Rather than being defined by technical legal distinctions, elder law is defined by the client to be served. In other words, the lawyer who practices elder law may handle a range of issues but has a specific type of clients–seniors.
Elder law attorneys focus on the legal needs of the elderly, and work with a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the goals and objectives of the older client.
Under this holistic approach, the elder law practitioner handles general estate planning issues and counsels clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision making documents. The attorney would also assist the client in planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care are all part of the elder law practice.