As its name implies, elder law and its practitioners address all the issues that face older adults, their caregivers and their families and friends. As you and your parent’s age, you should become aware of the laws that protect you and the services available to you.
FindLaw explains that, specifically, elder law includes all of the following:
- Estate planning
- Health care planning
- Elder rights
- Elder abuse and injury
Estate planning is itself a very broad area of the law. With regard to its application to elder issues, it can include the following:
- Making of a last will and testament
- Establishing one or more trusts
- Avoiding estate taxes
- Avoiding probate
Health care planning
You and your parents likely have definite preferences regarding the types of medical care you want — and do not want — if you become seriously ill or otherwise incapacitated. Listing these preferences in a living will or advance care directive ensures that you remain in control of the health care you receive.
Effective care planning can likewise include signing a health care power of attorney wherein you designate the person, call your attorney in fact, who you want to make health care decisions for you in the event you cannot make them for yourself.
Elder law also includes protecting the rights of older adults, including the following:
- Right to dignity
- Right to safety
- Right to privacy
- Right to Medicare or Medicaid assistance
Elder abuse and injury
Unfortunately, elderly people who reside in nursing homes face the possibility of abuse or injury at the hands of other residents or their facility’s employees. Such abuse can take numerous forms, including physical, emotional and financial. Elder law addresses these issues.
Overall, an elder law attorney can help make your elder years truly golden.