What is elder law?

| Aug 22, 2019 | Long Term Care Planning |

Depending on a person’s age and physical and financial well-being, his or her legal needs will likely differ. This is especially true for the elderly in Texas and across the country. As such, there are attorneys who specialize in elder law, ensuring that the needs of the elderly and their families are adequately met.

One important aspect of elder law deals with the appointment of a guardian or conservator. Guardianships and conservatorships often impact the elderly because they are more often affected by incapacitation due to their age or illness. A court will make a determination whether a guardian is needed, and the person named will be in charge of making medical and other care-related decisions. A conservator serves a similar role but handles his or her ward’s financial concerns. 

To help ease the stress on family members should a person become unable to make his or her own decisions, some people choose to complete advanced planning by creating a living will or naming a power of attorney. By putting their wishes in writing — including regarding medical treatment — those tasked with making decisions can ensure they are doing what a patient would want. Naming someone as a durable power of attorney means that the person’s financial interests will still be looked after without having to ask a judge to name someone to the position. 

Also included under elder law is estate planning, potentially including the creation of a will or a trust. The average person in Texas may be unsure of how to create such documents so that they are enforceable and less likely to be successfully challenged should a disagreement arise. Fortunately, there are experienced attorneys who can help with all of these aspects in addition to others, such as applying for state health care or Social Security benefits. Having such a professional can ensure that all relevant issues are addressed.