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What is an Elder Law Attorney?

Hi, I’m Jimmy Miller, an elder law attorney practicing in Florida. And I’m often asked the question, “What is an elder law attorney?” An elder law attorney is generally an attorney who has specialized in assisting seniors, their families, and their caregivers in locating and dealing with the various legal issues that arise in senior care.

The assistance may be in the form of estate planning, in which assets are being set up to be transferred from one family member or loved one to another. It may be in the form of financial planning, looking at what resources are available and how those resources can be utilized to best provide for the needs of the senior. It may also be in the form of Medicaid planning where assets and resources are moved around and the form of ownership changed in order to allow for eligibility for Medicaid.

One of the very important tasks of elder care attorneys is the drafting and the consideration of advanced health care directives. Durable powers of attorney will prevent your heirs from having to bear the time and expense of setting up a guardianship. Second, health care directives allow you to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf.  It is best to set up such a directive when you are able to think clearly and make sound decisions rather than when you are in a crisis and no longer capable of making decisions for yourself.  Lastly, elder care attorneys are skilled in setting up living wills, which specify how much life support you would like to utilize before making a decision to withdraw life support.  These are just a few of the areas in which elder care attorneys have special expertise that can be quite beneficial to any and all parties.

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