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.
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.