Are you a kinship caregiver providing care to a senior family member or friend?
It’s normal for families to have a myriad of questions about issues such as long term care, estate/Medicaid planning and guardianship when they first enlist the services of an elder law attorney.
One important ethical consideration for families to understand is that elder law advocates must clearly set forth who the actual client is. Depending on the circumstances, the client may be the senior, the caregiver, or even both (the family).
This delineation is very important because it will inevitably affect the way that an attorney can interact with involved parties. Keep in mind that, under the vast majority of circumstances, an attorney can’t share information about his or her client with another party without the client’s (preferably written) permission to do so. That said, the attorney may still be able to accept information from you without providing information to you.
This can be a delicate proposition for parties on both ends of the phone, but we always do our best to respect a senior client’s right to client confidentiality and self-determination while recognizing that, as time passes, roles can change.