Planning for Incapacity: Establishing an Incapacity Plan

The word “incapacitation” sounds frightening. Imagine lying in a bed and not being able to physically or mentally care for yourself or make decisions.  That is a scary prospect, right?  However, what’s even more frightening is being incapacitated and not having anyone with the legal authority to handle your finances or make medical decisions for … Read more

The Vital Importance of A Living Will

At some point during your life, you have probably encountered the concept of a living will. If you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, you may not feel that you need to have one. After all, you’re in fairly good health, and you’re too young to think about end-of-life care, right? Wrong. A living will … Read more

How to Start Conversations with Your Aging Parents

There are several aspects of estate planning in Maryland that are less than fun, and that means that a lot of people choose to put the process off indefinitely.  There’s the need to gather a lot of documentation together, pay for an estate planning attorney, and not insignificantly, to contemplate one’s own death.  Adult children … Read more

Bethesda and Upper Marlboro Estate Planning Can Help You Make Medical Decisions for Your Same-Sex Partner

While some states have enacted marriage equality laws, others are not offering the same rights and privileges to same-sex couples.  In either situation, however, most estate planning lawyers can tell you that there are still important steps to take to protect your right to make medical decisions for your partner.  In Maryland, as in other places, it all starts with a power of attorney.

A medical power of attorney is used to specifically name the person who can make your medical decisions when you are unable.  Sometimes this document may be referred to as a health care proxy.  By naming your same-sex partner, you are providing him or her with the legal rights needed to step up and make those choices.  In cases where a power of attorney for healthcare has not been created, it’s not unheard of for the same-sex partner to be barred from the room while the patient’s parents or siblings are given the responsibility of making medical decisions.

Read moreBethesda and Upper Marlboro Estate Planning Can Help You Make Medical Decisions for Your Same-Sex Partner

Bethesda and Upper Marlboro Elder Law Attorney Tackles the Sibling Situation

Siblings often have trouble agreeing on anything, so why should it be any different when it comes to Mom and Dad’s elder care?  Unfortunately, those of us in elder law see quite often how families have a very difficult time when it comes to determining what is best for aging parents.

In some cases, one sibling may be expected to take on an unreasonable portion of the elder care with other siblings not recognizing (or possibly not caring) that it is a hardship. Other times, siblings simply can’t agree on the best course of medical intervention or the choice of an assisted living facility.

A Bethesda and Upper Marlboro elder law attorney can actually help avoid or work through some of these issues.

The best approach is to start early.  Most siblings can likely agree that having your parents make their wishes known in advance is a good thing.  The attorney can help them draw up some very important documents before they are even needed. 

Read moreBethesda and Upper Marlboro Elder Law Attorney Tackles the Sibling Situation

The Basics of Estate Planning – Part IV

In Parts I through III, we discussed estate planning and the importance of having an estate plan as well as two important estate planning tools, Wills and Trusts.  This issue will focus on Powers of Attorney (POA) and the different types of POAs. 

What is a Power of Attorney?

Estate planning is more than determining who will get your money and property after you die. Estate planning also means deciding who will manage your financial and legal affairs if you ever become incapacitated.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give another person legal authority to act for you if you are unable to do so yourself.  The person who acts on your behalf is your “agent.”   Your agent does not have to be an attorney, but should be someone you trust.

Read moreThe Basics of Estate Planning – Part IV