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Old 02-22-2018, 03:21 PM
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,388 posts, read 9,134,430 times
Reputation: 13025


I can highly recommend Mrs5150, but itís a long drive for your friend.

Youíll want to find someone who practices law in your friendís state of residence.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:44 PM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,071,114 times
Reputation: 11540
I hired an "Elder Care Attorney" based on the recommendations that were given to me by the Nursing agency that was caring for my Mom. She had bank accounts, a house, and wanted to get the VA Aid and Attendance program since my Dad was a vet.

Oh brother. They asked for $4500 up front. They assured us they could achieve the necessary goal (Aid and Attendance). After several months of back and forth, I got really really mad and started to do the paperwork on my own. The VA would not cooperate with me. It was a whole year later, after many nasty phone calls to that attorney that I finally got $2000 refunded. No Aid and Attendance. No help with anything. Be very careful who you hire.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:16 PM
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
7,865 posts, read 10,545,026 times
Reputation: 7934
I would suggest reposting your question to the state the person lives in with a title very similar to the one you used (can't use same title twice), that way, you will get more local answers. I would start off by saying, I originally posted in the Retirement thread but since I am looking for an attorney in __________, I thought perhaps this would be a better place to post.

I am only suggesting that in the event the mods might want to move it, but I doubt it.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:33 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,295 posts, read 4,148,032 times
Reputation: 18259
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
I'm widowed. I didn't use an elder lawyer. I'm not sure what she will need one for if she doesn't have many assets.

Your widowed friend will need about 11 death certificates. If there are both "long" and "short" certificates she should ask the funeral home how many of each she will need when ordering them.

Your widowed friend needs to call Social Security to report the death of her spouse. She will a receive $255 death benefit.

She needs to call the credit cards and cancel his cards. They will want the death certificate.

She needs to call all 3 credit agencies and report his death. They will each want the death certificate.

She needs to contact their bank(s). If there were joint accounts they will be changed to her name only. If they were POD to someone else, thee money will be paid to the beneficiary. They will want the death certificate.

She needs to call the Life Insurance Company, if there was one, and file a claim. They will want the death certificate.

She needs to call the property appraisers office to find out how to get her house transferred into her name. All I had to do was submit the death certificate and it was done automatically.

She will need to contact a probate attorney to do the probate, if there is anything that needs to run through the courts. They will want the death certificate and will.

She will need to contact the department of motor vehicle registration to find out what she has to do to put the car title into her name, if it isn't already. All I had to do was bring the death certificate and pay their fee.

If there was stock held, or an annuity with a death benefit, she will need to contact the insurance company or broker and provide a death certificate.

If the utilities are in the dead spouse's name, she will need to call the utilities and get the account transferred to herself. They will want the death certificate.

She can give away his clothing to charitable organizations..
This is an excellent list! Down the road, she will also need to make/revise her own will, name beneficiaries on any financial accounts she holds, and decide who should be executor of her own estate and who should hold Durable Medical Power of Attorney and Durable Financial Power of Attorney for her.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:33 PM
1,247 posts, read 565,495 times
Reputation: 2280
I found mine by looking up the attorney continuing education service (CLE) and finding what attorneys were listed on the books that they sold about elder law. Search elder law, your state, CLE and see if you can find books. Which are usually written by local counsel.

This could get you started.

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Old 02-22-2018, 06:35 PM
Location: Ohio
19,875 posts, read 14,221,081 times
Reputation: 16075
Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
So tomorrow I'll be calling a few friends to see if anyone can recommend (based on personal experience) an elder lawyer to help a newly widowed friend get her life in order, as she asked me to do.
Here on CD, I'm asking for your best advice or learned experience to help this friend settle her husband's estate, and make her way financially and legally as a widowed senior (76) woman. They were not well off, at all, if that's a question. But they own a home with a small mortgage.
Yes, first, I know that she should find someone she can trust.
That's me; done, slam dunked, please don't answer to this statement. Thanks.
Now, can you help me? I'm that well trusted friend that lives 700 miles away. Lots more I can say about my friend's abilities/disabilities going forward, and my part in getting her some answers, but that's not what I'm asking you to consider.
I guess I just need to know what to look for as we search for an attorney. Much appreciate your sincere advice.
There are a couple of web-sites dealing with elder law questions including:


There's a web-site for elder law attorneys:


A lot of people use AARP to find lawyers, and you can contact the local Council on Aging.

One of the important questions you can ask is, "Who will be handling my case?" Just because you talk to an attorney doesn't mean that attorney will be handling your case. They often slough it off on a junior attorney (typically in mid-size and large law firms).
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:12 AM
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,852,979 times
Reputation: 4876
You also could ask at the state level with authorities who address elder abuse who they recommend.

Not all elder law attorneys address the same issues. We had an elder law trust attorney who did not litigate problems with trusts. She just sets them up. She does not litigate if there are problems after death.

Be careful. There are people who hang out the elder law shingle who have no clue what they are doing.

Oh - and asking for a $5000 retainer is common.
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