What Is Elder Law?

Elder law encompasses many different fields of law. The phrase “Elder Law” describes the area of law that addresses the needs of aging baby boomers and their parents. Elder law requires an attorney to bring more than just the knowledge of the law. Attorneys practicing elder law must have knowledge of the needs of the senior population. An elder law attorney’s practice encompasses not just legal planning but advocating for clients. Elder lawyers brings an integrated approach to their clients, taking into consideration crucial issues facing seniors (and soon to be seniors) like health, financial well-being, long-term care, quality of life and autonomy. Elder law attorneys draft wills, powers of attorney, and living wills. And, as we will see in the next section, they work with families to coordinate benefits and preserve assets when a family member enters assisted living or a nursing home.

Medicaid Planning

Medicare’s coverage of nursing home care is limited.

Nursing home and assisted living costs can quickly drain the savings that you or your loved ones have worked so hard to accumulate over the years. Medicare’s coverage of nursing home care is limited. Medicare only covers “acute” care as opposed to custodial care. This means it covers care only for people who are likely to recover from their conditions not care for people who need ongoing help with performing everyday activities, such as bathing or dressing. Those needing “custodial” nursing home care are left burdened with the cost. Medicaid Planning can help with that burden. Medicaid planning is the process of protecting and utilizing assets according to state and federal guidelines so that Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care.

A personalized Elder Law plan can involve the use of:

  • Long-term health care insurance
  • Asset transfer planning
  • Trusts and Spend-downs

Developing an Elder Law plan involves more than drafting documents. It requires working with professionals who take the time to listen to you. Contact one of our elder law attorneys today to see how we can help.