Why Add Elder Law to an Estate Planning Practice?

Jim Wolverton, J.D.
law books, gavel, scales with why add elder law

Many attorneys who start helping seniors with elder law solutions come from an estate planning background. After all, these two practice areas tend to have a lot of overlap.

At the core of estate planning is the legal service of helping clients take proactive steps to reach their health and financial goals. This can come in the form of advance directives, wills, trusts, and even sophisticated tax planning. These tools give clients the assurance that their wishes will be carried out if they lose the capacity to make their own decisions and after they pass away.

Adding elder law to these estate planning services allows the attorney to provide further protection to clients should they encounter a long-term care event during their life. Proactive elder law planning includes the use of irrevocable trusts and long-term care insurance to ensure a client’s assets are safeguarded while following the goals of the estate plan. Plus, should a client neglect to move forward with proactive planning, all is not lost. Crisis planning allows attorneys to assist clients in taking steps to preserve their estate while obtaining financial assistance for long-term care. Both these practice areas are anchored in the desire to ensure a client’s financial and health desires are protected and properly planned for.

Read More: The Importance of Medicaid Planning and the Attorney’s Role

An Attorney’s Motivation to Add Elder Law

Some of the most important motivations attorneys have to add elder law to an existing law practice are:

  • Valued estate planning clients who have questions about long-term care solutions are aging, and the attorney is unfamiliar with the relevant planning techniques.
  • The senior services market is a business growth center and will continue to show an increased need for legal counsel for decades to come.
  • Referring clients to specialized elder law attorneys rarely results in the client or their family returning for estate planning services as the elder law attorney was seen as providing the more valued services.
  • Elder law attorneys who provide more specialized services have more control over the pricing of their services than “do-it-yourself” legal services.

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Exploring Elder Law

Here are some simple first steps an attorney can take to explore the elder law practice area to see if it would be a good fit for them.

Jim Wolverton, J.D.
By Jim Wolverton, J.D. | Director of Legal Education

Jim is responsible for creating, curating, and promoting high-quality content related to the estate planning and elder law industry. He also plays a primary role in designing and maintaining a robust education and content calendar for Attorney Access.

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