What Are The Elder Law Basics?
When you run into a legal problem today, senior citizens today know how complex things can get. Do you understand the how the social security system affects you? Are you over 65 and you're running into age discrimination? How are you going to become expert in laws affecting the elderly?
In the late 1990's the "elder law" phrase referred to any law regarding senior citizens and their legal issues. What are elder law issues? Seniors are concerned with age discrimination, estate planning, health care, social security and what benefits they leave for loved ones when they pass away. Other topics directly affecting people living longer and longer are long term care and competency issues. Counselors experienced in elder law are well suited to answer your questions about these issues.
The Growth Of Elder Law
In Minnesota, our seniors 65 years and older are about 12.7% (668,000) of the whole state population. With nearly 13% of our population now over age 65, estimates predict that by 2050 senior citizens will total 36 million in the United States. Such incredible growth contributes to the need for capable legal counselors and practitioners. Are you interested in setting up your estate in order to leave something for your spouse and children after your death? Do you suspect that you've been discriminated against because of your age? An experienced elder law attorney will guide you to the solution that is best for you.
The Need For Elder Law
Aging America is contributing big time to the growth of this legal niche. More and more people are living longer and longer lives. This is resulting in problems with obtaining social security benefits, processing Medical Assistance claims and finding suitable long term care facilities. As if problems with these public systems were not enough, our seniors also face elder abuse, challenges to their ability to care for themselves and rising groups of scammers looking to take advantage of them. New legislation on the national and state levels continually seeks to address these issues as our senior population explodes. Sometimes even the most devoted family members are confused by options, including recourse under the law.
The Complexity Of Elder Law
The right elder law attorney, whether or not local to the senior, can help preserve dignity and stand up in defense of your rights that you lived so long to earn. Effective estate planning includes more than just what you want to leave behind and to whom. Effective estate planning ensures that you can fund both the enjoyable and comfortable life today and you can also afford the care you may need tomorrow. If you are being abused, or if you suspect elder abuse, it's critical that you speak up at once. Every step of the way of elderly life, you have rights and you ought to defend those rights to protect the quality of life that you deserve.
Keeping Up With Elder Law Issues
Lawyers and legal firms only recently began to distinguish between general areas of law and elder law. To define a legal practice by the type of client than by the type of law being practiced has been rare. Any cursory search of the phone book, web search and directories shows a preponderance of family lawyers, criminal lawyers, tax lawyers, etc. Elder law is unique because the lawyer focuses on one type of client — the senior citizen — instead of any one type of law. The best counselors must be experienced in a broad range of legal issues, from finance, state and national legislation, government programs, documents, planning and litigation.
This necessary diversity of knowledge makes the elder law expert an ideal counselor for most legal needs you will face after age 65. However, those of us younger need to plan for our senior future. Effective planning is the best way to prepare for and head off senior problems that may occur. WL Brown Law focuses on elder law issues in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area. When you have senior issues and questions, call us to see how we can solve your problem.