Elder Law

Elder Law includes general estate planning (Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts) as well as issues that affect the growing aging population:

  • Applications for Medicaid (MaineCare) when someone needs assisted living or nursing home care and cannot afford to private pay.
  • Long term planning, and crisis planning, to protect assets for a spouse, life partner, or children.
  • Special Needs Trusts for a disabled spouse or other family member.  This type of trust can give the beneficiary a better quality of life if MaineCare or Social Security are the only source of support for the beneficiary.
  • Guardian- and Conservatorship actions in Probate Court for those people who have not named a financial and medical Power of Attorney.
  • Bill paying and similar services.
  • Collaboration with a client’s other advisors (accountants, financial and insurance advisors, doctors) to ensure an inclusive approach to planning.

What does an Elder Law attorney do?

  1. Focuses his or her practice on the legal needs of seniors.
  2. Works with a variety of legal tools and techniques that specifically meet the goals and objectives of the older client.
  3. Uses a holistic approach to legal advice, taking into consideration the key issues facing seniors: housing, financial well-being, health and long-term care, and autonomy/quality of life.
  4. Brings to his or her practice a knowledge of the issues facing seniors that allows them and their staff to ignore the myths relating to aging and the competence of seniors.
  5. Will take into account and empathize with some of the physical and mental difficulties that often accompany the aging process. Their understanding of the real-life problems of people as they age allows them to determine more easily the difference between the physical versus the mental disability of a client.
  6. Is tied into a formal or informal system of social workers, psychologists, and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you.

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Please continue on to our Articles page for in-depth information on specific concepts.