You may have heard the term “elder law” before but aren’t quite sure what it entails. Or, you may know that you need estate planning services but aren’t sure if elder law falls under that umbrella. If you’re unsure about the difference between elder law and estate planning, you’re not alone. The team at Elder Needs Law has some important insights to share below.
Elder law is a branch of civil law that covers legal issues pertaining to seniors, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits; retirement planning; age discrimination; guardianship; long-term care planning; and end-of-life planning, to name a few. In other words, elder law encompasses all of the various legal issues that can arise as we age.
Estate planning, on the other hand, focuses on organizing your affairs so that your family can easily settle your estate when you die. This includes creating a will or trust, designating someone to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated, and choosing who will inherit your assets. While estate planning is a subset of elder law, the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Do you need a lawyer for estate planning and elder law matters?
It depends on your specific situation. If you have a simple estate and don’t need help drafting a will or taking care of other complex legal matters, you may not need a lawyer. However, if you have a more complicated estate or are in need of assistance with elder law issues, it’s best to consult with an attorney who specializes in these areas.
What should I expect when I hire an elder law attorney?
When you hire an elder law attorney, you can expect to receive personalized attention and guidance for your unique situation. Your lawyer will help you navigate the complex legal landscape of elder law and will work with you to create a plan that meets your needs and protects your interests. They will also be there to support you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and help you stay on track.
If you’re in need of legal assistance regarding any issue relating to seniors, from retirement planning to long-term care, an elder law attorney, like the ones at Johnson Legal, PLLC can help. And if you’re looking to create a plan for what will happen to your assets after you die, an estate planning attorney can assist with that as well. However, it’s important to note that these are two distinct practice areas with different focus areas. Working with an attorney who is experienced in both elder law and estate planning will ensure that all of your bases are covered.