Elder Law

Elder law is a new, constantly developing body of law that focuses on issues affecting our older population.  Interestingly, elder law is the only legal practice area that is defined by the class of individuals to be served.  America’s aging population is the fastest growing age group; more than ever with the “baby boom” generation.

Elder law’s main focus is the preparation for the eventuality of an extended life and “successful aging”. The elder law attorney endeavors to safeguard and ensure her client’s independence, safety and happiness.  Some of the common topics addressed by the elder law attorney are:

Estate Planning
Medicaid & Medicare
Disability Planning
Housing Options
Financing Long-Term Care

The most important thing an elder law client can do is plan and it is the elder law attorney’s job to present her client with all of the possible planning tools.  Life is often unpredictable and early planning is crucial.  Today is the time to plan for your future, because tomorrow may be too late for you to make decisions about your assets, medical treatment and personal life preferences among other things.  Some common areas that are considered important by the elder law practitioner in the context of planning are:

Disability and Illness
Asset Protection & Enhancement

Presenting these matters to your elder law attorney can reduce your stress and the stress of your family as well as save you money.

Trusts & Estates

Estate planning is about preserving and protecting your assets and it is about your family and your beneficiaries.  You have most likely spent a lifetime accumulating assets and estate planning provides financial security for those assets you have worked so hard to obtain.  Your life is unique and so is your estate plan.

There are many tools that an estate planning attorney has at his or her disposal to craft your estate plan, such as:

Revocable & Irrevocable Living Trusts
Powers of Attorney
Health Care Proxies
Living Wills

Many people fail to realize the benefits of effective estate planning.  Failing to plan may allow the State to make determinations regarding your assets and you may not agree with that plan.  Some of the reasons you may want to have an estate plan are as follows:

Providing for Minor Children
Reduce or Eliminate Estate Taxes
Transfer of Family Business
Reduce Family Clashes
Plan for Incapacity
Identifying the Heirs of Your Estate

It is important to discuss your estate planning wishes with a qualified estate planning attorney and financial planner.  An estate planning attorney is well-versed in state laws and laws change from time to time.  Faulty document drafting can lead to extremely adverse effects to your estate plan’s objectives.

If you already have an estate plan, remember to review your estate planning documents every year to ensure that they are still in agreement with your wishes.