What is elder law?
If you’re a caregiver, then you don’t need to be told about the complicated financial, legal and medical issues that come up when you’re caring for an older adult. You know about it all, firsthand.
And if you know that, then you know exactly what elder law is. Elder law, as it’s known, is the study of all those issues we mentioned and how they come to bear on seniors.
Why would I need to hire an elder law attorney?
If you or your loved one need legal expertise and assistance with:
- Medicare/Social Security/disability claims and appeals
- Private medical insurance issues
- Tax and/or estate planning
- Disability planning (this includes living wills, living trusts, etc.)
- Nursing home issues
- Elderly fraud and fraud recovery
- Probate, administration and management of estates and trusts
- Age discrimination cases
- Health care access in a managed environment
- Spousal impoverishment issues
Than you should probably seriously consider hiring an elder law attorney. Also known as elder care attorneys – or Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) – this is an up-and-coming specialization in the world of law. Which, considering the fact that there are about 50 million adults age 65 and up in the United States, isn’t surprising.
Elder law attorneys are not just well-versed in law. They’ve also done special training so that they know how to take any mental or physical difficulties their clients might be experiencing into account. Beyond that, they’ve usually built up a network of medical and paramedical colleagues they can turn to if and when their client’s capabilities change.
At what stage should we start looking to hire?
A good rule of thumb if you’re thinking about hiring: Start looking before you’re desperate. Meaning, don’t wait for an acute legal issue like spousal impoverishment or guardianship comes up. Why? Because if you do, you might not get the quality attorney you’re looking for because you need one so fast.
So now you know what an elder law attorney is and why you might need one. As for how to hire one – we’ll talk about that in our next post.