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navigating elder law

One aspect of elder law focuses on helping seniors protect their assets and live comfortably later in life. Because there are so many avenues for older individuals, seeking advice from an elder law attorney is recommended when approaching retirement. Elder law attorneys are professionals who provide legal expertise to seniors. They also assist with estate planning, long-term medical care, Social Security benefits, and retirement income.

Financial planning for the future can be a stressful and confusing process at times. When major life decisions are thrown into the mix, this process quickly becomes an emotional one as well. To set yourself up for retirement, and provide for your family after your passing, a strategic plan is needed. This is where elder law attorneys come into play.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that over 54 million seniors are living in the United States, accounting for over 16% of the country’s total population. According to population trends, this number will grow to around 98 million by the year 2060. With more individuals approaching retirement age, it’s important for seniors to have a basic understanding of elder law concerns.


The key to preparing an estate plan or managing assets for the future is proper documentation. As your living circumstances change, legal records and financial plans should be updated accordingly. If you own property or assets across multiple states, you will need up-to-date records of these each year. The assistance of an elder law attorney can ensure there is no oversight where your finances are concerned and that your assets are protected.

In some cases, seniors may wish to assign family members to assist them with various tasks in advanced age. This is beneficial for individuals who can no longer make important decisions themselves and want to ensure that their assets are managed correctly. Having a detailed and legally binding set of instructions for loved ones is critical for ensuring that your wishes are carried out. By providing documentation for your finances and estate plans, your survivors will have less trouble discerning how to divvy up assets.

Appointees and Designated Agents

Before any health issues arise, collaborate with an attorney to designate individuals for future financial and medical decisions. In the event of incapacity, these appointees will act in your best interests. Signing legal documents may be feasible even with a dementia diagnosis, however capacity criteria may differ for each document. Rely on a knowledgeable elder law attorney to navigate these complexities and ensure the proper completion of legal paperwork.


There’s no “one size fits all” solution to estate planning. Estate plans can include many different things; wills, trusts, medical directives, long-term care plans, and powers of attorney may all be within a comprehensive estate plan. In more complicated situations, such as securing guardianship for minors or family members with special needs, additional planning is required to ensure they’ll be cared for in your absence.

Other considerations may be more of a preferential nature for your comfort. This might be retirement housing, care provider options, and steady income. A legal professional, such as an elder law attorney, can advise you to make educated decisions that support your retirement goals and end-of-life vision. Executing a will, naming a trustee, protecting assets, and staying current with your state’s laws are all easier with an attorney or advisor’s assistance.

Whatever size your estate may be, careful planning is an essential and ongoing process. Policy changes, local regulations, and family dynamics are all factors to be considered that require attention over time. Estate plans that are outdated or haven’t been reviewed for several years can pose a challenge in the event of an emergency. To prevent this from happening, elder law attorneys help you review legal documents and estate plans, keeping them current throughout evolving circumstances.


Whether you’re already working with an elder law attorney or have yet to find one, consider these 11 questions to ask them:

  1. How long have you been practicing elder law?
  2. What experience do you have drafting estate plans and navigating estate taxes?
  3. Do my circumstances warrant a revocable living trust?
  4. How long does it take to execute an estate plan?
  5. Will I be provided with documentation to review before legal document creation?
  6. Are other employees in your law office able to help me in your absence?
  7. Will my powers of attorney have dementia-specific provisions?
  8. Will my documents “ladder” successors or make use of co-agents?
  9. Does my state permit a Lady Bird Deed to transfer real estate outside probate, and do I need one?
  10. How can I keep my critical health care documents portable?
  11. What are my best options for long-term care?


There may be other questions that you have related to your specific circumstances, including veterans benefits or disability compensation. Don’t hesitate to ask your attorney about any curiosities you have! When choosing an elder law attorney to work with, it’s important that they listen to your needs, respond with relevant advice, and have your family’s best interest in mind.

Bromlow Law, PLLC and Laura L. Bromlow, are dedicated to the practice of Elder Law and Estate Planning. Our practice focuses solely on working with clients in these and closely related legal fields. Laura L. Bromlow is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation. Bromlow Law, PLLC strives to enhance communication among family members and loved ones and to keep them all out of conflict so they can stay out of court. We want to help you keep your close circle safe!

Please contact our office today at (281) 665-3807 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal matters. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

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