As someone ages, a variety of challenges may emerge, ranging from dealing with day-to-day care needs to setting up directives that govern end-of-life decisions. In the legal profession, the person most likely to help you address this array of concerns is an elder law attorney. By establishing a better sense of what one can do for you, you'll be able to get more out of your relationship.

Dealing with Care Providers

Many types of elder services providers and assisted living facilities ask their clients to enter into contracts. While it's important to have a strong legal basis for those relationships, the terms of such arrangements may sometimes be surprisingly onerous. For individuals and families, it can be challenging to go through the details of these contracts to identify problem areas, but an elder law attorney can provide insights about whether a specific setup is a good choice.

End-of-Life Decisions

Having advance directives in place before health problems take hold is a good way to relieve some of the burdens on family members. In the absence of directives, a legal conflict over how to proceed may make it difficult for families to make the most of a loved one's final days. This can also pose a number of issues if no family members are present when medical professionals need to make decisions. An elder law attorney can help you set down a list of expected responses to any events that might occur.


Setting up trusts and wills is a good way to see that one's wishes will be followed. An elder law attorney can assemble documents that'll govern a person's legacy.


Having access to money while caring for an aging relative can present a host of problems. By putting an elder law attorney in a position to serve as a representative in financial matters, families can focus on being there for their loved ones rather than figuring out who pays for what. If there are taxes to be paid from retirement or investment accounts, a legal professional can see that they'll be covered.


If an aging individual is beginning to show signs of mental decline, assigning guardianship and responsibilities may prove necessary. Family members should have a chance to discuss who is in a position to best provide for a loved one and make critical decisions. In some cases, a durable power of attorney may also need to be assigned.