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Elder Law


A gavel and block sitting next to a gold-plated wooden board with the words "Elder Law" inscribedWelcome to the Elder Law research guide.  This guide is intended to help you start your research of elder law issues by outlining some of the authoritative elder protection laws in the U.S. and California, as well as other helpful resources for researching elder law.  Elder law is comprised of many different areas of law, including trusts & estates law, tax law, public health law, social security law, family law, and elder abuse law, so there is a wide variety of topics that could be researched in this realm. 

Legal Databases

Lexis has a page on Estate, Gift, and Trust Law, as well as a page on Pensions & Benefits Law, both of which are large aspects of elder law.

Westlaw similarly has a page on Estate Planning, as well as a page on Pension & Retirement Benefits.

Elder Law Research Methodology

The basic elder law research methodology is similar to other areas of legal research:

1. Establish the facts.

2. Identify the issues.

3. Locate authority.

4. Evaluate authority - make sure to evaluate for credibility, objectivity, accuracy, scope, and currency.

Depending on your topic (e.g., elder health law), you may need to complete 2 additional steps here

5. Locate scientific and/ or technical developments.

6. Evaluate scientific and/ or technical developments.

Repeat steps 1-6 as necessary to complete research and analysis of issues.

7. Develop conclusions and recommendations.

8. Communicate research results and recommendations.


This guide was written in November 2021 by USD Law student Lilly Walker.