What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Older adults face different legal and financial concerns than younger adults do. From exploring the feasibility of a move to a senior living community to knowing how to preserve assets, elder law issues can be quite complex. Finding an attorney that you feel confident understands these challenges can take some time and research.
An elder law attorney, one who specializes in issues facing older adults, might be just what you or a senior loved one needs.
The Role of an Elder Law Attorney
Elder law attorneys usually look at the big picture when it comes to assisting an older adult. Because they specialize in helping seniors, they understand how to create a legal and financial plan for a client’s future. This might entail determining when the best time to sell an older adult’s home is or how to best liquidate assets the senior needs to pay for home modifications.
An elder law attorney can also offer unbiased advice if family members aren’t able to agree on a senior care plan for a loved one. Because they often work with social workers, psychiatrists, physicians, and elder care managers, elder law attorneys understand the ins and outs of each type of senior care.
An elder law attorney may specialize in a specific area of aging services. For example, some are experienced at identity theft and fraud recovery, while others can help intervene in cases of elder abuse.
Other types of elder law specialties include the following:
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Veterans’ benefits applications
- Guardianship appointments
- Estate planning, wills, and trusts
Tips for Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
While no special certification is required to be considered an elder law attorney in most states, individual state bar associations often have elder law board certifications that attorneys can pursue.
There are also voluntary membership organizations that provide continuing education opportunities for elder law attorneys. Most also offer resources for seniors and their families. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. and ElderCounsel each have databases to help you find an elder law attorney near you.
Visit a Sunrise Community
If you or a senior you love are working with an elder law attorney to explore your senior living options, we hope you will consider Sunrise. There is always an open invitation for you to tour one of your local Sunrise communities.
We also have a variety of resources to assist our professional partners, including elder law attorneys. This page includes tools ranging from invitations to CEU events to a guide for starting difficult conversations.