The Role of Elder Law Attorneys

As we can observe, learning about Elder Law is something that is not so interesting for younger individuals – at least, for now – as this practically does not apply to them personally. And you might be thinking the same way. But the thing is, we should realize that we will age in time and that should be enough reason why it makes sense to have some knowledge about this area of the law – all of us, young and old. It can help us when we get old. Aside from that, we can also offer some help for seniors by imparting what we learn as early as today.

In our attempt to learn about this thing, Elder Law Attorneys play an important role. They are legal professional who specialize in the area of law that focuses on representing, counseling, and assisting seniors or aged people in a variety of legal issues. Generally, they help seniors in addressing legal, medical, financial, social, and family issues, with emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for them.

Below are some specific issues that Elder Law Attorneys address:

  • Estate and Gift Tax Planning – they provide this particular service with the purpose of assisting clients to adequately provide liquidity for their estates; provide for continuation of the business and to minimize gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
  • Medicaid – seniors are also assisted whether they are qualified for Medicaid, a government medical program for certain people and families with low income.
  • Retirement Benefits – this is one of the most important areas that senior individuals should be knowledgeable about and a lawyer who is expert in Elder Law can help to get the most benefits they can possibly get.
  • Estate Planning and Probate – estate planning, by definition, is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate; probate means legal establishment of the validity of a will before a judicial authority.
  • Age Discrimination – a very common scenario you can see around particular in work where there is a high rate of layoffs based on age.
  • Long Term Care Financing – this has something to do with preparation for possible future long-term care needs, which basically rely on ‘self-insured’ resources and the donated ones. An expert Elder Law attorney helps you understand the concepts behind such program and assist you along the way to make the most out of it.
  • Insurance – attorneys can also help seniors to be able to enjoy insurance benefits; they assist them particularly when it comes to legalities and laws governing insurance policy benefits that are especially designed for seniors.

By learning about Elder Law, it gives us an opportunity to become better prepared for the future. Remember, all of us get old and that is inevitable.

Consulting An Elder Law Attorney

Old age is something regarding which many people are in denial. They do not like to believe that they are going to get aged one day, though old age does slowly creep up on them. Such people usually do not plan for their later years and may have to face several legal and financial issues, along with the typical physical and emotional problems brought on by age.

If you want to enjoy good quality of life even when you get old, it is necessary to plan in advance. It is best to consult an elder law attorney to make arrangements to tackle aging issues such as retaining independence, financial security and quality of life. These attorneys have an acute understanding of the special needs of the elderly and in-depth knowledge of the laws governing these needs and specialize in providing legal help to the seniors. Some issues on which their expert services can be beneficial are:

Medical Care: When you get on in the years, your earning potential decreases while your medical needs increases. The government offers special programs to pay for the nursing care of the elderly with limited resources. The provisions and guidelines of such programs keep changing from time to time. An Elder Law attorney keeps abreast with the changes and guides you in planning judiciously for long-term care.

Estate & Tax Planning: An Elder Law attorney can guide you in management of your tangible assets during life and their distribution upon death by drawing up wills, trusts, etc. You can also make suitable financial arrangements for your spouse’s care. The attorney can even give advice regarding business succession and tax planning.

Disability Planning: Through living wills, living trusts and Durable Power of Attorney, the lawyer helps you delegate financial and healthcare decisions to your agent in case you get incapacitated, physically or mentally.

Other Issues: There are several other issues an Elder Law attorney helps out with. These include advance care directive, senior care abuse, nursing home issues, employment & retirement matters, guardianship, housing issues, social security claims, etc.

Every Elder Law attorney may not be an expert at all these services. If you wish to plan to secure your old age or you need advice to plan for your aged parents, you should search for an appropriate experienced lawyer based on your particular concerns. You can look up an online local business directory, ask referral from your family attorney or take help from agencies specializing in senior care. Interview all prospective lawyers, making sure that they are sufficiently experienced and reasonably priced before selecting the one you find most suitable.

Law Firm Marketing

It is important to note that lots of law firm establishments are seeking to expand their clientele through internet advertising because the internet has become the biggest medium for lawyer advertising in recent times. The right mix of legal information, Attorney biography, website design and good client follow up will ensure that you maximize the potentials of good online client development to achieve the best result. It will be ideal for lawyers to seek the knowledge of ethical client development to be able to get the maximum attention of such a client.

