Legal Resources

Legal Resources

Legal resources for older adults The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is a professional association of lawyers who are committed to improving the quality of legal services provided to individuals as they get older and people who have special needs. The organization provides elder law attorneys with continuing legal education opportunities and provides support to other organizations that work with people as they age. The Missouri Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys This is the official website of the Missouri Chapter of NAELA. Visitors can learn about the organization, recent events, and browse through their listing of elder law attorneys. ADA.gov Homepage The link above is to a government website containing information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). People who visit the site can read the text of the law, learn about design standards the law mandates, obtain technical assistance materials, and learn about the way the ADA is enforced. Missouri Probate Forms The website maintained by the Missouri Courts providing various forms that may be required in various probate actions. Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 456 Missouri code regarding trusts and trustees. Missouri Bar Informational Brochure on Wills The link provides takes visitors to an informational brochure regarding wills published by the Missouri Bar. Healthcare resources for seniors The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare The Medicare program helps millions of seniors and people with disabilities meet the costs of their medical care. This official government website provides information regarding the program and allows users to sign up for Medicare. Healthcare.gov Healthcare.gov is...
Does My Will Cover My Long-Term Care Needs?

Does My Will Cover My Long-Term Care Needs?

A Last Will and Testament is direction to a judge administering your probate estate about your wishes to pass the property in your estate after you pass away.  It is the estate planning tool with which most people are most familiar, and many people believe that is the only tool they need to worry about getting. While a Will is important, a Will only takes effect on your death and it is generally not enough on its own to constitute a comprehensive estate plan. Specifically, a Will does not adequately account for your long-term care needs or your end-of-life decisions.   The following are some of the additional legal documents that are imperative to ensure that your long-term care needs are met:  Health care power of attorney – Also known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, a Healthcare Power of Attorney is the document that determines who will make decisions regarding your health and medical care if you become incapacitated. You should carefully choose someone who respects and understands your wishes and values regarding health care and will be capable of making decisions in line with your instructions and not based on their own belief system, including whether to place you in a long-term care facility or continue life-sustaining treatments near the end of your life. Living will – Also known as a Healthcare Directive, a Living Will is a document that contains your wishes for medical care toward the end of your life. For example, you can instruct whether you want to be placed on life support, artificial breathing(???— I think you mean “ventilator support”), have a...
How Do You Choose a Capable Trustee?

How Do You Choose a Capable Trustee?

If you have decided to create a trust, you must choose someone to serve as the trustee to ensure the trust is administered according to your wishes. The trustee1 is the manager of the trust assets.  The rules the trustee must follow are contained in the trust document itself.  The trust tells the trustee the people who benefit from the trust, when those beneficiaries will receive distributions, and generally contains other rules to instruct the trustee of his or her duties.  When the trust is first formed, the trust creator is often also the trustee until their death or incapacity.  A trustee can also be a beneficiary of the trust property, usually at the death of the creator.  At the death or incapacity of the creator, or at any other time that the creator decides, a person or institution will be named as the “successor” trustee to manage the trust assets. The person or institution you name in the trust document as successor trustee should be carefully considered because an unreliable trustee can result in mismanagement and unnecessary waste of your assets. Additionally, because a trustee has significant power, there is also the possibility of abuse of that power that harms your beneficiaries. Despite the importance of this decision, too many individuals hastily choose a trustee without much thought. Though it is always wise to consult with an experienced trusts attorney regarding a trustee, the following are some examples of factors you should consider: Ability to do the job – Trustees have a number of duties and responsibilities in the management and administration of your trust. They must have...