Elder law is a fairly recent entry to the age-old legal profession. It covers an area of legal practice that places an emphasis on issues that affect the fastest growing segment of the population – the elderly. The issues that an elder law attorney can assist with normally fall into three inter-related categories:
- Quality of life;
- Financial issues;
- Health and long term care.
Quality of Life
Quality of life issues that an elder law attorney may address within their practice include:
- Nursing home law;
- Guardianship and conservatorship;
- Powers of attorney; and
- Disability planning.
Financial issues within elder law include the broad area of estate planning, which is planning to manage property later in life and planning to distribute it after you pass. Other issues that may be addressed relating to elder law and finances are:
- Financial planning;
- Retirement planning;
- Wills and trusts;
- Medicaid planning;
- Trust administration; and
- Special needs planning.
Health and Long Term Care
Elder law attorneys also offer services that relate to the health and care of the elderly. Specific issues an elder law attorney may specialize in include:
- Elder abuse;
- Nursing home abuse;
- Medical directives;
- Long term care; and
- Medicaid law.
Elder law takes a more holistic approach to the needs of the elderly. Elder law attorneys work with a variety of legal issues to meet the goals of the older client. It is an area of law that requires an attorney to have a broad understanding of all the laws that may impact their clients in any given situation, as well as addressing future needs and contingency planning.
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