Elder Law is a relatively new catch phrase that has been used in the legal community for the past decade or so. It generally means an attorney who helps seniors and their families with legal issues that most frequently affect older individuals. An Elder Law practice can be very broad or somewhat more narrow, depending on the types of cases the attorneys in the practice handle.
Generally, the term Elder Law encompasses several areas of law, typically including estate planning, Medicaid and long-term care planning, guardianships, advanced directives, and probate administration. Depending on the attorney and law firm, an elder law practice may also include nursing home abuse or neglect cases, veterans benefits and Social Security Disability appeals, and assisting families with disabled children.
There is no single definition for elder law or what is included in an elder law practice. However, the primary focus for any elder law attorney (and any attorney for that matter) should be meeting his client’s needs, whether that means protecting a family member or loved one from harm or abuse, protecting and/or distributing assets, or maximizing benefits that the client or loved one receives.
There is no special license for an Elder Law attorney. Although some organizations award special elder law certificates, having a special certificate is not required to practice in the fields associated with Elder Law in Arkansas (or most states). The attorney you hire for your Elder Law problem, or any legal problem, should be well versed in the area of law that you hire him or her to handle. The attorney should be educated in that area of law and understand the process for getting the results that his client desires. The attorney should also be able to fully explain the process to his client and answer any question that his client has in an honest and easy to understand manner.
If you need legal assistance for yourself or for a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Dustin A. Duke here for a free consultation.