Elder law is an area of the law specializing in issues that affect the growing aging population. At one time, the focus of this area of the law was solely on estate planning, wills, durable powers of attorneys and other issues that affect people who may need nursing home care and their family members who cared for them.
These matters are still a part of Elder law but as the baby boomer generation begins to reach retirement age, the focus has shifted. Social Security uses Patti Duke and Chubby Checker to promote the benefits of applying for Social Security retirement benefits online. As the elderly population grows so does the area of Elder Law, today’s seniors are more active, live longer and in some cases work longer than seniors of ten or twenty years ago. Some of the issues that Elder law can cover are:
- Social Security
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Estate Planning
- Long-term care
- Age Discrimination
- Medical directives
The aforementioned list is by no means conclusive of the issues that may encompass Elder law. You should also keep in mind that you might have elder law issues if you are just beginning to think about what your life will be like when you retire from the working world. A successful retirement requires planning. You may be twenty years away from retirement age but decisions made by the government involving Social Security and Medicare today could have far-reaching affects when it is your time to collect benefits.
Elder law is not something to learn about when you turn sixty-five, if you wait that long your options to protect yourself and your family may be severely limited. If you are considering estate planning, consider that you may also need to consult an elder law attorney to make sure you have a well-rounded estate plan that considers all contingencies.