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Elder law planning: more than about thwarting rising medical costs

Many articles and commentaries on so-called "elder law" estate planning stress its utility in guarding against skyrocketing nursing care costs, especially in residential homes.

As a proven estate planning law firm that routinely provides diligent representation to California seniors across the entirety of estate administration concerns, we readily concede that a core focus of many of our elder clients and their families is precisely centered on cost controls in the health care realm.

Notwithstanding that, though, it is important for the senior demographic and family members who love them dearly and will likely be materially influenced by their planning decisions to duly note this: Elder law is a flatly wide universe that addresses and can quite effectively deal with planning considerations across an exceptionally broad swath of concerns.

That reality is borne out virtually daily at any law office having proven estate administration attorneys at the helm. Many matters involving senior clients do, of course, focus on the careful implementation of strategies that seek to enable families to retain assets rather than drastically spend them down in the nursing home-eligibility process. Myriad other matters, too, though, can be addressed and resolved through the taking of thoughtful planning steps.

Like realized peace of mind all across a family resulting from knowledge that steps have been timely taken that will lawfully avoid taxes, help to sidestep probate, clearly spell out wishes regarding last-stage health care, effectively transfer wealth to future generations and so forth.

It "is easy to procrastinate," notes a recent article pointing out the many virtues of timely and well-considered elder law planning.

Indeed, that is true, and individuals and families have many excuses for doing so.

No one needs to be beaten over the head for that. In acknowledging it, though, it is incumbent on any experienced and empathetic estate administration attorney to inform prospective and actual clients that, in the event that they do make an effort to craft a tailored elder law estate plan, the derived benefits will be manifestly clear immediately and materially promote peace of mind for all affected family members.

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