May has been declared to be National Elder Law Month and Older Americans Month. We think that makes this the perfect time to discuss how we and other elder law attorneys can serve “older Americans” (defined as those who are at least 60 years of age).
What is Elder Law?
Elder law addresses the needs of the elderly, the disabled, and their families. This includes planning for future age- and disability-related issues, such as how to safely remain in the home or placement in a long-term care facility. Specifically, elder law attorneys help clients secure peace of mind through estate planning, disability planning, and planning involving government programs such as Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration benefits. We also handle situations where it either has become too late for planning (due to a disability or death), as is common in guardianship and probate cases, or when a plan is being challenged.
More than Documents and Litigation
Because of the many different government programs and legal options that may be available to clients, elder law attorneys take a comprehensive approach to planning. Every client will have a different situation, usually with multiple issues to be addressed and more than one set of laws and rules to consult.
As a result, elder law attorneys spend a significant amount of time with older individuals and discuss extremely personal preferences and fears. This creates an opportunity for us to be a resource to our clients. By getting to know other people in our community who provide services to older Americans, such as independent and assisted living facilities, home health care providers, hospice care providers, and even other attorneys, we can give our clients practical as well as legal guidance and counsel them every step of the way.