One of the most common questions we receive from clients is,
“What is the difference between Estate Planning and Elder Law?”
The two practice areas may sound similar and, in fact, do share many similarities. There are, however, some important distinctions between the two. To better inform you about the types of legal services that best fit your unique goals and needs, let us share a few of the differences between Estate Planning and Elder Law.
Estate Planning focuses on planning for the distribution of your assets once you pass. It is a common misconception that Estate Planning only applies to those with large estates. This is simply not true! An Estate Planning attorney can help you prepare for many different situations, whether you are going away to college as a young adult, you are a newlywed, a first time parent, or a senior planning to protect your loved ones.
In addition, an estate planning attorney can also help you create the necessary documents to ensure you and your loved ones remain protected should your life circumstances change or if you need a decision maker in the event of incapacity. This can be accomplished through the creation of a Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Power of Attorney. These documents are too important to create without the guidance of an experienced Estate Planning attorney who can advise you about the advantages and disadvantages of certain planning documents for your specific needs.
Elder Law is a broader field of law that encompasses a large amount of services. While Elder Law is not only relevant for seniors, its primary focus is on the handling of your assets while you are still alive and preparing for your retirement and end-of-life care. An Elder Law attorney helps you accomplish your goals by creating trusts, a long-term care plan for you, helping you obtain long-term care insurance, and applying for VA or Medicaid benefits on your behalf to help you receive the benefits you deserve and may be entitled to.
Also, an Elder Law attorney is usually more familiar with the challenges that a senior faces, such as senior exploitation and issues with Medicare, and can help you create a plan that ensures your assets, needs, and loved ones are protected as you age.
These are a few of the differences between Estate Planning and Elder Law. We encourage you to ask us your questions about the types of legal services you need and gain insight on the steps you need to take. Remember, we work with Florida families just like yours to help them find and obtain the planning they need both now and in a crisis.