• The Simple Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

    The Simple Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

What is the difference between elder law and estate planning? Well, it turns out there are some significant distinctions you should be aware of. If you are looking to discover the differences, then you have come to the right place. If you would also like to learn about making a legal gift, we cover that too.

Differences Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

Elder law involves many issues regarding your property as you get older. As you age, your needs may change, whether with your health or elder law needs. An elder law attorney can help you sort through the red tape of what happens to you as you age. 

Elder law can involve helping clients who are:

  • Already receiving long-term care 
  • People with disabilities
  • Wartime veterans

Primarily, elder law specializes in the needs of the senior population. This often focuses on obtaining medical care, preserving assets, and ensuring you are taken care of as you age. Especially, if you should become incapacitated for one reason or another.

Planning for long-term care, whether in advance or as the need arises, can be a tough road to take. Qualifying for Medicare or Veteran’s benefits can be a daunting and confusing process. This is especially true if you have assets in your name. Your elder law attorney can advise you on how to protect your assets in the best way while still qualifying for medical benefits. They are experts in the areas of Medicaid planning and long-term care. Though Medicaid is a federal program, the qualifications can vary wildly by state and your elder law attorney should know the variables.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning, put simply, deals with helping people – particularly older adults – prepare for unfortunate circumstances, minimizing taxes at the point of their death, and helping their estate pass to their heirs.

Estate planning is proactive. It is all about preparing for the inevitable end of life and what should happen after. A proper estate plan dictates the who, what, and when in regards to a client’s property. These plans provide a roadmap for friends and family to follow when the client can no longer make decisions. 

The process begins with the client expressing their desires and concerns regarding the distribution of their property in the event of their death. The Estate planning attorney will know the best strategies to get the desired outcome. This could include drafting one of the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Special Needs Trusty
  • Pour-over Will
  • Business Formation Documents
  • Documents to Transfer Assets

If you don’t have a legal estate plan, the court may decide what to do with your belongings. This includes how to distribute it to your friends and family. Estate planning is an ongoing task and doesn’t just end once you’ve filled out your paperwork. Documents should be updated whenever you experience a noteworthy change in your life. Those changes could be health or living situations.

Ultimately, the purpose of an estate planning attorney is to: 

  • Minimize taxes through trusts
  • Establish who will take care of your children
  • Identify beneficiaries for IRAs 
  • Name executors

Don’t let the future catch you off guard and start planning today with this FREE eBook, Plan the Future for You and Your Spouse’s Long-Term Care.

Confident Living is a continuing care at home membership program, focused on helping you remain active and independent as you age in your own home. We serve the greater Cincinnati area. For more information, contact us online or call (513) 719-3522.