In this season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful (and truly excited) to announce that Anastasia has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for Joy’s House in Indianapolis, starting January 1st, 2020.
Joy’s House serves adults living with life-altering diagnoses and their families by providing exceptional adult day and caregiver services.
To learn more about the mission of this remarkable organization or contribute to their life-changing mission, please visit Joy’s House on the web here.
If you’re an Indiana parent with kids under 18, then you should know about a standby guardian declaration.
Indiana law allows you to appoint a standby guardian to immediately serve as guardian of your children in the event of your passing or incapacity. A standby guardian is granted the same powers that a guardian is granted when a guardianship is established through the Courts. The use of a standby guardian is meant to provide prompt authority to a person of your choice act as guardian before the Court appoints a permanent guardian for them (which may well be the same person.)
The appointment terminates ninety days after becoming effective unless the standby guardian files a petition for guardianship of the minor child with the Court during that period.
We regularly recommend standby guardian declarations in the context of broader estate planning.
If you have questions about standby guardian declarations or other tools to protect your kids, please get in touch.
We can help.
Many of our wonderful clients are “third party custodians”- often grandparents, aunts, or uncles who are (sometimes unexpectedly) raising little ones with the informal consent of one or both biological parents.
Third party custodians are often referred to as kinship caregivers. (We also refer to them as “heroes.”)
Kinship caregivers sometimes encounter challenges when enrolling children in school, seeking medical treatment, filing taxes, or securing health care insurance.
If you have questions about formalizing your authority to act as a legal custodian of a child, let us know.
We can help.
Planning travels to see family in the coming weeks?
In between cookie baking and movie marathons, many clients have shared that these visits are a good time to take stock of any changes in an elder loved one’s health, appearance, or environment.
If you notice changes during your visit, try to gently assess the circumstances while you’re together to determine if help is needed.
We’re here to serve as an elder law resource, but we’re also happy to serve as “connectors” to other community resources for your family.
Safe travels and warm wishes during your holiday season . . .
Although we regularly assist families with adult guardianship proceedings, our first line of inquiry is always how we can best encourage the independence and autonomy of a person with a disability.
Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a way that some people with disabilities (or any of us, really) can use available supports to make their own choices and direct their own lives.
In SDM, the person with a disability chooses a group of people (“supporters”) who help the person make decisions. The person with a disability, however, makes the final decision.
The relationship between the person and his or her supporters can be written in a Supported Decision-Making Agreement. The agreement can then be used to show other people (like schools, doctors, or service providers), who can be involved in the decision-making process. It also helps to make sure that the person’s supporters are all on the same page about how to best support them.
SDM can be used alone or even in the context of a guardianship, where another person is appointed by a court to help.
Questions about Supported Decision-Making or guardianships?
We can help.
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.
Elder law attorneys regularly have a unique vantage point into the reality that, even the healthiest and most functional of family roles and relationships can become very complicated very quickly when an elder loved one starts needing additional care.
As needs and long-held roles within a family change, many of our clients benefit from learning new ways of coping with evolving relationships and new realities.
In many cases, elder mediation can be a helpful and empowering tool. Mediation provides an opportunity for the elder and all involved members of a family to participate in thoughtful and collaborative decision making. It can provide a valuable opportunity for family members to attack the issues at hand instead of each other.
Once the family has settled on a plan, then we can often help by drafting the documents needed to put that plan into action.
A core value of our practice is the dignity, autonomy, integrity, and protection of elders and their families. So give us a call if you have questions about elder mediation, supported decision making, or long term care planning on behalf of an elder loved one.
We can help.
As an extension of her law practice, Stasia regularly performs at musical events benefitting local organizations who support elders and individuals with special needs.
“Pam’s Party: A Joy’s House Open House” will be held on the evening of Thursday, July 27th @ 6:30pm at Joy’s House in Broad Ripple Village. It’s a celebration to honor caregivers and Guest/potential new Guests.
This open house is free to attend, but you may wish to bring cash for supper and activities, which will be available for purchase.
Hope to see you there!