Focus on elder law: broader, more nuanced than many people think

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Although elder law considerations in estate planning are many and varied, a prevailing and widely held view concerning the topic has long stressed that administration in this discrete area centers almost solely on safeguarding elderly loved ones from financial ruin in old age, mostly due to high medical costs.

Indeed, one recent media focus on the strong utility of estate planning for seniors states that, “Elder law grew out of protecting the middle class from high nursing home costs.”

That is true, and it continues to be the case that a central focal point of elder law is unquestionably upon preserving wealth that might otherwise be expended on pricey health care, while ensuring its safe passage to future family generations.

We note that on our estate planning website at the Andover, Massachusetts, Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, informing readers of our firm’s strong commitment toward helping elders and their families “deal with costs of nursing home care, including Medicaid and MassHealth.”

We also stress, though, that elder law planning entails far more than just due focus upon financial protection from spiraling health-related costs, noting on our site that we help clients deal “with all of their elder law issues.”

Candidly, that can make for a lengthy list of potentially applicable bullet points in any given representation, because elder law actually encompasses a wide universe of concerns.

Those centrally include things like the following:

  • The saving of time, money and stress for heirs who are benefited by a senior loved one’s proactively employed strategy toward reducing uncertainty and protecting assets into the future
  • An employment of trusts, which can help preserve wealth for inheritors and, additionally, help circumvent the time-consuming and public process of probate
  • Clarifying directions/instructions addressing guardianship, end-of-life care and related matters
  • Taking actions (including, again, trust creation) that can help avoid future “spend down” requirements regarding assets as a prerequisite to gaining nursing home admittance and paying for costs

Candidly, elder law’s terrain is broad, with sound and timely planning strategies going far toward promoting certainty and cost savings in material ways. A proven estate administration attorney can provide further information.

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