Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Elder Law or Estate Planning: What is the Difference?

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, May 23, 2019

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Do you know the difference between Estate Planning and Elder Law? Often, when a potential client comes to us, they are unaware that Estate Planning and Elder Law are two different practice areas. Understanding the difference between these two areas is crucial to determining the type of attorney you need to accomplish your goals and needs. We know it can be overwhelming to plan for the future, which is why we want to share with you a few of the key differences between Estate Planning and Elder Law to help prepare you for this challenging task.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the overarching term for the process of creating a plan for the distribution of your assets upon your death. A common misconception about Estate Planning is that only aging adults and seniors need to seek the guidance of an Estate Planning attorney. In reality, this is not true. Through Estate Planning, anybody, regardless of age, can create a plan to determine who will make decisions on your behalf in the event that incapacity occurs.

An Estate Planning attorney can also help create important legal documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, and a Trust, to further your unique planning goals. These documents hold significant value, and should not be created without the advice of an experienced Estate Planning attorney.

 Elder Law

 Elder Law, while similar in some aspects, differs from Estate Planning as it mostly focuses on protecting you and your assets as you age. An Elder Law attorney, for example, can help you prepare for the rising costs of long-term care, as well as the protection of your assets should you choose to reside in an assisted living facility.

Also, an Elder Law attorney is likely to be more familiar with the challenges seniors face while aging than an Estate Planning attorney is. With this knowledge and experience, an Elder Law attorney can help determine your eligibility for certain benefits, such as Medicaid and VA benefits, and complete the application process for those benefits on your behalf.

 Planning ahead for aging or a time when you are no longer here can be overwhelming, but it is key for protecting your assets and your loved ones. Remember, we are here to help guide you through each step and can help you evaluate the best planning options for you and your family. If you are ready to discuss your legal planning needs, do not wait to contact our office.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

If you would like more information on Elder Law, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

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