Elder Law and Special Needs Law Topics

(Last Updated 7/31/2023)

This page is our first serious attempt to organize much of the information on EZ Elder Law. Since we started this site more than two years ago, we’re been busy adding information. Now it’s time to begin weaving it together. The structure on this page is subject to change as we continue to grow this website and add information. Obviously, we’re still creating content since many of the lines below don’t have links and some of the linked pages don’t have the depth we’re looking for. One example of future change is in the guardianship section. The guardianship pages began as a 100+ single spaced paper prepared for a CLE program. When we moved that material here, we didn’t break it down into specific topic pages like most legal texts.

Longer pages packed with multiple topics makes it harder for you to find information and it makes it harder for us to update specific sections when new cases, laws and regulations appear. With that in mind, as we move forward we will be publishing more topic specific “sections” to insert in the “chapters” listed below. We will also continue to re-arrainge material (e.g., the trust and special needs trusts chapters are currently separated even though the materials overlap – we will likely change that). The goal is to have a cohesive, user-friendly legal resource. Also, we haven’t pulled in many of the over 1000 blog posts yet. So bear with us. If you have suggestions, please feel free to contact us. You can reach David L. McGuffey at david@ezelderlaw.com or david@mcguffey.net. And if you’d like to contribute material, we are looking for contributing authors.

Aging in the United States

  1. Issues to consider as you age
  2. What does caregiving cost businesses?
  3. Health Conditions
  4. Pressure Ulcers

Legal Practice and Ethics

  1. Legal Ethics

Age Discrimination

  1. Age Discrimination, generally
  2. Employment
  3. Americans with Disabilities Act

Income During Retirement

  1. Retirement Planning
    1. Values Based Planning
  2. Life Insurance
  3. Social Security Retirement Benefits
  4. Social Security Disability
  5. Supplemental Security Income
  6. Social Security Claims and Appeals

Health Care Policy

  1. Health Rights
  2. End-of-Life
  3. Health Privacy
  4. Mental Health Law
    1. Involuntary Hospitalization

Medicare and Insurance: Paying for Health Care

  1. Medicare Patient Rights in a Hospital
  2. Hospital Discharge Planning
  3. Medicare Appeals
  4. Medicare Supplement Plans
  5. Medicare Advantage Plans
  6. Medicare Part D Plans

Long-Term Care

  1. Long-Term Care Continuum
  2. Home Health Care
  3. Assisted Living
  4. Nursing Home Care
    1. Nursing Home Resident Rights
    2. Arbitration Agreements
  5. Continuing Care Retirement Communities
  6. Hospice

Paying for Long-Term Care

  1. Long-Term Care Insurance
  2. Medicare
  3. Medicaid
  4. VA Aid and Attendance
    1. VA Penefits: Priority Groups
    2. Income for VA Purposes
    3. Resource Limits and Transfer Penalty
    4. Wartime Periods

Medicaid Eligibility and Planning

  1. Overview of Medicaid
  2. Eligibility Basics
    1. SSI Eligibility and How it Relates to Medicaid
  3. Financial Eligibility in General
    1. Why are Medicaid Applicants Concerned About Asset Protection?
    2. Income Eligibility
      1. Qualified Income Trust
    3. Resource Eligibility
    4. Trusts
      1. POMS Trust Provisions
      2. Special Needs Trusts as an Exception to Medicaid’s Anti-Trust Rules
  4. Transfer Penalty
    1. Look Back Period
  5. Issues When there is a Community Spouse
  6. Working with Clients
    1. Spend-down
  7. Planning with Real Property
  8. Planning with Personal Property
  9. The Medicaid Application
  10. Medicaid Fair Hearings
  11. Post-Eligibility Issues
  12. Renewals
  13. Home and Community Based Waivers
  14. Medicaid Estate Recovery

Housing Issues

  1. HUD Benefits
    1. Section 8 Certificate Program
  2. Housing Discrimination
    1. Unnecessary Institutionalization is Discrimination
  3. Home Modifications
  4. Home Equity Conversions

Legal Capacity

Inter-vivos Transfers

Testamentary Transfers

  1. Wills
  2. Accounts and Land Held as JTWRS
  3. Inherited IRAs
  4. Life Insurance



  1. Do I need a Trust?
  2. The Trust Instrument and Essential Terms
  3. Trust Purpose
  4. The Trustee
  5. Beneficiaries
  6. Spendthrift Provisions
  7. Revocation, Modification and Termination
  8. Trust Administration
  9. Trust Tax Rules: Grantor Trusts
    1. IRS Rev. Ruling 2023-2 Limits Step-Up in Basis for Some Irrevocable Trusts

Property Management

  1. Powers of Attorney
  2. Living Trusts

Health Care Decisions and Advance Directives

Guardianship and Conservatorship

  1. Terminology, and “Who is the Client?
  2. Initiating the Action and Overview
  3. Issues Typically Contested
  4. Presenting the Case and Developing Evidence
    1. Rules of Evidence
  5. Anticipating Appeals
  6. Post Appointment “Back-End” Issues
  7. Termination Issues

Elder Abuse

  1. Generally
  2. Financial Abuse
  3. Physical Abuse


  1. Anatomy of a Lawsuit
  2. The Plaintiff’s Injury Case
  3. Claims for Negligence and Intentional Harm
  4. Nursing Home Litigation

Special Needs Law and Planning

Special Needs Trusts

  1. Introduction to Special Needs Trusts
  2. Why Use a Special Needs Trust
  3. POMS Trust Provisions
  4. Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts
    1. Individual, d4A Trusts
    2. Pooled, d4C Trusts
  5. Third Party Supplemental Needs Trusts
  6. Sources of Funding for Special Needs Trusts
  7. What Can a Special Needs Trust Pay For?
  8. Special Needs Trust Accounting


  1. Who can represent me in a special education case?

Elder Law and Special Needs Law Topics

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