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Elder Law

Elder law addresses issues specific to individuals generally over the age of 65, such as the rights to social security benefits, retirement plans, drafting wills and trusts, and age discrimination.

The Social Security Administration Benefits

The federal Social Security Administration office allocates funds to senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The Social Security Administration manages a number of monthly payment programs for qualified individuals such as:

  • Social Security Retirement – Social Security Retirement is administered to workers over the age of 65 who plan to discontinue work.
  • Supplemental Security Income – Supplemental Security Income is distributed to individuals, 65 or older, the blind and disabled, who have limited incomes and limited financial resources.

Pension Plans

Many people make payments into retirement or pension plans while they are employed. Generally, the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates pensions provided by private employers. Typically, there are two types of pension plans:

  • Defined Benefit Plan – Under the defined benefit plan, an employer promises an employee a certain monthly benefit arrangement for after the employee retires. Employees are informed in advance of what their benefits will be after retirement.
  • Defined Contribution Plan – Under the defined contribution plan, an employer makes regular deposits in an account created specifically for the employee. Often, the employer invests the funds. The employer bears the risk if the investment fails.

Wills and Trusts

It is important to draft a will or trust properly, so there is no ambiguity about how your assets will be divided upon your death. If you fail to draft a will or trust, the state determines what happens to your property, and your loved ones may not receive what you wanted to give them.

Age Discrimination

Congress has enacted laws that prohibit private persons or organizations and governments from discriminating against people because of their age. In employment, individuals are protected from discrimination by employers on the basis of age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Generally, workers over the age of 40 are protected.

Elder Law Attorney

An elder law attorney is an attorney that specializes in laws specific to individuals who are over the age of 65. There are many important issues that an elder law attorney can assist you with, including:

  • Your rights to social security benefits;
  • Retirement plans;
  • Wills, trusts, and estate planning; and
  • Age discrimination.

An elder law attorney will take the time to listen to what you desire for your future and how you want your property to be distributed to your loved ones when you pass away. It is imperative that you have your wishes in writing to ensure that they are carried out as you desire.

An elder law attorney can be an invaluable asset when planning for the future. If you are someone trying to help your parents plan for their future or retirement, an elder law attorney may be a great recommendation.

Importance Of Having an Elder Care Lawyer

It is extremely important to have an elder care lawyer for many reasons. If you are not quite on the way to retirement yet, a lawyer can help you choose a retirement plan that fits your needs.

Retirement plans are used to provide income after you retire. The most common types are IRAs and 401(k) plans. Additionally, some large businesses provide pensions to employees which include a monthly payment based on the length of employment.

Many people choose IRAs and 401(k)s in order to reduce their tax liability and taxable income which allows them to save more money in the long run. An attorney will be able to provide information on the types of plans and which may best fit your needs.

One of the most important things Americans look forward to in their retirement is Social Security benefits. An elder care lawyer can assist you with any aspect of Social Security.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides funds to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. The SSA manages monthly payment programs for qualified individuals. An elder care lawyer can assist you in determining if you are eligible and help you obtain your benefits.

If you are over the age of 65 and have worked during your lifetime, you may be eligible for Social Security Retirement. An elder care attorney can assist you in obtaining these benefits and ensuring you are taken care of in your golden years.

You may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is available for individuals who are 65 years of age or older, individuals who are blind or disabled, and individuals who have limited incomes and limited financial resources.

In order to be eligible for SSI, an individual must provide proof of disability. It may be difficult to qualify for SSI because of the limitations on income and assets. An elder law attorney can examine your situation and determine which type of Social Security you may be eligible to receive.

An elder care lawyer can also assist you in planning for the distribution of your estate upon your passing. You have worked hard to obtain your assets, no matter how big or small they may be, and you want them used to benefit your loved ones. This is often referred to as estate planning.

It is never too late to enact an estate plan. This includes drafting a will that will specify exactly what happens to your property and, if it fits your situation, drafting trusts to hold your property for loved ones. Your estate includes all of your wealth and assets, including:

  • Real property, or land;
  • Money;
  • Insurance;
  • Investments;
  • Personal property; and
  • Debts.

Estate planning also limits the probability that there will be disputes over your property. Estate planning documents can be used to settle disputes, which are resolved by a will settlement.

Issues Related to Elder Care Lawsuits

An elder care lawsuit is most likely to arise due to age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age and older from age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA applies to current employees as well as job applicants. Issues may arise under the ADEA regarding:

  • Hiring;
  • Firing;
  • Promotions;
  • Wages; and
  • Workplace conditions.

The ADEA provides a range of protections and it may be complicated to prove your claim. If you believe you have been subject to age discrimination at work, an elder lawyer can assist you with your claim and obtaining important documents from your employer. Your lawyer will also represent you during any court proceedings, if necessary.

Do I Need an Attorney with my Elder Law Issue?

Yes, you absolutely need an elder lawyer for your case or estate planning needs. Ensuring that your rights are protected is extremely important in your golden years. It will bring you peace of mind and the ability to enjoy travel and grandchildren knowing that you have Social Security income and your property will be distributed as you wish whenever you pass away.

If you are still employed, your elder care lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected at work and you are not subjected to age discrimination. If you are not quite in your golden years yet but are looking to plan for them, an elder law lawyer can advise you on the best plans to make now in order to enjoy your golden years later.

Call our office today at 212-994-7777 or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a consultation.