What is Elder Law?
Elder Law is the practice of law devoted to taking care of the legal needs of the older person and/or the disabled person.
Elder Law blends the practice of law with some aspects of social work. An Elder Law attorney provides assistance for the legal needs in a holistic manner. The Elder Law attorney focuses on the legal needs of the older or disabled client and works with the client to meet his or her goals. Elder Law attorneys are compassionate about what they do and about their clients.
An Elder Law attorney is familiar with the problems encountered by the aging person and his or her family and understands the issues the client and his family face. The Elder Law attorney is patient and empathetic to the needs of the older and/or disabled person. Often times it is the children of the older person who may need the services of an Elder Law attorney to assist them with the needs of their parents or other older family members. Elder Law attorneys meet with Clients in the office, but also in the Client's home, hospital room, nursing home, or hospice center.
Elder law includes the following types of legal services:
- Estate planning
- Preservation of assets
- Assistance with public benefits such as Medicare, Social Security Disability, Veterans Benefits, etc.
- Documents including Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Living Will, and Mental Health Durable Power of Attorney
- Trusts including administration and management of trusts
- Assistance with housing issues
- Age discrimination in employment
- Nursing home issues
- Elder abuse including exploitation of assets
- Planning for incapacity or disability
Elder Law encompasses various areas of legal practice. Consequently, the Elder Law attorney's area of expertise typically will include some, but not all, of the above legal services.
The national professional organization for Elder Law attorneys is called the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). NAELA is dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to older clients. The web site for NAELA is http://www.naela.com/. Information about how to choose an Elder Law attorney can be found at this web site.
Attorney Kreiner is a certified Elder Law attorney. She devotes her practice of law to the needs of the elderly and the disabled. She is available to provide group presentations on "Elder Law" and "Assisting Your Parents to Plan for their Legal Needs."