As caregivers and their care recipients move through the challenges of providing and receiving care, they may face some legal issues. Understanding legal rights and limitations can help smooth the transitions.
In Missouri, older adults have a right to make decisions for themselves regarding care, living arrangements and financial matters. In the event that they become unable to make these decisions, legal arrangements must be made in order to protect their best interests. These arrangements may include:
For more detailed information, please contact Legal Aid of Western Missouri by calling 816/474-6750.
In the event Legal Aid is not able to assist you, please consider the following:
Contacting an elder law attorney: Elder law attorneys specialize in the following areas: estate planning, wills, probate, trusts, management and administration of estates; long-term care, nursing home or assisted-living issues; claims and appeals for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SSI, disability, pension and insurance; end-of-life planning, including durable powers of attorney, living wills, advanced directives, conservatorships and guardianships; and elder rights, including age discrimination, elder abuse and fraud.
If you decide to go with an elder law attorney, keep in mind that most don't specialize in all areas of elder law, so you'll need to choose someone who has the expertise that matches your needs. A list of elder law attorneys can be by clicking here.
Pro bono programs: These programs help low-income people find volunteer lawyers who are willing to handle their cases for free. Legal Aid of Western Missouri sponsors a volunteer attorney program or you can look for a pro bono program at lawhelp.org.
AARP Legal Services Network: The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides their members with a free legal consultation (up to 45 minutes) with an attorney in their area, along with discounts on other legal services they may need. To locate a lawyer in the AARP network near you, visit aarplsn.com or call 866-330-0753.
The MARC Department of Aging Services makes limited legal assistance available to those caregiving for an older adult over the age of 60 and grandparents aged 55 years and older who are pursuing guardianship for a grandchild.
There is no predetermined fee scale for legal assistance provided through the MARC Department of Aging Services with Legal Aid of Western Missouri. Voluntary contributions are accepted to help defray the cost of services received.