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Focus on elder law: considerations and long-term planning

"It seems like when you turn 65, you've got a bull's-eye on your back."

That comment comes courtesy of Suzanne Cobb, a director at the Dallas-based Senior Source, a nonprofit organization that serves elderly Texas residents.

What Cobb is referring to is the increased likelihood for the older-aged demographic to be victimized by fraudulent schemes and unethical behavior that targets members' wealth and seeks to undermine their decision-making capacity over important personal matters.

Those important personal matters range widely from estate planning and advance directives concerning health care to asset distribution and the creation of trusts and wills. Relevant considerations might further encompass the execution of powers of attorney and issues concerning long-term care, guardianships and alternative arrangements focusing upon personal autonomy.

In short, there is certainly no dearth of issues for many people to think about as they approach or enter their retirement years, and focused planning with the assistance of a proven and caring elder law attorney can go far toward securing confidence and stability at such an important time.

A recent media article's reference to elder abuse and exploitation underscores the importance of solid long-term care planning. As the article notes, analysis conducted by the Texas Adult Protective Services agency reveals that about 60,000 meritorious complaints of elder exploitation were received by the state last year.

That sobering number puts a glaring spotlight on a widespread problem and highlights the need of many elderly persons to have well thought out and drafted plans in place to address financial matters, health care decisions, estate distribution and residential plans.

An experienced estate planning attorney can be an invaluable asset for ensuring those critically important goals.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Texas Seniors Deserve To Be Protected," Jennifer Nagorka, Jan. 31, 2013.

  • Our firm provides comprehensive and proven legal representation to clients with elder law questions and concerns. For information about our experience and this practice area, please visit our Houston, Texas, Elder Law page.

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