So, just what is elder law and what does an elder law attorney do?
When someone asks me what I do for a living and I tell them I practice as an Elder Lawyer, I often get a puzzled look with the question, “What exactly is Elder Law?”
So, in honor of National Elder Law Month, let’s try to clarify the term Elder Law. Without getting too technical I would define Elder Law as a broad category of multidisciplinary practice which has one thing in common – the elderly, incapacitated or any age client who wants to plan for their senior years.
Unlike traditional lawyers, Elder Law Attorneys deal with their clients “holistically” — helping with the issues that affect a particular segment of the population rather than a narrow area of law.
While the areas of interest to seniors are many, most attorneys practicing Elder Law will incorporate one or more of the following areas into their practice: Estate Planning, including preparation of Wills, Trusts and Advance Directives (Durable Financial Powers of Attorney, Health Care Durable Powers of Attorney and Living Wills), Estate Administration (commonly called Probate), planning for long term care (including Medicaid and other government benefits), planning for disability (including Social Security Disability benefits), Guardianship and Elder Abuse issues.
As the population continues to age and the percentage of people considered seniors grows, Elder Law and its constituent areas of practice will continue to grow in demand.
Without proper planning, various state laws will become a substitute for your wishes or you could lose a great deal of your hard earned wealth. I urge anyone, from the young couple just starting out to the more mature folks looking to ensure that their affairs are in order, to seek the counsel of an Elder Law attorney. If you would like to discuss any of these Elder Law topics or want to begin the planning process, call me to arrange your no obligation consultation.