The topic of elder law often comes up when people begin developing their estate plan. Elder law is not one area of the law, but a practice area that encompasses a broad range of legal topics. Elder law attorneys specialize in knowing about the laws that primarily affect elderly people. Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas your elder law attorney will know about.
If you ever have to transition to an extended care facility or assisted living home, you may wonder how you will end up paying for it. Medicare does not cover long-term care costs, though you may be able to qualify under Medicaid. However, qualifying for Medicaid coverage for long-term care costs is difficult and complex. An elder law attorney knows what steps to take to help ensure you can qualify for Medicaid.
Elder law attorneys also deal with a range of health care issues associated with getting older and losing cognitive capacity. Every state has laws that govern how you can pass on your decision-making rights about health care to someone else, and what decisions you can make yourself by creating a Living Will or other Advance Medical Directive.
Anyone who becomes disabled will need someone else to make decisions on his or her behalf. If you don’t pass on your decision-making rights with a Power of Attorney, a court will appoint a guardian or a conservator. An elder law attorney knows how you can make your own choices about guardians as well as how to deal with the process after someone has become incapacitated.