FAQ: What Is Elder Law?

  • Elder Law
Older Adults and People With Special Needs: FAQ: What Is Elder Law? | Mario Godoy | Chicago Estate Planning Lawyer

Many people aren’t familiar with the term ‘elder law’ – until they reach a certain point where they need the specialized services of an elder law attorney. 

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law is a part of estate planning that deals specifically with the needs and rights of older adults and people with special needs. According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA):

“Elder law attorneys help individuals and their families plan for retiree benefits, healthcare and long-term care, Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and home care and nursing home care. We also help with decision-making documents and provide guidance on other legal issues for seniors and people with disabilities.”

Legal issues an elder law attorney can assist older adults and their families with include:

  • Estate planning, including drafting wills, establishing trusts, tax planning, and other techniques
  • How to avoid the need for guardianship through the durable powers of attorney
  • Planning for future housing, medical, and other care needs
  • Assisting with business and property succession plans
  • Advising about guardianships when someone becomes incapacitated
  • Pursuing personal injury and other claims against negligent nursing homes and other care facilities

How Does An Elder Law Attorney Help People With Special Needs?

If you are caring for or planning the care for a disabled or dependent child or someone with special needs, an elder law attorney can help you understand and protect their rights:

  • If the child or disabled person receives government benefits, you want to protect the money and not leave their assets vulnerable to misuse
  • Identify an appropriate trustee or guardian for a child with disabilities or disabled adult
  • Pursue personal injury and other claims against negligent nursing homes and other care facilities
  • Establish a trust for a disabled child or adult for their future care, such as a Special Needs Trust

An experienced Lombard elder law attorney can explain your rights and advise you of the best estate planning options for older adults and persons with disabilities. For more information about how an elder law attorney can help you, contact Estate & Probate Legal Group in Chicago Illinois today at 630.800.0112.


During the COVID pandemic the Estate and Probate Legal Group will remain open to help you protect your family. Please see this page for specific actions to take