What is elder law?

As you or a loved one ages, you may become more aware of the special concerns and issues that occur with the senior population in Delaware. Sometimes, these concerns or issues lead to the need for legal counsel. That is why there is a specific area of law dedicated to seniors. Elder law focuses on topics and legal situations related to the older population specifically, according to Aging in Place.

While there certainly are some laws that are specific to the elderly population, elder law actually refers to the special practice area of law. Attorneys who practice elder law have experience and knowledge specific to the older population. Instead of focusing on a specific set of laws, such as criminal or bankruptcy, elder law focuses on a specific clientele.

Some of the specialized areas within elder law include Medicare and Social Security. Issues with these programs occur often, and you may need legal assistance to navigate the systems and ensure you get the benefits due to you. It may also focus on estate planning and retirement needs as they apply at this stage of life. You may also find nursing home issues and other senior care issues fall under the elder law umbrella.

Elder law first became a focus when the Older American Act went into effect under President Johnson. It helped to set up funding at the state level for senior programs and care. It also helped solidify the rights of older Americans. The goal was to help provide more dignity in aging and ensure seniors could stay independent. It essentially created the idea of elder law as it developed legal services focused on senior needs. This information is for education and is not legal advice.



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