Elder law covers laws relating to the older population, like estate planning, power of attorney, and elder abuse. By learning about these laws, you can protect yourself as you age and know what’s legal and illegal under the eyes of the law. Here is some basic information on elder law in Washington State.
Estate planning is what you do to prepare for what will happen to your estate when you pass away, as well as what will happen with your medical care should you become incapacitated. For example, you may create a will, add beneficiaries to your 401(k) and life insurance policy, and open a trust so you can avoid probate, a lengthy and time-consuming legal process that the state of Washington oversees. You could also create an advance directive that includes instructions for your medical care.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney document allows you to name who you want to handle your medical care or finances whether you are incapacitated or not. For example, you could name your spouse to act on your behalf even if you aren’t sick, or you can name them to manage your affairs should you become too sick to do so yourself.
Under Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Protection Act, adults who are 60-years-old and older and cannot care for themselves are protected. Elder abuse includes physical harm, verbal threats, harassment, intimidation, and sexual abuse, and the penalties include time behind bars and hefty fines. Unfortunately, family members may be convicted of elder abuse, or it can happen if caregivers are not properly taking care of older patients and clients.
Contact Legacy Law Group
If you need assistance with estate planning, you can contact the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Get in touch with us at (509) 315-8087.