ELDER LAW – New Viewpoint on Legal Issues of Aging
A Different Way to Practice… A Better Way To Help
Seldom do elder law issues occur in an aging person’s life in isolation; yet the traditional boundaries of legal specialties have often forced seniors to go to attorneys whose practice is limited to one or two of these areas. Recognizing the legal needs of the elderly and those with similar issues, some attorneys have developed practices specifically designed to serve aging clients and their families – an “elder law” practice.
Everyone faces aging and its consequences. An elder law attorney can also serve younger people who are concerned about the issues which will affect them as they age, or which affect those they love.
What Is An Elder Law Attorney?
Elder law is defined by the client to be served, rather than the category of law involved. In other words, the lawyer who practices elder law may handle a range of issues but has a specific type of clients – seniors, their families, and those who are younger but looking ahead to the days when they will share the same concerns. Elder law attorneys work with a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the client’s goals and objectives.
Under this holistic approach, the elder law practitioner handles general estate planning issues and counsels clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision-making documents. The attorney will assist with planning for long-term care needs, in a crisis or in a longer period ahead. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality of life are all part of the elder law practice. Ina Kay Zimmerman has worked exclusively in the area of elder law for more than 15 years of her long legal career.