Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

to make sure no coercion or undue influence or even abuse is befalling your client. As the attorney, you may find yourself in situations where you are truly the only person looking out for the wellbeing and welfare of your client. Therefore, you need to get to know your client well enough to pick up on any hints or signs that something is amiss. Then you are ethically bound to act if you do believe someone is taking advantage of your client. There is a lot of responsibility involved in representing the elderly. Are there any parting pieces of advice that you would give to less experienced lawyers looking to incorporate elder law in their practice? There are a lot of potential moving parts to representing the elderly, and it can be very challenging. However, it is a very rewarding practice area when you can make someone’s life markedly better. Also, if you are looking for a practice area that is growing and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, elder law is the perfect area. Anecdotally, I can attest that once people discover that you handle estate planning or elder law matters, they will come up to you at church, at kids’ ball games, or at the store and tell you either they or someone they know needs to talk to you about a matter. It really is uncanny. In the broader picture, as the US population continues to grow older, there will be a greater need for elder law attorneys. As of 2020, almost six million people over the age of 65 were estimated to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Estimates are that this number will rise exponentially between now and 2050. The same trends are seen worldwide as it is estimated that 50 million people suffer from dementia, with it becoming more commonplace every year. When other areas of law are subjected to outside factors, such as technology, that potentially threaten the future need for lawyers in those areas, elder law will continue to see a burgeoning need for lawyers due to a burgeoning elderly population. However, elder law also needs new attorneys with new and fresh ideas. As elder law practitioners, we too face legislative and regulatory changes and even what many deem as setbacks from time to time. As laws dealing with retirement accounts seemingly change every other year and the federal estate tax exemption is due to change soon, it is an interesting time to be an elder law attorney. It should be noted that you do not have to have a tax background to succeed; you can simply be upfront about that and have a referral or two handy if the situation arises. No matter the specialty you land on within elder law, now is the time to learn what you are doing, seek counsel from veteran attorneys, and begin a practice that will care for our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Today’s new elder law lawyer will be tomorrow’s seasoned expert who will pay dividends for the community. EXPERT INSIGHT 65 If you decide the matter is worth your time, you always need to meet alone with the elderly person who is the subject of the issue if at all possible. About Chip Nation Chip Nation earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in 1999 and his JD from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2003. He has practiced law exclusively in Alabama since passing the bar exam in 2003 and was a litigator for the first 14 years of his legal career. Chip has been recognised multiple times in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and is now poised to enter his twentieth year of practicing law. The Law Office of HH Chip Nation The Law Office of HH Chip Nation was founded in 2018. While Chip’s experience in litigation lends itself for the firm to handle the occasional personal injury or small business matter, the firm’s focus is on helping its clients to plan for their future and protect their assets no matter what the future may hold. Contact Chip Nation Founder The Law Office of HH Chip Nation, LLC 2918 7th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA Tel: +1 205-614-8936 E:

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