Elder Law

  • Typically offered every other year

This course will provide a basic foundation for legal practice with older people and their families at the intersection of law, aging, and health care. 

Substantive topics to be covered include: 

-Capacity/Incapacity to Make Health Care and Placement Decisions 

-Capacity/Incapacity to Make Financial Decisions 

-Estate Planning and Estate Administration 

-Taxes: Fiduciary and Estate Taxes 

-Special Needs Planning for Disabled Persons 

-Government Benefits Law: Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicare and Medicaid 

-Litigation in Elder Law: Will and Trust Contests; Protective Proceedings; and Elder Abuse Prevention 

-Legal Ethics in Elder Law

Course Objectives: The objective of this course is to expose students to the general areas of law that affect older persons as they age, as they may become physically and mentally incapacitated, and to some of the practice issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families. Students will come away from this course with awareness of the particular issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families, and to the roles that other professionals serve in providing services to this population.

Grades: Grades will be based on class participation (10%), Court Observation/job shadow with a Paper (30%) and a final examination (60%). Class participation will consist of willingness to join in class discussions and knowledge of readings when called upon, Court Observation/job shadow will take the place of a two of the in-person classes and will require completion of short writing assignment regarding the experience complete with details related to skills observed by the student and identification by the student of a plan to acquire those skills. The final exam will be detailed essay questions.  

Course Materials: The course will use The Fundamentals of Elder Law, Cases and Materials, O’Brien and Flannery.


You may be supplied with additional materials in the form of pleadings from cases recently concluded.