Elder law may not be as common as estate planning or one of those important estate planning legal documents. However, it still remains an important aspect of law that should be considered by all individuals.
Elder law is a field of law that is designed to handle unique legal problems of the aging population. It is very important that you understand what this law is and how to get an elder law attorney when the need arises.
What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a unique aspect of law that addresses the different legal problems of aging population. Elder law can cater to your needs when you become old. It can as well cater to the need of your parents who are old.
Elder law focuses on the legal problems that plagues baby boomers including their old parents. Lawyers who are skilled in issues regarding elder law are regarded as elder law attorneys. If you reside in Buffalo, NY, and you have any elder law issues, don’t hesitate to contact an elder law attorney, Buffalo, NY.
Let’s take a look at the different types of elder law.
Types of Elder Law
There are a lot of elder law attorneys out there. However, not all are experienced in the diverse areas of elder law, making it essential to look for the right type of elder law attorney when you or your family members required legal help. The major areas of elder law are:
- Disability and special needs planning
- Long-term care planning
- Estate planning and settlement
- Guardianship or conservatorship
- Elder abuse
Let us take a closer look at the various types of elder law.
Disability and special needs planning
This type of elder law is charged with providing the aging population with support systems to protect themselves if they become incapacitated either mentally or physically. There exist some types of legal documents that you may want to prepare before such scenarios occur, these documents are the common durable power of attorney, which gives you the power to choose a legal agent who will make financial choices on your behalf when you can’t. The other documents is a health care power of attorney.
A health care power of attorney is a legal document that gives you the power to select a legal agent to make certain health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Without a power of attorney and a health care power of attorney, the court may have to step in. The court will select an individual who will take the place of a legal agent. It is the job this legal agent to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf.
Long-term care planning
Long-term care planning focuses on the services that senior use to live safely when they aren’t capable of catering to themselves. These services are nursing homes or assisted-living facilities including long-term health insurance, along with the means by which they obtain these benefits (Medicaid or the Department of Veterans Affairs, for instance).
Estate planning and settlement
Estate planning is an important plan designed to indicate those who will receive your assets after your death and who will be charged with the duty of ensuring that your final wishes are executed. Estate planning and settlement includes disability planning, as stated above, including plans designed to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, and ensure that your beneficiaries are protected from bad choices and outside influences. A good estate plan should include a durable power of attorney, a last will, an advance medical directive, and if required, a revocable living trust.
Guardianship or conservatorship
If an individual becomes incapacitated, and failed to set up a durable power of attorney or advance medical directive, a family member, a friend, or in a few cases, a stranger, will have to go to court and petition for a guardian or conservator to be selected on behalf of the incapacitated individual. In some states, guardianship is also regarded as conservatorship.
Elder abuse is an area of elder law that focus on seniors who are victims of one abuse or the other. The abuse ranges from Social Security fraud, or complete theft of assets.