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What is Elder Law?

Elder law is a broad term encompassing the various legal issues that affect the elderly.  It can cover everything from criminal charges to real estate disputes.  But typically it is a term used to refer to those issues that are especially pertinent to the elderly.  These issues are things like Medicare and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and guardianship.  Elder law is growing as a specialized field of law thanks to the fact that we, as a population, are living longer.

The combination of longer life expectancy and rising health care costs makes it increasingly important to begin long term care discussions early.  Families should discuss parents’ wishes and realistic goals and expectations regarding the management of finances.  Having a plan in place can help families save a tremendous amount of assets and also prevent headaches down the road.  The role of the elder law attorney is to facilitate these discussions by educating the family on the different ways to achieve their long term goals and by helping implement the plan the family chooses.

The best time to contact an elder law attorney is before a parent becomes ill enough to require ongoing care.  Often families do not know that they can or should contact an elder law attorney until they are in crisis mode.  While an attorney can be helpful at that point, they have more options pre-crisis that ultimately will protect the family and the parents’ assets.  For more information, please fill out the “Contact Us” form.

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