What is Elder Law?

Written by Collett P. Small, Esquire on . Posted in Elder Law

As a practicing Elder Law attorney, I am frequently asked, "What is Elder Law?"

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) defines Elder Law as a specialized area of legal practice which involves representing, counseling and assisting seniors, people with disabilities and their families in connection with a variety of legal issues, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals. Typically, Elder Law addresses the combination of legal needs with the social, psychological, medical and financial needs of individuals. The Elder Law attorney handles estate planning and counsels clients about planning for incapacity with health care decision-making documents. The Elder Law attorney also assists clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including at-home care, assisted living or nursing home care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating public and private resources to finance the cost of care and working to ensure the client's right to quality care are all part of the Elder and Special Needs Law practice.