ASK THE PROS

What Exactly Is Elder Law?

Justin, I read your column every week, and I feel like I’ve learned so much.  Thank you!  You keep saying that your law firm practices Elder Law.  What exactly is Elder Law? – Kate

Kate, I’m glad you enjoy the articles.  I enjoy explaining the myths and truths about our area of practice and educating families.  Elder Law is a specialized legal practice that focuses on two main areas – estate planning and long-term care planning.

The estate planning side of Elder Law involves developing plans that help clients pass their assets down to their heirs at death without probate court.  We also help clients plan for disability and incapacity by setting up power of attorney documents.  These allow them to name the person or people they choose to handle their financial and healthcare matters if they can’t do it themselves.

The long-term care side of Elder Law involves planning in advance for the eventual need for expensive care in home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.  We usually accomplish this through long-term care insurance, Medicaid coverage, and VA benefits.  This means we work with clients to structure their assets so they are protected no matter what happens in their future.  In tough cases where planning ahead is no longer an option, we can also protect a substantial level of assets even if a client is already in need of long-term care.  In those cases, we not only work to preserve the maximum level of income and assets possible under the client’s specific circumstances; we also shield our clients from having to deal directly with these convoluted state and federal programs.

If you have enjoyed these columns, I think you’d really enjoy the stories in my book, You Need A Plan.  At YourPlanMatters.com you can request a free copy of the book.  When you order your copy, you can also request a strategy session with me or one of the attorneys I work with at no charge.  Knowledge is the key to having a solid plan.

Are you in a similar situation?

We can help you navigate your unique circumstance.

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