See these profiles of elder law attorneys.
The main issues of senior citizen law fall into the categories of finances and health.
- Estate planning: Who will inherit what, charitable giving and tax implications. The more money involved, the more likely it is that you'll need a lawyer.
- Social Security, pensions and retirement plans: Eligibility and amount of benefits. The intricate bureaucratic maze presented by these areas can be daunting enough to move many to call on the professionals.
- Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap and managed care: You generally can find eligibility requirements online or in a library, but rapidly changing laws and the fact that banks and creditors have been known to target these benefits (despite prohibitions) can make these areas too difficult to handle without a lawyer's help.
- Healthcare choices: What are your options, and how you can make sure you have a say in decisions involving long-term or a terminal condition such as a coma? A lawyer may help you draft a living will and a power of attorney to ensure that your wishes are met after you're no longer able to voice them. (Experts recommend you address these areas even if your golden years are a long distance away.)