How to Properly Handle Medicaid and Elder Law Questions

Tax Professionals' Resource
July 27, 2012 — 1,382 views  
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Elder law involves the treatment of senior citizens, as legal professionals often seek ways to help such clients with their estate planning concerns. Planning for the future is a daunting endeavor, so estate attorneys and professionals face challenges when they encounter such clients.

Thankfully, you'll be able to help seniors navigate difficult questions relating to elder care and Medicaid after you know more about the practice.


What is elder law?

Creating wills and mapping out a strategy to effectively manage asset distribution are a few of the concepts you'll need to understand to be able to explain elder law to your clients. The County Woman Magazine notes that this practice is frequently taught to first-year law students, as it provides the basis for effectively controlling estate planning.

With proficient planning, you'll be able to help your clients in several ways. You might show them ways to reduce the amount of taxes that their beneficiaries may encounter after this person passes away. This could ease the financial burden a senior places on future generations, and ensures that the elder can avoid seriously depleting the estate.

What are the criteria for elder law certification?

You'll want to be able to give your clients the satisfaction of knowing that their estate is properly managed. When you receive elder law certification, you'll need to meet a variety of criteria.

These guidelines include licensure from at least one state or the District of Columbia, integrity and good standing in all of the regions in which you have practiced and peer review. Basically, each of the standards establishes your credibility within your profession. If you take pride in your work and serve the needs of your clients, you give yourself a great chance to obtain elder law certification.

What factors should be discussed with seniors?

Finances can be a sensitive subject, but constitute one that is necessary to discuss with elder clients. This will give you an excellent opportunity to find solutions that fit a senior's needs, both now and in the future.

Additionally, be sure to display courtesy and empathy with these clients. You're there to help them find ideal answers to their estate planning concerns, and be sure to use caution in how you explain complex concepts and terms. Speak slowly, provide clear explanations and don't be afraid to repeat phrases twice when necessary. Clients might appreciate your willingness to spend time with them, as these seniors are making difficult decisions regarding their estates. 

Tax Professionals' Resource