What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a growing field of law that deals with the issues faced by the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, the elderly. With the key goal of asset preservation, this area of law combines parts of Long Term Care Planning, Veterans Benefits, Special Needs Trusts, Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Administration, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
With proper planning (“getting your ducks in a row”), you can protect your hard earned money from the devastating cost of nursing home care, perhaps even allowing you to stay in your home rather than move to a nursing home, without selling your house, without wiping out your life savings, without leaving your spouse penniless, and still leave an inheritance for your children, grandchildren or charity!
What does this mean to me?
Today’s seniors are more active and live longer than ever before. That raises a variety of issues that have not been addressed by earlier generations. Adults have always needed a Last Will and Testament and other forms of estate planning strategies to pass their assets to their beneficiaries. Now that seniors are living longer, there are more issues about their care that have to be included in estate planning, such as plans for housing, future medical care, and what to do if the person should become mentally ill and in need of care.
One of the most important questions is how to pay for the increasing levels of care as seniors age. This in turn is giving rise to a whole new industry of senior living communities and raises many legal questions about contract rights and the power of communities to discharge residents.
As care becomes more and more expensive, seniors are also in need of information about long-term care insurance, government benefits, and how to protect and preserve assets for their quality of life and quality of care.
We know from personal experience how devastating the emotional, psychological, and financial strain can be when a loved one needs long-term care. We understand there is the fear of financial ruin as well as anxiety, stress, uncertainty, and guilt.