Elder Law: Have you overlooked homonyms?

Elder Law has the same usage issues homonyms have, as many think elder law only covers wills, but that’s merely the tip of the legal iceberg!

With a few words you can create a whole world, and with a few more, you can destroy it. The trick with words is using the right ones at the right time.

It’s easy for me to say (or write), but it’s quite difficult in practice.

Take the word right for instance. Depending on the context, the scope changes considerably – right?

Right now, you’re probably indifferent about the right usage of right. You’re not alone! Dictionary.com finds that the word ‘right’ has sixty-one different definitions.

Right isn’t the only word with this unique shapeshifting attribute. Generally, words that have multiple meanings with the same spelling are referred to as homonyms.

Here’s a dozen of these chameleon-like words that probably went under your radar.

  • address
  • bat
  • clear
  • cool
  • fire
  • lying
  • point
  • second
  • rock
  • remote
  • tire
  • watch.

Each of these words have meanings that vary from far field (expressions can also have multiple meanings).

However, the downside of this literary scheme is that some meanings are often overshadowed by others. Or worse, the homonyms might not even be detected, with one version of the word unintentionally taking the spotlight.

The coined term, “Elder Law,” has the same usage issues homonyms have, as many think elder law only covers wills, but that’s merely the tip of the legal iceberg! Hearing the words elder law should be synonymous with a wide range of ideas, thoughts, and acts!

Attorneys specializing in elder law can assist one in a multitude of tasks. Listed below is just a glimpse of the different ways an elder law attorney can help you in.

  • Creating a power of attorney—giving the someone the authority to speak on one’s behalf.
  • Assistance in long term planning such as allocating a budget for assisted living costs.
  • Delegating guardianship and other duties such as financial representations.
  • Helping one get the assistance one may be eligible for in government programs like Medicare.
  • Creating wills, trusts, and other forms of estate planning.
  • Explaining one’s rights and benefits under hospital care, home health care, long term care facilities, etc.
  • Bringing a cause of action for wrongful discrimination because of age.
  • Finding the type of assistance one may need or want for a more comfortable lifestyle.

And these are merely just some of the most common forms of assistance an elder law attorney can provide.

Furthermore, an elder law attorney would be the best viable option to start in any issue involving aging. Either the attorney can provide assistance or they could refer you to a more specialized attorney in Elder Law such as—an estate planning attorney. Fortunately, most attorneys offer these referrals as well as generic consultations completely free!

Therefore, don’t hesitate to double check your understanding of your issues because like homonyms and icebergs, there may be more to it!



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