1. What is Elder Law?
2. List some of the issues addressed by Elder Law professionals
Week #2: Read this Scenario and answer the questions that follow:
Mary and Jim have been married for 47 years. They live in a home valued at $400,000 and have $350,000 in additional assets. Jim is wheelchair bound and needs assistance, which to this point Mary has been providing. However, in recent months, Mary has shown signs of confusion and forgetfulness. She visits her doctor, who diagnoses her to be in the early stages of dementia.
An estate plan is important for Mary and Jim but it will not help them deal with the problems they are now facing. How will they afford the cost of nursing home care should either or both of them need it? Who will care for Jim – and Mary – when Mary’s dementia reaches a more advanced stage? Can they remain in their own home with assistance or will they need to go to a nursing home?
Mary and Jim appear to suffer from “Sundown Syndrome.” It appears they are both more alert early in the day rather than in the afternoon. Mary and Jim need an estate/life plan to meet their needs going forward, one that is tailored to their particular situation. Mary and Jim need to consult with an Elder Law attorney.
Mary and Jim’s son, Robert, calls the Elder Law attorney for his parents. The son makes an appointment for the attorney to meet with his parents. Robert accompanies his parents to the appointment. The Elder Law attorney will meet with the family. You work for the attorney and are asked to prepare a memo before the initial interview. Aside from the specific questions on the Elder Law Initial Confidential Questionnaire:
What issues would you consider when making the appointment? Explain.
What information is important for you to learn at this initial meeting? Explain.
Who is the client(s)? Discuss how the needs of the client may differ from the needs of the person who contacted the Elder Law office. Is there any conflict of interest here? Comment on the competency of the client(s) and the legal and ethical issues this may present. Explain.