Whether you are looking for assistance with legal issues concerning a parent or preparing for your own advancing years, there is no question that issues concerning elder law and long-term care planning may be emotionally difficult. Still, it is important to take steps not only to protect hard-earned assets but also to allow an older (or disabled) person to express their wishes with regard to matters such as health care, long-term care planning, and guardianships. Nashville elder law lawyer Randy Ratliff can help with these and other issues in the privacy of our offices so that delicate family matters do not need to be decided in court later. For example, he can assist people who need a Medicaid planning [link to Medicaid qualification process page] attorney to provide a detailed recommendation regarding the protection of their assets. He also can prepare and submit appropriate applications to the Tennessee Healthcare and Finance Administration. If necessary, Mr. Ratliff can respond to inquiries from state or federal authorities related to institutional and community care applicants.Understanding the Importance of Planning for the Future
While it is not possible to predict the future, there are some situations that occur often enough to warrant consideration in one’s elder care planning efforts. For example, it is quite common for a senior citizen to suffer declining health over time. Thus, it is advisable to include not only a Living Will with end-of-life directives in one’s estate plan but also a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare that allows a trusted relative or close friend to make certain decisions for you, should you become incapable of making these decisions yourself. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney may also be helpful, in that it allows a designee to take care of your personal business and legal matters. If advance planning is not done, a costly and protracted conservatorship proceeding may be necessary at some point in the future. An elder law attorney in Nashville can help you take steps to avoid that process.
Last Will and Testaments, Living Trusts, and similar documents may also be necessary in order to make one’s final wishes known with regard to the dispersion of real estate, personal property, and other assets. Without a will or trust in place, your property will be divided according to Tennessee’s rules concerning intestate succession. While these rules may work for some families, circumstances such as divorce, remarriage, the adoption of stepchildren, co-habitation, the ownership of a family business, and more may create a situation in which default rules and assumptions do not lead to the desired outcome.
Our elder law practice also includes advice concerning nursing home care, such as the signing of contractual agreements, patients’ rights, and what to do in the event that a family member suspects that a loved one is being abused or neglected physically, mentally, or financially in a long-term care setting. Questions may also arise concerning an elderly person’s Social Security or pension benefits or a disabled individual’s entitlement to Social Security Disability payments.Contact an Elder Law Lawyer in Nashville or Beyond
Results-driven people spend a lot of time planning for the future. This should also include planning for the possibility of death or disability at some point. The reality is that if people do not take steps to let their wishes be known, their loved ones may not be able to discern them later. Nashville elder law attorney Randy Ratliff will be glad to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your needs. Call us at (615) 656-8282 or contact us online, and we can help guide you through the process of assisting an elderly parent with their needs or help you make your own estate and long-care plans. We serve all of Davidson and Williamson Counties, including Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, and Cool Springs. Randy Ratliff also is available for Tennessee residents who are seeking an estate planning lawyer to help preserve their assets for future generations.