What is the Difference Between Estate Planning & Elder Law?

You have worked hard to build up your estate over the course of your life. Whether you are still working, starting retirement, or nearing the end of your life, you want to protect all of your assets and ensure they are there for you now, and your loved ones when the time comes. When researching how to do this, you have undoubtedly come across information related to two related, but separate, areas of law. Estate planning and elder law. Understanding the difference between these two legal concepts is important for ensuring you have everything handled properly.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is what is done to help ensure your assets are protected at and after your death, and that they pass along to your heirs in the way that you desire. The first step for most estate plans is to create a Last Will and Testament. In addition to that, you can use other legal documents, such as living trusts, to direct your assets to where you want them to go without having to pass through probate court.

You should get started with your estate planning as soon as possible to give yourself as many options as possible. This is especially true if you have any type of special requirements such as a special needs child who will need to be cared for, firearms, or you want to make sure some of your estate goes toward a specific charity.

What is Elder Law?

Elder law is focused on protecting your assets today and ensuring they are there for you throughout your life. Even if you have saved up a significant amount of money throughout your life, it can all be used up quickly if you experience a serious medical issue, lawsuit, or other unexpected event if you are not ready. An elder law attorney can, for example, position your assets so that you do not have to sell them in order to pay for nursing home care.

Elder law will also include making decisions about what type of medical care you want should you need it, and who will make decisions on your behalf if you are unable. This can help to ensure medical decisions are made quickly and according to your wishes. It will also name someone to manage your finances if you are unable.

We are Here to Help

Estate planning and elder care are separate things, but they can directly impact each other. This is why it is generally a good idea to make sure both of them are updated together to get the best results. If you need help with either estate planning or elder care, we are here for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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Alexander S. Keenan, Esq.
Alexander S. Keenan, Esq.
Hi, I'm Alex. I consider myself an approachable attorney. I have called the beautiful Hudson Valley home for most of my life. After focusing on things like international commercial law and litigation, I took a step back and pivoted towards helping my community plan for life's greatest moments. My firm specializes in estate planning, small business law, and real estate law.