The field of family law is varied, encompassing several areas of practice. A family law practice specializes in several areas of specification, prompting some to ask the question “What is family law?” Under the family law umbrella are divorce law, estate planning, property disputes, step family adoption, conservatorship, and elder care.
Most business for family law practices comes through divorce. After all, chances of divorce increase by 22 percent when a person’s sibling is divorced and 150 percent when close friends are divorced. Though elder care is not as frequently thought of, it does encompass a large part of family law. Estate planning, the branch of family law dealing with the wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership, gifts, and powers of attorney and conservatorship, the process by which an elder determined to be incompetent is put under the care of another person, are both included in the elder care schema. Also considered part of elder care are elder abuse litigation, grandchild custodial or visitation rights, and health care issues.
Elder care attorneys have the unfortunate task of dealing with elder abuse, a crime defined in the state of California as the causation or allowance of the infliction of physical pain or mental suffering on an elder or dependent adult under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death. This offense is punishable as a felony and can result in a year’s sentence to county jail and a $6,000 fine or state prison for up 2 to 4 years. Additional state imprisonment for 3 to 7 years can be added if the defendant causes a victim’s injury or death. Elder abuse not causing great bodily harm or death is also punishable as a misdemeanor. The core element that differentiates elder abuse from crimes committed against elderly persons is the expectation of trust that the elderly person has for his or her abuser. Elder abuse exists where the abuser has some caregiving relationship with the elderly person. Spouses, family members, a friends or neighbor, or people that the older person relies on for services can all be charged with elder abuse. It is for this reason that elder care lawyers are considered part of the family law branch.
The elder abuse attorneys california houses are familiar with the laws regarding elder abuse, the processes Adult Protective Services, and the sensitivity needed when working with victims of elder abuse. For those seeking the services of elder abuse attorneys California offers resources through the Department of Aging and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The elder abuse attorneys california prides itself on are ready and able to help.