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Senior Services Article

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Senior Legal Services To Protect The Aged

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With a large demographic of people called the “baby boomers” due to start retiring in 2008 with disposable incomes available, they can easily become the target of unscrupulous businesses or con artists. It’s important for seniors to maintain ties to senior legal services that can help them maneuver these treacherous waters. Some areas where legal counsel may need to be sought for seniors are:

* Estate Planning
* Prenuptial or Cohabitation Agreements
* Real Estate or Business Transactions
* Longterm Health or Disability Planning
* Guardianship or Asset Preservation

There are now many legal partnerships that recognize the specific needs of the elderly and will provide focused senior legal services. Some states now have legal hotlines specifically for the elderly as well.

Estate Planning

This can consist of writing up wills, re-organizing asset allocation, and establishing the major tax issues. This should be done prior to becoming ill or incapacitated. Estate planning is one of the senior legal services that should be looked at immediately upon retiring, if not sooner.

Prenuptial or Cohabitation Agreements

Many seniors lose a spouse and then get remarried. The legal implications of a new spouse or cohabitation partner can wreak havoc on the estate planning done previously. It’s imperative that seniors be cautious of guarding their assets, not just for themselves but for their children.

Real Estate of Business Transactions

Many seniors are targeted by con artists and unscrupulous business owners. Sometimes the homes they’ve worked all their lives for are stolen right out from under them. Other times, they are brought into investment schemes that hold no merit. Senior legal services, when available, can protect a lifetime of earnings. It’s important for seniors to get all legal contracts reviewed to protect their assets at the time they most need them.

Longterm Health or Disability Planning

The time to plan for health issues is when one is not sick or disabled. Adequate health insurance should be kept even after a person has retired from the workforce. Many employers no longer offer health insurance for their retirees and many seniors can become quickly impoverished if they do not have sufficient insurance to meet their growing health care needs.

Guardianship Or Asset Preservation

If a senior becomes unable to care for themselves, they may end up being put into assisted living or nursing homes. The guardianship of the person and their assets is determined by the courts. There are a number of different types of guardianship and they can determine whether the caregiver has access to financial assets, property, or whether they are merely decision-makers for care on behalf of the ward. Some guardianships are total and include all three.

As can be seen, there are a wide variety of legal issues that a senior and the caregivers and family may be faced with as a loved one ages. It’s important to seek legal counsel and understand the ramifications of different senior legal services and how they best serve the needs of everyone involved.


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