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Montana Elder Law

Montana Elder Law

Montana Elder Law

No one wants to think about the possibility that the day will come that they will no longer be able to handle their own financial or medical affairs, but the truth is that as medical science has enabled us to live longer, it also means that we may be living with health issues that impact our decision-making process. This is why a Montana elder law attorney recommends having a power of attorney (POA) in place should the day come you will need this type of assistance.

There are a number of legal requirements that need to be put in place in order for a power of attorney to be valid. First of all, the document must have the name of the person being designated as POA (referred to as the agent), as well as what all their powers will be. Every individual has their own needs and circumstances for which a POA is needed and those needs and circumstances need to be specifically stated in the document. The principal (the person making the POA) must sign the document and there needs to be at least one witness to that signature. The principal must also acknowledge their consent and signature in front of a notary public, who must also sign and adhere their official seal to the document.

A general power of attorney focuses on the financial details of the principal and is put in place should the principal become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of handling their own financial affairs. A Montana elder law attorney can explain all of the areas this type of POA covers. Some of the more common areas include:

  •       Overseeing the payments of any bills or debts the principal has
  •       Overseeing any real property the principal has
  •       Overseeing all financial accounts (bank, retirement, stocks, bonds, etc.)
  •       Overseeing the operation of a business
  •       Overseeing any government benefits
  •       Overseeing taxes

A healthcare power of attorney focuses on all of the principal’s medical affairs. The person who is named as the agent of a healthcare POA is responsible for making sure the principal’s wishes for their medical care are adhered to should they become unable to articulate those wishes themselves. Spouses often name each other as their healthcare POA. A single parent will often name one of their adult children. No matter who is named, the principal must have the ultimate trust in that agent in knowing they will honor their medical wishes even if they may not agree with them, for example, whether or not the principal should be placed on life support should they become so ill that decision has to be made.

Call Our Montana Elder Law Firm

If you are considering drafting up power of attorney documents, or other estate planning tools, contact Silverman Law Office, PLLC. At our firm a Montana elder law lawyer has helped many seniors and their families plan for now and the future. It is important that you find a lawyer you trust to talk about your finances and personal wishes with. Our team is dedicated to assisting clients in tasks such as drawing up documents for an estate plan, communicating with beneficiaries, filing paperwork, and always having your best of interest at heart. 

What an Elder Law Lawyer Can Do

A lawyer who is experienced in elder law focuses on older adults and their close family members. We can help you with specific needs, such as veterans’ benefits, elder abuse issues, disability planning, estate planning, Medicaid, Medicare, long-term planning, paying for elderly care, establishing power of attorney, and other key documents. We can answer questions related to these tasks, and more.

It is our goal for loved ones and their family members to feel at peace knowing that the now, and the future, is planned for. We are always happy to answer questions, and can offer insight into the following common questions:

  • Does my loved one qualify for Medicaid, and will it pay for senior care?
  • How can I protect my parent’s property, assets, and still afford the care he or she needs when the time comes?
  • How can I ensure that my husband/wife will have money left for them after my elderly care expenses are paid? 
  • What does it mean to be my parent’s conservator, and what kind of decisions may I have to make?

The above questions are complex ones, and the answers may vary depending on each person’s situation. While hiring a reputable lawyer is not free, we may save your family thousands and thousands of dollars in legal issues by ensuring that the right documents have been established. A lawyer for elder law in Montana understands that it can be difficult to plan for a time when you or your loved one is no longer here, and are compassionate when providing legal advice. 

Call Our Office Today!

When you are in your senior years and are looking into estate planning, Medicaid help, or if you have an elderly loved one who has experienced abuse in a nursing home, you should seek the help of our trusted elder law lawyer in Montana. We understand that when you are trying to make important legal decisions for your life (and decisions that could also affect your loved ones), you want to make sure you are making the right call. It is important to work with an attorney to get guidance and advice in certain situations and it can also benefit you to have an attorney work on your paperwork on your behalf. If you have any questions or would like to speak with our elder law lawyer, please call our office now. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Elder Law Lawyers

1. What practice areas do elder law lawyers usually work in?

This will depend on the firm. However, you can typically expect a lawyer in this specialty to help with estate planning needs that you may have. For example, you may wish to create a living trust or a will for the first time and this process can be complicated. On the other hand, you may wish to make changes to these documents and are unsure of the proper procedures. You may also be a family member of a loved one who is experiencing abuse in a nursing home and this is something else we are equipped to help you with too.

