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Legal Resources

Legal and Financial Resources

Many seniors have questions about legal documents, elder law attorneys, and financial services available to assist them with planning for the future. 

Elder law attorneys
– Lawyers who are specifically educated to handle a broad aspect of seniors’ legal needs are called elder law attorneys. They often assist their clients with estate planning, wills, guardianship, planning for retirement or long-term health care planning.
– Guardianship is a legal process by which a professional person is court-appointed to represent someone who is unable to handle their own personal interests and does not have a responsible, trusted person to do so, such as a power of attorney. Guardianship happens for a variety of reasons, such as when the person has no family to help or their caregiver has exploited or abused them. Court appointed guardians act on behalf of the person and are involved with handling their housing, medical treatment and finances. Since guardianship often removes many rights of the individual, it is often considered only after alternative routes are proven to be ineffective interventions.
Power of attorney
– This defines a person (or persons) that you name to act on your behalf to handle your finances or property. Many people also name their power of attorney as their health care proxy or medical power of attorney.
– A Will is a legal document that outlines how you want your estate, including property and belongings, to be distributed after your death; it is possible to write your will yourself, however, most people choose to have an attorney’s assistance to avoid any legal mistakes.

Healthy Aging Program

The Healthy Aging Program at Atlantic Health System suggests the following helpful resources to assist seniors with legal and financial needs: