When we think about living in Florida, we focus on daily living and enjoying the beauty and pleasant weather. However, as someone approaches their golden years or begins to experience health issues, daily living shifts. This is especially true if you’re loved one needs long-term care. That’s why it is an important time to plan for your estate.
As you consider planning for your future and ensuring your wishes are followed, below is a guide on how to find a good elder law attorney in Florida.
How to Find a Good Elder Law Attorney
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is a helpful resource for information about the practice of elder law. Prior to hiring an attorney, it is important to determine if your legal issues require the expertise of an elder law attorney. People who may be able to help you figure this out are a financial advisor or estate planning attorney. It is important to ensure you are utilizing the kind of attorney you need.
Should you determine you do need the expertise of an elder law attorney, the National Elder Law Foundation National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys database lists local certified elder law attorneys. Additionally, you may consider the recommendations of trusted friends and family or referrals from local agencies who regularly work with seniors.
12 Questions to Ask an Elder Law Attorney
Hiring an attorney is an important choice, one that forms a relationship over a variety of issues including some of your most important values and assets. It will also be a significant financial commitment. Due to the importance and intensity of this relationship, this list of key questions may help you decide which attorney may be the best choice for you, your family, and your needs:
- Is there a fee for the initial consultation?
- What is your ongoing fee structure if we enter into this contractual relationship?
- What do you consider to be your areas of expertise and specialization? (Ex. Long-term care planning, nursing home care, tax planning, estate plans, health insurance, estate litigation, etc.)
- Do you now, or have you ever, had any warnings, reprimands, disbarments, or sanctions while you have practiced law?
- How long have you been practicing law? What about elder law specifically?
- What percentage of your work is in the specific area of elder law?
- Will you remain with me and my family or is my case overseen by a team from the law firm? What happens if you leave the practice?
- If it becomes necessary, do you do home visits?
- What would you estimate as the total cost for people with cases similar to mine?
- What type of communication do you prefer and how quickly should I expect a response?
- Are you a member of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys)?
- Are you a member of AFELA (Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys)?
While you can’t cover every eventuality in your research of the best prospective attorneys for you and your family, you can consider these elements as a way to make a confident choice. If you would like to discuss your elder law needs with our experienced elder care attorneys in Florida, contact us today!