Since I have many clients approach me needing one service – such as estate planning, assistance with Medicaid, or helping with estate administration, they are sometimes unclear exactly what an elder law attorney can comprehensively do. Elder law, the specialty that grew in the 1980s out of Medicaid and long-term care, doesn’t focus on a particular area of law, such as a divorce attorney. Instead, elder law is based around the client and provides a wide range of services in many areas.
The Three Major Fields of Elder Law
As mentioned above, elder law isn’t a single field of law but several large and overlapping areas of practice. Much of the time, individuals and their families will come for assistance for one area but find out they need comprehensive legal services that include multiple fields.
Many clients approach me for estate planning – either for themselves or or for a loved one. Estate planning is about providing instructions and assistance when you are unable to do so yourself. This includes drawing up a will, naming powers of attorney, setting up a trust, and even a health care proxy if you are incapacitated.
Medicaid and VA Planning
If plans aren’t made for long-term care, you or loved ones can find your assets being drained or even seized as your medical needs increase and you start to claim Medicaid. Working with an attorney can help your family navigate Medicaid planning (MassHealth in Massachusetts), protecting your assets, and balancing it with other benefits such as from the Veterans Administration (VA).
Estate administration – as well as the next step of probate administration – is about having someone else other than your family execute your will and get your estate through probate court. Its value is in having a single skilled professional that supervises the distribution of your estate and giving your family time to grieve instead of attending to legal matters. Learn more about both here.
Comprehensive Care and Compassion
I believe in the twin pillars of care and compassion when it comes to working with the elderly, providing them with comprehensive counsel and advice in the many areas of elder law. As an experienced elder law attorney with more than two decades of experience in the field, I understand the emotional concerns and the need for information. As I’ve explained in my other blog, Comprehensive Lawyering: What is It and Why It’s Important, it’s important for your attorney to consider not just your financial circumstances, but also your personal, social, and medical situation. It is foremost my job to help during difficult times.
Want a more in-depth answer to how I can assist you? I urge you to contact me, so we can sit down and go over your needs.