Elder law is a relatively new specialty within the professional expertise of litigation lawyers. As an emerging legal specialty, elder law focuses on the needs and planning for people who are advanced in years as well as the issues surrounding their families.
Until recently, elder abuse and elder discrimination often went unchecked simply because there were so few laws to protect the rights of the elderly. Fortunately, recent changes at the state and federal level have begin to put some elder laws into place. A Chicago litigation lawyer can now represent his clients more effectively because there are specific statutes and laws that can be applied to legal situations such as fraud, neglect or abuse of the elderly. Elder law lawyers will have an in-depth grasp of litigation as well as probate laws, making them particularly suited to successfully represent an older adult’s rights in court.
New Legal Issues As Our Country Ages
Aging and a longer lifespan has not always been an issue in our society. Health issues, financial concerns and other issues that are commonplace for today’s graying population were relatively rare just a few decades ago. Today, the field of elder law addresses issues such as Alzheimer’s disease planning, Dementia planning and guardianship and cognitive problems in seniors and adults with disabilities -to name a few.
One of the most prevalent problems for the oldest members of society is the potential for physical or emotional abuse by home health care providers and staff members at nursing, critical care, and assisted living facilities. Government offices at the national and local levels were reluctant to pass legislation on these issues, but Chicago elder law lawyers were instrumental in raising awareness of these issues and lobbying for change. Today, you can find community seminars, government agencies and college-level courses all addressing elder law issues.
What Does Elder Law Encompass?
Although there is no official designation for elder law, there are several issues that commonly fall under this term. Any kind of abuse or neglect of the elderly is considered an elder law issue, regardless of whether the abuse is at the hands of a relative or a paid caretaker. In order to fully represent a client in this situation, a litigation lawyer must work closely with the individual or his or her representative in order to establish a case. Because legal precedent is limited for these cases, an attorney faces impressive challenges.
Elder law also addresses scams, extortion schemes and other issues surrounding long term care, disposition of money, and end-of-life issues. A seasoned litigation lawyer who has handled elder law issues in the past can help elderly clients review their options and make sound choices.
If you or an older adult you love is facing a legal issue, it’s vital that you contact a litigation lawyer who practices in the field of elder law. Qualified and experienced elder law lawyers can answer your family’s questions and competently represent you or your loved one to ensure elder abuse or neglect isn’t part of your future.