What Does “Elder Law” Mean, Anyway?

Ever wonder what “elder law” really means? I suspect you’re not alone.

Elder law is one of those terms that we all hear a lot but which rarely get defined… maybe because there isn’t any single definition that would work. Elder law is so many things.

As an elder law attorney, I end up working with countless areas of law. The field I find myself in on a given day is really determined by the field my clients need me in. Whether it’s housing, healthcare, property, family law, or financial planning, so-called “elder law” really does run the gamut.

You might even say it’s more a type of client than it is a kind of law – a point a fellow attorney recently made in Michigan’s Times Herald. His column defines “elder law” as “the legal matters affecting seniors,” and that’s not a bad way to put it.

At the end of the day, elderly people are just that: people. And just like all the rest of us people, their interests and needs intersect with virtually aspect of modern living.

An older person’s perspective on business, health, insurance, investments, and more may differ from a very young person’s, but their needs are no more confined to “old stuff” than anyone else’s.

It’s not just about nursing homes or estates. Those play important parts, yes, but they are only pieces in a much bigger puzzle.

The important thing for my clients to realize is that I’m here to help them in life’s many different arenas. Elder law is ultimately a practice of various, intersecting legal fields, and I am here to help protect my clients’ best interests in all of them.

So whatever it is you might have questions about, please don’t hesitate to ask. Even if it doesn’t sound like something you’d call “elder,” there’s a good chance it still falls within an elder law attorney’s fields of practice and passion.