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What is Elder Law?

You may wonder what the exact nature of Elder Law is, and whether an Elder Law attorney is right for you.   Most types of legal practice are defined by the work performed, such as personal injury attorneys handling a personal injury issue or bankruptcy attorneys handling a bankruptcy issue.   Elder Law, in contrast, is not defined by the type of work performed but is defined by the client to be served. While the term ‘elder’ often means an age classification, within the field of Elder Law the term ‘elder’ more accurately pertains to the legal issues that clients of all age groups face as a result of moving through the aging process.  As a result, the practice of Elder Law focuses on the individual rather than simply the legal issue.

      Many different fields of law are encompassed within Elder Law, such as:

•       Administration and management of trusts and


•       Age discrimination issues

•       Elder abuse (including consumer abuse)

•       General estate planning issues

•       Health and mental health law

•       Health care decision-making

•       Interdiction (guardianship / conservatorship)

•       Long-term care issues


•       Medicaid / Medicare claims and appeals

•       Nursing home issues

•       Retirement planning

•       Social Security and disability claims and appeals

•       Successions (Probate)

•       Supplemental and long-term health insurance


•       Survivor and pension benefits

•       Trusts

•       Wills

It is important to realize that most Elder Law attorneys will concentrate in some, but not all, of these areas.

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