What Does an Older Adult Law Attorney Do?
By FindLaw Staff | Legally reviewed by Laura Temme, Esq. | Last reviewed October 13, 2022
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To some extent, aging adults have different legal needs than younger adults. For example, health care, retirement, disability, guardianship, and long-term care are generally more concerning to older adults than to younger adults.
Older adult law attorneys understand these issues and the laws around them. They are advocates for older adults and their loved ones.
Most older adult law attorneys handle a wide range of legal matters affecting an older or disabled person, including issues related to:
- Health care
- Long-term care planning
- Social Security
- Estate planning
- Financial planning
- Day-to-day problems affecting older adults
- Assisted living
- End-of-life planning
- Older adult abuse
- Other important matters
In many ways, older adult law attorneys are specialists because they focus on older adults' needs.
In addition, they are often more equipped to handle the sensitive emotional and physical needs of older or disabled adults. Generally, they are prepared and experienced in handling various challenging situations.
How Can an Older Adult Law Attorney Help Me?
An older adult law attorney can help with any one of the following:
- Wills and estate planning
- Planning for a minor or adult with special needs
- Probate proceedings
- Durable power of attorney
- Health care and planning
- Long-term care options
- Patient rights
- Health care power of attorney
- Locate long-term care facilities
- Nursing home resident rights
- Nursing home abuse claims
- Draft a living will or other advance directives
- Other long-term planning documents
They also are prepared for financial representation, including:
- Financial planning
- Durable financial power of attorney
- Housing opportunities and planning
- Income, estate, and gift tax matters
- Manage assisted living costs
You don't always need an attorney to create these legal documents in simple cases. You can make a living will, power of attorney, or living trust with DIY forms.
How Do Older Adult Law Attorneys Bill for Their Services?
Older adult law attorneys generally charge by the hour based on the type of work. Sometimes, they will charge a predetermined flat rate based on the kind of work. This could apply during the review and signing of documents, filing of tax returns, or will preparation.
What Questions Should I Ask an Older Adult Law Attorney?
Most older adult law attorneys do not specialize in every area of law affecting seniors, so hiring an attorney with experience in your particular area of concern is vital.
Also, before selecting an older adult law attorney, you should feel comfortable that they will represent you or your loved one in a sensitive and understanding manner.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What percentage of your time is devoted to older adult law?
- Do you particularly emphasize a certain area within older adult law?
- What information should I prepare for our first meeting?
- How are your fees computed?
How To Find an Older Adult Law Attorney
There are numerous ways to find a qualified older adult law attorney. Referrals from friends and family or online research may be a good start.
However, not all websites are the same. And unless you live in the same state as your friend or relative or have unlimited hours to spend online, you may wish to find a local older adult law attorney using FindLaw's attorney directory.
Learn more about state-specific laws on our older adult law legal answers page.
What To Look For in an Older Adult Law Attorney
Older adult law attorneys do not always focus on every legal matter. When seeking legal help for an older person, it is essential to look for an older adult law attorney with experience in the particular subject area of need.
For example, if you need help with long-term care planning, it may be wise to look for an attorney knowledgeable about Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
In addition to specialized knowledge, looking for an older adult law attorney sensitive to your specific needs is essential.
Caring for aging parents, for example, can be emotionally and financially draining. An older adult law attorney should be experienced in working with families during these emotional times.
You can search our online directory for attorneys who handle:
- Estate Planning
- Medical Malpractice
- Disability Insurance
- Social Security Disability
- General Older Adult Law
- Health Care Law
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Social Security
When To Expect When Hiring an Older Adult Law Attorney
Hiring an attorney means not navigating the often-confusing and emotional territory of older adult law alone. It can ease the financial and practical burdens that may fall upon you and your loved ones should you become ill or disabled.
You can find help for choosing the proper senior living facility, drafting a will or trust, or protecting yourself from financial, physical, or emotional abuse. A knowledgeable older adult law attorney sensitive to your needs can be your most valuable asset.
Finding an Experienced Older Adult Law Attorney
To find a skilled older adult law attorney, use the FindLaw Lawyer Directory to search for a law firm or attorney in your area.
Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?
- Complex elder law situations usually require a lawyer
- A lawyer can reduce the chances of a family dispute
- DIY living wills, powers of attorney, and wills are possible in some simple cases
- You can always have an attorney review your form
Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.