Elder Law Guide
A guide explaining what elder law is, and how it can help you and your family attain peace of mind.
What is Elder Law?Elder law is not just one single area of law; rather, it encompasses a variety of legal issues that have an impact on the life of older people. Elder law attorneys are familiar with the various concerns of older individuals, and work with older persons, their families, and their representatives to integrate planning for legal needs in many areas, especially as those needs involve nancial, medical, residential and social concerns.
As elder law attorneys, we focus on the big picture--the overall well-being of our clients or their loved ones--and then address the details necessary to maximize that well-being. Ideally, that means planning in advance to deal with health, nancial, bene ts or housing concerns so they will not become crises, but we recognize that many people rst contact an elder law attorney when a crisis erupts and the need for help becomes clear.
Our role as your elder law attorneys is to help solve problems in the present, and to prevent them in the future. We help you frame concerns, identify options, marshal resources, and make the decisions that will help you and your loved ones achieve peace of mind. We help manage a variety of legal issues, including:
o Estate planning;
o Long-term care planning;
o Medicaid planning;
o Veteran's benefits; and,
Questions an Elder Law Attorney Can AnswerIf you've been asking yourself any of the following questions, an elder law attorney can help you find the answers you need.
o "How can we balance our loved one's safety with her need for independence?"
o "What if our loved one resists our help or thinks we're trying to take control of his life away from him?"
o "How do we make sure our loved one is getting appropriate medical treatment?"
o "How can we pay for the care our loved one really needs without consuming her life's savings--or ours?"
o "Is our loved one getting all the benefits he's entitled to?"
o "What if my siblings and I disagree on what's best for our aging parent?"
o "What do I do if I suspect someone is harming or taking advantage of my loved one?"
When is the Best Time to Contact an Elder Law Attorney?It's never too late to enlist the help of an experienced elder law attorney--but it's never too early, either. Even if you or your loved one is currently in perfect health, with all faculties intact, developing a plan for the future is a wise idea. The reality is, many people are in complete control of their lives until, suddenly, they're not. We all know someone who has suffered a sudden illness or accident, making them incapable of caring for themselves and making health and nancial decisions. Planning ahead won't make such a tragedy happen, but it will give you peace of mind in case it does.
Who Needs an Elder Law Attorney?All adults who want to plan for a secure future for themselves or a loved one can benefit from speaking to an elder law attorney. However, there are certain situations in which an elder law attorney can be especially helpful, such as when:
o Adult children live far from an aging parent and are physically unable to help;
o Caregivers for an older person are themselves ill, elderly, or frail;
o Adult children disagree with each other, or with an aging parent, about the parent's needs;
o An older person is exhibiting memory loss or personality changes;
o An older person has been diagnosed with cancer or with an illness, such as Alzheimer's Disease, that is progressive and debilitating;
o There is suspicion that an elderly person is being physically abused or taken advantage of financially by a caregiver;
o An older family member doesn't have an estate plan; and/or,
o The needs of an older person are becoming too difficult for family caregivers to continue to manage at home.