Elder law and estate planning serve two different but important purposes. While elder law focuses on preserving your wealth and promoting your well-being during your lifetime, estate planning concentrates on what happens after you have passed away.
Elder law planning helps to ensure that seniors can live as long, healthy, and financially secure lives as possible. It involves planning for future medical needs and long-term care. Elder law attorneys can assist you with creating a plan to pay for future care while maintaining your assets or to qualify for Medicaid or other benefits to pay for long-term care. Elder law planning also serves to protect you from elder abuse or exploitation when you get older or become incapacitated. In addition, elder law covers assistance with guardianship and conservatorship.
Unlike elder law which focuses on older individuals, estate planning is for people of every age. Estate planning attorneys help you plan for what will happen to your assets after you die. They use documents such as wills and trusts to ensure your wishes are carried out properly. Estate planning also includes naming a guardian for your children or making plans for the caretaking of your pets. Estate planners can also help you avoid probate and save on estate taxes.