What is Elder Law
“Elder Law” is the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and their representatives about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making, older persons’ legal capacity, the conservation, disposition and administration of older persons’ estates and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters, giving due consideration to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise.
In addition, attorneys certified in elder law must be capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older persons, or their representatives, with respect to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the older person, insurance, housing, long-term care, employment, and retirement. The certified elder law attorney must also be familiar with professional and non-legal resources and services publicly and privately available to meet the needs of the older persons, and be capable of recognizing the professional conduct and ethical issues that arise during representation.
What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Attorneys who work in the field of elder law bring more to their practice than an expertise in the appropriate area of law. They also have knowledge of the senior population and their unique needs as well as the myths related to competence and aging. They are aware of the physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Because of their broad knowledge base they are able to more thoroughly address the legal needs of their clients.
For example, when planning an estate, an elder law attorney would take into consideration the health of the person or couple, the potential for nursing home care and the wishes and concerns of the person or couple if that event were to occur. If need arises, the elder law attorney will associate other legal experts.
Elder law covers all aspects of planning, counseling, education, and advocating for clients. Elder law attorneys are a resource to their clients because they understand their clients’ needs may extend beyond basic legal services and stay informed about and connected to the local networks of professionals who serve the elder population.
Legal Issues that may arise:
1. Wills and Trusts
2. Health and personal care
3. Employment and retirement matters
4. Medicaid and insurance, as well as Verterans’ benefits
5. Fiduciary representation