Do you have a great estate planning attorney? If so, you may think you are all set. Having an elder law attorney as part of your team, however, can be critical as you head into your golden years. Estate planning attorneys may be proficient at tax and inheritance matters, but they typically do not specialize in the other types of planning needed as you age. For issues like long-term care or nursing home planning, you may need to turn to an elder law attorney instead.

What is the difference between estate planning and elder law attorneys? Estate planning attorneys focus on helping you create an estate plan that will distribute your assets in the manner you desire after you die. They can write your will and other documents, for example, powers of attorney or healthcare documents, and they can advise you on how you might best divide your property among your potential heirs and the differences in bequeathing different types of property. In most instances, an estate planning attorney may also be proficient in tax law, well versed in the ins and outs of the federal estate tax, and any estate tax your state imposes, and know ways to help you shield your estate from big tax consequences.

On the other hand, an elder law attorney may focus on how to protect your assets and any income you continue to have from being severely depleted by healthcare needs in your old age. An elder law will usually focus on what happens to your assets during your lifetime, while an estate planning attorney will usually be focused on figuring out what will happen afterwards. You need an elder law attorney because they will make sure to protect your assets while you are alive, so there is something left in your estate, even if you require expensive long term care.

For more information about the importance of elder law, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.