Caregivers, by nature, attempt to take care of everything when it comes to their senior loved one. But times do arise when an expert is needed, such as financial and legal issues to protect a senior’s rights and long-term needs. In Canada, there are attorneys who specialise in Elder Law, and resources available (check out the Canadian Centre for Elder Law).
Finding an Elder Law Attorney
Ask for a referral from a trusted source, such as:
- A lawyer you already know and trust.
- Local caregiving services, carehomes, or social workers.
- Organisations that cater to seniors.
Selecting Your Elder Law Attorney
With many options out there, it is advisable to do a little research before hiring your Elder Law Attorney. Some considerations you may take:
- What is the lawyers specific specialisation? Do they deal with a lot of seniors or families?
- Are they members of any seniors’ associations?
- Will the lawyer be handling your work directly, or utilising a member of staff?
- What is the fee structure? Hourly, flat, will you pay for phone calls/emails, etc.
- Interview the attorney to ensure that you feel comfortable and can ask them any questions you have.
Working with Your Elder Law Attorney
- Ensure you have access to and prepare all relevant documents they may need.
- If you are representing your senior loved one, it is your role to communicate effectively between them and their attorney. Remember it is their life and finances, and you are just there to communicate and ensure the best solution for them.
- Use your Elder Law Attorney to be proactive and plan for the future – keeping any minor issues from turning into catastrophes.