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Having practiced both elder law AND estate planning for 25 years, I can give you a good answer on this:
An estate lawyer is an attorney who handles the affairs of an estate, i.e., the property, money, and other legal interests of a deceased individual. They will need to go to the local probate court if the individual died with a will, contact heirs and anyone else mentioned in the will, prepare and file accountings on behalf of the executor, and make sure all debts are paid and the balance of the estate properly distributed. If the deceased has a revocable trust, they will also assist the trustee in following the terms of the trust at this point.

An estate PLANNING attorney, on the other hand, meets with individuals before they die! Their role is to help the client determine how they want their estate distributed (e.g., 10% to Aunt Sally, 25% to Brother Joe, 5% to my alma mater, all my Chinese tea-cups to Martha, etc.), suggest ways to minimize estate taxes (for very large estates), prepare wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, etc.

An elder law attorney focuses on the needs of senior citizens, which may overlap those duties discussed above. There may be issues to be dealt with in the care of a disabled and/or incapacitated senior: seeking a court-appointed guardianship or conservatorship, reviewing public assistance options, etc. However, it will also include planning for long-term care in a nursing home. This is where the sub-specialty of Medicaid planning comes in. The attorney will assess the current income and assets of the client, review their family situation, look at the client's current health, and then come up with a plan to maximize the availability of Medicaid to help pay for the client's long-term care. As such, it may include suggestions such as making gifts to family members, setting up an irrevocable trust, deeding the home in a life estate, and so on.

Note that many attorneys handle all three categories, although not necessarily. Thus, not every elder law attorney will handle guardianship cases, and not every estate planning attorney will be an expert on Medicaid planning. Thus, it's always a good idea to review the website of any attorney whose name you receive, to try to find out their various areas of expertise and experience.
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An estate lawyer will handle things like wills, estates, trusts, POAs for anyone. He is basically a property lawyer. An elder law attorney is generally better for dealing with older people in terms of knowing about guardianship and other issues that typically affect older people. If you don't have any special issues, the estate lawyer is fine.
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