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Old 02-21-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,937 posts, read 2,471,125 times
Reputation: 1681

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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.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,406 posts, read 5,928,354 times
Reputation: 7121
Quote:
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.
I am completely confused....
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:43 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,502 posts, read 62,199,370 times
Reputation: 32187
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
Need Advice on Elder Lawyer Shopping

So tomorrow I'll be calling a few friends to see if anyone can recommend....
Here on CD, I'm asking for your best advice
Ask people who actually know something and who you have reason to trust first.
Your own lawyer or cpa and such.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
133 posts, read 81,110 times
Reputation: 171
Some states have a lawyer referral service such as Legal Services for the Elderly here in Maine. You might check if her state has such a service.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:16 AM
 
7,982 posts, read 11,665,473 times
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I've not found much when looking for "Elder lawyer".

What issues do you need a lawyer for? Estates? Trusts? Wills? A reverse mortgage? All sorts of regular lawyers handle that.
If you want to get her social services thats sort of a different thing and I'm not sure lawyers do that.
Rather than look for an "elder lawyer" (not sure what that is or if they exist although I hear the term a lot) find any lawyer you can trust.
Anyway lawyers are expensive and she doesn't have much money so....
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,937 posts, read 2,471,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietnights View Post
Some states have a lawyer referral service such as Legal Services for the Elderly here in Maine. You might check if her state has such a service.
Thanks! So many issues to settle and I'm 700 miles away working full time.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,764 posts, read 10,848,423 times
Reputation: 16639
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
Thanks! So many issues to settle and I'm 700 miles away working full time.
In the ministry, I've worked with a number of elderly people who needed legal help. There are a large number of listings under 'elder law attorney.' I've had the best results in dealing with a Christian attorney who specialized in elder law and estate planning. We've set-up estates, paperwork, healthcare surrogates, wills, trusts, executors, etc..

While there are many jokes about the difficulty of finding an good attorney who is also a Christian, I can assure you there are many. If you don't know any, check with a local church pastor or dm me for Florida contacts
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:46 PM
 
381 posts, read 352,755 times
Reputation: 1984
I asked for referrals from my senior group at church. I also wanted someone who is "street smart" because laws are changing all the time. I was looking for the guy who keeps his ears open, attends conferences, and has connections, and doesn't spend all of his time in his office. I paid a flat fee (expensive) and took 6 months from start to finish. As each document was discussed, I sent copies to my sons (and daughter-in-laws) for comments. The attorney knew my sons (and daughter-in-laws) are all very well educated people. I told him that each one would be questioning his proposals. All done now. I haven't had to use anything yet. I did not ask attorney any questions. I told him what I wanted and it was his job to show me how he could obtain that goal. Some ideas I rejected; some I agreed to.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
133 posts, read 81,110 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I've not found much when looking for "Elder lawyer".
The search term should be elder law or elder law attorney. It’s a specific practice area covering the needs of older people.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do? - FindLaw. This link also includes an elder law attorney search. One can also search the state’s bar association site.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:14 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,773 times
Reputation: 4310
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.

She should be prepared to answer stupid questions, and for aggravation. She should be prepared for dozens of telemarketing calls asking to speak to the dead spouse.

Sending my condolences and best wishes for a gentle grief journey.
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