State specific regulations as well as professional ethical rules guide the functioning of law firm attorneys and it includes even client interaction situations, so also are adversaries, courts, potential clients and the public in general. In most cases, the ethical standards governing print ads, audio and video ads, brochure and business cards will also apply to all forms of lawyer advertising even on the internet. It is therefore essential for a law firm to stick to such ethics. Aside this it has been observed that an average American use the internet to locate a law firm, therefore a law firm that can be smart enough to maximize the potentials in lawyer advertising ethics will achieve the best result.

The reason for the ethical code of conducted that was set up by many states were created because there are many unethical client development situations going on and such unethical client development may include; Malpractices implications, legal services fee forfeiture and exposure to unethical disciplinary measures among several other things. Unethical lawyer advertising such as unethical client relations and development may lead to the suspension or outright cancellation of your legal websites and that means your website will not be indexed by search engines and which amount to a wasted. In some cases where the code of conduct dictates that you take your legal website down for review and restructuring, even the absence of your website for 24 hours may adversely affect your ranking in search engines and a loss of a significant amount of prospective clients.

It is therefore now clear to you why a good online client development and relationship can help your law firm marketing techniques to work for the overall development of your law firm. It is a powerful tool which must not be joked with.

Auto Accident Law Firm Helps

There are many different kinds of vehicular catastrophe. They can happen because the roads are slick, because someone wasn’t paying attention, or because of a car malfunction. The outcome can be a minor bump in a parking lot or a serious car pileup that cost some of the drivers, passengers and pedestrians their life or limbs. Regardless of the severity, you will always need to contact the police after an accident, but you may not always need to contact a lawyer. It is when you are involved in the cases of determinable fault that you will require the expertise of an auto accident law firm. The experienced attorneys therein will be thoroughly familiar with a variety of car incident cases and be aware of how to approach the proof of your case. No defense attorney likes to take a case that they can’t prove, so when they offer their services, they must believe in the value of the evidence and witness testimonies of your state of mind, the way you were driving and the events of that moment. The first step is the find the best auto accident law firm to represent you and discover what they can do to help you during this difficult and possibly painful time.

The first and most basic way that an auto accident law firm attorney can help you is with advice concerning the first steps to take after an accident has occurred. You are likely to be in shock or in pain so it is important to already have in mind how to calmly move forward and protect yourself. First, attend to the normal safety precautions regarding surrounding traffic and receipt of medical attention so that you will preserve your life regardless of the condition of the vehicle. Second, fill out your police report. Third, exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved. Speak with the other drivers, document the accident and speak with any witnesses about what they saw. Third, you will need to report the crash to your insurance company. If a company was to blame for a spill or you know that someone else is to blame for the incident then the final step is to seek legal advice and representation. The auto accident law firm can protect your rights during the filing of your claim and seeking of medical coverage. You don’t want to be left to fend for yourself while in an inordinate amount of pain and without your main source of transportation.

Tips for Law Firms, Attorneys and Legal Professionals

Violence committed by clients against attorneys and legal professionals is real. It happens in small towns and big cities, and in small and large legal practices. Some practice areas are more volatile than others, such as divorce and family law, dispute resolution, employment law and real estate litigation. Particularly in a bad economy with high unemployment, tempers are short and more people reach levels of desperation.

While dramatic cases like shootings at law firms make headlines, the majority of security incidents among attorneys and staff are unreported because they involve harassment and lower level threats. In the privacy of attorney-client meetings, emotional and sometimes irrational individuals lash out at their lawyers. Money is often at the heart of disputes and many attorneys are confronted with disagreements about their billable hours. Clients become upset and irate about how their case is proceeding or the outcome of a case. Meetings that involve elevated voices and foul language can be the precursor to a physical altercation.

Receptionists and other staff in law firms also encounter angry, hostile clients. Although experienced receptionists have a thick skin and are sometimes trained in how to manage harassment by clients and opposing parties, there are situations when they are truly threatened and in danger.

Law practice management should include systems and procedures that ensure workplace safety and violence prevention for attorneys and staff. All law office employees should acquire the skills to recognize and manage threatening, potentially dangerous individuals. Client-facing legal professionals need tools to protect themselves and prevent early stage situations from escalating into major, dangerous events.

Here are 10 safety tips for attorneys and legal staff.

1. Create a safe work environment for receptionists. Ensure receptionists have a clear view of the office entry way with little opportunity for people to sneak in or hide, particularly doors, elevators, and all traffic flow. Design the front desk to provide a barrier between receptionists and clients but also allows easy escape. Delineate a clear understanding of where clients are allowed to be in the lobby and front desk area. Remove office objects from the front desk that are potential weapons and keep them stored in drawers or cabinets – staplers, scissors and letter openers. Keep computer screens and family photos away from public view.

