When I meet with people for the first time who are interested in estate planning, their focus is usually on after-death planning.  Whether their concern is minimizing estate taxes, planning for minor or spendthrift children, or simply passing assets to the next generation as quickly and efficiently as possible, nearly every meeting begins with a…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman The truth is that very often, “elder law” attorney is a misnomer as it pertains to many of our clients.  For example, nearly everyone should have a comprehensive Power of Attorney. Some of our youngest clients have just become adults who come to us for a Power of Attorney before…

We have all heard the saying “life is full of regrets”.  I have compiled a list of the most common regrets that I often hear from clients, but more often, their family members, during my practicing as an elder law and special needs planning attorney.  If you have neglected any of these topics, my hope…

Your spouse might be able to access your bank accounts but he will be very limited in doing much else. A properly drafted power of attorney and statutory gifts rider is an absolute necessity. When an elder law attorney prepares a power of attorney and statutory gifts rider, powers are included that are not readily…

No.  When someone appoints you as his/her attorney in fact (people casually refer to their title as “power of attorney”) to handle their financial affairs, you are acting as an agent to that person.  You are called a fiduciary and fiduciaries must act according to certain fiduciary standards.  For instance, a fiduciary must act in…

Serious problems with the public guardianship system in the United States can lead to elder abuse, according to an in-depth article in The New Yorker. 

My dad had a stroke, which has led to aphasia and mild dementia. He can't communicate the right words but he seems to be able to understand, although he forgets things. Before his stroke, he put me on his bank account to manage paying his bills. I am also the beneficiary on his life insurance and annuities. Do I still need to have him sign a power of attorney or something?

  You can appoint as many people as you wish, however there are a few things to consider about the person you appoint.  First, you should always have a conversation with the person you appoint prior to making such appointment to ensure he is willing to accept the position of agent.  Second, when considering your…

If there is one unavoidable consequence of life and relationships, it is that our loved ones may fall ill at some point, whether it be a parent, grandparent, child, aunt or uncle. Sometimes it could be a tragic accident or disease that affects them, and other times it is simply part of the aging process….

Nearly every aspect of estate planning and elder law requires an attorney to assess a client’s legal capacity. As elder law attorneys, we are regularly working with individuals who have some form of cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. A common assumption is that someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s cannot sign a Last…

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