Elder Law: An Introduction

by | Oct 22, 2014 | Law


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It is important we remember those who paved the way for the improvements our society often. As a society, it is important to provide care and show respect for our aging population. Elder law is a term that covers legal concerns for aging individuals. The topic dates back to the 1960’s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act and created Medicare. Since then, the legal concerns have grown to include a national nutrition program, support for those caring for elderly relatives, and funding for a number of state agencies. Elder law can include any legal issue, but is most commonly associated with estate planning, health care, and fiduciary administration.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the disposal of an individual’s property and assets accumulated over a lifetime. This includes power of attorney, both financial and legal, and wills and trusts. It may dictate guardianship for minors and designate beneficiaries following death. Funerary arrangements can also be specified if desired. There are specific tax concerns associated with trusts and it is essential to have everything prepared by an experienced law professional.

Health Care

Health care aspects of elder law cover the subject of long-term care. Medicare and Medicaid are taken into consideration, as well as any private insurance plans. The health care documentation may cover personal requests in all health circumstances, including disability, end of life, and to what degree medical professional may go to preserve life. This is an emotional subject that can be difficult to discuss. However, an attorney who specializes in elder law can help with the legal aspects.

Fiduciary Administration

The term fiduciary refers to a legal relationship to organize financial concerns. The person assigned this task may be an attorney or someone else. This position requires a great deal of responsibility, trust, and skill. He or she is responsible for taking care of money matters for the aging individual during life and following death. When a person has a significant number of assets, this can be quite complex. It is always best to consult a legal professional in matters of this degree.

If you are concerned about your legal rights as you age, or a loved one is aging and needs help, an attorney can be a valuable asset. Your attorney will guide you through the planning process and ensure that your voice is heard. Your needs can be carefully assessed and put into writing so you are confident that they are executed properly and timely.

The attorneys at Malman Law are well-versed in elder law and are happy to assist you at any time. Check their Google+ profile for more information.