seniors and adults with disabilities. Financial exploitation commonly involves trusted people in the life of a vulnerable adult. Cognitive impairment and the need for help with activities of daily living make victims more vulnerable to financial abuse that can result in a family’s loss ...

What does "assists" mean in the law?

Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both. Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property ...

How does an elder abuse lawyer work?

An elderly abuse lawyer works with the victims of abuse and their families to work hard to stop the abuse from occurring and to seek compensation from those who have abused them. They must have skills as a litigator and negotiator, as elder abuse cases must be filed in civil court and settlements must be discussed with defending parties. Often, they work as general personal injury lawyers, as most lawyers do not specialize in elder abuse. The elderly abuse lawyer will have the ability to communicate with abused elderly clients, which requires that the lawyer have a great amount of patience as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Do elder abuse lawyers charge fees?

Elder abuse lawyers may charge various fees from their consultation and legal work they conduct on your case. Always be aware of all rates and fees. A retainer is often required by lawyers who will be working on a case that will require extensive work that is being billed on an hourly basis. It is very important that all rates, bills, and fees are written and that you keep these records in case of a billing dispute.

What is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is an excellent resource. Attorneys who are members of NAELA endorse aspirational standards for excellence in practice, and are generally up to date with important developments in elder law.

What can an elder law attorney do?

An elder law attorney can help with common legal issues older people face, including: Disability planning, including creating financial and medical powers of attorney. Establishing guardianships and conservatorships if the senior is not legally capable of granting a power of attorney.

Can a person who has lived independently for decades live on their own?

Adults who have lived independently for decades may become mentally or physically unable to live on their own. Living arrangements may need to change for the senior’s own safety.

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