2. Should I create a power of attorney for healthcare? 

When you consider that anything can happen, you realize that there may come a time when you experience health issues so bad that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. If you have someone you can trust completely, it would be wise to create a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care so that someone can make decisions on your behalf if your health suddenly changes. This means you are not required to list out every possible thing you want if a bad situation arises. You will have someone who would understand what kind of wishes you would want and can make those for you. 

3. If I leave my family assets from my trust or estate, will they have to pay income taxes on anything? 

If you are leaving things for your loved ones in your estate plan, know that they will not need to pay income tax on these items because they are not considered income. Instead, n inheritance and gifts are separate from the income they receive. 

Avoiding a Contested Estate

Losing a loved one and struggling through the grieving process is always difficult for a family, but that time can be made even harder when there are disputes over the loved one’s last wishes. In order to ensure your family does not have to struggle with these burdens, consider consulting with an estate planning attorney who specializes in Montana elder law.

Having the right documents in place can help ensure that your estate cannot be contested by a family member who disputes the instructions you have left on how you want your estate distributed upon your death. Many times, a person will attempt to contest an estate because they are unhappy with how much – or how little – they will receive per the will. When you have a strong estate plan in place that was put together for you by a Montana elder law attorney, the less likely any attempted contesting of your wishes will be contested.

The following steps can help minimize any legal action taken by a family member who attempts to contest what your wishes are:

  • Many people find they are able to prevent disputes from happening just by talking to their family members to find out what they wish from the estate. Knowing what items are important to each family member before you draft your will gives you the opportunity to actually leave those items to that person if you feel it’s appropriate. This also applies to any financial benefits you may have that you will be distributing, including any real estate properties and other valuables.
  • You should also talk to family members about what your wishes are and why you are making the decisions about your estate that you have. If they are aware before you are gone what your will and other estate documents say, they will not be shocked to learn about them upon your passing. It also gives you the opportunity to address any potential problems while you are still alive.
  • Make sure to choose a person who can truly be trusted as the executor of your estate. This person is responsible for making sure your last wishes are carried out. You want to make sure that the person you choose will stand up against any action of contesting your will.
  • Working with a skilled Montana elder law attorney will also make sure that all the estate planning laws in Montana are followed, all the proper documentation has been drafted, signed, and filed. Working with a qualified attorney minimizes the opportunity of anyone contesting your will on the grounds that the law and/or proper protocols were not followed when your estate plan was drafted.

How to Find a Good Elder Lawyer

An elder lawyer is one of the best people to help you ensure that you have the essential legal documents giving the legal rights to provide the care for yourself as you age to somebody that you trust, and much more. You need an elder lawyer that you can trust because they need to be able to drop the correct documents for your needs, so let’s talk a little bit about how to find an elder lawyer that you trust.

An elder lawyer specializes in the legal area of adults that are of a certain age, and their adult children. This specialty focus on specific needs such as power of attorney, long-term medical care, paying for care, Medicare and Medicaid planning, veterans’ benefits, estate planning, disability planning, dealing with and handling elder abuse, and of course other legal documents that are important to the specific elder in question.

An elder law year is going to be able to help you plan for the future and ensure that your assets are protected good, and they are going to be able to answer questions such as the ones listed below:

  • How can I qualify for Medicaid so it will pay for nursing home care?
  • How do I protect mom’s house and assets, but still afford the care she needs?
  • How do I make sure my wife will have money left after all my care expenses are paid?
  • What to do if I need to become dad’s guardian or conservator?
  • After I pass away, will Medicaid try to get money from my estate for the medical bills they paid and cause problems for my spouse or kids?

These questions are very complicated and the answers are going to be different for everyone the lawyer is dealing with, ensuring that you have an elder logger that is reputable and trustworthy is going to help protect your legal and financial needs and situation.

Your elder lawyer is going to be able to ensure that all legal documents are following your state’s law because laws are very different and specific per state and if your documents are prepared incorrectly then you may find yourself having a lot of issues.

When it comes down to finding an elder law lawyer that you can trust, you may be able to get a referral from a friend or family, and this is always a great way to find a lawyer because of this person has done business with this lawyer then they are likely going to recommend them only if they are good. However, do understand that working with a lawyer that a friend or family member has worked with is not going to be the best thing for everyone because this is not when a lawyer fits all and that’s okay. Ensuring that you are comfortable with your lawyer and your lawyer is answering questions and communicating in a way that best suits you as one of the most important steps of finding an elder law lawyer..

Call the Silverman Law Office, PLLC to have a kind and knowledgeable Montana elder law lawyer talk with you about how to plan for you or your loved one’s future.


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