Older clients often experience legal issues which greatly differ from those of younger clients. Elder law often begins with the estate planning process, including advance directives for health care, and can go as far as appointing guardians and/or conservators and even Medicaid planning. No matter your current situation, a foundation of our practice is to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Estate Planning (Trusts,Wills)
Estate planning is crucial as one ages not only to distribute assets, but also to plan for the possibility of incapacity and the inevitability of death.
Advanced directives for health care appoint people to make medical decisions on behalf of another individual when that individual becomes unable to do so.
A guardianship is a court-supervised delegation of a person’s care. This occurs only when a person is incapacitated and is unable to care for himself/herself.
A conservatorship is a court-supervised delegation of a person’s finances. This occurs only when a person is incapable of taking care of his/her own finances.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document that permits one person to act on behalf of another. In Oregon it is considered “durable” unless otherwise stated. This means that it remains effective after the incapacity of the principal. A Principal – Agent relationship is created and thus, the person acting as the agent must utilize the power only for the benefit of the principal. Because powers of attorney are so powerful, they are interpreted very narrowly by the courts – this is why they are so long.
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