Elder Law is a specialized field of law that deals with the numerous legal issues faced by the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, the elderly.


The legal term elder law denotes a wide variety of state and federal laws and regulations that are designed to help protect the elderly. These laws and regulations apply to anyone who is, knows, or associates with someone who is elderly, which amounts to practically everyone.

When it comes to planning for Medicare or Medicaid, the earlier you begin the better. Oftentimes people do not put their plans into motion early enough and find that they are unable to qualify for government assistance without a substantial sacrifice of their personal finances. This outcome can negatively impact not just the individual, but the loved ones as well.

Many of the harsh consequences that result from seeking government assistance through Medicare or Medicaid can be alleviated with careful legal planning.

Examples of Elder Law Practice


A guardianship is a legal proceeding in which a guardian exercises the legal rights of someone who cannot take care of themselves (often referred to as a ward).

Examples of the need for a guardianship include:

  • Ensuring that a loved one who is no longer legally competent will continue to receive the care they need.
  • Obtaining control of assets that are in the ward’s name only such as a car, bank accounts, or real estate in order to represent their best interests.
  • Settling a claim or lawsuit the Ward may have against a third party while making sure the Ward is getting a fair deal.

Adults who are unable to care for him or herself may benefit from having a legal guardian. Guardians can be family or friends, or can be appointed by a court.

When an adult becomes mentally ill, suffers from dementia, or becomes physically incapacitated, a guardian can be highly beneficial in looking out for the best interest of the adult.

Unlike guardians for children, guardians for adults do not usually have the authority to control all aspects, and may only have power of attorney for specific decisions.

Selecting a guardian in advance of need can minimize family and legal battles, and should be carefully considered and discussed with appropriate parties, and initiated through legal procedures.

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