Jerrica Pierson Seeger at Rehberg Law talks about legal planning, part of this month’s focus on aging in place.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome to answers for elders radio. Everyone on aging in place week, and I have a very special, brand new guest here with me today, Jerichap Pearson Seeger from Reberg Law Group and Jericho, welcome to the program thank you so much. And our listeners are probably wanting to know. What does a you know, a lawyer, have to do with aging a place? It has to do everything with aging a place, because it’s really about seniors being proactive about what could happen in the future and things like that, and so I thought it would be really important for to have Jareka here and kind of give a foundation of what are some legal documents that have to be put in place up front so that you make sure that your needs are and your desires are honored in the future. Excellent. Well, you’re right that it seems a little bit awkward that you would be talking to an an attorney about housing plans right but I’ll tell you. The reality is for people who want to be able to advocate for themselves or allow others to advocate for their desires in the event person is no longer able to be their own advocate, you have to have those documents in place that not only allow for the legal authority but clearly communicate your desires, wishes and goals as it relates to your quality of life. So important, right, so important. You know, I remember taking care of my mom and I didn’t even know where safety to balk deposit box was. I didn’t know anything. And all of a sudden it’s like I was in a situation where it was kind of she wasn’t really in the mindset to be able to give me a lot of the information. I had to kind of hunt pack. So that’s those things are important, right. and Hunting and uncovering and going through emails and walking bank to bank to bank to try to find where their accounts are takes a ton of time. And if you’re dealing with the emotional crisis of a loved one being in, you know, the hospital, there’s a discharge plan, you want to be able to bring them home, but you don’t have any of the documents or any of the accounts or any of the information in order to make that happen. It’s just a lot of stress to handle all the same. Sure. So if I’m aging in place right now, what are the things that I should be looking at to make sure that I have my documents, my ducks in a row. Sure. So I’ll take a step back and just say, you know, as a state planning attorneys, there are five key documents that we will prepare for somebody when they come in and they say I want to plan, you know, sell me your services. And so the first documents that we talked about are the testamentary distribution documents. Those are what is going to happen with your stuff when you pass away. So those are your bills drew, revocable living trust right, things like that. Then we have your agency documents, and those include powers of attorney for health, powers of attorney for finance, and those documents allow an individual to step into your shoes and do what you could otherwise do, but for the inability for you to do it for yourself. And I’m assuming those can be different people. For example, if you have a son or daughter that’s a doctor or nurse, you might want to give them your healthcare directive. And if you have a son or daughter that’s very good with money, obviously that we might be a different individual in the family. Correct be the same. You never know, right, and what’s Nice about having two separate documents is one exactly lucky pointed out. Some people just have those individuals and their family that are really good with money and balance a check book but hate the smell of a hospital, are totally uncomfortable making medical decisions or are too emotional to make those decisions. Good. So you want to name the people that are going to manage your money the way that a fiduciary would manage someone else’s money right and you responsibly, and you certainly wouldn’t want one of your children that’s not good with money to manage your money correct correct exactly, and you know many times that individual who’s maybe not great with money is your emotional support, is who is the person who drives you to the doctors, is the person who understands is at your wishes and goals as it relates to quality of life and personal needs? Yes, so that’s an opportunity to name those individuals. In addition, many people are not comfortable handing their banker documents related to Hipp a release, so nationalutely and other quality of life indicators. So by having two separate documents, you’re allowed to separate out those provisions that are relevant to the financial institutions and those that are relevant to the doctors and they don’t get mixed up. Well, and when you’re talking about a healthcare directive, you know you might be say pull the plug if XYZ happens, but don’t pull the plug if, if, why, happens. So the the point that I’m making is, and a lot of people will say, well, I sign something when I was in the hospital, that’s not a healthcare directive. Right, right. So, just in summary. So we’ve got our testamentary documents, we’ve got our agency documents, right. The third document that an attorney will prepare for you is just what you said, the advanced directive. It’s otherwise known as a living will. It’s a document that says in the event you are persistent vegetative state, you are in a terminal condition and unable to communicate for yourself, you’re considered brain dead and and a permanent unconscious condition or death is imminent. So any of those four things are occurring, an advanced directive clarifies to your healthcare power of attorney what you want to have happened to your body as it relates to medical intervention at that time. Got It. So if you have a healthcare power of attorney. That is not the same thing as an advanced directive, and it’s important that you have both, because your healthcare power of attorney nominates who’s going to make medical decisions for you. Your advanced directive clarifies to your healthcare agent what your wishes are as it relates to medical intervention if the likelihood of you ever making a full recovery is nil. R as medically determined, and that’s so important to distinguish. is obviously so we are talking to jerk at Pearson, Seeger from Reberg Law Group, and Jeriko. Where you guys located? We have our main offices and see deck right across from the airport, and we have a second office in Bellevue, just south on southeastate. Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s awesome. And you guys pretty much cover obviously the state of Washington, but your you said something about you’re also licensed in Oregon. I’m licensed in Oregon and we have another attorney in our firm whose licensed in Minnesota. Awesome. Let us Gandhuvians out here that. That’s right. Yeah, yeah, so in and you guys are an estate planning but you also do elder law, which I love the fact that there is a real established person like you that understands elder law. What is the difference for our listeners and what does the practice of elder law do? Well, that’s a great question. The and I like to explain it as we do all the same thing as an estate planning attorney. Right, we do your core estate planning documents, your wills, your trust, powers of attorney, advanced directive, all of those things. But the questions that we ask when people come in and and have concerns, either they’re going into retirement or their post retirement and they’re dealing with a loved ones in capacity, or they’re dealing with a death and an illness, or a disabled child and they’re trying to transition that disabled child, sure, into a more long term housing plan. All of those things, those require special types of questions, right, sure, and so an elder law turney comes to the table with different types of questions and as a result of the answers that you give we design a plan that more appropriately for those people who have the concerns like that is plan for so it’s not we use all those same tools, we just craft them in a way that responds directly to in capacity concerns, disability concerns, asset protection, concerns as it relates to healthcare costs and long term disability, sure and and obviously an elder law attorney will advocate on behalf of the senior, and I think that’s one of the things. It’s very important. If the senior can’t speak for themselves in a court situation or whatever, you really become that seniors advocate. Is it right? The goal is that we don’t get into court situations, right, I mean that’s part of it. When you initially started talking. Getting your planning done ahead of time helps prevent litigation, conflict and crisis right when something occurs in the future. So that’s always my mantra. You know, if you have a concern, go ahead and start talking about it before it becomes a crisis, because many times, if I have an individual who cannot communicate for themselves anymore and we haven’t been able to engage in the planning that’s required in order to allow someone to have an advocate. There are remedies under the court system, but they’re just not as satisfactory as being able to feel empowered in making your own plan, devising your own individual agencies and communicating with those people what you want right, which is really fundamentally the most important piece of planning, is that bearing with your loved ones and those that are going to be acting on your behalf what it is that you want and if it’s aging in place, how do they make that happen? Sure you know, I heard a statistic not too long ago that forty eight percent of seniors end up living outliving their money and they have to qualify for either veterans benefits, Medicaid, different types of things, and you know, to understand really how long your money’s going to last, you to go to somebody like you. You can actually plan how you do that easily, because it’s not easily to be able to access those services correct yeah, that’s a huge part of my practice. People come in, they say I got this diagnosis or my wife just had this diagnosis and we’re concerned that we’re going to run out of money. It’s crazy, and healthcare costs are so incredibly high through just takes one thing like that. So in fact, that the highest financial risk for our small to medium sized of states in the United States is a long uncovered medical condition. So when that’s the risk that we’re looking at, the financial risk, there are a number of things we can do ahead of time to help protect funds to allow the surviving spouse to be that’s a hard quality of life. Keep the House Rightctera right, maybe plan for a legacy, if you have that family cottage or the mineral deeds or something that’s come down from generation to generation. That’s really important that you keep. If that and you are concerned that you may have to spend it or lose it because of your healthcare costs, the earlier you can get into plan the better, because there’s a lot of the things that we can do to help set up your estate in a way that maximizes every dollar that you’ve got and gives you some options to protect your quality of life. Wow, that is so important, Jericho. Thank you so much. So how do people reach you? Sure so the best way to reach us if if you wanted to set up an appointment, is you just call our office or send us an email and we will find a time that’s convenient. We do a twoh hour initial consultation, wonderful, and at the end of that two hours, whatever we’ve talked about and you choose to work with us, we will quote you a fee at that point. But our number is two thousand and six, two, four, six, eight, seven, seven two, and the email to the firm is our website is Reburg law, which is our h Berg lawcom and from there you can just do a contact us and we can reach out to you. I am so glad you came on the program my pleasure, my pleasure. Thank you.
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Originally published April 07, 2018
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