Whether for yourself or for an elderly loved one, odds are good that you will need the services of an elder law attorney at some point in the future. Because you may never have worked with an elder law attorney before the odds are also good that you don’t know what questions you should ask a potential attorney. Although each situation is unique, there are some commonly asked questions that can serve as a starting point.
- How much of your practice is dedicated to elder law? Elder law is a specialized area of the law. Moreover, it is a relatively new area of the law. Though legal issues involving the elderly have always been around, elder law did not become a separate area of the law until the 1980s and 1990s
- How long have you been practicing elder law? The length of time an attorney has been practicing law does not always correspond with the attorney’s abilities, it can give you some degree of security knowing that your attorney has experience handing similar cases and issues to yours.
- Are you certified and/or affiliated with any elder law organizations? When elder law became an area of increased focus the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys was established. A certification program was also developed for attorneys who focus on elder law.
- Can you handle all of my elder law legal needs? The elderly face a number of diverse legal issues. Ideally, you should find an attorney who is able to handle of your wishes.
- How are fees calculated? While it is often impossible to provide a client with an accurate estimate of the total cost of representation, you should ask a prospective attorney how he or she bills and how fees are calculated.
Along with the above questions, you should come prepared with several questions that directly apply to your specific legal issue or concern. Choosing a Quad Cities elder law attorney is often a time consuming, and sometimes frustrating, process; however, when you choose an elder attorney you will likely be choosing someone with whom you will be working closely with over the course of several years. For this reason, it pays to be patient and choose the best person for the job.
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