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Elder Law

Elder law refers to a legal practice area that focuses on issues affecting older adults and their loved ones. In essence, elder law in the United States generally protects and enforces the rights of senior citizens. It deals with a variety of important aspects that impact the elderly, such as elder abuse, estate planning, guardianship and long-term or end-of-life care planning. An elder law attorney can provide counsel on these matters and advocate for seniors facing age-related legal issues. They help the elderly maintain independence, receive proper care and preserve their rights.

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The Elder Law Group

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12 years in practice
Elder Law
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Jamie L. Gingold, PC

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23 years in practice
Bankruptcy, Elder Law
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Bangerter Frazier Group

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20 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Business Law, Contract Law, Divorce & Family Law, Elder Law
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Wells Law Firm, P.C.

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16 years in practice
Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce & Family Law, Divorce Law
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Bangerter Frazier Group

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20 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Business Law, Contract Law, Divorce & Family Law, Elder Law
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Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC

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10 years in practice
Animal Bites, Auto Accidents, Birth Injury, Brain Injury, Construction Injury
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Elder Abuse Prevention

Elder abuse generally refers to the harm or exploitation of an older adult. This type of abuse can take many forms, such as physical abuse, neglect, financial exploitation and emotional or psychological abuse. Victims may experience pain, suffering, anxiety, depression, and a reduced quality of life due to the abuse they endure. Unfortunately, in most cases, elder abuse is perpetrated by individuals in positions of trust such as family members, caregivers and healthcare workers.

There are several legal protections in United States law that safeguards senior citizens from elder abuse. For instance, the Elder Justice Act aims to prevent elder abuse with proper training, coordination and care standards. Protection orders can also help restrain abusers from their victims. An elder law attorney can assist in these matters by counseling seniors on identifying and reporting abuse and advocating for victimized elders in the court system.

Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianship involves appointing a person or entity to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated adult who can no longer make responsible choices for themselves. Guardianship may become necessary when an adult becomes mentally or physically impaired to the point where they cannot provide for their own health, safety or welfare. A few common examples of when adult guardianship may be considered include severe dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, brain injuries, developmental disabilities or a vegetative state.

The guardian is assigned with making critical decisions regarding the individual’s health and wellbeing in relation to living arrangements and care, medical treatment and estate management.

An elder law attorney plays an essential role in adult guardianship cases by advising families when guardianship may be appropriate, representing alleged incapacitated persons, preparing and filing guardianship petitions and other complex situations.

Long-Term or End-Of-Life Care Planning

Long-term care planning is an important aspect of elder law that involves advising older adults on options and strategies to pay for long-term care services they may need later in life. These planning processes involve making important decisions related to healthcare, living arrangements, financial matters, and the distribution of assets.

Long-term care planning addresses the potential need for extended care services as individuals age and their health conditions change. Key aspects of long-term care planning include assessment of care needs, Medicaid planning, advance healthcare directives and power of attorney.

End-of-life care planning relates to making decisions about medical treatment, financial matters, and the distribution of assets as an individual approaches the end of their life. Hospice care, estate planning, financial arrangements and grief support are all crucial considerations in end-of-life care planning.

Senior Housing

Elder law attorneys assist seniors with the housing issues they face as they age. This may involve providing guidance on the different types of senior living facilities available, such as independent living, assisted living and nursing homes. Attorneys can review the contracts for these communities and advise seniors on options for aging in place, like home sharing programs
and senior apartment complexes.

Moreover, elder law attorneys are knowledgeable about housing discrimination issues and can help seniors file complaints if needed.

Overall, having an elder law attorney's legal oversight provides protection for seniors considering a transition to housing arrangements that cater more specifically to their physical, social and care needs later in life. These attorneys help ensure seniors make informed choices and can live comfortably in housing well-suited to their individual circumstances.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is a core component of elder law, as it involves strategies to manage assets and prepare for incapacity and death. In this context, an estate refers to everything that a person accumulates in their lifetime. Common examples include stocks, cash, property and other individual possessions.

The most basic form of estate planning is known as a last will and testament, also called a “will.” This legal document expresses one’s wishes for his or her estate in the event of death. It clearly states your final wishes, names your beneficiaries, which are the people who will inherit your property, and appoints a personal representative (also called an executor).

Additionally, an elder law attorney may serve as a power of attorney or health care proxy throughout the estate planning process.

Seeking Justice

Do you or a loved one need assistance establishing an estate plan? Have you noticed signs of elder abuse or financial exploitation? Do you need advice on a senior housing issue? Attorney At Law is here to help you navigate even the most complex legal situations. Don’t wait - contact AAL today for personalized elder law guidance.

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Elder Law Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is elder law?

Elder law is a legal specialty that focuses on issues affecting older adults, such as estate planning, long-term care, retirement benefits, and healthcare decision-making. It also encompasses areas like elder abuse and guardianship.

2. What does estate planning in elder law involve?

Estate planning in elder law involves creating legal documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to ensure that an elderly individual's assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes upon their death or incapacity.

3. What is Medicaid planning, and why is it important in elder law?

Medicaid planning involves strategies to help seniors qualify for Medicaid benefits while protecting their assets. It's crucial because Medicaid can cover long-term care costs, which can be substantial, but eligibility requirements are strict.

4. How does elder law address issues of elder abuse and neglect?

Elder law provides legal tools to combat elder abuse and neglect, including protective orders, guardianships, and reporting requirements for suspected abuse. Attorneys in this field work to safeguard the rights and well-being of elderly individuals.

5. What are the key legal documents every senior should consider in elder law planning?

Seniors should consider creating a will, durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy or advance directive, and potentially establishing trusts to manage their assets and ensure their wishes are followed in various circumstances, especially during incapacitation or after death. Consulting with an elder law attorney can help tailor these documents to individual needs.

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