What is Elder Law?

In a way, Elder Law is unique as a legal practice area as it is defined not so much by “what” is being done as by “for whom” it is being done.  Elder law may involve any practice area that is being done for our senior clients.

Nevertheless, there are certain areas in which Elder Law tends to be concerned:

(A) Health and Personal Care Planning, which includes giving advice regarding, and preparing, advance medical directives (health care powers of attorney, living wills, HIPPA releases, and health care declarations) and counseling older persons, attorneys-in-fact, and families about medical and life-sustaining choices, and related personal life choices.

(B) Pre-Mortem Legal Planning, which includes giving advice and preparing documents regarding wills, trusts, durable general (financial) powers of attorney, business-transfer issues, decisions about the ownership of (titling) real estate, gifting, and the financial and tax implications of any proposed action(s).

(C) Fiduciary Representation, which includes seeking the appointment of, giving advice to, representing, or serving as executor, personal representative, attorney-in-fact, trustee, guardian, conservator, representative payee, or other formal or informal fiduciary.  (A fiduciary is a person who acts for another and is legally obligated to act in the other’s best interest.)

(D) Legal Capacity Counseling, which includes advising how capacity is determined and the level of capacity required for various legal activities, and representing those who are or may be the subject of guardianship/conservatorship proceedings or other protective arrangements.

(E) Public Benefits Advice, which includes planning for and assisting in obtaining Medicaid, supplemental security income (SSI), and Veteran’s benefits.  As Sorrell Law Firm we presently do not assist with either SSI or Veteran’s benefits.

(F) Advice on Insurance Matters, which includes analyzing and explaining the types of insurance available, such as health, life, long term care, home care, COBRA, Medigap, long term disability, dread disease, and burial/funeral policies.  While we assist with this at Sorrell Law Firm, we do not sell any of these products.

(G) Resident Rights Advocacy, which includes advising patients and residents of hospitals, nursing facilities, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult care facilities, and those cared for in their homes of their rights and appropriate remedies in matters such as admission, transfer and discharge policies, quality of care, and related issues.

(H) Housing Counseling, which includes reviewing the options available and the financing of those options such as: mortgage alternatives, renovation loan programs, life care contracts, and home equity conversion.

(I) Litigation and Administrative Advocacy in connection with any of the above matters, including will contests, contested capacity issues, elder abuse (including financial or consumer fraud), fiduciary administration, public benefits, nursing home torts, and discrimination.