When we typically think of estate planning, we see grandma and grandpa putting together a Will and possibly setting up some trusts for the following generations. It’s all about providing for our offspring, right? [Read more…]
Hoarding: How to Help a Loved One Declutter
The issue of hoarding has recently gathered a great deal of attention, particularly due to news reports and popular television shows. However, hoarding is not a new or a small problem. The problem of hoarding has been documented since the turn of the century and is thought to significantly affect nearly 15 million Americans, many of them elderly. A great article recently appeared in the Boston Herald dealing with the clinical aspects of Hoarding. Unfortunately, research has been lacking in this area – until now. [Read more…]
Letting Software or Online Service Plan Your Estate: Is It Worth the Risk?
There are several websites that offer customized, do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning documents. These computer-based services appear to offer the consumer a cost-effective and convenient alternative to visiting an Estate Planning or Elder Law attorney. Or do they? Is online estate planning worth the convenience and initial savings? How do the documents created compare to those that a qualified attorney would produce? [Read more…]
More Protection Than a Health Care Proxy Alone?! MOLST – a Pilot Program in Worcester
Some people think that Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are only useful further down the road. They think, “I’m healthy. I don’t need to worry about those things now.” Even while you are healthy, there is one document that everyone over the age of 18 should have in place: a Health Care Proxy (HCP). A health care proxy is necessary to ensure that someone, a health care agent, will be available to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them on your own because you are incapacitated. Currently, in Worcester County, another form is also worth considering: the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) form. This medical order works with the HCP to inform your health care agent and your doctors what you actually want to happen in various circumstances. [Read more…]
Elder Mediation: A Great Option to Diffuse Family Tensions When Planning for Elder Care
Can’t we all just get along?
I see it more and more and it really saddens me: families unable to “get along” when it comes to decision making for elder loved ones. It can be as simple as whether Mom and/or Dad need to meet with an Elder Law Attorney, to concerns over finances and inheritance issues, to whether siblings agree on who should serve as primary caregiver, and/or to whether assisted living/nursing home care is necessary. [Read more…]
Why I Also Make Housecalls
While some clients book traditional consultations at my office, I always make myself available for home visits with my clients. While the idea of a housecall has gone the way of black & white televisions, I find that meeting clients in their home, on their “turf,” helps make what is usually an emotional process, a bit more comfortable. In their home, clients tend to be more relaxed and at ease. The conversation goes a different way and I can sense the pride they have in sharing their home with someone. Coffee and tea flow more easily and taste better from your favorite mug than a styrofoam cup. [Read more…]