Published Articles

What Is An Elder Law Attorney And Why Do You Need One?

By: Ellen S. Morris, Esq.

Elder Law Associates Newsletter dated June 5, 2012

Specialization in all professional fields has raised the standard of practice and allows the client the confidence to know that the professional handles only cases in the specialization and thus is very well versed. An elder law attorney has specialized knowledge in areas of the law that directly relates to the aging or elderly client and persons with disabilities. So what do they do and why do you need an elder law attorney? 
 
An elder law attorney properly plans for the possibility of disability, incapacity, home health care and/or nursing home placement and advises clients on how to receive public benefits, including Medicaid. In so doing, an elder law attorney prepares sophisticated Durable Powers of Attorney to provide authority for the client’s named designee to act for him or her regarding financial and legal matters and prepares complex Designation of Healthcare Surrogate forms in which the client chooses a loved one to make vital healthcare decisions for them when they are unable to act for themselves, as well as detailed Living Wills which specify the client’s wishes with regard to all life sustaining devices. 
An elder law attorney practices in the Guardianship Court and is able to secure someone to properly handle an incapacitated person’s personal and financial affairs and some elder law attorneys are able to litigate guardianship issues including who should be chosen as a guardian, removing a guardian who mishandles the person’s affairs, and objecting to guardianship entirely. 
 
An elder law attorney may be proficient in litigation for or against a beneficiary or a fiduciary under a will or trust or other asset which has a named beneficiary like an IRA.  An elder law attorney advises clients on long term care insurance, long term living arrangements and facility placement and can provide Geriatric Care Managers for daily, hands-on care. 
  
Elder law attorneys are up to date with the new and evolving laws geared more and more to our aging and disabled population.   
You need an elder law attorney… 
  • …if you or your loved one is over 55 for estate planning documents,  
  • …if you or your loved one is disabled, incapacitated or diagnosed with a disability for Medicaid planning and special needs trust planning, 
  • …if you or your loved one is a beneficiary or a fiduciary and something doesn’t seem right, 
  • …or, if you want to know your options for public benefits.   
Ensure your legal protection. Please call us at 1-800-ELDERLAW or 561-750-3850 for an appointment.