Legal Issues for Seniors to Consider

Logo small (2)Legacy Law Center is proud to participate in Senior Living Week once again this spring.  Each year, our law firm hosts a booth at the Expo, and we enjoy getting to meet a wide variety of attendees and other professionals.  Terrence A. Bertram, our firm’s senior attorney, will be speaking on some estate planning basics that everyone should know.

Legacy Law Center is a firm in Ann Arbor that particularly specializes in elder law and estate planning.  The specific areas of law we practice include wills and trusts; powers of attorney to cover both  health care decisions and financial and legal decisions; decedent’s estates; Medicaid and Veteran’s benefits counseling and qualification; and guardianship and conservatorship  law.  Additionally, we serve as probate mediators, or neutral parties trained in facilitating peaceful resolutions among family members about issues that arise in caring for an aging loved one.

terry_bertramTerry’s presentation will cover the types of documents that should comprise a complete estate plan, and how to go about making the decisions and elections required in your plan.  Many interesting things are currently happening in the estate planning arena, so Terry will also have his pick of an array of special topics to cover in his presentation.  I will address just two of them here.

One topic that is of perennial interest and importance is the need to have a valid health care power of attorney so that someone you trust always has the authority to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot.  Health care powers of attorney are a vital piece of your estate planning tool kit, yet statistics show that far too many people are still putting off executing this simple document that can save so much pain and uncertainty for your loved ones.

Second, since last October, we’ve been kept particularly busy by changes in the laws that govern powers of attorney in Michigan.  One of the main changes is a new requirement that your durable power of attorney have a signed acceptance page.  In effect, the person you nominate to act on your behalf, if you become unable to do so, now has to sign an agreement stating that they will act in your best interest.  Powers of attorney that were executed prior to October 2012 are still effective, but because banks and financial institutions are not required to accept them, we have recommended to our clients that they consider an update.

We are eager to participate in Senior Living Week 2013 and we hope to see you there.

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