What is Elder Law?

Elder Law is a field of law that addresses the many legal needs of senior adults. This field brings together, under the term "Elder Law," the different areas of law that have particular importance to senior adults, their families and caregivers, and others who provide services to senior adults. Although the term "Elder Law" is relatively new, the different areas of law have been around for a long time and are combined under the term "Elder Law" in order to specifically address the legal needs of senior adults. For example, estate planning (wills, trusts, etc.) is a well-established, traditional area of practice; Elder Law not only addresses traditional estate planning concerns but also focuses on the other special legal needs of senior adults.

Since Elder Law is concerned with the legal needs of people as they age, all of us should be interested in Elder Law. These needs are important because we all want to make our own decisions about our personal care and assets. These legal needs should be addressed because laws and regulations are generally becoming more and more complicated as the years go by. Actions taken by, or on behalf of, senior adults may have far more legal effect than ever anticipated and will likely involve one of the areas of Elder Law listed below.

One important planning area addressed by Elder Law is Medicaid Planning for long-term care, including nursing home care.  For many years, Forrest Danley, Attorney and the Danley Law Firm have been helping clients successfully plan to become eligible for Oklahoma Medicaid benefits for the payment of long-term care.

What Types of Questions are Answered by an Elder Law Attorney?

In their Elder Law practice, Forrest Danley and the Danley Law Firm can help with legal questions like these:

  • Who will make personal care decisions for you if you become unable to do so?
  • Who will take care of your assets and affairs for you if you become unable to do so?
  • What do you need to know about Wills, Living Trusts, Living Wills (Advance Directives), Joint Tenancy, and Probate? 
  • How can you pay for in-home care or nursing home care if you ever need it?
  • What role will Medicaid and Medicare play in that regard?
  • How can you avoid taxes and make things easier for your family in the event of your death?

What Legal Needs Does Elder Law Address?

The legal needs or areas falling within the term "Elder Law" generally involve planning for the management and distribution of assets, for long-term care, and for incapacity and other health care decisions. Promoting quality of life and independence is an important goal of Elder Law planning. The legal needs or areas addressed by Elder Law include:

  • Estate Planning (Wills; Revocable "Living" Trusts; Etc.) 
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships
  • Health Care Decisions (Living Wills; Health Care Proxies; Health Care Powers of Attorney; Etc.)
  • Home Care Needs
  • Joint Tenancy
  • Living Trusts
  • Living Wills (and Advance Directives for Health Care)
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Medicaid Planning for Nursing Home Care
  • Medicare
  • Medigap Insurance
  • Nursing Homes (Selection; Admission; Payment)
  • Planning and Paying for Long-Term Care (Home Care; Nursing Homes; Retirement Centers)
  • Planning for Incapacity (Alternatives to Guardianship; Durable Powers of Attorney; Trusts; Living Wills: Health Care Proxies; Etc.)
  • Probate
  • Retirement Planning
  • Single Again, Widowed, and Other Special Considerations
  • Social Security
  • Tax Considerations
  • Trust and Estate Administration and Management

Our Elder Law Practice

Forrest Danley, Attorney and the Danley Law Firm have the pleasure of seeing senior adults and their families carry out their wishes, maintain control of their lives, and gain peace of mind, often in very difficult situations. Elder Law is, in a great sense, life planning, and we enjoy helping senior adults and their families with this planning.  We hope you will Contact Us if you have any questions about legal matters addressed by Elder Law.