Reaching an advanced age comes with many challenges. In addition to potential health problems and mental health concerns, many legal questions can also arise.
In certain circumstances, it may be wise to seek answers to these questions from an experienced trusts and estates lawyer. A Moorestown elder law attorney could help evaluate your legal needs, identify the necessary legal steps needed to pursue your goals, and work to protect your legal rights.
Legal Questions for Senior Citizens
A person who is reaching an older age could have many legal concerns, including what is to be done in case of incapacity or what they wish to happen to their estate after they pass away. State law establishes default procedures that can dictate what happens if a person dies without a will.
However, most people choose to retain control over this process by creating a will with the help of a Moorestown elder law attorney. A valid will can provide specific instructions concerning:
- Money in bank accounts
- Distribution of real estate and other property
- Pension benefits
- Rights to control businesses
Many people may also be concerned with the rights prior to death if they become unable to control their lives. If a person still retains control over their mental faculties, they may give another person power of attorney for any specific purpose to handle their affairs. If a person is already incapacitated, a court may appoint a person as a guardian to handle an elder’s estate prior to death.
Taking Steps to Protect an Elder’s Wishes in Court
An elder’s wishes carry no legal effect if the instruments used to document those wishes do not meet certain legal prerequisites. For example, there are strict requirements that a testator creating a trust must meet. According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §3B:31-19, a settlor must define the beneficiary and appoint a trustee to their account in order to set up a trust.
Similar laws govern the creation of wills, living wills, and guardianships. An elder law attorney in Moorestown could help clarify the legal requirements to create testamentary documents and ensure these documents are recognized in probate court.
How a Moorestown Elder Law Attorney Could Help
Growing older can be difficult, but a Moorestown elder law attorney could help to provide valuable information concerning your rights as an elder, how to preserve your wishes after death or during life if you are unable to do so yourself. Legal counsel could also help to draft legally binding wills that distribute your assets and liabilities after death, create trusts to help a child go to college, establish a scholarship, or even provide for the care of an animal.
Finally, they could help your children or other close relations to obtain guardianship over you in case you can no longer take care of yourself. Get in touch with a dedicated lawyer today to see how they might be able to help you preserve your wishes.