Michael Marks Discusses Growing Concerns of an Individual’s Legal Capacity with Alzheimer’s

Imagine a world where the people and places that you knew your entire life gradually started becoming unfamiliar to you. Your longtime friends, your own children, even your spouse are simply faces who you no longer recognize. This may sound like the plot to a horror film; however, an estimated 5.5 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease known as Alzheimer’s.

With all of the challenges that an individual may face in their life, developing Alzheimer’s is single-handedly considered to be one of the more frightening uncontrollable factors. Not only is the disease frightening for the person who is going through it, but it can take a toll on their family members as well.

Commonly faced with the question of estate planning and legal capacity for Alzheimer’s patients, Michael Marks of Marks Elder Law is all too familiar with how to handle their concerns. Specializing in elder law, Michael Marks’ firm works to help families, individuals, and caregivers have a better understanding on how to estate plan for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s.

If you suspect that you or a loved one are beginning to show signs of Alzheimer’s, it’s time to start estate planning immediately. Time is of the essence when dealing with Alzheimer’s and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to balance the effects of the disease with getting the estate situated. The sooner you are able to act, the better your mental capacity will be to handle all of your legal affairs. Unfortunately, as your health declines and your memory worsens, the possibility of being declared legally incompetent grows. This, in turn, affects your ability to make decisions for yourself and control goes to your designated power of attorney.

Creating a power of attorney is essential in making sure your wishes are met long after you are no longer capable of making them for yourself. Michael Marks strongly urges you to handle your power of attorney before it’s too late. In order to create a power of attorney, the elder must be aware of what they are doing and signing. The grantor-the one suffering from the Alzheimer’s- must in good mental standing to sign the form and have it legally be admissible. This is in large part to protect from elder abuse.

When the signs of Alzheimer’s begin to show, it’s time to take action. For more information on estate planning in the wake of an Alzheimer’s diagnose, be sure to contact Michael Marks elder law firm.


Breaking Down Social Security Benefits with Michael Marks Elder Law Firm

One thing Michael Marks from Marks Elder law has noticed is that many of his clients do not have a full understanding of Social Security benefits. When many people think of Social Security, they immediately assume that these are benefits you can only collect once you retire. That is not the case. In fact, there are a number of different types of Social Security benefits that apply to a variety of situations. Here, Michael of Marks Elder Law breaks them down to give you a better understanding.

Retirement Benefits
The majority of people who receive Social Security benefits do so once they retire. These benefits are partially available once a person hits 62 years old and has worked enough to acquire eligibility. People retiring now can get their full retirement benefit at ag 66. The maximum of your retirement benefits is eligible to be received when you hit 70 years old. The amount of your benefit is based on the average of your earnings in your highest 35 years, but there is a cap on how much you can receive.

Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits are made available for people who have been working, but then become disabled and are no longer able to re-enter the workforce. The requirements for collecting disability benefits vary based on age, education, skills, etc. For those over the age of 24, the injury must be on a pre-approved list of impairments and/or accompanied by a severe medical condition. Many applicants are denied initially and have to appeal to win benefits.

Additionally, benefits are available for spouses and children of disabled workers, as long as the spouse is at least 62 and has a child under 16 or the child is disabled themselves.  A divorced spouse can also collect disabled benefits if they were married to the disabled worker for 10 years.

Survivor’s Benefits
Losing a loved one is hard and there is no amount of financial support that can make that easier. However, the Social Security Administration sometimes pays a modest one-time payout to the spouse or child of the deceased worker. Ongoing benefits are available if the widow/widower is at least 60 years old, disabled and at least 50, or if they are the parent of the young child, disabled or not.

Supplemental Security Benefits
Finally, Supplemental Social Security benefits are a special category of Social Security, available to help those who are 65 and older, blind, disabled, and have very limited income and assets.


Choosing the Right Elder Law Attorney

Far too often, the needs of our eldest citizens in the community are over- looked or under-represented. It takes a special kind of person to truly care for the needs of the elderly and to work on their behalf. Unless you are fortunate enough to live in the Pittsburgh, PA area to enlist the help of Michael Marks of Marks Elder Law firm, sometimes, finding the right person to do that can be hard. Here, Michael Marks offers you 3 simple questions to ask yourself to assist you in finding the right elder law attorney.

Question 1: What is their primary focus?
Elder law is an extremely complicated matter. The laws regarding benefits for veterans, Medicaid procedures and applications, and government programs are detailed constantly changing every year. Lawyers who did not specialize in elder law are at a disadvantage when it comes to helping clients with those areas. Unless your lawyer has intimate knowledge of the topic, you could be getting left out to dry. Find a lawyer who specializes in the needs associated with elder law.

Question 2: Do they have the right experience?
In addition to their primary focus, what level of experience does the attorney bring to the table? Michael Marks of Marks Elder Law brings over 35 years of experience. This knowledge of the industry gives his clients piece of mind when they work with him. What level of experience does your potential elder law attorney have that you believe can help benefit you? Ask about their experience and knowledge in certain areas like Medicaid and estate planning.

Question 3: What is their success rate for clients?
Finally, not only do you want an attorney who has helped clients such as yourself, but you want someone who was successful in doing so. Having a low success rate could potentially mean an attorney is not as well versed in the area as one would hope.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Attorneys are here to help you. Make sure that you choose the right attorney so that you are comfortable with the type of help you are receiving.