Legal Rights for Seniors

There are many laws and regulations on the local, state and federal level enacted to protect senior citizens. These rules cover many or most of the important aspects of life, such as housing, income and health care. The sheer number of rules and entitlements, plus the complexity of obtaining access can become a confusing burden for many older Americans.

It is possible for people over the age of 60 to obtain help navigating through the system at no, or very little cost. Here are some issues many people might want assistance with:

  • Writing a will- If you should die without a will, some states will distribute the assets you leave behind according to a legal formula which might not be aligned with your own wishes for your property. It is therefore usually a good idea to have a will in place to protect your family when you pass on.
  • Sale or purchase of real estate
  • Discrimination
  • Threat of eviction
  • Landlord refuses to make needed repairs to your living space
  • Benefits questions

If any of the above issues, or others, is a concern for you, you might want to consider hiring a lawyer. An attorney will help you with estate planning and creating a will which will adhere to your wishes for the future dispersal of your assets.

Your attorney is legally obligated to keep all information you share with him or her absolutely confidential, as long as that information will not prevent a crime. As a client, you have a right to know your lawyer’s qualifications. You also have a right to know in advance what the attorney’s fee will be. Be sure your lawyer is aware of the special issues that are unique to the elderly, such as; planning for incapacity, planning for long-term health care, preservation of your assets, and providing for your family and loved ones after your demise.

Other issues of concern to seniors are Social Security benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Medicaid; Medicare; Food Stamps; Public Supported Housing; and more.

Whatever your own personal situation, it is always best to be informed and properly prepared for all possible eventualities, to protect yourself, and your loved ones.