Elder Law 101: What is Elder Law?
Elder Law is defined by the client to be served.
Generally, this includes aging adults or persons with disabilities who are or could be facing health issues in the future. Because elder law is defined by the population served, it’s difficult to narrow elder law down to specific practice areas.
For example, a large number of older Americans served in the military, so many elder law attorneys help their clients obtain veterans benefits. Other areas that you might find an elder law attorney practicing are Medicaid planning, disability planning, estate planning, probate, guardianship, estate tax planning, and special needs planning.
What does an Elder Law Attorney do?
Elder law attorneys address their clients’ needs by taking a holistic approach toward addressing clients’ legal, financial, medical, social, and family issues. The primary goal of elder law attorneys is to promote the highest quality of life possible for their clients.
Another important role of elder law attorneys is to make sure that their clients are not under any duress or undue influence from family members or other people who might be close to them. For this reason, if you are a child or close friend accompanying a person who is meeting with an elder law attorney for the first time, don’t be surprised (or offended) if you are asked to leave the room while the attorney talks to the potential client.
Elder law attorneys can be a great resource because they understand the process of aging and how the law affects that process. This means that in addition to providing legal guidance they are also knowledgeable about other local resources and professionals who serve the elder population. Because elder law attorneys deal with a variety of clients and legal issues, they are able to thoroughly address the legal needs of the population they serve.
Why contact an Elder Law attorney?
Most people who contact an elder law attorney for legal assistance need durable powers of attorney, wills, trusts, or help planning for long-term care needs. Many times the family of a person who is either a long time resident in a nursing home or was recently admitted to a nursing home will seek the services of an elder law attorney to help them figure out how to pay the high cost of nursing home care.
Elder law attorneys can be especially helpful when a person needs guidance on how to pay for long term care such as a nursing home because of their knowledge of public benefits and programs designed to help pay for long term care costs for people who qualify. This means that an elder law attorney may be able to help someone become qualified for and apply to receive Medicaid and Veterans benefits.
If you or a loved one needs the services of a Pinellas County, Florida, elder law attorney, contact Javier Centonzio of Weylie Centonzio, PLLC, today at (727) 490-8712. Javier lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and serves the Pinellas County area. His office is conveniently located in Largo, Florida, in the center of Pinellas County.