Elder Law is a relatively new specialized field of law that deals with the issues faced by the fastest growing segment of the US population, the elderly. It combines elements of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Conservatorship, Health Care Planning and Medicare / Medicaid Planning.
What does Elder Law Include?
1. Estate planning and administration, including tax questions
2. Medicaid, disability and other long-term care issues
3. Guardianship, conservatorship and commitment matters, including fiduciary administration.
Why Elder Law is Important
The needs of elder clients extends beyond their legal problems. Elderly clients may be frail or ill and require home health care or placement in an institutional facility. Many are fearful that future illness may deplete financial resources, and thus may need to consider a long-term care insurance policy. Working with a qualified Elder Law Attorney can help you successfully plan for latter years.
Why It's Important To Plan Today
If you don't prepare for the future, plan on having you and your family suffer the consequences. It is often said, "A failure to plan is a plan to fail." An hour of time spent planning and putting the appropriate documents in place can save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the future trying to figure it all out in the court system. Planning today spares your family the emotional toll that is imposed when they have to resort to the courts to address issues that should have been taken care of before incapacity strikes.
The primary objective when planning for incapacity is the avoidance of the court controlled guardianship system and its incumbent costs in time and money. The goal is to keep control within the family. This control is broken down into two areas: control of your finances and property, and control of your health care decisions. If you are not able to express your desires and direct your financial institutions with regard to your assets, then you are powerless to control your life. If you do not appoint someone to step in and act on your behalf, then there will be a vacuum of control created. This vacuum will be filled by the method of last resort, a guardianship overseen by the court system.
The National Care Planning Council website and its providers are dedicated to helping the American public plan for long term care. The site is the most comprehensive resource for long term care planning available anywhere. You may print any of the articles for your personal use.
The National Care Planning Council