Elder Law Is More Than Estate Planning

Dated: 01/25/2016

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Elder law is a fairly new legal field.   It differs from most areas of other practice, which are typically based on a type of law (civil vs criminal cases for example) instead of a particular type of client (usually elderly or younger people with special needs).  It includes a number of legal areas, including:

Guardianships            Asset Protection            Long term Care Planning                Tax Law
Medicare/Medicaid/Veteran's benefits            Age Discrimination                            Disability
Advance health care directives                           Retirement and/or pensions           Estate Planning
Powers of Attorney                                                Trust Planning                                    Elder abuse

Just to mention a few.

Although estate planning, wills and probate care certainly part of elder law, the central focus is on life, not death.  Often,  it is not what happens when a person dies that is of greatest concern to elder law attorneys and their clients; it is what happens if a person lives longer than expected, if their situation (physical, mental or financial) changes dramatically, and preparations need to be made in advance of those potential scenarios.
Once a potential attorney has been identified request an appointment to learn more about their services and ask questions:

1)  Why do I need an elder law attorney?
2)  How many years have you focused your practice on elder law issues?
3)  Why did you choose elder law?
4)  How many clients have you had in the past five years with needs similar to mine?
5)  What was the most challenging aspect of those cases and what were the outcomes?
6)  What percentage of your annual caseload involves elder law?
7)  What elder law issues do you handle most often?      Least often?
8)  Are you accredited by the the VA to handle Veteran's claims and how many do you file annually?
9)  What are your fees?  (be sure to get a fee schedule in writing)
10) Can you provide references.
Since elder law attorneys need to be knowledgeable and experienced in multiple areas of the law, you should choose a lawyer who has been in business for several years and has gained experience in all the areas you ned now and may need in the future.
Where to look:





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LaDawn Westbrook

With more than a decade of experience, LaDawn enjoys educating first time home buyers, working with the 55+ community, relocation clients, sellers who want to downsize, step up purchase or anything in....

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