Elder Law and Medicaid Planning

Elder law is an area of legal practice that focuses on addressing the current or potential needs of older adults. Elder law includes lifetime advance health directives which adults of any age should put in place, such as appointments of health care representatives and living wills. In that sense, elder law is defined more by the special needs of older clients, rather than unique laws that pertain exclusively to older persons. Elder law deals with issues that become more pressing for older adults---in particular, planning for nursing home care and obtaining counsel concerning Medicaid eligibility to pay for health care and nursing home care and Medicaid rules that allow couples to avoid impoverishment of the spouse who can live independently without nursing home care, when the other spouse needs Medicaid assistance to pay for his or her nursing home care.

Elder law includes addressing the estate planning needs of older adults, including the management of assets during a person's lifetime, through general durable powers of attorney, living trusts, and joint accounts, as well as planning for the disposition of a person's property at death, through the use of wills, trusts, and non-probate property dispositions.