Elder Law & Aging, and What You Need to Know About It

UPDATED: June 5, 2018

What is this law?

The Elderly laws refer to the issues relating to elderly person, including age discrimination, neglect, exploitation, abuse, healthcare insurance and fraud, estate planning, retirement planning, and benefits. The elderly are subject to age discrimination in context of credit transactions and employment. One particular act that protects discrimination in employment is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; an act which protects employees of 40 years and up from discrimination in relation to hiring, firing, training, benefits, and retirement issues. In some countries, there are general anti-discrimination laws that would protect the elderly from various discrimination issues.

protects discrimination

What are the issues involved?

Another issue that the elderly face is abuse and neglect. Such forms of abuse are sexual, mental, physical, and financial in nature and maybe done by family members and/or caregivers. Indicators of physical abuse would be bruises, broken bones, or bed sores, or the elderly person may end up socially withdrawing him, or becomes depressed as a result of the abuse. Some laws are created to protect the elderly from abuse by setting forth penalties for those who are found guilty of abuse and programs for victims of elderly abuse. One good example is the OAA or the Older Americans Act, which facilitates the investigation and reporting services of elder abuse in care facilities through its Ombudsmen Program.

 What’s covered by this law?

Disability and special needs planning are also covered by Elder Laws, mainly because it becomes a necessity for baby boomers and elderly parents. Disability plans offer financial protection, and without it, you and/or your assets will end up in a court-supervised guardianship, or sometimes referred to as conservatorship. Some legal documents that will protect elderly people from a guardianship or conservatorship are a POWER OF ATTORNEY, ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVE, and LIVING WILL.

Special needs are also covered by several Elder Laws and cover the legal needs of elderly people, disabled individuals, including adults and children. In this case, these laws will allow elderly and disabled people to receive government benefits due to mental or physical disability.

Estate planning is also an important part that’s covered by the Elderly Laws. This is the process of deciding who should inherit your assets after you have passed on, and who will be in charge of disposing of said assets. Most estate planning processes will include disability planning, as well as avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes. These laws are also designed to protect your heirs from outside influences that could force them to make bad decisions.

Plan Your Estate Now

You know when’s the worst time to not being prepared? It’s when you don’t have something to leave behind your family in the event of an untimely demise. Estate planning needs to be done by each and every one of us, and you don’t need to have the wealth of Bill Gates to have a reason to do so. Estate planning goes beyond dividing up your assets and determining what goes where and to whom. Estate planning is done so that your family or loved ones do not have to worry about your problems anymore.

One notable example are my clients: a childless couple. They’ve been with me for 3 years and they asked me to do their estate planning. They were both healthy and they were both well-off. sadly, the husband died because of a stroke and with my help, the wife was able to settle everything exactly as what he wanted. He not only gave her instructions on how to get his insurance money, but he also gave out instructions to me to help with the financial obligations.

I encourage adults as young as 30 years old, be they single or married, to do estate planning and to keep in touch with their lawyers at least once or twice a year for this one. You may refer to this law firm website for more information about estate planning and probate attorneys.

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