Elder Lawyer Perspective: Legal Concerns for Caregivers

Elder lawyers in Maryland work not just with our older clients, but also with their caregivers.  In many cases, this means adult children who have or will be given power of attorney, not to mention those who just step up to help when something is needed.  There are some legal issues which seem to arise … 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.

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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. 

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How To Plan for Incapacity or Disability

One very important part of estate planning that is often overlooked is Incapacity or Disability Planning.  Most people view estate planning as planning for what happens after you die.  However, what would happen if you became mentally incapacitated? To take care of yourself and to maintain control of your financial affairs during a period of … Read more

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.

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