If you ask the average person what elder law is and why it’s important to them, the chances are that you’ll receive an answer that depends largely on how old that person is. Most young people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about elder law issues even though these issues can apply to people other than the elderly. There are a number of elder law issues that everyone should be aware of regardless of their age.
Losing the Ability to Make Choices
When people visit an elder law attorney they often ask about what they can do to make sure that their financial obligations are met and that their medical choices are honored, should they become incapacitated because of a medical situation or as a natural result of the aging process. There are several options available to you in preparation for such a possibility, but they are open to everyone and not just seniors. As long as you are a mentally capable adult you can create powers of attorney and medical directives that can be used in such a situation to ensure your choices are honored.
Creating an Estate Plan
While most elderly people think about creating a last will and testament, younger people rarely do, even though anyone age 18 or older who is legally competent, can do so. An estate plan includes a last will and testament but it also includes other tools, such as powers of attorney, trusts, or long-term care plans. Younger people may not need all the elements that a senior’s estate plan includes, but every capable adult should have at least a basic estate plan ready.