Elder law attorneys are legal professionals who help people plan for the challenges associated with aging. However, there’s no cut and dry answer to when you should contact an elder law attorney.
The Advantage of Being Proactive
Everyone’s life circumstances are different, but as a general guideline, it’s ideal to think about contacting an elder law attorney when you are in your 60s or 70s. This gives you enough time to create a plan that will protect your assets in retirement, leave a legacy for your heirs, and prepare for any long-term care that you may require.
If you wait until you’re closer to experiencing a crisis, an elder law attorney can still help you make the decisions that best fit your needs. However, your options may be more limited. For example, Medicaid planning strategies often take time to implement and there is a five-year look-back period for the program that could be problematic if you’ve already been giving away assets or selling them for below their market value.
Sorting Out Complex Family and Financial Issues
In some cases, contacting an elder law attorney before you hit 60 may be a wise move. Working with an elder law attorney as soon as possible is recommended if:
- You are in a second marriage and wish to protect the assets you brought to the marriage.
- You have stepchildren you want to receive the same inheritance as your biological or adopted children.
- You want to leave some of your estate to charity.
- You own your own business.
- There’s a sizable age gap between you and your spouse.
- You’re nearing retirement age, but still have minor children at home.
Planning for Whatever the Future Holds
At Legacy Lawyers, we are committed to helping North Carolina residents plan for whatever the future may hold so they can continue to make the most of each day. Call our office in Wilmington or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free 15-minute consultation. You may also wish to review our calendar of upcoming seminars and workshops to help you better understand your options for estate planning and long-term care.