What Does an Older Adult Law Attorney Do?

To some extent, aging adults have different legal needs than younger adults. Health care, caregiving costs, retirement, disability, guardianship, and long-term care are generally more concerning to older adults than to younger adults, for example.


To some extent, aging adults have different legal needs than younger adults. Health care, caregiving costs, retirement, disability, guardianship, and long-term care are generally more concerning to older adults than to younger adults, for example.

Elder law attorneys understand these legal issues and the laws around them. They are often advocates for older adults as well as their family members and loved ones.

Most certified elder law attorneys handle a wide range of legal matters affecting older or disabled persons, including legal issues related to:

  • Health care
  • Long-term care planning
  • Guardianship
  • Retirement
  • Social Security
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Estate planning
  • Financial planning
  • Day-to-day problems affecting older adults
  • Assisted living facility requirements
  • End-of-life planning
  • Elder abuse

In addition, elder care attorneys are often more equipped to handle the sensitive, emotional, and physical needs of older or disabled adults. Generally, they are experienced in handling various challenging situations and can provide legal advice on a variety of elder care issues.

How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

Elder law attorneys, depending on their practice area, can help with any one of the following:

They also are prepared to advise on financial matters, including:

You don't always need an attorney to create these legal documents. In simple cases, you can make a living willpower of attorney, or living trust, with DIY forms.

How Do Elder Law Attorneys Bill for Their Services?

Elder law attorneys generally charge by the hour based on the type of work they have completed. Sometimes, they will charge a predetermined flat rate based on the kind of legal document or issue they are working on. This could apply during the document review and signing, tax return filing, or will preparation.

What Questions Should I Ask an Elder Law Attorney?

Most elder 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 elder 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 elder care law?
  • Do you particularly emphasize a certain area within elder care law?
  • What information should I prepare for our first meeting?
  • How are your fees computed?

How To Find an Elder Law Attorney

There are numerous ways to find a qualified elder law attorney. Referrals from friends and family or online research may be a good start.

However, not all websites are the same. 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 elder law attorney using FindLaw's attorney directory.

Learn more about state-specific laws on our elder law legal answers page.

What To Look for in an Elder Law Attorney

Elder 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 elder 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 elder law attorney sensitive to your specific needs is essential.

Caring for aging parents, for example, can be emotionally and financially draining. An elder law attorney should be experienced in working with families during these emotional times.

What To Expect When Hiring an Elder Law Attorney

Hiring an attorney relieves you of having to navigate the often confusing and emotional territory of elder law alone. It can also ease the financial and practical burdens that may fall upon you and your family members 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 elder law attorney sensitive to your needs can be your most valuable asset.

Finding an Experienced and Certified Elder Law Attorney

To find a skilled elder law attorney, use the FindLaw Lawyer Directory to search for a law firm or attorney in your area. You can also search the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney's (“NAELA") database.

Was this helpful?

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.

 If you need an attorney, find one right now