Elder law comprises a variety of issues relating to the rights and welfare of the older population. Attorneys specializing in the field handle matters ranging from planning estates and designating powers of attorney to appointing guardians and arranging for long-term care. This guide outlines some of the typical tasks attorneys handle in the field of elder law.
4 Key Areas of Elder Law
1. Guardianships & Conservatorships
If a person becomes too old or ill to care for themselves, a guardian or conservator will assume responsibility for supporting them. Courts appoint guardians to manage the personal care and affairs of the elderly individual, while conservators typically only manage their financial concerns. An elder law attorney finds solutions to best protect the interests of the elderly person, and works closely with the elderly person and their family to ensure the needed levels of oversight are provided.
2. Living Wills & Powers of Attorney
Both living wills and powers of attorney let the elder person make decisions regarding their future care. A living will allows them to state their wishes regarding medical treatment, such as whether they want to use life-prolonging methods. If someone is granted the power of attorney, they’ll have the right to make certain decisions should the elderly person become unable to do so themselves. In either circumstance, an elder law attorney will draw up the required documentation.
3. Health Care & Social Security
Many elder law attorneys work with individuals and their families to ensure care plans are in place. This generally involves making provisions for long-term nursing care or finding available options in the present. Attorneys also work on entitlement program issues, such as applying for benefits or appealing denied social security claims.
4. Estate Plans
Estate planning is another component of elder law. As a person ages, they’ll often start thinking about their legacy. With the help of an attorney, they’ll draw up estate plans to protect the interests of their family. Wills and trusts give the elderly the power to determine how assets and property are to be divided among loved ones.
For more than 40 years, attorneys in the elder law practice at Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C., have provided these services and more to clients throughout the Bronx and New York City. The firm, which also provides effective and compassionate counsel in personal injury and real estate cases, has an established track record of satisfied clients. Call (718) 822-0500 or visit the firm online to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer.