Estate Planning versus Elder Law

Serving Families and Individuals in the Anniston, Gadsden, and Talladega, AL Areas

photo: Estate Planning vs. Elder Law

As estate planning and elder law attorneys we are often asked, “What is Estate Planning?”, “What is Elder Law?” and “What is the difference between Estate Planning and Elder Law?”

Estate planning is the process of deciding ahead of time who you want to take care of you and your assets and what to do with your assets when you pass away. The estate planning process includes putting a plan in place where you decide how much input you want to have in decisions about you and your “stuff” if you become incapacitated or incompetent and when you pass away. Without an estate plan, your loved ones are left with the heavy burden of deciding what to do with you and your stuff if something happens.

Elder Law is the part of estate planning that deals with issues related to care for the aging such as long term care options, paying for long term care, asset protection, making decisions about the way you want to be cared for, etc. There are many options out there when it comes to caring for the elderly. However, unless you have a plan in place ahead of time, your loved ones will not know what to do with you AND could wind up financially responsible if something happens to you.

As estate planning and elder law attorneys, we see families all the time facing a crisis about these issues. The sad thing is that most people do not know where to start when it comes to making decisions about elder care or elder law. Many wait until after a medical crisis occurs and often that is too late. By planning ahead of time, you can make sure that you maximize your opportunities to get the proper care and find a way to pay for it. Learn more about paying for long term care.

For more information about elder law and estate planning, register for one of our free estate planning workshops or call us at 256-792-3193 now – we are here to help.

Types of Care Available

There are different types of care available depending on your level of need. There is in home care, independent living facilities, assisted living, and long term nursing home care.

In Home Care:

Most people prefer to stay in their homes as long as they can. There are many great options available for in home care. The cost usually depends on the amount of time you need for someone to come to your home and provide care. The cost is also based on whether you hire an individual or hire an in home health care agency to provide a caretaker for you. While an individual may cost less, the agencies typically provide a better value because they are very particular about who they hire, etc. Learn more about in home care agency resources that are available.

Independent Living Facility:

This is a great alternative for someone who does not want to continue to manage their home and prefers a smaller place to live surrounded by others. People in independent living do not require nursing care and can take care of themselves. However, there are resources available depending on your needs.

Assisted Living Facilities:

Assisted living facilities are a great place for those who may need some help with activities of daily living like dressing, mobility, bathing, toileting, etc. but do not need skilled nursing care. The facilities provide privacy in the form of your own little apartment of small suite but also provide meals, entertainment, and a community environment to enhance your quality of life. Learn more about Anniston area assisted living facilities.

Long Term Nursing Care:

Nursing homes today are nothing like they were years ago. These facilities are for people who need some level of skilled nursing care to treat problems such as dementia, disease or some other physical ailment that requires the services of a licensed nurse. Nursing homes typically have a rehabilitation unit for those who are there to recover from an injury like a broken hip or a stroke, etc. For those who need permanent care, the nursing homes have long term care units. Learn more about Anniston area nursing homes.

At Adams Miller, we are aware of the local options for care. As elder law lawyers, we have built relationships with these facilities and are happy to help guide you as you make decisions for your loved one.

Another great option to help in your search is a local company called Care Patrol. Care patrol is like a real estate agent for those looking for the right facility for their loved one – however, there is no cost to you! For more information on Care Patrol, visit or call Monica Luster at 205-356-4112.

Tips to Make the Transition Easier

  • Talk to your loved ones ahead of time and develop a plan. Do not wait until you are forced to make a decision when your options are more limited.
  • Visit several facilities to determine whether they meet your criteria and so that you can learn about the costs, etc.
  • Order a copy of our ABC’s for Caregivers Guide to learn more.

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Adams Miller, LLP

Address: 22 E. 12th St
Anniston, AL 36201

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