Elder Law

Elder Law

Older Americans Act Title IIIB Legal Services Provider and Caregiver Education Training and Support in Wayne County; Programs for Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in Livingston, Monroe and Wayne counties.

ELAC provides civil (non-criminal) legal services to persons 60 years of age and older who reside in Wayne County.  Pervasive outreach and educational presentations for seniors, caregivers, professionals and others are conducted in all three counties with a focus on preventing elder abuse and legal problems and providing general civil legal advice.  

Services are wide ranging and include:

Elder abuse situations are given the highest priority.  ELAC prevents/addresses financial exploitation:  revocation of powers of attorney and wills; preparation of powers of attorney, wills, deeds, restore title to property; protect/defend in consumer matters; educate about co-signing loans; defend against unnecessary/improper guardianships or conservatorships, and assist in landlord-tenant matters. 

Non-elder abuse case acceptance is done on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  • Problem/issue
  • Priority:  loss of housing or income; terminally or seriously ill individuals
  • Acceptance of legal cases hinges on available legal defenses, remedies, equitable relief available; presented affirmative defenses; evidence, facts of the case, capacity of the victim, etc. 
  • Referrals and provision of pro per packets (guided self help) are also provided

FLAC/ELAC Collaboration:  ELAC supervises Wayne State University law students at their Free Legal Aid Clinic.  Students assist on cases and learn many aspects of elder law as well as landlord-tenant; consumer and other general civil legal issues.  The students practice pursuant to MCR 8.120, under the supervision of licensed ELAC attorneys. This collaboration allows ELAC to serve more clients and assist with matters that it would otherwise have to refer to other programs.  

Caregivers Education, Training and Support:  Specialized advice is provided to those who are caring for someone else.   “Caregivers” include anyone who is looking out for another person’s well-being:  for example, looks in on or shops for a neighbor, friend, or relative; visits a friend or relative in their home, assisted living or a nursing home; provides visits to the doctor or other appointments; acts as an advocate or agent under a power of attorney; is a guardian or conservator; or regularly takes care of their grandchildren.  

ELAC hosts “First Tuesdays” at the Redford office on the first Tuesday of each month.  First Tuesday consists of an educational presentation, client assessments by appointment, and individual consultations for appropriate issues.  

Contact ELAC if you would like to attend First Tuesday or another community presentation.  Individual legal consultations are available in Wayne County

ELAC is funded by the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, The Senior Alliance (Area Agency on Aging 1C); The Detroit Area Agency on Aging (1A); The Area Agency on Aging 1B with support from the Older Americans’ Act, The Older Michiganians’ Act, and in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Townships of Canton and Redford.

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Donations are essential to NLSM. Our programs are wide ranging and work in concert to create a full system of support that promotes the improvement of the quality of life for all our clients. We serve all ages and backgrounds, if we are unable to serve through our programs, we make sure their needs are met through collaboration with other agencies. Your gift today will help our clients – the students of metro Detroit, families, homeless, at risk of homelessness, the elderly. Thank you~


Case Study

Danielle Thomas has overcome many obstacles in her lifetime. Childhood trauma and abuse, coupled with substance abuse, prostitution and living on the streets, Ms. Thomas, has come a long way since she first entered Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan's permanent...