How to Choose an Elder Law Attorney
Although many resources allow us to find the elder law attorneys we need quickly and efficiently, sometimes finding the right one to fit your needs takes more work. Barry D. Seigel, Esq. offers the following guidelines to help you find an elder law attorney who is knowledgeable, personable, and within budget.
Determine What Kind of Lawyer You Need
Often, people underestimate the degree to which lawyers can specialize in a specific field or topic. Elder law is a broad term that covers the many legal and financial issues that affect elders and their family members, including the following: wills, trusts, surrogate decision-making (guardianship, conservatorship and powers of attorney), legal incapacity, living wills, public benefits planning (Medicare, Medicaid, SSI and SSDI), long-term care options, and insurance. Knowledge of the tax implications of these matters is also essential.
When searching for elder lawyers, consider the specific topics that are of most concern to you and make sure that your attorney’s expertise matches your needs.
Learn More About Your Attorney
Once you feel you have found a few attorneys that might be suited to handle your legal requirements, check through their credentials. To practice law, attorneys must be licensed and registered by the Bar Association in their state in which they practice. Some attorneys choose to pursue Board Certification, which evaluates and certifies their expertise in certain fields of law.
Many attorneys are also members of statewide or national associations. These organizations provide members with the resources and tools to continue educating themselves in elder law, for example.
When researching your attorney, also look for testimonials from people who have received similar services. All of the qualifications in the world would not be enough to redeem a lawyer with poor client skills.
Meet With Your Attorney
Elder law often deals with topics that are very personal and sensitive, which is why finding an attorney with the appropriate empathy for your case is of the utmost importance. A skilled attorney will be working with you to provide personalized solutions, while also providing the pros and cons of each situation.
Meet with multiple attorneys, and find the one you are most comfortable discussing your situation with.
Discuss Payment Plans
Attorneys charge sessions in many different ways; some charge a flat rate for certain documents or tasks, while others charge on an hourly basis. Discuss openly with your attorney to determine the best payment method for you and your family, and ensure that the terms decided upon by you and your attorney allow you to terminate your agreement.
There are many options for those who might struggle to pay for their legal services, including the following:
- Area on Agency
- Legal Services Corporation (also known as Legal Aid)
- National Veterans Legal Services Program
- Contact your local Bar Association and inquire about attorneys who offer services “pro bono” (free) for low-income clients
Siegel Law Group is Here for You
At Siegel Law Group, we understand that finding compassionate and trustworthy representation in legal matters is of the utmost importance, and we are here to help with your elder law needs. Call us today for a free consultation at (561) 955-8515, or contact us through our website for more information.