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Elder Law
University of Illinois School of Law
Kaplan, Richard L.

Elder Law Outline

I. What is Elder Law?
A. Three primary issues of elder law
1. Financial Resources – What will the person live on?
2. Housing – Where will the person live?
3. How will the person pay for medical care?
B. §1.1 The Development of Elder Law as a Specialty
1. Distinct origins:
a. People are living longer due to medical advances, better nutritional habits, and improved living conditions generally
b. Increasing age usually means increasing medical costs
c. Increasing age usually means increased caregiving burdens
d. Older Americans have more accumulated wealth than ever before, and their level of education is increasing steadily
2. Point is that Americans face an increasing number of legal questions involving entitlement to public benefits, protection of property interests, utilization of medical resources, health care decisionmaking, and interaction with legal and financial institutions of various sorts
C. §1.2 Scope of Elder Law
1. Special challenges faced by those who advise older persons
2. Ethical conflicts when faced with advising more than one generation
3. A client’s legal “capacity” or the mental ability to make legal decisions
4. Deciding which medical procedures should be employed when a person is no longer able to make decisions or to communicate the decisions made
a. Living will
b. Health care proxies
c. Powers of atty for healthcare
d. Other forms of advance directives
5. Mechanisms for financing health care
a. Medicare
b. Medicaid
c. Private insurance
6. Nursing homes
a. Admission contracts and criteria
b. Rights of patients
c. Responsibilities of the institution to the patient
d. Liability for mistreatment
7. Housing alternatives
a. Continuing care retirement communities
b. Subsidized older-adult apartments
c. Reverse Mortgages
d. Federal tax consequences of these arrangements
8. Control of financial affairs
a. Guardianship process
b. Alternatives available to those who can plan ahead of necessity
i Joint tenancy
ii Durable powers of atty
iii Revocable or living trusts
9. Issues of older persons’ income
a. SS and their tax benefits
b. Supplemental Security Income
c. Veteran’s benefits
d. Pension Plan benefits
10. Elder abuse and neglect
D. Supplemental Material
1. Increase in the study of elder law in law schools
a. Estate planning provides a bulk of money for practitioners
b. Elderly tend to pay quickly
2. How to Take Care of Aging Parents
a. Need to plan ahead for parents’ old age
b. Caregiving creates a second full time job
c. Difficult to bring up the subject
d. Parents should give their power of atty to someone they tru

ge life expectancy of an additional 17.9 yrs (19.2 for women and 16.3 for men)
d. Life expectancy is 76.9
e. The older population will continue to grow significantly
i It will begin to burgeon between the yrs 2010 and 2030 when the baby boom generation reaches age 65
ii By 2030 there will be about 70 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. Will comprise 20% of the population
f. Minority populations are projected to represent 25.4% of the elderly population
i Between 1999 and 2030, the white elderly population is projected to increase by 81% compared with 219% for other minorities
g. Marital status
i Older men much more likely to be married than older women – 73% of men and 41% of women
ii Almost half of all older women in 2001 were widows. There were 4x as many widows as widowers
iii Divorces has increased, although, they represent only 10% of all older persons
h. Living Arrangements
i 80% owners, 20% renters
ii 41% of owners spend ¼ of their income on housing expenses
i. In 2000, 16.4% of older persons were minorities