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There are stories around here somewhere about the family lawyer that really screwed things up because of not knowing the elder laws of the state the practice is operating in.
EX. I can take my wife out of state for visits but I need court approval before we could move to another state.
I need court approval for expenses that exceed a certain value (state law).
There are other requirements in the elder laws that a family lawyer may not be aware of. Like who to contact or report to.
Think about the results if you hired a bankruptcy lawyer to handle investments.
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Reply to OldSailor

pwebb49667, that an excellent question.

Think of it this way, you have a general doctor and that doctor sends you to a specialist. Same with a general attorney, an "Elder Law Attorney" is the specialist.

My parent's Wills were older then dirt, and there were some landmines in that Will just because the way the Wills were written. They had used their real estate attorney to draw up the Wills. Even the POA's weren't though out for the future. Here my parents were, now in their 90's, and had only each other as POA. Oh dear, we have a problem.

I steered my folks away from the attorney they had used, and we went to an Elder Law Attorney. My folks were very impressed. Not only did they get new Wills written, they also got new POA's which included me as back-up POA, Medical Directives/Living Wills, plus put together a Revocable Trust, etc.
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Reply to freqflyer

The elder law attorney that did my dad's guardianship/conservatorship has been awesome. He has helped wade through our state's laws regarding the issue. He knows the local courts and knows how picky they can be with the paperwork. We had to get a bit creative in writing the guardianship and he worked that out with my dad's attorney.
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Reply to Babs75

The attorney who focuses on Elder Law issues, usually practices in that area of law and has more experience. They also likely attend more education classes in issues affecting elders, as well receiving more professional publications on these issues. But, not all Elder Law attorneys have expertise in some matters like Trusts or estate planning with Medicaid as a potential prospect. You really need to ask and confirm that they do. Some even provide that type of expertise on their website.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

An elder law lawyer knows all things old, Medicaid, care agreements, Medicare, dysfunctional families, assisted living, Alzheimer's you name it. Wills, trusts, DNR, living will....

Family law attorneys are for things like divorces, child custody, etc. Family law could probably prepare a will, etc, but as soon as something out of the ordinary comes up you need elder law specialist.
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Reply to gladimhere

Because no “lay person” who is not fluent in all the laws in their particular state and Federal Laws as well, and cognizant about how courts operate has much of a chance figuring out the reams of paperwork, the forms, whom to call (and sometimes who not to) to obtain the best result for themselves or a loved one who is tangled in red tape and bureaucracy. If you don’t believe what I’m saying, file for Medicaid on your own. I still have nightmares from talking to those people. And, we were denied.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
pwebb49667 Oct 26, 2018

I appreciate your quick response. I should have clarified my question. Why have an elder law lawyer versus a "regular" family lawyer? What can an elder law lawyer do better for you? What actions/documents does he/she come better prepared to handle?

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