Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.
As romantic as this famous quote is, the reality of growing old is frequently much less romantic. Elder Law and Estate Planning go hand in hand. Unfortunately, the best time to plan is at the time when the old age seems quite far in the distance. Many of us are learning about Elder Law because we are caregivers for aging parents. The real-life issues are right in front of us and act as catalysts for our own estate planning. The Administration on Aging (http://www.aoa.gov/) is a wonderful elder care resource.
Elder Law – A Definition
Elder Law encompasses all aspects of planning for aging, illness and incapacity of the elderly.
Elder Law Legal Issues
Following is a list of some of the issues an Elder Law attorney deals with:
- Health and personal care planning, which include the following topics: powers of attorney and living wills; lifetime planning; family issues
- Fiduciary (financial) representation; financial planning; housing opportunities and financing; income, estate, and gift tax matters
- Planning for a well spouse when the other spouse requires long term care; asset protection; public benefits such as Medicaid and insurance; Veterans’ benefits
- Capacity; guardianship and guardianship avoidance
- Resident rights in long term care facilities; nursing home claims
- Employment and retirement matters; age or disability discrimination and grandparents’ rights
- Will and trust planning; planning for minor or adult special needs children; probate
Role of Elder Law/Estate Planning Paralegal
The specific job tasks of the paralegal depend on the specific office; however, the following tasks might be performed under the direct supervision of an attorney:
- Interview prospective clients
- Help plan strategy for legal services
- Visit elder to review asset documents
- Review elder’s current estate plan
- Consult and correspond with elder’s creditors and debtors to obtain pertinent information
- Prepare valuation of assets and schedule appraisals of real and personal property
- Review bank statements, estate planning documents to determine status of estate
- Assist attorney in determining whether a guardianship and/or conservatorship is necessary
- Maintain case documents and progress chart and update clients on status
- Draft wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, medical consents, deeds, etc.
- Assist attorney with medical, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, insurance and banking issues
- Assist attorney in all aspects of the litigation process
What you need!
A law-related knowledge base and paralegal skill set is imperative in any area of law. A Paralegal Certificate and national certification (www.nala.org) is highly beneficial!
AIPS 100% Online Paralegal Certificate Program
Applicable and relevant curriculum designed for you!
- Business Law
- Legal Research
- Criminal Law
- Workshops: Lexis, Ethics, Law Office Skills, Administrative Law, Writing, Citation, Judgment & Analysis
- CP (Certified Paralegal) Test Prep Course for NALA CP Exam