Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Bernard A. Krooks (Littman Krooks LLP) and Kameron L. Kirkevold (Helsell Fetterman LLP) recently published an article entitled, Why Elder Law?, 28 Prob. & Prop. 39 (May/June 2014). Provided below is the introduction:
Elder law is a natural expansion of a traditional trust and estate practice. By expanding his or her practice to include elements of an elder law practice, the trust and estate attorney will be able to serve a much larger client base, thus increasing the size of his or her practice. In addition, because of the overlap in clientele between an elder law practice and a traditional trust and estate practice, it is important that the trust and estate attorney be able to recognize elder law issues and advise clients appropriately. By doing so, the trust and estate attorney will be able to offer better overall service to his or her clients.
Elder law issues are complicated, and the need for competent elder law attorneys is growing along with our elderly population. Currently over 40 million Americans are over the age of 65, and that number is rapidly increasing. People are living longer than ever before. The availability and complexity of government programs designed to assist our aging population are also growing, while the need for traditional complex estate tax planning is decreasing as exemptions grow. Furthermore, rising costs of health care and the increasing prevalence of debilitating diseases such as dementia make proper elder law planning more important than ever. All of this means that the need for competent elder law attorneys will only continue to grow.