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Understanding the Importance of Elder Law and Guardianship in Arkansas for the Elderly

What is Elder Law?

Elder law encompasses many different fields of law. These fields include the preservation of assets, disability planning, nursing home rights, guardianships, and more. The heart of elder law is serving senior citizens with essential legal matters in Searcy County and beyond. Proactive long-range planning and preparation of appropriate legal documents will put you in far better stead as you meet aging challenges.

Why does Elder Law matter?

Health care costs are rising at a rate faster than most people’s finances can afford. In addition, people are living longer because of advances in medicine and healthcare in Arkansas. Many don’t realize that the fastest-growing segment of the American population includes people ages 80 and over.

Elder law allows for a holistic approach to legal advice, taking everything from housing and financial well-being to long-term care and quality of life into consideration. An expert attorney looks at one’s entire situation; creating an estate plan or Medicaid Crisis Plan that accurately addresses and fits their needs is challenging. Working with an elder law attorney helps ensure that you have peace of mind when navigating life’s legal issues.

Understanding Guardianship in Arkansas

Guardianships can be one of the best ways to protect a loved one from financial ruin or even abuse. These cases generally fall into two categories:

  1. Spouse obtaining guardianship over a spouse.
  2. Child obtaining guardianship over a parent.

At our Arkansas law firm, we believe guardianship should be a last resort. We attempt to work closely with the family and the proposed ward to avoid the court’s involvement and costs. Many families appreciate our reluctance to pursue the court unless it is necessary. If the court process is in the best interest of the spouse or parent, we will walk you through the process of initial filing to the court hearing before a judge. We understand this can be an extremely emotional process and hope our experience will help your family make the best decision possible.

When should you hire an Arkansas Elder Law Lawyer?

Arkansas elder law attorneys help create a legal plan to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are met in your golden years of life. Today, our aging population faces several challenges, including the high cost of long-term care. An elder law attorney can help you, or a loved one finance care with the lowest impact on your assets—for example, protecting your home.

One example would be planning to re-write your will while your spouse is ill. In this case, the estate planning attorney involved needs to have a working knowledge of Medicaid to identify any possible issues regarding your spouse’s inheritance.

The earlier you start planning, the more options you or a loved one will have available for future care needs. Our experienced Arkansas attorneys can help you plan for your healthcare needs and protect your assets.

Work with an Experienced Arkansas Elder Law Attorney

McClelland Law Firm, P.A. is here to help you and your loved ones understand probate and trust administration, estate planning, Medicaid planning, crisis planning, guardianship, and elder law. Our Benton, Sherwood, and Searcy law offices welcome you to contact us and learn how we can help meet your elder law legal matters in Searcy County and surrounding Arkansas areas.

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Case Study 1:  

John Smith (Dad) and Jane Smith (Mom) live in a subdivision off Beebe Capps in Searcy. They have three out-of-state children:  John, Paul, and George. George is often busy traveling with his music career, and John’s wife has caused a lot of strife among the boys. When Paul visited in April 2016, Dad and Mom set up an estate plan putting Paul in charge because he not only had a successful business, but Dad said, “When the long and winding road is over, he’s the son to help the family come together.” Choosing the right agent or child can help keep the family together.

Case Study 2:  

The Smith family have recently retired in the Heights in Little Rock after a long career farming in the delta. They are the caregivers from a special needs grandson, Treveor. When they sold the farm near Marianna, they bought their dream home and invested the rest. Their number one goal is to establish a special needs trust for Trevor, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and will never live independently. Planning for special needs preserves state benefits, nominates caregivers should he outlive them, and maximizes the quality of life for their grandson.

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