Both “estate planning” and “elder law” are phrases that tend to be widely misunderstood. Elder law isn’t actually just for senior citizens, and estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. Both are generally about preparing for the future, which is important for everyone. While they are two distinctly different areas of the law, there are plenty of instances when you need to consider both at the same time.
How Elder Law and Asset Protection Differ
There's one key difference to understand between these two sides of the legal system. Simply put, elder law’s primary concern is covering your needs while you are alive, while estate planning is more focused on what will happen to your hard-earned assets after you pass away.
There can be significant overlap between the two, however. Issues like bankruptcy, divorce after 50, and asset protection can directly involve both parts of the equation. Likewise, advanced medical directives are needed for the elderly, but should also be considered by people of any age who are ready to start putting together a comprehensive estate plan.
When you drill down to the specifics, elder law typically involves:
- Dealing with senior citizen discrimination
- Disability and long-term care
- Finding the best tax options for your situation
- Navigating Medicaid and covering nursing home costs
- Retirement planning
Estate planning is more about making sure your wishes are followed and your loved ones are cared for after you are gone. In particular, estate planning focuses on:
- Advanced medical directives
- Asset protection
- Assigning guardians for children or disabled dependents
- Avoiding or dealing with the probate process
- Creating and funding trusts
- Granting power of attorney
- Providing for family members after you are gone
- Writing your will
Partner With an Experienced Attorney to Protect Your Future
It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney for either estate planning or elder law needs and to have those conversations with a lawyer sooner rather than later. Alatsas Law Firm has extensive experience in both areas and is ready to help protect your financial future and ensure your family is provided for after your passing. Call us to find out how we can help you.