I have a mom in Fort Myers. What does an attorney who practices elder law actually do?

This is a good question.  As the population grows, I have seen more and more attorneys claim to practice “elder law.”  The next time an attorney tells you that, ask him or her exactly what “elder law” is.  Since the attorney practices “elder law” one would hope that attorney can tell you what elder law is.  However, because you read this Frequently Asked Question, you know the answer - at least according to the Florida Bar.  Elder law is a term defined by Section 6-20.2(a) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar as:

“Elder law means legal issues involving health and personal care planning, including: advance directives; lifetime planning; family issues; fiduciary representation; capacity; guardianship; power of attorney; financial planning; public benefits and insurance; resident rights in long-term care facilities; housing opportunities and financing; employment and retirement matters; income, estate, and gift tax matters; estate planning; probate; nursing home claims; age or disability discrimination and grandparents' rights. The specialization encompasses all aspects of planning for aging, illness, and incapacity. Elder law clients are predominantly seniors, and the specialization requires a practitioner to be particularly sensitive to the legal issues impacting these clients.”

Matthew A. Linde
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