Legal problems that affect the elderly are growing in number. Our laws and regulations are becoming more complex. Actions taken by older people with regard to a single matter may have unintended legal effects. It is important for attorneys dealing with the elderly to have a broad understanding of the laws that may have an impact on a given situation, to avoid future problems.
Unfortunately, this job is not made easy by the fact that Elder Law encompasses many different fields of law.
Some of these include:
Most Elder Law attorneys do not specialize in every one of these areas. So when an attorney says he/she practices Elder Law, find out which of these matters he/she handles. You will want to hire the attorney who regularly handles matters in the area of concern in your particular case and who will know enough about the other fields to question whether the action being taken might be affected by laws in any of the other areas of law on the list. For example, if you are going to rewrite your will and your spouse is ill, the estate planner needs to know enough about Medicaid to know whether it is an issue with regard to your spouse's inheritance.
Attorneys who primarily work with the elderly bring more to their practice than an expertise in the appropriate area of law. They bring to their practice a knowledge of the elderly that allows them and their staff to ignore the myths relating to aging and the competence of the elderly. At the same time, they will take into account and empathize with some of the true physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Their understanding of the afflictions of the aged allows them to determine more easily the difference between the physical versus the mental disability of a client. They are more aware of real life problems, health and otherwise, that tend to crop up as persons age. They are tied into a formal or informal system of social workers, psychologists and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you. All of these things will hopefully make you more comfortable when dealing with them and ease your way as you try to resolve your legal problem.
Elder Law is the area of law, statutes, regulations and decisions, which impact on the lives of older Americans and their families. Elder law spans and encompasses elder care planning issues, such as access to the appropriate type of medical and personal care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, income assistance benefits, taxation, conservatorship, general estate planning, estate and trust administration issues (e.g., wills, trusts, and probate), counseling and planning for incapacity with medical directives, advanced directives and other alternative decision-making documents, as well as for possible long-term care planning issues, including home health care, nursing home care, hospice and respite care.
Elder law even covers some aspects of criminal law, including elder abuse, financial abuse of elders, fraud and other consumer protection issues, nursing home abuse, nursing home impoverishment and nursing home neglect.
Institutional abuse cases = ” maltreatment of an elder person that occurs in a residential facility ”,
(a nursing home, board and care facility, or group home)
Domestic abuse matters = “ maltreatment of an elder person by a person who he/she has a special relationship with “ (a child, sibling, spouse, friend, or a caregiver).
If you have questions about the application of the law in a particular case, consult your lawyer.
The law is constantly changing .
Information on this site or any site to which we link does not constitute legal advice .