Though most “awareness” events are held to raise consciousness of illnesses and how to prevent them, that is not always the case. Increased awareness is a good thing for all sorts of overlooked areas of our lives, whether in terms of our need to show greater appreciation for our loved ones, to show kindness to those who are less fortunate than we are, or to increase our commitment to worthy causes.
Elder Law Awareness Month is celebrated every year during the month of May, and calls attention to the almost universal need for people to move beyond their discomfort with discussing emotionally difficult issues in order to ensure that their needs and wishes are met and carried out. The elder law attorneys at Bratton Scott encourage you to educate yourself about what Elder Law is and what benefits planning ahead can provide to you and your family, whether during the month of May or at any time in the not-too-distant future.
Though Elder Law Awareness Month does provide recognition for the many professionals, such as elder care coordinators, who act as advocates for the nation’s growing elderly population, the more important goal of the celebration is to provide additional opportunities to teach people what elder law is, and how it can help them as they move into a new phase of their lives. As we grow older, stop working and start experiencing the various changes that come with increased age, there are questions that need to be answered, protections that need to be put in place, and measures that need to be taken in order to ensure that we can enjoy our later years in the way that we want. The legal issues that older adults need to address include:
- Long term care insurance
- Medicaid planning
- Retirement planning
- Senior living
- Social security
- Special needs planning
- Medical directives
- Long term care living facilities
- Veterans benefits
- Children and Grandchildren
- Estate planning
In many cases, elder law attorneys end up helping the adult children of older adults who have not taken measures to protect themselves or to provide the answers that their loved ones need as their cognitive or physical abilities begin to decline. Though attorneys work hard to help loved ones navigate the complexities and unknowns that they face, the most important and satisfying assistance that we provide is when we are able to work directly with the person involved before the need arises. In that way we can provide certainty and confidence that the decisions that are being made are in keeping with their values, goals, and wishes.
As the percentage of people who are sixty-five or older continues to increase, the laws that pertain to their rights and how they are treated are likely to change and expand as well. Having the guidance of a professional who is focused on these laws and how they impact individuals is essential to ensuring that you are treated fairly and have a good quality of life. The attorneys at Bratton Scott are passionate about sharing their expertise and experience, and Elder Law Awareness Month is a great time to take the first steps to learn how we can help you.
Take a look at some of our upcoming events on estate planning and elder law. We’d love for you to attend one of these events to learn more about how you can protect yourself or your elderly parents.