One of the most common questions asked by my clients is what are the key differences between elder lawyers and estate planners. There are real differences between them. Discover these important differences between elder lawyers and estate planners.
Important Difference 1 - Elder lawyers plan for life. They provide more than death planning. Estate Planners focus just on your death. They plan for your estate at your death. It is why they are called estate planners. Elder law planning deals with your important health care and financial decisions while your are alive and not just who gets your stuff when you die.
Important Difference 2 - Estate planners are for the wealthy. Elder lawyers are for the rest of us. If your net worth is more than 3.5 million dollars, then an estate planner can help you save federal estate taxes. An elder lawyer can help you protect your assets against the high costs of disability and long term care even if you will never pay estate taxes.
Important Difference 3 - Elder lawyers focus on people not things. They help you plan who will make your critical decisions when you no longer can. Estate planners deal with what happens to your things after your death.
Important Difference 4 - Elder lawyers are holistic. They deal with all of needs of seniors as they age. Plans are made for disability and long term care needs. Assets are protected. You are in control of how decisions are made rather than the courts. Estate planners focus on when you are incompetent or dead.
Do you need an elder lawyer or an estate planner? You know the important differences. Now you can decide which one you need. When you consider hiring your lawyer, ask him if he is an elder lawyer or an estate planner. Before you hire any elder lawyer, ask him if he is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (naela.org/).
Provided as an educational service by Jerry L. Siefers, Jr., Attorney at Law, Siefers Law Office, P.C. If you have questions or comments in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trusts (including special needs trusts), probate, guardianships, or medicaid assets protection, you're invited to contact Jerry as follows:
Jerry L. Siefers, Jr.
I'll gladly talk with you over the phone or in person for free. I'll help you understand what decisions you face so you can properly plan for you and your loved ones while protecting your assets.
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