2. Establish safe meeting areas for clients and attorneys. Safe areas can include windows to allow co-workers to see what is occurring inside but still maintain confidentiality. Meeting areas should have two entrances so attorneys and staff can avoid being cornered. Before entering meeting rooms with potentially threatening clients, remove potential weapons from them.

3. Install security technology. Technology helps protect employees, reduces the severity of incidents and provides ways to quickly respond to situations. Consider installing buzzer doors that allow entry only after verification of the visitor. Provide panic buttons for attorneys, receptionists and other staff to discreetly notify others of a potentially dangerous situation before it escalates. Cameras and adequate lighting also help deter assailants.

4. Train all attorneys and staff how to handle angry clients. Defusing skills and knowing how to de-escalate hostile behavior are essential for attorneys and client-facing employees. Listening skills, redirecting negative behavior, setting boundaries and assault awareness are all acquired skills that should be continually honed with training and practice. There are many free online resources and security consultants who provide these services.

5. Establish a workplace violence policy and procedures. These should include clear instructions on how employees can report any concerns. Just as important as the method of reporting is an environment where all employees feel safe and supported. A danger that occurs in all workplaces, including law offices, is domestic violence spillover. When employees face domestic violence threats they must feel comfortable enough to inform their manager about embarrassing, private matters.

6. Provide employee assistance programs. Employee issues also arise from within a law practice. Human resources should provide support programs to employees with disciplinary issues or personal problems. This type of support helps prevent acts of violence and helps create a stronger, healthier workplace.

7. Develop risk and threat assessments. When a threat by a client emerges or is identified, a law office needs a process to determine the likelihood and severity of the threat. A process that gathers information, collects and reviews evidence and weighs warning signs is part of a good threat management system. Connections and relationships with local law enforcement and security professionals are paramount to risk analysis. Front desk personnel should be given descriptions of the threat with safety instructions should identified individuals arrive at the law firm.

8. Utilize legal resources to increase employee protection. Workplace restraining orders and trespass orders can always be obtained. Misdemeanor charges such as telephone harassment, stalking or property damage can be levied to create a paper trail for a threat, and the charges warn the individual not to harass legal professionals pending the trial. Many states also have a victim notification system that automatically calls any phone number once a person is released from jail.

9. Establish emergency response procedures. Should a threat ever become a reality, emergency response procedures help prevent a bad situation from becoming a complete catastrophe. A system that notifies all employees, has escape and lockdown procedures and support mechanisms for emergency response personnel are all components of crisis management.

10. Coordinate and communicate with neighboring businesses. It is important neighboring businesses are aware of potentially threatening, dangerous individuals. When a man bent on killing an attorney opens fire, anyone in the vicinity can be a target. Not only can emergency management be coordinated, but the surveillance of individuals and potential risks is increased through such community partnerships.

Law firms committed to workplace security ensure safe workplaces through the design of their facilities and the implementation of accessible, sophisticated technology. They train attorneys and employees in basic security skills to help mitigate hostile encounters. Conscientious law firms provide support for employees in need and establish an environment where their concerns can be disclosed. Safe law firms establish and practice threat and emergency management procedures that are vital in maintaining a safe workplace. While shootings in law firms are rare, the much more common hostile encounters with clients are sometimes warning signs that should be taken seriously.

These safety tips provide a general framework for establishing a safer law office, but the key requirement is to recognize threats against attorneys and legal professionals are real and can happen anywhere.

Questions When Choosing a Lawyer

When You Need a Lawyer, How Do You Choose One?

Choosing a lawyer is often a daunting and overwhelming task. One person says, “I’m being sued for defaulting on an auto loan. I want to fight it, but I don’t know where to start”. Someone says to him, “try a consumer protection lawyer“. Another says, try a litigation lawyer”. Well, that recommendation could be qualified a little more by saying, “you need a litigation lawyer – someone who’s used to court work. If your case is in small claims court (depending on where you are located) you may be able to find some good paralegals who are cheaper to retain”.

How do you figure out what to do? How do you know? In regards to choosing a lawyer, recommendations are only good if the person who is making the recommendation has actually seen the lawyer in action. anyone can talk big, but you want someone who will produce results for you.

Ask Pertinent Questions Before Retaining a Lawyer

You need to know the length of time expected to solve your legal problem, so ask the lawyer how long it has taken him/her to bring cases similar to your to a conclusion in the past.

Another good question to ask is if your case has more complex issues than the lawyer’s previous cases similar to yours in the past and whether the time to bring the case to conclusion would be affected.

