What is Elder Law?
Elder law is an area of the law that addresses issues affecting older individuals and their families, including long-term care, Medicaid, Medicare, guardianships, conservatorships, probate, elder abuse and neglect, and estate planning.
The US population is aging at a rapid rate and many people aged 65 and older do not have family members who are able or willing to assist them with their daily living needs. In addition, family members who do provide care often need advice and assistance to help them deal with the demands of caring for older individuals and the unique issues that may arise.
Elder law encompasses a broad range of legal areas. Examples of issues that are often raised include the following:
- Enabling another to act on behalf of the senior if he or she is unable to through powers of attorney, conservatorships and guardianships;
- Evaluate Options regarding financing the costs of skilled nursing care, including through Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance, and special needs and income only trusts;
- Effect on Medicaid eligibility of a senior receiving an inheritance or gift;
- Identifying and preventing elder abuse and recovering stolen property;
- Long-term care planning including in-home care and assisted and skilled nursing care options; and
- Transfers of property before and after death including through gifting, titling property to transfer automatically at death, and transferring property using affidavits in lieu of probate, wills, and trusts.
An elder law attorney may help seniors and their families develop and implement a plan over time or provide crisis assistance. Pre-crisis planning enables the senior to shape the plan, rather than having it imposed on him or her. It also helps ensure that more of the senior’s assets are preserved to enhance his or her life and that of his or her spouse rather than being spent to solve a a crisis.
How can we help you?
Because lifespans are increasing, the issues relating to caring for an older adult during his or her life have become a critical component of estate planning. Attorneys at Mathieu, Ranum & Allaire, PLLC can assist you and your family with many of the issues that arise and, preferably, help you develop a plan that will enable you to anticipate and respond to the vicissitudes of aging.