I often work with families who need to determine the power of attorney (POA) for themselves or a loved one. I have found that most of the time they are unsure of what a POA does, or how to choose the right person for this responsibility. It is important to sit down with a trusted elder law representative, so you are comfortable with this document, and all your questions are answered.
When it comes to Estate Planning, I work with many different types of individuals and families at different stages of their life and needs. Too often however, clients come to me after a painful road of mistakes. This blog is an attempt to help those out there who are unfamiliar or uncertain about estate planning avoid making three very easy to make mistakes when it comes to planning out their legacy, from being unaware of the need for it to being fearful of what it curtails.
Since I have many clients approach me needing one service – such as estate planning, assistance with Medicaid, or helping with estate administration, they are sometimes unclear exactly what an elder law attorney can comprehensively do. Elder law, the specialty that grew in the 1980s out of Medicaid and long-term care, doesn’t focus on a particular area of law, such as a divorce attorney. Instead, elder law is based around the client and provides a wide range of services in many areas.
It’s a common misconception that estate planning only involves death-time planning — figuring out what and how to address an individual’s assets after they have passed. In reality, estate planning should also include discussions around life-time planning: how to protect your assets while you’re alive so that they last until you pass on, exploring long-term care options, designating a power of attorney and health care agent, and much more. This is called comprehensive lawyering, and it’s what I offer my clients.