What is Elder Law?

June 12, 2024 – 2 Minute Read

In Ontario, there are almost 3 million older adults residing in the province, with less than 2 million adults becoming seniors in the next 10 years.

As the population ages, it is increasingly important to raise awareness amongst seniors and their loved ones on how elder adults can be protected in Ontario. This article outlines how elder law can empower seniors to receive necessary support, protection, and advocacy as they age.

Elder law is a legal practice area that addresses the unique legal needs and challenges faced by older adults (typically defined as those aged 65 and older).

Elder law can address the wide range of legal issues affecting the elder population, including such things as:

  • Capacity counselling, substitute decision-making, and health care consent
  • Estate planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, guardianship)
  • Estate litigation (undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty)
  • End-of-life care & planning
  • Supportive housing and retirement home tenancies
  • Long-term care homes & planning
  • Patient rights
  • Elder abuse & neglect
  • Long-term care community services (home care)
  • Public pensions
  • Retirement planning
  • Age discrimination
  • Planning for Individuals with disabilities
  • Later Life marriage, divorce, separation, and predatory marriages
  • Fraud targeted towards older adults

How is Elder Law addressed in Ontario legislation?

The legal framework for Elder Law in Ontario is made of different pieces of legislation:

  • Informed Consent for Healthcare & Capacity Assessments: Health Care Consent Act
  • Substitute Decisions-Making, Powers of Attorney & Guardianship: Substitute Decisions Act
  • Long-term Care & Healthcare: Long-Term Care Homes Act; More Beds, Better Care Act
  • Financial Protection: Ontario Securities Act; Ontario Trustees Act
  • Age Discrimination & Human Rights: Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Elder Abuse: Criminal Code of Canada
  • Estate Planning & Wills: Succession Law Reform Act; Estates Act
  • Pensions & Retirement: Pensions Benefits Act
  • Income Support & Benefits: Ontario Disability Support Act

The lawyers at Sweatman Law are skilled in advocating for the rights of older adults and experience in the practice of elder law. Contact us Here to get in touch today!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post should not be interpreted as legal advice for your specific situation, concerns, or challenges. All estate plans are unique and should be reviewed by legal, financial, and health professionals, and tax accountants. Please be advised that the information on this website relates to laws specific to Ontario or Canadian federal law. Legal advice, procedure, and legislature may vary in different jurisdictions.

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