Elder law attorneys concentrate on issues that concern older individuals and their families. One of the most common concerns presented to elder law attorneys is the wish to avoid complete impoverishment if long-term care is needed. In addition to helping protect assets from nursing home expenses, elder law attorneys:
- Advise about Social Security, Social Security Disability, and other public and private retirement benefits.
- Prepare wills, trusts, and other documents so that property will pass efficiently to beneficiaries.
- Assist families in administering estates.
- Advise whether to buy long-term care and supplemental insurance, and evaluate proposed policies.
- Assist in applying for Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts), Medicare, and other government programs.
- Make sure the nursing home patient’s rights are respected.
- Respond to quality of care complaints.
- Represent clients in disputes involving nursing homes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or managed care.
- Help address instances of elder abuse or fraud.
Attorneys who work primarily with the elderly appreciate the complex financial and social realities and are able to address their clients’ legal issues in a comprehensive way. They often work with other professionals such as accountants, financial planners, and geriatric care managers to ensure a coordinated plan.