People tend to ignore or downplay the effects of aging, especially when it isn’t a present concern. But if you have recently reached retirement age or have an elderly family member, you will want to consider speaking to an elder law attorney in your area even if you don’t require his or her assistance at the moment. Many people who need an elder law lawyer ask for advice only after it is too late, and some common situations that many people have to deal with can be greatly simplified if you take action early.
Loss of Capacity
Everyone loses physical and cognitive abilities as they age. While the loss of ability is quite often not enough to require seeking legal advice, the potential for significant loss of capacity exists even if you have yet to experience it. If, for example, if an elderly family member begins suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it may be too late to create a power of attorney. In such a situation you may be forced to go to court to ask for a guardianship order. Acting early allows you to create safety nets that will help in the event a loss of capacity become significant, and will help you save on court costs and attorney fees.
Government data shows that about 7 out of 10 people will require some type of long-term care assistance once they become old. Taking the time to prepare ahead will allow you many more options in your long-term care choices than might be available if you wait until the last moment.