The short answer: Both share similar concerns. The longer answer? The differences make all the difference for elder law and estate planning.
The way we explain it to clients is that comparing elder law and estate planning is like comparing a square and a rectangle. You may remember the phrase from grade school mate: all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. The same is true here: elder law attorneys practice estate planning, but not all estate planning attorneys practice elder law.
The Concerns are Similar
No matter what age we’re in, life can deliver some hard knocks. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. We can get into accidents, especially when we’re young and under the impression that we’ll live forever. Whom would we like to be there for us if we can’t speak for ourselves? If we can’t pay the bills? Decide about our health care?
Both estate planning and elder law attorneys help you choose people you trust to stand in your shoes when you can’t speak for yourself.
As adults, we start families and assemble worldly goods. If we’re thinking realistically, we want to make sure our families are taken care of and who gets our property if the worst happens to us
Both estate planning and elder law attorneys help you with those questions. Both kinds of attorneys also know how to protect your estate from tax burdens, avoid the expense and delay of court proceedings, and protect inheritances for your loved ones.
The Differences Make All the Difference
Elder law expertise becomes crucial when we get older. We’re living longer, healthier lives – but nobody knows when we, or those whom we love, will get too sick to make decisions or to live independently.
It’s understandable, but not wise, to postpone thinking about these things. Delay or denial can mean that entire savings get wiped out paying for long-term care costs such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing homes. Misconceptions about government benefits can forfeit eligibility for them. If you want to retire from your own business, do you have a plan for a smooth and profitable transition? What quality of life can you protect? What housing arrangements can be made? What is the wisest allocation of financial resources to protect against as many foreseeable contingencies as possible? Is any of the planning you may have already put in place still even valid or are you operating on a false sense of security?
This is where we elder law attorneys come into our own. We can help you face these difficult questions with your and your families’ best interests at heart. What we know can go far to spare you the distress and anxiety if you were caught unprepared. We know how Medi-Cal, Medicare, and Social Security work. We can help you manage retirement income benefits. We can steer you to financial arrangements necessary if you or yours need long-term physical, medical, or nursing care.
These are difficult, complicated questions that require particular knowledge to answer. We elder law attorneys have studied long and hard for that knowledge. We have learned how to help you plan to enjoy the life you have, plan for when life becomes harder with age, and have something left over for your legacy.
Estate planning is only the beginning. At Snyder Law, our Orange County law firm can help you or a loved one navigate your estate plan and elder law needs. Please contact us or schedule an appointment with us to start this important conversation.
Do You Have Any Questions?
Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He’s all about family and passionate about estate planning, elder law, and veterans. He founded Snyder Law to help people be prepared and have the peace of mind they are protecting their families and aging parents for when life happens.