Common Questions to Ask When Looking to Hire an Elder or Special Needs Law Attorney
- How long have you been practicing special needs/elder law?
Finding a lawyer with substantial experience is always important when looking for someone to represent you or anyone you love. You can also ask how long the attorney has been practicing any other areas of law because an experienced lawyer is better than one that only has a few years in a specialized area. Another area of practice may also overlap with special needs or elder law. For example, a highly experienced estate planning attorney will be much more helpful than someone practicing personal injury law.
- What percentage of your practice is elder or special needs law?
It is crucial to find an attorney who does not dabble in elder or special needs law, but rather has a substantial amount of practice in it. While real estate, litigation, and corporate practice can all be beneficial for your case, you will want to find an attorney who stays up-to-date with current advancements and has enough concentration in the field.
- How involved will you be in seeing my family and me throughout the process?
Depending on the case, some attorneys make sure to stay up to date with long-term care by setting up trusts but do not help their clients apply for benefits. Some attorneys will help out with the Medicaid application but will not necessarily represent their clients on appeals or in superior court. In such cases, most attorneys can refer you and your family to another attorney to help represent you further. However, it might be better to know in advance and is worth asking.
- Can you do home visits?
Depending on your situation, this may or may not be a necessity. However, if you do need home visits, make sure to ask about any additional costs so you are not blindsided by any fees.
- What are the costs of your services?
Most of the time, lawyers will have a hard time providing a complete answer to this question without full consultation. However, they should be able to give you a range of fees, so you and your family can make an informed decision before proceeding. Make sure not to get caught up in comparing two attorney’s fees, as other factors can prove to be just as important. For example, high fees can be outweighed by the attorney’s compassion, responsiveness, and clarity in spelling out complicated legal concepts.
- Will I be working directly with you or with someone else on your team?
Different law firms and individual lawyers work in various ways. Some lawyers like to delegate tasks, while others prefer to do everything on their own. While there is no right way to practice law, you might feel more comfortable knowing how your lawyer plans to handle your case.
If you are looking for an elder or special need attorney, contact The Law Offices of Howe and Garside at (401) 841-5700. Our experienced and qualified attorneys can help keep you informed and, most importantly, help you achieve the best possible outcome. We look forward to hearing from you!