Over half a century ago, President Kennedy declared the month of May as being Senior Citizens Month as a way to honor those who were 65 and over. Since that time, every President has used the month a May to honor seniors and focus on the problems that they face in a society where adults are living longer. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month and organizations like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, of which I am a proud member, continue to highlight the importance of the field of elder law.
Elder law attorneys should be viewed in the same context as your primary care doctor as they can spot issues of concern and provide areas of advice. Some of the major issues that elder law attorneys handle include:
· Planning for incapacity and discussing financial and medical powers of attorney
· Tax planning
· Estate planning
· Medicaid and Medicare issues
· Long-term care planning
· Special needs planning
· Conservator and guardianships
· Asset protection
· Elder abuse
· Retirement planning
· Estate and trust administration
Elder law attorneys can help you achieve your goals with careful planning and be there when an unexpected crisis occurs to protect what you have worked so hard to save and pass on to your loved ones. Having a discussion about the future now before the inevitable occurs is the ultimate act of compassion and caring for those loved ones left behind.
In the meantime, remember that May and every day beyond is a time to celebrate our elders.