Elder Law includes general estate planning (Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts), but in our practice it also includes much more. “Elder law” covers an area of legal practice that focuses on issues that affect the growing aging population. We help individuals and families with the following:
- Applications for Medicaid (MaineCare) when someone needs assisted living or nursing home care and cannot afford to pay for it.
- 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 SSI is 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.
- Our office also helps many clients with bill paying and similar services when they don’t have family or close friends to help them.
- We work with a client’s other advisors (accountants, financial and insurance advisors, doctors) to ensure an inclusive approach to planning.
There’s a great list on the NAELA website (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) that answers: What does an Elder Law attorney do?*
- Focuses his or her practice on the legal needs of seniors.
- Works with a variety of legal tools and techniques that specifically meet the goals and objectives of the older client.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Is tied into a formal or informal system of social workers, psychologists, and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you.
Please continue on to our Articles page for in-depth information on specific concepts.