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A lawyer for elder care helps in legal matters related to aging, such as tax preparation, disability planning, nursing facility placement, among others.

Most elder law attorneys also work professionally with social workers, geriatric care managers, and other specialists who can help with various aging-related concerns.

What Is the Role of Lawyers for Elder Care?

Elder law attorneys focus on assisting senior citizens with the legal issues that arise as people get older. Some elder law professionals hold a credential from the National Elder Law Foundation called Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA).

A Certified Elder Law Attorney must fulfill licensure standards and other requirements, including specific elder law expertise and ongoing elder law education. However, an elder law attorney may possess the same knowledge or abilities as a Certified Elder Law Attorney even if they do not hold the CELA certification.

Many elder law practitioners also specialize in medical planning to safeguard a person's financial resources in case of the development of any disabling illness that may necessitate long-term care. Most elder law practitioners can also create trusts for an adult child with special needs and write estate documents, such as a durable power of attorney for health and medical care.

What Situations Call for an Elder Law Attorney?

The legal problems you, your spouse, or your family carers deal with can change as you age. For instance, it's crucial to have durable powers of attorney if you or your spouse cannot handle your financial and medical requirements. If you or your spouse enter a nursing home to avoid having to spend your entire life savings on long-term care, you may also require the assistance of an elder law attorney to transfer assets.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Elder Care Lawyer?

Elder law experts can assist with a wide variety of legal issues that elders frequently encounter, such as:

  • Asset transfer and preservation. If you need assistance with the Medicaid "look back" period for donating money to your children or others so that you will be eligible for Medicaid if you need to apply, contact an elder law attorney with experience in Medicaid planning. A surviving spouse's ability to live independently and the state's inability to seek Medicaid reimbursement for long-term care costs can be facilitated by asset protection.
  • Medicare, Social Security, and appeals for disability benefits.
  • Appeals and claims for long-term health insurance and supplemental insurance.
  • Wills, living wills, powers of attorney for financial and medical matters, and living trusts are all part of the estate and disability planning.
  • Long-term care placements and access to healthcare in nursing homes or other managed care settings.
  • Obtaining a will, managing your estate, paying your bills and taxes, and distributing your assets to your heirs.
  • Incidents of fraud and elder abuse.
  • Guardianships and conservatorships. A guardianship can grant an appointed conservator full or restricted power over your money and medical decisions, along with other significant decisions, if you become physically or mentally incapable.
  • Prejudice in housing and home equity conversions.
  • Mental health law and physical health.

While an estate or trust lawyer can help with some of these legal issues, their services are more transactional than ongoing. If that's all you need, elder law professionals can also help with traditional estate planning. Nevertheless, an elder law attorney is educated to adopt a "holistic" perspective. An elder law lawyer provides a comprehensive consultation during which they go over ways to maintain the quality of your life and keep up stewardship of your legacy.

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What Qualities Should an Elder Care Attorney Have?

Eldercare lawyers do not necessarily concentrate on every legal issue. It is important to find an older adult law attorney with experience in the particular subject area when an older person needs legal assistance. For instance, looking for an attorney familiar with Medicare and Medicaid benefits could be a good idea if you need assistance with long-term care planning.

Finding an older adult law attorney who is attentive to your particular needs and has specialized knowledge. For example, providing care for elderly parents can be emotionally and financially taxing. An elder care lawyer should have experience assisting families through these difficult times.

How Much Is the Fee of an Elder Care Lawyer?

The cost of hiring an elder law lawyer will vary depending on the type of legal services required, the city or area where you reside, and the level of the lawyer's elder law training and experience. Depending on the complexity of the estate, the cost of standard estate planning documents alone could range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Initial comprehensive asset preservation consultations can range in price from free to up to $1,000, depending on several variables, including the going rate for legal services in your city or town. The charge may also increase if there are family members with particular needs, such as an adult with a handicap, dysfunctional family members who cause conflict, and significant wealth.

The elder law lawyer informs you of the legal services they can provide and the cost of those services after the initial session. The cost may be a set amount or an hourly rate with a retainer. Elder law attorney rates vary significantly because of many people and family relationships, types of engagements, and variances in fees and amounts.

According to the legal services you require, there is a range of rates and examples of how much you might pay an elder law attorney below.

  • $350 to $650 per hour for guardianship and appointment of a guardian
  • Wills and estate administration: $250 to $350 per hour, while the charge would be lower—$100 to $150 per hour—if paralegals do the job under the supervision of an attorney.

When to Hire an Elder Care Lawyer and What to Expect

Working with a lawyer means you won't have to navigate the emotionally charged and frequently complex world of elder law alone. If you become ill or incapacitated, it may lessen the financial and practical obligations that might otherwise be placed on you and your loved ones.

You can get assistance selecting the best senior living community, creating a will or trust, or safeguarding yourself against verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Your most significant asset might be a skilled older adult law attorney sensitive to your interests.

Key Terms Related To Elder Care

  • Elder Care Attorney: An attorney who focuses on the legal rights and concerns of senior citizens as well as their health, money, and general well-being.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid covers long-term nursing home care, a small number of home health services, and, depending on the state, it might also cover some assisted living services. In particular, nursing home care, it is the largest public payer of long-term care services.
  • Palliative Care: Services that are expertly managed and concentrate on the needs of people with life-threatening illnesses and their families on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual levels. It aims to keep things as comfortable as possible.


The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) advises making sure you are dealing with a legal issue that calls for an elder law attorney's skills before you engage one. If you're hesitant, speak with your financial advisor, an estate planning lawyer, or other legal experts who can advise you on whether employing an elder law attorney could be advantageous.

Ensure you know the costs associated with the initial consultation, follow-up meetings, and legal services before engaging an elder law attorney. It would be best if you inquired about the lawyer's areas of interest and competence and their certification in elder and special needs law. Ask the elder law attorney if your state or any other state has issued any cautions, reprimands, disbarments, or other consequences against them.

Contracts Counsel can help assist people and businesses in accessing reasonably priced legal counsel. Their attorneys are well-experienced and will help you in legal matters.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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