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Practice Definitions - Elder Law
Elder Law
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.
Should I hire a lawyer?
For issues like elder abuse, fraud recovery and various forms of neglect, it's obvious you'll need a lawyer. However, there are a variety of reasons consulting with an attorney would save you and your loved ones a lot of money, grief and legal hassles, including these reasons:
  • Disability planning, including use of durable powers of attorney, living trusts, living wills, advanced directives and other means of delegating management and decision-making to another in case of incompetency or incapacity Conservatorship and Guardianship.
  • Estate planning, including planning for the management of one's estate during life and its disposition on death through the use of trusts, wills and other planning documents.
  • Preservation/transfer of assets seeking to avoid spousal impoverishment when one spouse enters a nursing home.
  • Medicaid planning.
  • Medicare claims and appeals.
  • Social security disability claims and appeals.
  • Supplemental and long term health insurance issues.
  • Probate issues.
  • Administration and management of trusts and estate.
  • Long-term care placements in nursing home and life care communities.
  • Nursing home issues including questions of patients' rights and nursing home quality.
  • Housing issues, including discrimination and home equity conversions.
  • Age discrimination and employment.
  • Retirement, including public and private retirement benefits, survivor benefits and pension benefits.
  • Health law matters.
  • Mental Health law matters.
Use the State Lawyers Directory to find a qualified elder law attorney for these and other elder law related issues.

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