We represent family members and friends of individuals who are not able to handle their own physical or financial affairs. We can help them by obtaining the protection of a temporary or permanent guardianship or conservatorship, or when possible less formal tools like powers of attorney or incapacity trusts. When seeking guardianships and conservatorships we will conclude the initial filing as expeditiously and sensitively as possible and to support the guardian or conservator throughout the duration of the proceeding, helping our clients to care for their physically or financially incapable loved ones with the confidence that they are in compliance with the law.
The extended incapacity of a parent can be extremely disruptive to a family, particularly if one child is required to take a greater role in caring for the incapacitated parent. We believe that while this transition is often disruptive, it does not have to be destructive to the family and the relationships between siblings. In fact, when properly prepared, and with sufficient support, families can navigate this period of life in a way that honors their incapacitated loved one and actually strengthens the bonds between the rest of the family.
Elder Law is an area of law that focuses on the protection of those who reach the age of 65, regardless of their health, though, most elder law issues arise when a loved begins to struggle with or lose the capacity to take care of themselves. Incapacity is most often a result of dementia or a similar illness. As we age, most of us will begin to lose the ability to provide for our own safety and well-being, care for ourselves, manage our own finances, or otherwise understand things going on around us. In addition to protecting these vulnerable family members, M&B attorneys practicing elder law will help your family navigate the hurdles and roadblocks thrown up by financial institutions, or others, who question whether you have the legal authority to act on your parent’s behalf.
There are steps that you can take to help prepare you or a loved one. If you have questions about how your family can plan ahead and ensure the smoothest transition possible, please visit our Estate Planning page or Contact Us and we can set up an appointment.
If, however, your loved one has not planned, and no longer has the capacity to create a plan, your options are somewhat limited. In order to make decisions for your loved one and ensure their safety and financial security, you may need to go through a Protective Proceeding. A Protective Proceeding is a process through which you obtain a guardianship, conservatorship, or both on behalf of your loved one. A guardianship is obtained when your loved one needs assistance caring for and maintaining his or her physical safety and well-being. In contrast, a conservatorship is obtained to help your loved one manage his or her finances.
Be Aware of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse reports continue to increase in number and are only expected to rise as the years progress. In 2010, 13% of Oregon’s population was 65 years or older. In 2030, 20% of the state’s population will be 65 years or older. To familiarize yourself with the signs of elder abuse, please visit our Elder Abuse page. If you suspect that someone is abusing your loved one, you can learn more here or contact us.