Elder Law, Estate Planning, Adult Guardianship
Elder law uses a multidisciplinary approach to address the legal needs of the elderly, disabled, and their loved ones. At Soule Law, we are counselors and advocates for these groups, with a particular focus on estate and long term care planning and adult guardianship & conservatorship cases.
Estate & Long Term Care Planning:
Estate planning involves setting up a plan to determine what will happen to you, your family, and/or your assets in the event of incapacity or death. Although its human nature to put off this type of planning, a proper plan can save you and your family A LOT of stress and money in the future. You know the old saying: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". In this case, that's very true! Even a very basic plan can go a long way to make life A LOT easier for you and your loved ones.
We often think estate planning is for the rich and powerful; however, that is not the case. One thing to keep in mind is that nearly everyone has an estate. Your estate consists of everything you own: car, real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, clothing, personal possessions, etc... Some people have large estates, others have small estates. Some have large families, others have no family. Your plan will depend on your unique circumstances. Some common tools estate planners use to help people include wills, trusts, powers of attorney for healthcare & property, advanced medical directives, living wills, nursing home and long term care planning documents, and insurance.
An adult guardianship or conservatorship is typically sought when a person (often called a ward) is unable to make and communicate responsible decisions regarding his or her personal care or finances, due to a mental, physical or developmental disability.
A guardian is the person appointed by a court to handle the personal affairs of the ward. A conservator is appointed to handle the financial affairs of the ward. A guardian and conservator may be the same person. Different types of guardianships/conservatorships have different duties, responsibilities, and duration. These will depend on the type of appointment which the court has established.