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Elder Law

A Primer on Elder Law in the State of Washington

By September 7, 2022May 20th, 2024No Comments
Gavel with Elder Law Plate and Books | Family Estate Planning in Washington​​ | Legacy Law Group

As you age, it’s critical to know about elder law. By researching elder law in the state of Washington, you can protect yourself and know when someone is breaking the law. Here is some more information.

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a part of the law that deals with issues relating to seniors, from estate planning to healthcare to public benefits and elder abuse. Elder law attorneys can help out seniors with these various issues, or they can assist seniors’ loved ones if they are involved or looking after a senior.

It’s crucial to learn about the different areas of elder law and how they may apply to you.

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves planning for what will happen to your estate after you pass. You can hire an estate planning attorney to help you minimize your taxes and maximize the assets you leave for your loved ones, such as your spouse and/or children. Estate planning attorneys use documents like a trust, a power of attorney, a will, and an advanced directive to help you achieve your goals with your finances and personal matters.

Long Term Care Planning

It’s critical to plan for the long term before it’s too late. This part of elder law includes figuring out how you’re going to pay for healthcare, whether you’ll want in-home care or you’ll go into a nursing home, what kind of Medicare you are eligible for, and whether or not you’ll utilize long-term care insurance.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can include mental, physical, and financial abuse. For instance, telling a senior they are broke in order to steal from them or otherwise manipulating them is a form of abuse. Unfortunately, sometimes family members and other loved ones are perpetrators of abuse. Perhaps a nursing home worker or an in-home carer is responsible for the abuse. No matter who broke the law, an elder law attorney can help you bring forth legal action against them.

In addition to suing them, you could also press criminal charges. Washington State takes elder abuse very seriously. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime, it could be charged as a felony. First-degree criminal mistreatment carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of $20,000 maximum.

Finding the Right Elder Law Attorney

When you need help with elder law in Washington, you should look for an experienced attorney with excellent case results. They should have dealt with elder law issues like your own and have testimonials and reviews to back up their work.

Even if you aren’t yet a senior, you can start doing estate planning now. It’s especially important if you have children who are minors; you can name guardians for them in your will in case you pass away. Additionally, you should plan for your long-term care earlier rather than later. If you wait, insurance rates could go up, or you may not have enough money to pay for your care. That would be a worst-case scenario.

Keep in mind that while DIY estate planning does exist, it’s much better to hire a professional who knows what they are doing. Then, you can rest assured that you’re fulfilling your goals for your future.

Get In Touch With an Estate Planning Attorney

For help with elder issues in Washington, you should reach out to the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Contact us at (509) 315-8087 today to get started.

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