What Is the Difference Between Estate Planning and Elder Law?

Elder law and estate planning law are terms that are often used interchangeably, with people mistakenly referring to both as the exact same thing. However, while elder law and estate planning law may – and often do – go hand-in-hand, the two areas of law have some noteworthy distinctions. Depending upon your age and the specifics of your life, you may need the services of an elder law attorney, an estate planning attorney, or an attorney who focuses on both areas, such as Patricia Bloom-Mcdonald, Attorney at Law. Consider these differences between estate planning and elder law, and reach out to a qualified professional to learn more:

What Is Estate Planning and What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

Estate planning refers to the systematic process of creating documents related to how your assets and your estate will be managed and distributed upon your death. An estate plan may also include documents, such as an advanced directive and powers of attorney, that address your wishes regarding medical care if you are incapacitated and cannot express such wishes, as well as designating someone to make decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them yourself while you are alive.

An estate planning attorney helps you understand the various elements of an estate plan, and will draft and review estate planning documents on your behalf. Your estate plan should take into account income, savings, stocks, securities, real estate property, retirement benefits, life insurance policies, businesses, tax planning, the probate process, and any other assets, as well as name a guardian and conservator for minor children, a special needs person, or even for yourself should you need assistance.

What Is Elder Law?

While an elder law attorney is be able to assist a person with all the above elements of estate planning, elder law typically focuses on issues that are specific to elderly persons. For example, an elder law attorney may be especially helpful in:

  • Guiding you through the various requirements and rules surrounding Medicaid;
  • Understanding the laws surrounding guardianship and conservatorship of incapacitated persons;
  • Planning for end-of-life and palliative care;
  • Planning for nursing home care, including how to pay for such care;
  • Navigating things like disability and long-term care insurance;
  • Funeral, burial, and memorial service planning;
  • After-death planning for widows and widowers;
  • Retirement planning;
  • Caregiving options;
  • Elderly person’s rights; and
  • What happens if you suffer a major illness, health emergency, live longer than expected, need long-term care, etc.

Reach Out to a Massachusetts Elder Law and Estate Planning Law Attorney

If you are over the age of eighteen years old, forming an estate plan is important.  Working with an estate planning attorney can help with the legal documents needed if you are going off to college, and/or studying abroad, etc..

If you are near or post-retirement age, you may also benefit by working with an elder law attorney who can help you to create a plan for your assets, your healthcare, and your family as you age.

Patricia Bloom-Mcdonald, Attorney at Law, has over two decades worth of experience practicing both elder law and estate planning law, and can guide you through everything you need to know about planning for your future. To schedule a non-cost initial one hour consultation with Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Attorney at Law today, please call her law office directly or send her a message describing your situation and your legal needs in more detail.