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Elder Law Attorneys

Elder Law Attorneys focus on the legal needs of the elderly. Longer life expectancy requires planning for the contingencies of an extended lifetime.

Planning for long-term care needs is a large part of elder law. A Certified Elder Law Attorney helps to locate the appropriate type of care and works to ensure their clients obtain quality care that is adequately financed.

There are under 400 attorneys certified in elder law in the US.

One way to distinguish elder law from estate planning is that estate planning generally deals with issues related to death, whereas, elder law deals with the issues of extended life.

Here's a list of some of the subjects where an attorney certified in elder law can help you:

  • Disability Planning
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Medicaid Rules and Planning
  • Health Care Decisions
  • Medicare
  • Nursing Home Issues
  • Social Security
  • Veteran Benefits
  • and more...

You may want to check out answers to elder law questions here. (new window will open)

Planning discussions can be less emotional if they occur before the need is urgent.

Why Should You Use an
Attorney Certified in Elder Law?

The purpose of certification is to identify those attorneys who have enhanced knowledge, skills, experience and proficiency in the area of elder law.

An attorney certified in elder law must know subjects, such as, health and long-term care planning, public benefits like Medicaid, and alternative decision making documents like powers of attorney.

They also need to know tax consequences of various actions, in addition to keeping up with the latest changes in the laws.

The attorney certified in elder lay is able to recognize issues of concerns related to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the older person, insurance, housing, long-term care, employment and retirement.

According to the National Elder Law Foundation, to become certified the licensed attorney must have spent at least 16 hours per week practicing elder law. They must have handled at least 60 elder law matters in specified elder law subjects.

In addition, they must have had at least 45 hours of continuing legal education in elder law during the three years prior to application.

They must pass a full-day certification examination.

Certified elder law attorneys must be re-certified every five years and must meet similar requirements.

My Experience

My first experience with an elder law attorney was when I was helping my parents with their affairs. The attorney we used was certified in Elder Law and was also a Certified Public Accountant.

Several times I saw how that combination was a great advantage.

Around the same time we were also helping my parents-in-law with their affairs. They had done some work prior to us getting involved. They did not use an attorney in their area who was certified in elder law. We found that we could potentially have an enormous tax issue and there was nothing we could do to avoid it.

It was a wakeup call to us about the value of using an attorney certified in elder law, who also is a Certified Public Accountant, if possible.


The information provided on this website is for information purposes only. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice for your specific situation from one of the Certified Elder Law Attorneys in your state.

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