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Questions + Answers | August 2, 2017

What Does An Elder Law Attorney Do?

What do Elder Law attorneys do and how can they help? In contrast to the role of traditional estate planning attorneys, who help clients plan for the end of life, Elder Law attorneys focus on their clients’ needs during their lifetime. They are advocates for the elderly, the disabled, and their loved ones, assisting them and their caregivers to deal with issues related to health care, long-term care planning, guardianship, retirement, social security, medicare/medicaid, and other important matters. Seniors and the disabled are vulnerable because they are dealing with unique and complex legal concerns. Therefore, it is important for people … Continued

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11 Tips & Treasures of Living Wills

Your goal is to set to paper your client’s health care directions in advance of needing them. You want your client’s wishes to be honored and most want their surrogates and family to have as safe and easy a time of it as possible. Here are some easy and very important “drafting opportunities” to consider when people do Advance Health Care Directives. Advance Health Care Directives are health care decisions we make in advance of needing them and include such documents as Living Wills, Health Care Surrogate Designations (called “Proxies” in some states) and Health Care Power of Attorneys. I … Continued

7 Things EVERY Lawyer Should Know About Elder Law

1. Can my client sign legal documents with dementia? It depends on how progressed the dementia is and whether, at the time the documents are to be signed, your client has the requisite capacity. Courts have found that even people in the most advanced stages of dementia can be competent to sign legal documents. Understand that the medical definition of incapacity is different from the legal definition of incapacity. A person can be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another dementia and still be legally competent to sign documents. It is possible that a doctor could already have written a statement of incapacity … Continued

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