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Elder Law In Depth: Getting Started

Resource Symbol Key

University of Iowa access UI Access Only
College of Law access Law Access Only
Password required Password Required
CD-ROM resource CD-ROM
Public Access Public Access
Available in Print Available in Print
Available on Microform Available on Microform
Westlaw WestlawNext - Required Password
Lexis Advance Lexis Advance - Password Required
Bloomberg Law 


Elder Law, in many respects, is an umbrella term that encompasses many different practice areas. Relevant practice areas include: estate, tax, retirement and financial planning, guardianships and conservatorships, living wills and trusts, advance medical directives, long-term care and health care, Medicare/Medicaid and other government benefits, and elder abuse and exploitation issues. This guide is intended to assist researchers in locating primary and secondary materials relating to elder law in the University of Iowa Law Library's collections.

Research Tips

  • When researching elder law issues, look both for resources specifically focused on the elderly and for resources devoted to specific practice areas.
  • On Westlaw and Lexis, use the topical practice area folders to locate relevant resources. Both services have a folder specifically for Elder Law but you should also check folders for related practice areas.
  • For each resource you search, try multiple searches with different phrases to catch variations in terms.
  • Search indexes such as the library catalogs (books) and the Index to Legal Periodicals and LegalTrac (legal articles) using controlled vocabulary subject terms. Searching with established subject headings helps insure that you do not miss relevant articles simply because you didn’t use the “right” term in your search. Potentially useful Subject Headings include:

Subject Headings

Older people Guardian and Ward Retirement Planning
Aged Capacity and Disability Trusts and Trustees
Old Age Assistance Medical Care Estate Planning
Social Security Long-term Care Facilities Wills
Medicare Nursing Homes Tax Planning
Medicaid Abused Elderly Power of Attorney
Legal Assistance to Older People Elder Abuse Living Trusts
    Advance Directives
    Right to Die
  • Searching Google Scholar can help you identify medical, psychology, and social science-focused articles and can link you to full-text access through University of Iowa-licensed resources. While Google Scholar provides some access to legal resources, the Index to Legal Periodicals and LegalTrac provide better access to law-related journal articles.

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