Marcia Teele from Caregiver Solutions Info sat down with Ira Stewart Wiesner and Daniel Smith to discuss the client-centered practice of elder law and the legal issues that all caregivers should be aware of. Ira talked about opening his practice in 1983 and establishing the first elder law firm in Sarasota, Advocates in Aging: Law Office of Wiesner Smith, in 1989.
For Ira, elder law is about helping caregivers through the difficult process of caring for a loved one and making sure families think about the things “they don’t know they don’t know.”
Wendy and Harold
In the show, Marcia introduced a hypothetical couple and caretaking situation, and Ira and Daniel used “Wendy and Harold’s” story to give information to seniors, older couples, and caregivers nationwide. Often, those who need care cannot participate in their future planning, which is why it is so important to have a good estate plan in place.
Ira emphasized the importance of power of attorney, advanced healthcare directives, HIPPA authorization, living wills, and other estate planning documents. He also explained the law in Florida and how laws and documents can vary by state. If a couple is coming from New York, for example, they may need to revise their estate planning documents upon moving to Florida. Some documents can be exercised nationwide, which can be important for families who are spread out across the United States.
For Ira, the most important thing in any estate plan is clarity. As long as local doctors, lawyers, and financial organizations can understand your estate planning documents, caregivers should be able to use them in emergencies. Nevertheless, families should not wait for a crisis to find out if their documents hold up in emergency situations.
When older adults move to a new place, they should speak to a local lawyer to make sure their documents are appropriate for the state they live in. Financial institutions and healthcare providers can be very strict, so older adults should think about which individuals and institutions they will present their documents to.
Ira’s advice for viewers in Sarasota: come in and update your documents.
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See below to watch the full episode of Caregiver Solutions Info, which was originally streamed live on South Florida radio stations and the iHeart Radio app on June 15, 2021.
We look forward to giving you case-specific legal advice and providing comprehensive representation to help you meet your future goals. Rest assured, when you call, your family becomes part of ours.