Commission on Law and Aging

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging leads the association in strengthening and securing the legal rights, dignity, autonomy, quality of life and quality of care of older adults. The Commission accomplishes its work through research, policy development, advocacy, education, training and through assistance to lawyers, bar associations and others working on aging issues. 

About the Commission

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging is a collaborative and interdisciplinary leader of the Association’s work to strengthen and secure the legal rights, dignity, autonomy, quality of life, and quality of care of aging persons. The Commission accomplishes its work through research, policy development, advocacy, education, training, and through assistance to lawyers, bar associations, and other groups working on issues of aging. Watch our video introduction.

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WINGS Briefing Paper

New! This briefing paper discusses the ABA Commission’s WINGS Project, its results, and its potential for positive changes. Specifically, it (1) describes the challenges of adult guardianship reform and the rationale for creating WINGS; (2) presents project findings and conclusions about WINGS; (3) discusses the potential for applying the CIP model to the adult guardianship system; and (4) makes recommendations for next steps in federal policy.

Public Interest Membership

ABA membership has new benefits and discounted rates for Public Interest Lawyers starting at just $75 per year. ABA membership supports advocacy for laws, programs and funding for legal aid and public interest programs. Membership opens the door to professional networks, valuable resources, discounts on programs and publications, free online CLE and much more!

BIFOCAL The Journal of The Commission on Law and Aging

Bifocal, the ABA Commission's bi-monthly journal, provides timely, valuable legal resources pertaining to older persons, generated through the joint efforts of public and private bar groups and the aging network. Bifocal invites the submission of elder law related news, articles, initiatives and projects. Contact us for manuscript guidelines and deadline information for upcoming issues.

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Links to All Issues - Click Here

Our Work

In addition to research, policy development, advocacy, education, and training, we provide technical assistance to legal, aging, media organizations and professionals. And, we provide legislative tracking charts and technical and educational resources on our website in the areas of: Guardianship; Elder Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation; and Health Care Decision Making.

Discussion Lists

The Commission provides a forum for legal professionals to communicate and share ideas on two active discussion lists. Elderbar and Aging Solo. In order to maintain lists with relevant participants, we ask that you email the commission and provide the name of the list(s) you're interested in on the subject line. In the body of your email please include your mailing address and phone number.

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Featured Programs and Initiatives

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging examines a wide range of legal issues affecting older persons. This work results in valuable resources, conferences, technical assistance and training programs, and demonstration projects of considerable value to the association and the public at large.

Publications and Resources

The Commission on Law and Aging produces a wide array of publications to assist elder law attorneys, advocates, and consumers. Many of these publications are available as free downloads on our individual Resources and Centers pages. Continue scrolling to read more about our featured resources.

Featured Resources

Elder Abuse and Neglect Screening Guidelines for Mediators

The ABA Dispute Resolution Section Task Force recently released the Elder Abuse and Neglect Screening Guidelines for Mediators. These guidelines will enable mediators to screen for abuse, recognize when to include additional professionals in the mediation process, and serve to educate mediators to improve identification of the appropriateness of mediation.

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More Elder Abuse Resources - Here

NEW! Health Care Advance Planning Packet

A trio of free resources to walk you through three steps of advance planning. A fourth recommended resource is the Mind Your Loved Ones or MYLO smartphone app that may be purchased at a discounted price through the ABA web page. It provides a practical way to make your health care power of attorney easily accessible, along with any other documents or information you choose, with the click of a few buttons on your smartphone or on the phones of family or friends whom you choose.

Get Full Details on MYLO

Health Care Advance Planning Packet - Here

Why am I left in the waiting room? Understanding the Four C’s of Elder Law Ethics

This consumer-friendly brochure explains the “Four C’s” of elder law ethics—client identification, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and capacity. It helps family members understand the relationship between a lawyer and an older client. Updated in January 2020. For orders of 100 or more copies, please use the promo code AGBULK100 for a discounted price of $0.50 per brochure.

Visit the ABA Book Store

Download a free copy: - Here

Managing Someone Else's Money Guides

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. Here are four easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers. Written by the Commission and published by the CFPB, the guides are for agents under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries).

Visit The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Contact Us

The Commission on Law and Aging staff can be contacted by calling 202-662-8690. Or you can email us at aging@americanbar.org. Click on the link to discover other ways of connecting with the Commission.