by Scott M. Solkoff, Esq.
Two major pressures are moving the practices of Estate Planning and Elder Law together. The dominant pressure is one of demand. For most Americans, the greatest threat to their financial well-being is not taxes. It is the cost of incapacity and long-term care. Addressing these needs with the ethics and skills of an attorney are in high demand. The second pressure is the continuing erosion of value proposition. This second pressure is further broken down twofold: perceived commoditization and the reduced market for tax planning.
Those who routinely deal with high net-worth clients are largely insulated by these pressures. The very wealthy can bear the storm of incapacity and long-term care and they are more apt to understand the value of good lawyering relative to taxes. Given today’s large exemption amounts, however, only one-tenth of one percent of Americans are subject to federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax exemptions. Most Americans need a different approach, one that blends the Estate Planning and Elder Law toolboxes.
Estate Planning Attorneys are therefore looking to diversify their practices, address prevalent problems and preserve or increase their income streams. Many are wedding Elder Law to their existing practices. Elder Law is among the fastest growing areas of law and has a great level of personal reward. For Estate Planning attorneys, it is also a relatively easy practice area to incorporate since Elder Law and traditional Estate Planning are not-too-distant cousins. This blog post explains the core practice components of an Elder Law practice and how to determine whether Elder Law is right for you.