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Elder Law Legal Issues Pertaining to the Elderly Elder law is a very complex and diverse practice. Most elder law attorneys do not specialize in every area of law that elder law encompasses. When looking for an elder law attorney, make sure you choose one that handles matters regarding your particular needs and understands how actions taken might affect other areas of the law. This Section Includes: • What is Elder Law? (Overview) • List of Elder Law Practice Areas (Detailed) • Finding an Elder Law Attorney WHAT IS ELDER LAW? Elder law encompasses a broad understanding of aging and the law, and the legal interaction between all the varied issues which may affect the elderly. An elder law attorney is familiar with federal and state laws which affect an individual’s well-being and personal wishes. ELDER LAW ENCOMPASSES 3 BROAD AREAS 1. Estate Planning Elder law involves general estate planning matters including wills, trusts, estate and trust administration and helping clients plan for incapacity and disability through the use of powers of attorney, guardianships and health care advance directives including living wills and health care surrogate designation. 2. Elder Care Planning Also known as Long Term Care Planning, Elder Law attorneys assist clients in finding and financing access to long term care health and personal care services including home and respite care, assisted living residential care and nursing home care This requires coordinating private funds and being familiar with public benefit programs to seniors such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits as well as long-term care insurance and reverse mortgages in order to finance such care. 3. Elder Rights Elder law even covers some aspects of criminal law, including elder abuse, financial abuse of elders, fraud and other consumer protection issues, nursing home abuse, neglect and impoverishment. 60 www.PolkElderCare.com


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