Elder Law Meets the F Word

By Lori Parker


Lawyers have been known to inspire even the mildest clients to invoke the F word — and many lawyers likewise incorporate many Fs into their vocabularies.

An occasional expletive can be a stress-reliever — and ridding ourselves of stress can benefit our overall health. When it comes to elder law, however, some very particular F-words come into play. Those three F-words — family, finances and freedom — reflect the core values underlying elder law practice.

When we put those three F-words to positive use, we can relieve our clients’ stresses about the law and its impact on their lives — thus enhancing their overall well-being.

F word No. 1 — Family.

It recognizes that issues affecting elders reverberate through their children, grandchildren and generations to come. Elder law tailors solutions to specific needs and individual preferences to serve elders and their families, whether those families are of a traditional or a “chosen” nature. When members of a family disagree about issues pertinent to an elder, many lawyers only “stir the pot,” creating even more conflict. Our goal, on the other hand, is to harmonize conflicting positions to serve the elder’s best interests.

F word No. 2 — Finances.

It acknowledges that most elders want to pass along their assets to their loved ones. Likewise under the rubric of finances is planning for long-term care, if needed. Techniques to protect and preserve assets are among the finance-related subjects that elder law addresses. The peace of mind that we can offer about financial issues allows elders and their families to enjoy time together rather than worrying about money.

F word No. 3 — Freedom.

It speaks to the almost universal wish to maintain independence as we age. Under that overarching desire for autonomy, however, older people are vastly diverse.  Elder law honors that diversity.

Lori Parker of Parker Law Office has been a practicing attorney in the Rochester area for more than 20 years. She actively participates in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly (GRAPE), and the Greece Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at lori@parker-law-office.com.