The Certified Elder Law Attorney Program is an ABA, American Bar Association, recognized certification that says that that particular lawyer has expertise above and beyond what the average attorney does in the subject of elder law.

Elder law is an umbrella term for a variety of areas that includes end of life decisions, includes guardianship and conservatorship issues, includes end of life estate planning and similar issues.

In my particular practice, I tend to concentrate in the area of estate planning and advanced directives. Estate planning sometimes confuses people because when we hear the term, we think, “You have to be rich in order to need estate planning.”

The reality is that estate planning is simply any sort of will and other end of life document that will let you express how you want things to be handled at the time you’re dying or at the time you pass away. Advanced directives are documents in which you express your medical wishes concerning your end of life decisions.

I believe you should use a certified elder law attorney for end of life issues and for estate planning because they have spent a considerable amount of time developing expertise in this area. In order to become a certified elder law attorney, you must have practiced primarily in the area of elder law for a minimum of five years.

That’s enough time to begin to develop the expertise that permits people to have significant depth of knowledge concerning elder law issues. It’s fine to go to your divorce attorney, but your divorce attorney concentrates in family law. Who you want to go to is the lawyer who practices in that area on a regular basis so that they will have the breadth and depth of knowledge that’s necessary to fully meet your needs.