What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do?
As the U.S. population ages, many experienced Pennsylvania attorneys have begun to focus on a growing field known as “elder law.” Elder law focuses on addressing the legal needs faced by senior citizens, often with an emphasis on providing the highest quality of life for an aging individual.
Families seeking the help of an elder law attorney should do more than merely choose a lawyer or law firm that has attached “elder law” to its list of practice areas. Because elder law covers a wide range of potential needs, attorneys who focus in this area should be able to confidently discuss with their potential clients a number of areas of law, including:
- Estate planning, probate, and tax planning;
- Medical decision-making, guardianship, and conservatorship;
- Medicare and Medicaid benefits and options;
- Social Security retirement, disability, and Supplemental Security income programs;
- Age discrimination and elder abuse and neglect issues;
- Housing options, including nursing homes and other assisted-living options; and
- Insurance planning options.
Because many elder law clients seek to live independently for as long as possible, elder law attorneys often find themselves doing more than merely answering legal questions for clients. They may work with a client’s medical professionals, financial advisors, family members, and other individuals, with the client’s permission, in order to ensure that the client’s matters are handled in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Although the name “elder law” implies that these attorneys focus only on senior citizens, an elder law attorney’s help can be sought at any point in your life span if you are focusing on potential end-of-life issues, such as who will make key medical decisions or how your estate will be handled after your death. The insight born from an elder law attorney’s experience may be invaluable.