What is Elder Law?
Elder Law is a special area of law that caters to the needs of older clients and those with disabilities. It encompasses many areas of law such as planning for disability and incapacity and obtaining quality long-term care; planning for payment of health care costs and public benefits eligibility; property management and housing options, such as home care, independent living assisted-living and residential homes for the aged; financial and health care decision-making through the use of durable powers of attorney; end-of-life decision-making through the use of advance directives; probate and estate administration; estate planning with revocable living trusts and wills, special needs trusts; and so forth.
The general public does not understand the necessity for, much less the mechanics of, many of the planning issues listed above. But these issues are not going away. In fact, as our population ages, problems associated with poor planning (or no planning) will be constantly increasing. The purpose of elder law and proper planning is to assess an individual client's circumstances and then to position that client so he or she secures the best result possible. That is our role as Elder Law Attorneys -- to solve problems and improve our client/elder's quality of life.
What Makes Elder Law Special or Unique?
When our clients confront dilemmas associated with aging, they are confused and have questions. We have answers.
Elder Law is the only area of law defined by the clients we serve rather than the areas of law in which we practice. We like to deal "holistically" with our clients in talking about long-term planning for health care and financial viability, family dynamics, end-of-life decisions, personal values and personal preferences. The practice involves many areas of law while being focused on the clients/elders and their special needs.
What Does the Ensign Law Firm Do?
Under this holistic approach, not only to we handle general estate planning matters and counsel clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision making documents, but we also assist our clients in planning for possible long-term care needs.
As we are an elder-centered law firm, our clients are always the elders and we focus on their best interests at all times. Our objective is to assure that they have the best quality of life in their home or the facility appropriate for their circumstances at anytime.
To achieve this objective, we assist their family members, who are their caregivers, enabling them to provide the highest level of care for their loved ones. To do this, we empower the caregivers with the appropriate legal documents. These include powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, advance directives (also known as living wills) HIPAA authorizations plus wills and trust as appropriate.
We also assist the caregivers for our clients by providing them with the education, information, skills and motivation they need to obtain and manage the best care for their loved ones. As circumstances change, we are available to assist them in modifying the plan of care to make it more appropriate and beneficial to better achieve the objective.