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What types of questions should I be asking when I choose an eldercare attorney?

I'm very worried that I will end up with someone who is dishonest or just trying to make a fast buck.
Status: Open    Apr 10, 2015 - 03:44 PM

Elder Law

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Aug 11, 2015 - 12:15 PM

First, ask him or her whether Elder law is a majority of or one of many areas in which they practice. Lawyers generally can't call themselves "specialists" but they can limit their practice to an area like Elder law. I would go with someone who claims to spend at least 50% of their time in this area. Some states have designations as a specialty. This is helpful but not conclusive. In our state they are called CELAs, or certified elder law attorneys. Elder law is also a broad area so just because someone has a CELA designation, it doesn't mean they practice in all the areas you might need. Also ask around. Ask friends and senior centers and gerontologists and financial advisors who they recommend. Cream always rises to the top. Lastly, use a site like this and AVVO to find qualified attorneys. AVVO has independent reviews of attorneys in a wide range of practice areas.

I am concerned that you seem to have a distrust of attorneys. I hope your experience with a good Elder law attorney can change that.

Apr 28, 2016 - 08:23 AM

You may want to ask other trusted advisers (like doctors, financial advisers or CPAs) for a referral. You can also ask other attorneys in different areas of the law. Often attorneys are aware of concerns folks have with their peers. Finally, non-profit associations that focus on the elderly are a great source for referrals.

Apr 29, 2016 - 08:00 AM

I’d ask about the attorney’s experience in the field as it is indeed a very specialized field. Check some community resources to see what his or her reputation is and whether any facilities or referral sources have worked with this attorney.
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