May is Older Americans Month and also National Elder Law Month

Is seems right that they should go together. Unfortunately older Americans and elder law do not go together as often as they should, according to Jeff Rheinhardt of the Ilion elder law firm, Rheinhardt & Bray, PC. So what are the reasons most cited for not seeing a lawyer?

One reason is because people are afraid they will be convinced to buy more service than they need or can afford. Rheinhardt says the solution to that concern is to make sure the attorney explains the proposal in “plain English.” People should be skeptical of any proposal the attorney cannot explain to their satisfaction.

Another reason people avoid lawyers is because they believe they can take care of the matter themselves. There is an old adage that says that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. “The same goes for anyone else who tries to do their own legal planning,” according to Rheinhardt, who points out that his firm is often called upon to undo “homemade” plans that have gone bad. The reason most often cited by people who do not see a lawyer is that they are “afraid” to go to the office. Rheinhardt admits to being surprised by that finding, until he recalls visiting his own fathers law office, “next to the doctor’s office, my fathers office was one of the scariest places I went as a child, and he was my father,” says Rheinhardt. The traditional law office seemed so solemn and important that one could not help be a bit uncomfortable and in awe. Rheinhardt believes that the old stereotype is more the exception than the rule today, as offices have become much more relaxed and people friendly environments.

Rheinhardt concludes by saying that the reasons given for not seeing a qualified attorney are poor excuses considering the potential consequences of having no plan or a poor plan.

Which Office Would You Like To Call?​