May 4, 2011

Elder Law Month: You may be on your way to 100!

The most recent U.S. census reveals that 72,000 Americans are 100 years old or more. By 2050, it's predicated there will be anywhere from 265,000 to 4 million Americans in that category. In fact, the world's oldest man, a resident of Montana, recently died at age 114.

Whether we make it to 100 or not, it's certainly true that we are living longer. Gone are the days when the average person retired, collected a gold watch and well, that was pretty much it. Most of us enjoy more post-retirement years than ever before.

These extra years are a wonderful new opportunity, but they are not without perils and challenges. Greater longevity means we are also at greater risk for experiencing chronic disabilities that will require longterm care. And we must fiercely protect our nest eggs to make sure we don't outlive our assets. In my Florida Elder Law Practice, the number one concern I hear from my clients is that they do not want to be a burden on their children. That means aggressively dealing with these age-related legal challenges.

Enter the field of Elder Law. This field is fast-growing, just like the older population. Elder Law encompasses traditional estate planning, but it's about more than just planning for the passing of your assets at death. Elder Law is about preparing for all those extra years of LIFE. It's about maintaining your dignity and making sure that you - or someone of your choosing - can take charge of your affairs in the event of disability. It's about keeping in control of your medical destiny. It's about making sure your assets last as long as you do. It's about protecting your family. A certified Elder Lawyer can assist you with:

  • Medicaid issues
  • Planning for disability
  • Estate Tax and gift issues
  • Estate planning
  • Longterm care issues
Many attorneys are hopping on the Elder Law bandwagon. Consumers should make sure that the person to whom they entrust their important life planning is experienced and certified. The Florida Bar certifies Elder Law Attorneys, requiring examination and sufficient experience. The American Bar Association, through the National Elder Law Foundation, also accredits Elder Law Attorneys who achieve the requisite levels of experience and pass the necessary examinations.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has declared May Elder Law Month.  A good month to consult a Certified Elder Law Attorney to help you deal with your age-related challenges!

1 comment:

Myra said...

I never even thought about what to do with my parents' credit cards when they pass. Can you imagine someone stealing a dead person's identity!

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