What will happen if I don’t have a Last Will and Testament?
With respect to assets you own at death, if you don’t make decisions about your property, Maryland law will control what happens to it. There is chance that what Maryland law will do with your property is exactly what you would have done if you had made the decisions, but there is a better chance that you and Maryland would not make the same decisions. If you die without a will, you’ll become what’s called intestate. This means that your estate will be settled based on the laws of your state that outline who inherits what. Probate is the legal process of transferring the property of a deceased person to the rightful heirs. Since no executor was named, a judge appoints an administrator to serve in that capacity.
What will happen if I don’t have a Durable Financial Power of Attorney?
If you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself, then there may be a need for a guardianship proceeding in order to appoint a guardian (who may not even be a family member) for you or your property in order to make decisions. Choosing a person to act as your health care agent is important. Even if you have other legal documents regarding your care, not all situations can be anticipated and some situations will require someone to make a judgment about your likely care wishes. When you need helping making decisions regarding your power of attorney, Hammond and Associates can help.
What will happen if I don’t have an Advance Directive?
While it’s not required to have an advance directive in place, it’s beneficial to start planning for unexpected situations before they occur. With respect to medical decisions, if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, Maryland Law (Health General §5-605) provides a list of people in order of priority who can be your surrogate decision maker. Of course unless you have had health care related discussions with that person, that person will be making health care decisions for you without the kind of guidance that you would likely have provided in an Advance Directive. In addition disputes may arise if there is disagreement between two or more individuals who have the same priority. If no one on Maryland’s list of surrogates is available and willing to serve, then a relative or close friend may be able to serve as surrogate. Finally if no one is able to act as surrogate, there may be a need for a guardianship proceeding so that a judge could appoint a guardian to make health care decisions. A guardian appointed by a court would not necessarily be someone that you know.
Why would I or my parents need an elder law attorney?
Our expertise in elder law focuses on protecting the quality of life, financial security, and independence of older citizens. There are important and overpowering issues to tackle. Unfortunately, if ignored, these matters are left to others, sometimes strangers. The people who love you are stuck with all the consequences and you become uncomfortably aware that you may not receive the care and lifestyle you deserve. By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief.
What is a living trust?
A living trust is a legal document that contains instructions for what you want to happen to your assets when you die and when you lose the mental or physical capacity—such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, or heart attack—to manage your assets. When you set up a living trust, you transfer assets from your name to the name of your trust. All the assets transferred are no longer your property, but are assets of the trust. If you need help setting up a living trust or would like more information on the benefits, contact the elder law attorneys at Hammond and Associates.
When is a nursing home the right choice?
When a caregiver can no longer meet the demands of providing the amount of care required for their loved one, a nursing home may be the right choice. Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home should be based on whether he or she is:
- Suffering from a chronic disability;
- Experiencing deteriorating mental and physical capacities;
- Living alone or lacking someone who can continue to care for them;
- Spending more time in and out of hospitals;
- Having more difficulty with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, using the toilet, eating or transferring from bed to chair.
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How do I choose the right nursing home in Maryland?
Why should you help your loved one make the transition into a nursing home? Nursing homes provide what is called custodial care, including getting in and out of bed, and providing assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing. These communities typically have staff on hand 24 hours a day so you can rest assured knowing your mother, father, or loved one are being cared for around the clock. They are able to maintain a neighborhood feel by not having fixed schedules and allowing the residents to make their own daily plans.
For information on local nursing homes in your area, click here.
How Can a Geriatric Care Manager Help Me?
When your loved one is in the care of a geriatric care manager, there are a number of benefits. Your care manager can:
- Conduct care-planning assessments. That way, your care manager can identify the need for various services and suggest whether a knowledgeable practitioner should be consulted concerning eligibility for assistance.
- Assist in identifying medical, legal, or financial issues. A care manager can offer referrals to practitioners who specialize in issues related to aging, elderly or geriatric individuals.
- Provide crisis intervention. A care manager can act as a liaison for families at a distance, making sure things are going well and alerting families to existing or potential problems.
- Assist with moving an elder.
- Help clients find and participate in enriching social activities.
- Open the lines of communication. A care manager will work with various individuals to ensure that the client and family members responsible for care are made aware of any circumstances that may make legal consultation appropriate.
- Monitor clients’ safety and security. Care managers may recommend technology that could be of assistance or monitor those who come in contact with a client. This can help ensure that the client is being treated fairly while identifying any signs of abuse towards the client.
Why do law firms like Hammond & Associates Partner with Geriatric Care Managers?
By partnering with geriatric care managers, our team is able to:<
- Complete a comprehensive assessment of the client with goals and solutions
- Create a detailed plan of care with a timeline
- Provide regular updates regarding the client’s healthcare and home care needs
- Offer emergency services and care to clients
- Accompany clients to important appointments and meetings
- Act as a witness on the behalf of the client