Elizabeth O. Lawrence
K&L’s elder law practice encompasses many different fields of law providing for the unique legal and financial demands of senior citizens. We assist clients and their families with a variety of legal issues, from estate planning to long term care issues, with a primary emphasis on promoting quality of life for the clients. Our firm takes a holistic approach to ensure that each client’s plan addresses his or her legal, medical, financial, and social needs.
Under a legal guardianship, the Probate Court appoints one person to take care of another person. A conservatorship occurs when the court appoints one person to take care of another person’s property. We encourage all of our clients to sign Financial Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Health Care in which the clients select the persons who will take care of the clients and their property if they are unable to do so. With this planning, it is normally not necessary to have the court appoint a guardian or conservator. Occasionally, we meet with clients whose family members have not signed Powers of Attorney or Advance Directives for Health Care, or the documents prove to be insufficient under the circumstances. If the person suffers from dementia or other incapacity, it may be too late to sign these documents. If that happens, the family or friends must go to court to ask the judge to appoint a guardian and/or conservator. This process can be very confusing and stressful for all involved. The person for whom guardianship and/or conservatorship is sought has the right to a lawyer. The judge normally orders the person to undergo medical and psychological evaluations. Once a person is appointed as guardian and/or conservator, he or she will be under the constant supervision of the court and the attorneys at K&L are here to help the guardian or conservator meet the court’s requirements.
Veterans and surviving spouses of veterans may be entitled to financial assistance from the VA to help pay for the cost of home health care, assisted living care, and nursing home care. If you are a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, please be sure to let Liz Lawrence know so that she can determine whether you might be eligible for this additional benefit.
The VA Improved Pension provides financial assistance to qualified veterans and their surviving spouses. This pension is a benefit that veterans earn due to their service to our country, but few know to what they may be entitled. The VA Improved Pension was established to provide financial assistance to veterans and their surviving spouses, allowing them to live out their lives in dignity and afford basic necessities. You do not need to have experienced a service related injury to qualify for this benefit, which may help to cover the cost of qualified un-reimbursed medical expenses, including in-home care and assisted living facility care. If you have questions about or think you or your family member may qualify for benefits or elder law planning, please contact attorney Elizabeth Lawrence immediately. Please do not wait until you have a crisis in the family.