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Five Ways an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Your Aging Loved One
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on August 18th, 2016

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Five Ways an Elder Law Attorney Can Help Your Aging Loved One

Aging & Caregiving

elder law attorneyPeople in different stages of life have different legal concerns. Older adults, in particular, face a number of legal considerations which differ from the ones they may have faced earlier in their lives. Attorneys who focus their practices on the area of elder law, also referred to as “elder care,” offer specialized expertise and guidance for older individuals and their families. Let’s count down five ways hiring an elder law attorney makes smart sense, along with a few things to keep in mind when finding and hiring an elder law attorney.

Five Ways An Elder Law Attorney Can Help Seniors

  1. He/she can reinforce the need for wills and estate planning, including everything from probate proceedings to planning for family members with special needs.
  2. He/she can assist with selecting and appointing legal guardians and conservators.
  3. He/she can facilitate the drafting of living wills and other advance directives, including durable power of attorney, which enables seniors to appoint trusted relatives or friends to act on their behalf in handling health, legal or financial matters -- either immediately or if/when the need arises.
  4. He/she can provide senior-specific guidance through the complicated health care planning process, comprising topics such as Medicare, patient rights, and health care power of attorney.
  5. He/she can provide senior-specific financial and legal representation on matters ranging from senior housing to income, estate, and gift tax planning.

One additional benefit of hiring an elder law attorney? Because this area of practice is inherently client-focused, services offered by law attorneys typically extend beyond the basics. In fact, many elder law attorneys work alongside a network of other elder care professionals -- from social workers to psychologists -- all aimed at the unique needs of the “whole person”.

Finding an Elder Law Attorney

Not all elder law attorneys specialize in every area of senior law, so it’s important to find one who has expertise in your particular area of concern. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA) offers a useful database for finding a qualified elder law attorney near you.

One last thing to keep in mind when hiring an elder law attorney? Because he/she will be involved in numerous personal and sensitive family matters, it’s important to find one with whom all parties feel comfortable. This can help keep communications open, and flowing, and ensure that your aging loved one's needs and wishes are met.

Key Takeaways

  • Elder law attorneys offer specialized expertise aimed at meeting the unique needs of seniors.
  • Elder law services cover a broad spectrum of senior client issues, including everything from wills and estate planning to housing and healthcare.
  • Finding the right elder law attorney is an important part of the process, and can help ensure optimal outcomes for seniors and the people who love them.

About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.