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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May is National Elder Law Month

Last week we wrote here about May being Older Americans Month. It may be fitting and it’s not a coincidence that it is also National Elder Law Month.

National Elder Law Month was originally created through a declaration by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1963 to honor those who are 65 or older. At the time, it was referred to as Senior Citizens Month. The name was changed by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1980 to Older Americans Month.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has supported that recognition through the establishment of National Elder Law Month.

Elder Law is a unique practice area designed to protect the rights and interests of older Americans. As an elder law attorney, I and many others offer services to our clients in the following areas:

•             Incapacity planning that would include a discussion regarding financial and medical powers of attorney

•             Tax planning

•             Estate planning, including a discussion surrounding the management of assets during incapacity and upon death

•             Medicaid

•             Medicare

•             Long-term care, including continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs)

•             Social Security (SSDI and SSI)

•             Special Needs planning (e.g., special/supplemental needs trusts)

•             Conservatorship and guardianship

•             Asset protection

•             Elder abuse and exploitation

•             Retirement planning, including beneficiary designations, death benefits and spousal benefits

•             Mental health law

•             Estate and Trust Administration

With a growing elder population, it is important for some attorneys to focus on these needs as a significant portion of their practice areas. It is expected that by 2030 a full 20 percent of our population will be 65 or older.

Planning for this age group must include taking into account all or most of the areas listed above. It is critical for families and seniors to be educated on how to plan in these areas. Elder Law attorneys are most qualified to help with that planning.


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