St. Petersburg Elder Law Lawyers
Protecting the Rights of Seniors in Our Community
The elder law attorneys at Hill & Kinsella in St. Petersburg are a resource to their clients because they understand their clients’ needs may extend beyond basic legal services. They stay informed and connected to the local networks of professionals who serve the elder population throughout Pinellas County.
Call our St. Petersburg elder law attorneys at (727) 240-2350 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law covers all aspects of planning, counseling, education, and advocating for clients. Elder law attorneys are a resource to their clients because they understand their clients’ needs may extend beyond basic legal services and stay informed about and connected to the local networks of professionals who serve the elder population. A good elder law attorney is aware of the physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Because of their broad knowledge base they are able to more thoroughly address the legal needs of their clients.
An elderly law attorney deals with legal issues that impact an elderly client's:
- Health and personal care planning, which include powers of attorney and living wills, lifetime planning, and family issues
- Fiduciary (financial) representation, housing opportunities and financing, income, estate, and gift tax matters
- Planning for a healthy spouse when the other spouse requires long term care, asset protection, public benefits such as Medicaid, insurance, and veteran’s benefits
- Capacity, guardianship, and guardianship avoidance
- Resident rights in long-term care facilities and nursing home claims
- Employment and retirement matters, age or disability discrimination, and grandparents’ rights
- Will and trust planning, planning for minor or adult special needs children, and probate
- Life care planning for all aspects of aging, illness, and incapacity.
Elder law requires a practitioner to be particularly sensitive to the legal issues impacting elder clients. For example, when planning an estate, an elder law attorney would take into consideration the health of the person or couple, the potential for nursing home care, and the wishes and concerns of the person or couple if that event were to occur.
If need arises, the elder law attorney will associate other legal experts.
Elder Law Specialists
Some elder law attorneys are certified as elder law specialists by the Florida Bar. This certification requires that attorneys must be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and must have practiced law for at least five years. The applicants must have demonstrated substantial involvement of their practice — 40 percent or more — in elder law, in the three years preceding their application. The lawyer must also pass a comprehensive written examination and peer review in order to be certified as a specialist.
A second organization, the National Elder Law Foundation, provides board certification with similar requirements for elder law attorneys across the country. Attorneys with that certification will have the letters CELA after their names.
Questions to Ask When Considering an Elder Law Attorney:
- How long has the attorney been practicing?
- What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to elder law?
- Does his or her practice emphasize a particular area of elder law? (for instance, guardianship or other specific work)
- What is the attorney’s experience regarding the specific matter with which you are concerned?
- How much elder law training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
- Is the attorney a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?
- Is the attorney a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney or a CELA?
- Will the attorney be able to work within your time limitations?
Prepare for Your Meeting
Should you decide to meet with an elder law attorney it will be helpful to prepare in advance. Make a list of the questions you will want the attorney to answer. When you review your list of questions, consider what information the attorney will need from you in order to answer your questions. Bring with you any information or documents you think will be helpful. The attorney may or may not need it but, either way, the information will be readily available.
Quality of Life
According to Time Magazine, elder law attorneys stand out from other attorneys as kinder, gentler attorneys. The focus of an elder law attorney is on the older client and their families and how to best assure their client’s quality of life during their final years rather than just on disposition of assets. Elder law is often considered a well-blended mix of law and social work.
Our St. Petersburg elder law attorneys bring more to their practice than just expertise in elder law. They also have knowledge of the senior population and the unique needs of the elderly as well as the myths related to competence and aging.
Call (727) 240-2350 today to schedule a consultation with the legal team at Hill & Kinsella.
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