Large aging populations worldwide continue to challenge world governments in providing for the ever increasing numbers. With advancements in medical practices over the last 100 years the average age of both males and females has increased incredibly. The issue of a growing age population is also deemed to be an issue legally, the legal blanket term surrounding these issues is Elder law.
Elder Law is made up of three major categories which can be broken down further into deeper topics. The three topics are:
- Estate planning and administration, including tax questions
- Medicaid, disability and long-term care issues
- Guardianship, conservatorship and commitment matters
Estate Planning and Administration, Including Tax Questions
Estate planning is the main focus for this category. It does not matter whether you are a billionaire or not, once you pass away the process of knowing who gets what parts of your estate is not straightforward. Having a will in place is the best way to ensure the process is completed smoothly and you can rest in peace knowing your estate will be used as you like. Hiring an estate planner will assist with all the technicalities that go along with probate, including the dreaded tax situation.
Medicaid, Disability and Long-Term Care Issues
Elder Law came about due to the aging population. Naturally as people grow older, the more medical related issues naturally occur. Medicaid is a state funded program to support people who are low income earners. This program is crucial to ensuring the life of elders does not wane. All 50 states have opted into Medicaid ensuring medical care can be accessed by all. The disability and long term care issues are plans for those who need around the clock care. With the older generation, there are less people working relative to the proportion who need care. Working in this industry is about distributing funds to cope with the more demand in an equitable manner.
Guardianship, Conservatorship and Commitment Matters
This category is fairly straightforward to understand. When one ages, a disability or mental impairment may mean that one cannot act rationally. By court order, someone may be appointed as the guardian or conservator on behalf of the estate or also takes charge of day to day life for the conservative too. All of the three terms above are interchangeable depending on what state the issue is related to. The most common form of disability requiring conservatorship is Alzheimer’s. The court may appoint an attorney to be the conservator if there is no appropriate person close to the person.
As the world continues to evolve, the needs for professional services across industries rise and fall. With the growing age of the population, the needs for people who are educated in the various topics of Elder Law will increase. The major categories are all large enough, specializing in one of the categories would enable people to move into other areas if they choose.