Its also important to know if there are any legal time limitations that will affect the length of time you have to bring an action. If there is no way to predict how long this matter might take, what are the reasons for that? Also, the lawyer may be able to act more quickly if there’s something you can do to help speed up the process, so ask that question too.

Since you are not likely to know what the law is, ask the lawyer to explain the law as it relates to your case and the effect which existing laws may have on your case. To avoid confusion and problems with communication, it’s very important that both the client and lawyer fully understand each other with regard to the results expected.

Asking pertinent questions plays a big part in determining whether or not the cost and the time involved in pursuing the matter are worth the expected result. The lawyer and client should agree on what expectations that each have, such as settlement, mediation or trial, and how the lawyer will try to obtain those expectations. The client also has a right to expect a status report of the case.

Your Lawyer Choice is a Matter of Trust and a Professional Relationship

You should steer clear of lawyers who try to get too close to you as all legal relationships should remain on a professional relationship at all times. In addition, the price that lawyers charge makes it advisable to set up a pay-as-you-go agreement, such as on a monthly or quarterly basis. This way when it comes time to pay, you can ask yourself if you are receiving the best deal for your money, and if not, you can change gears when you need to. Since all the fees are coming out of your pocket its very important to deal with your lawyer in a businesslike fashion at all times until you are satisfied with the services.

Choose a Good Lawyer

While most of us hate lawyers, every one of us will need one during our life. If you plan to buy a house you will need the assistance of a lawyer. You will also need a lawyer when you formulate your will, or when you get married and need a prenuptial contract. If you choose to get divorced, you will also need the help of a lawyer.

It is not very likely you will be able to use one lawyer for all your needs: lawyers today are specialized just like doctors, especially when it comes to corporate law, so if you own a business you will need an attorney with expertise in business law. However, if you don’t have any special needs, a general practitioner will be able to help you with the most common personal matters like real estate transactions, wills or debt issues.

The most important thing when choosing a lawyer is your sympathy: you want someone you feel comfortable with and who has experience in the legal field you need: if you want to write your will, a personal injury lawyer may not be the best specialist. Usually the first meeting is free, so you can see whether the lawyer understands your needs and you can ask some questions, too.

You must ask how fees are calculated: there are lawyers who charge an hourly rate. The fees vary upon region, and whether your attorney is an associate or a partner. Routine matters are usually charged by hour. In personal injury cases contingency fees are usual: this means the lawyer gets paid only if you win.

Ask your attorney to make a fair assessment on how much he will charge you. He should be able to give you an estimate. There may be other costs you are responsible for, like filing fees, computer research or long distance phone calls. Before you choose an attorney, ask for a written fee agreement that states how much the attorney will charge you and what other costs you are responsible for.

If you are looking for a long-term relationship with a lawyer ask him whether he has the time and interest to be at your service whenever you need it. You should clarify how messages are handled, and whether the attorney has an assistant you can talk with when the attorney is not available.

You should stay away from professionals who seem not to be interested in your needs. It is also time to say ‘no’ if the attorney doesn’t listen to you and doesn’t follow your indications

Medical Lawyer

Medical LawyerWhen the standards for giving health care and treatment to patients are not followed by the health care professionals, this is known as medical malpractice. You need to talk to a lawyer to help you fight for your legal rights – while you recover from the injury inflicted by a mistake. Medical lawyers know about laws relative to health care issues and problems so that claims can reach the courts quickly and accurately.

How Serious are Medical Malpractice Cases?

Deaths related to malpractice have become the third leading cause, after heart disease and cancer. Over 200,000 people die each year from various medical-related mistakes:

  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Medication errors in hospitals
  • Infections in hospitals
  • Other fatal errors in hospitals
  • Non-error but resulted to adverse effects of medication

Other medical errors involve the following:

  • Surgical error – surgery on the wrong part, an instrument left behind, and anesthesia mistakes;
  • Medication error – overdose, missed dose, and wrong medication;
  • Obstetric error – damage inflicted to the mother and/or infant during childbirth process;
  • Misdiagnosis – missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis, and failure to diagnose; and
  • Laboratory mistake – laboratory results that give way to diagnosis errors.

When is the Right Time to File a Medical Lawsuit?

There is a time limit on filing a legal claim, which varies from state to state. The first step that a medical lawyer would do is to evaluate your case, which involves gathering and assessing medical records involved. If the case was strong enough, the next step involves giving written notification of the claims to parties responsible.

