Course Description

This course examines the expanding legal area of elder law, including ethical considerations, government benefits, healthcare decision making, Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits, home care versus residential care facilities, and protection from physical and/or fiduciary abuse. Students compare and contrast alternative solutions for elder issues, including elder abuse, advanced directives, estate planning, entitlement programs, health care decisions, whether raised by older adults, their family, or their guardians.

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this class, students will be able to:

  • Describe the role of the legal professional or caretaker regarding older adult issues
  • Evaluate ability of the older adult to make legally binding decisions
  • Analyze current status of the older adult’s physical and financial well-being
  • Identify whether the older adult would benefit from advanced directives such as living wills and power of attorney
  • Explain the process of how to prepare a Last Will, Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney
  • Delineate the requirements for qualifying for various entitlement programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare prescription drug program, and FMLA
  • Prepare application for the older adult to receive benefits from California and Federal entitlement programs
  • Compare and contrast housing issues related to elders such as staying in traditional home, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and age-restricted living
  • Develop a plan for older adult’s end of life issues
  • Analyze unique family issues and the older adult including divorce, death of spouse, and grandparent/grandchild relationships
  • Explain the signs of elder abuse and the requirements for reporting it
  • Analyze the process for creating a guardianship
  • Compare and contrast the financial issues related to retirement, annuities, insurances and taxes
  • Compare and contrast the ADEA and ADA requirements and protections
  • Explain veteran’s benefits regarding disabled and/or elder veterans


Certification Disclosure: In California an individual may qualify to hold one’s self out as a paralegal in one of several ways including earning a certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §6450(c)(1).) The Paralegal Professional Certificate program offered by UCSB PaCe satisfies the requirements of California law in this regard.


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Not offered this quarter. Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.