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Category Archives: End of Life Issues

Brandon Elder Law Lawyer: “The Uncomfortable, but Essential Conversation You Should Have with Your Parents”

Brandon Elder Law Lawyer, Laurie Ohall, speaks to the importance of having a legal plan in place when you are caring for aging parents and young children at the same time. We are all very busy living life. The daily grind of work and taking care of the family keeps you hopping, I’m sure. However, there may soon come a time when your parents
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Do YOU have a Last Will and Testament?

According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, only one-third of Americans have a Last Will and Testament.  What does that mean?  A Last Will and Testament (not to be confused with a Living Will) is a writing, signed in front of two witnesses and a notary, that states who you want to have your assets when you die, and who you want to administer your estate
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National Will Registry

It is not uncommon for a person to call my office after a loved one has died and ask if I have the loved one’s original Last Will and Testament in my file. The answer is usually, “No.” It is not my practice to retain client’s original documents (and I think a majority of attorneys would say the same). I always provide clients with
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End of Life Discussions – What Would Your Doctor Do?

I read an article recently posted by NPR entitled “Knowing How Doctors Die Can Change End-of-Life Discussions.” Surprisingly, almost 90 percent of doctors facing a terminal illness would forgo resuscitation and aggressive treatment. Most doctors would rather die at home, peacefully, than die in a hospital. According to this article, a majority of seniors would also rather die a gentle death, yet they often
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Five Steps To Take When a Loved One Passes Away

Many times, when a loved one passes away, the family is so upset and they do not know what to do next.  I have listed the basic steps to take when a loved one passes away. Look for paperwork that might indicate whether the decedent had pre-paid any funeral arrangements or had any specific burial wishes, and if you cannot find any, the family
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How Does Incapacity Affect a DPOA?

Over the past couple of months, I have written about what is a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), why we need DPOA’s, and who you should appoint as your agent.  This month, I would like to focus on: How Does Incapacity Affect a DPOA? The most important reason to have a DPOA is so that, if something happens and you become incapacitated, you have
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Avoiding Probate – How Do You Do It?

Wondered about avoiding probate?  One of the easiest ways to avoid probate (which is a court proceeding that takes six months to a year, and must happen in order to transfer assets to loved ones if a person dies owning assets solely in their name) is to have beneficiary designations.  For instance, when you purchase a life insurance policy, you list a beneficiary on
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When Do I Need Life Insurance?

Clients quite often are not sure when or whether they need life insurance. My advice is always – if you have a house with a mortgage, or other big ticket items, and a spouse or significant other, and/or minor children, it’s a good idea to purchase life insurance to help pay off those big ticket items if you were to die. It’s a good
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Facebook Updates Its Policies For Those Who Die

I have previously written on what happens to your digital assets when you die – specifically your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and the like – Facebook Blog. Prior to their most recent change, Facebook would not allow family to access a deceased person’s account, nor would they allow a Personal Representative the authority to access the account. Facebook would allow the family or Personal
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Do your kids know about your finances? Let’s talk MONEY!

I recently read an article in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance entitled “The Money Talk You Must Have” (November, 2013) written by Jessica Anderson.  In this article, she discusses the fact that, as you age, and your children age, it is important to discuss the issues of inheritance, estate planning and long-term care.  I most definitely agree.  I am amazed by the number of clients who
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