Bankruptcy Lawyer Support

Bankruptcy Lawyer SupportThe recent economic recession has forced many people to turn to bankruptcy lawyers to find ways of keeping afloat. Spikes in interest rates coupled with rising consumer prices, and the resulting decline in spending has left many individuals and businesses, with heavy financial burdens they find increasingly difficult to cope with. Loans that were once affordable a few years ago have become unsustainable today. Bankruptcy is not something one plans for, but is rather forced to do so as to attain some relief. Bankruptcy is usually a last resort. Just because you are suffering under the weight of heavy loan installments does not mean that this is the only solution to your problem. In recent years, many lending institutions have been forced to foreclose on homes and businesses of their defaulting borrowers. More often than not, they have been unable to recover even the principal outstanding by selling those properties. A bankruptcy lawyer should be in a position to help access your situation and see if there are alternative routes you can take.

The biggest problem in sorting out an impending personal financial crisis is the inability to face facts. Many people who now face bankruptcy would have been able to work out better repayment plans had they taken initiative early on. Loan modification is a viable solution, and in many cases, borrowers find that in the initial months of their default, lending institutions send out documents recommending new repayment plans. Unfortunately, many borrowers fear facing the reality of their situation and allow the problem to escalate to unmanageable proportions. For others, the new repayment plans work for only a short duration before putting them back in the dire position they were in initially. Before filing for bankruptcy, consult your attorney and try to work out a repayment plan that will work for you.

There are many government programs that you may be able to qualify for that will see your loan payments drastically reduced without having your credit score suffer adversely. Some programs allow borrowers who have been facing financial hardship to get interest rates reduced. For homeowners whose property values declined steeply, there are programs that can see the principal value of their loans recalculated to reflect the current market value of their homes. Some, who have become jobless recently, can apply for a suspension of loan payments for a period of over a year as they seek new employment. Others, who feel they can no longer hold on to high value properties, can even be assisted to take up new mortgages on more affordable housing and get financial assistance to help in covering moving expenses. Every program comes with its own eligibility criteria so consult your bankruptcy lawyer to find out whether you qualify for such assistance.

As earlier mentioned, many lenders are being faced with the harsh reality that even foreclosing on their clients does not guarantee that they will be able to recover all their money. They have come to support loan modification programs and can be receptive to listening and trying to help struggling clients restructure their loan facilities. Even in cases where bankruptcy has been filed, you may be compelled to arrange for a repayment plan anyway. Have an open mind as you visit a bankruptcy lawyer to get assistance on tackling crippling debt. You may be able to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement that will see you repay your debt and reduce the cost of litigation.

Work of Compensation Lawyers

Work of Compensation LawyersYou can hire compensation lawyers if you have been:

• Abused by your company at work
• Have been scammed by hospitals because they have been charging you with excessive amount of charges
• If the realtor you trust leave you hanging on your property contract
• When you experience a road accident and endured injuries for the fault of other driver
• Or when you have sustained severe loses and been subjected to physical and mental stress for an offense fully committed against you and your loved ones.

To all these situations, you have the right to claim payment or compensation. However, you need to notify the authorities first and make them aware about the nature of the offense committed against you before you can declare a legal claim.

Selecting compensation lawyers are important in those cases when you are not able to get your needed claim amount on your own. And as a typical person, you might not have the exact idea about the laws and regulations which have been written to guide you in getting your compensation. A compensation lawyer, on the other hand, focuses primarily on such cases and will stand for your case in the most effective way before and during the trial.

Accident compensation lawyers are lawyers who deal with accident related compensation claims. Cases such as getting injured at the office or workplace are mastered by work accident compensation professionals. They assist you in getting the payment you rightfully should get for all the external injuries along with the mental tension and trauma you have experienced. Personal injury compensation lawyers are legal representatives that particularly work with personal injury claims cases and allow you to recover healthcare expenses and loss of payment you incurred due to the accident that was caused by negligence by the organization or company you worked for.

Medical compensation lawyers are legal representatives that are willing to help you acquire settlement as a result of physical discomfort and charges suffered because of irresponsible hospital treatment.

Military compensation lawyers are lawyers that help men in the army who experienced ailments and accidental injuries while performing their work. Military men usually have to undergo dreadful circumstances, live in dangerous and unhealthy disorders. These people lose hands or legs while fighting battles and therefore become not capable of carrying out any other tasks despite the fact that they could have been certified to accomplish multiple works. Military compensation lawyers support such individuals to obtain the rewards that they are entitled to from the authorities to pay the long term medical charges and also the loss of pay they get because of serious health problems or accidents.

It is not difficult to seek help from compensation lawyers who will evaluate your case and guide you all throughout the way. If you decide to hire their services, they should show you how to professionally tackle your case and lead you to a solution. Your compensation claims are for your benefit and should be used towards your recovery.