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When Should I Hire an Elder Law Attorney?

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A middle-aged couple sitting at a table and talking with an elder law attorney

Your loved one deserves high-quality care, love, and support. When legal matters are involved, certain aspects can become complicated—especially if you don’t have any experience dealing with such things. To make sure your loved one is getting the care they need in a community that treats them well, you may need a professional’s help.

This is when it can help to hire an elder law attorney. This is a specialized type of lawyer who focuses on legal matters concerning the affairs of seniors in their area. 

Armed with specific knowledge and expertise in everything from estate planning to medical care, an elder law attorney can help you and your family navigate complex matters, bringing you all peace of mind. Elder law attorneys can assist with legal proceedings such as estate planning, guardianship, and medical matters, and can help prevent exploitation and neglect.

What Is an Elder Law Attorney?

An elder law attorney specializes in legal matters affecting older adults, their families, and their assets. Unlike a general-practice attorney, elder law attorneys focus solely on supporting older adults with their legal matters.

Elder law isn’t just about handling wills, bills, and other paperwork, though. An experienced elder law attorney can support you and your family with matters such as:

  • Estate planning
  • Guardianship
  • Medical matters
  • Situations of exploitation or neglect

Hiring an elder law attorney means you have somebody in your corner who can navigate these matters. From advice to paperwork, your elder law attorney can take on a range of roles to provide holistic support for your family.

Estate Planning

Estate planning can be complicated—especially if you’re unprepared for how in-depth it can be. This long, thorough process covers almost every element of an older loved one’s life.

With estate planning, you need to consider:

  • How to allocate assets and property
  • Designating executors and trustees
  • Planning for potential incapacity
  • Establishing trusts to manage assets
  • Considering tax implications
  • Protecting assets from creditors or lawsuits

When you’re handling an estate, an elder law attorney is a crucial piece of the puzzle. They’ll work closely with you and your family to create a comprehensive plan that tackles all of these factors and more. They can make this process significantly easier, giving you and your family peace of mind knowing that estate affairs are taken care of.


Life can be unpredictable, and there may be a point where your loved one’s independence is compromised. This is just one reason why it’s so essential to have a proper plan that’s legally bound. This way, you and your family know that if something were to happen, your loved one would be protected.

Guardianship refers to a legal arrangement where an individual—often a family member or close friend—is appointed by law to handle the affairs of somebody who can no longer safely take care of themselves and their own interests. 

This person is to act in the best interests of your loved one at all times, prioritizing their health and assets above all else. This is a complex legal matter and requires an experienced eye to properly protect your loved one.

When filing for guardianship, an elder law attorney is crucial. They can step in and help you navigate the legal system, ensuring that your loved one’s best interests are at heart.

Medical Matters

As we age, our medical needs can become more complex. Many seniors across the country require some form of medical care, which can be difficult to navigate alone.

Fortunately, elder law attorneys are well-versed in matters related to healthcare. They can help you and your family navigate:

  • Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare benefits
  • Long-term care planning and insurance
  • Your loved one’s medical wishes
  • Healthcare proxies and advanced directives
  • Patient rights and elder care regulations

While doing so, they can explain to you and your family what they’re doing and why. This means you’ll be well-informed about your loved one’s care, and can avoid any unwelcome surprises further down the line.

A close up of an elder law attorney pointing to a signature line on a paper while a man signs

Exploitation & Neglect

Hiring an elder law attorney is about more than just handling paperwork and documents. It’s about protecting your loved one against potential risks and harm, like exploitation or neglect.

Older adults are unfortunately vulnerable to exploitation due to various factors such as cognitive decline, medical conditions, or isolation. It’s essential to intervene and protect your loved one against these risks with an attorney’s help.

These legal professionals are well-versed in identifying the signs of exploitation and neglect and can provide you and your family with guidance on legal measures to prevent these situations from occurring. This way, you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands and fully protected.

When to Think About Hiring an Elder Law Attorney

When thinking about legal matters, it helps to be proactive. This way, you can have a plan in place for unusual situations. If you notice that legal, financial, or health-related matters are becoming more complex for your loved one, it’s time to reach out for legal support.

It can help to look out for the following signs:

  • Changes in mental capacity
  • Difficulties managing finances or protecting assets
  • Healthcare needs becoming more complex
  • Family disputes

These are all signs that it’s time to think about hiring an elder law attorney. 

Planning for Your Loved One’s Care

Having an elder law attorney on your side is excellent, but it’s just one part of the bigger puzzle. Your loved one deserves proper care, respect, and dignity as they age. While legal preparedness is crucial, ensuring their everyday comfort and happiness is equally important.

At Luna Senior Living, we take pride in providing comprehensive care to older adults. We blend compassionate support, lovely services and experiences, and a beautiful home-style environment to give your loved one a place that truly feels like home. Book a tour with us today, and let’s work together to find the right future home for your loved one.

Written by
Angela Clark

More Articles By
Angela Clark

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