Attorney Phil Hingson is the lawyer for you if you have any concerns about powers of attorney and related matters. In every situation, Phil emphasizes that:
Your general durable financial power of attorney is a critical document, giving someone you trust not only the power to pay your bills, but also to deal with your assets as they see fit
Your advance directive — referred to in the past as a living will or medical power of attorney — is as personal and consequential as estate planning documents get, determining who makes decisions for you about life support and other critical matters
It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of working with a lawyer you trust on these critical documents. Poorly drafted Powers of Attorney (POAs) may be challenged or unaccepted, out of hand, by banks or title companies. We encourage you to contact us to secure maximum protection of your assets, your well-being, and your peace of mind.
There are some key questions to consider when thinking about your estate:
What do you need now, in view of current law and requirements?
How do you make sure what happens after your death or incapacity isn't the source of controversy for people you care about?
What is the best way for you to make sure your heirs receive as much as possible while avoiding probate costs, excessive estate taxes, and the time required to get through those processes?
Call Phil Hingson today to set up an estate plan or review your existing plan. You can have confidence in his ability to guard and value your personal interests, and you can feel secure that your estate plan wishes are covered.
As we talk with people throughout Oregon, one of the greatest concerns they mention is what to do to handle major health care costs if he or she is struck by Alzheimer's disease, another debilitating ailment, or an illness that could exhaust all the assets in an estate.
There is a lot of information and misinformation people have acquired from their friends, family members, neighbors, and the Internet. To find out what is current and true about Medicaid eligibility and long-term care planning, please contact our office today and arrange a consultation. Phil Hingson has over 20 years of experience in this area, and he can explain all your options and provide sound advice and peace of mind.
While we always hope for the best, the reality is that most of us will experience a period of incapacity at some point in our lives. We may be unable to direct our own medical care, and we may not be able to pay our bills, sell our house, or otherwise deal with our assets and finances. At these most critical junctures, being prepared can save you and your loved ones a great deal of financial and emotional cost.
Each state has its own form of a medical directive. Oregon, for example, has an Advance Directive that allows you to name health care representatives who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable to direct your own medical care, and also allows you to tell the doctors directly whether you do or do not want life support or tube feeding in four very serious situations. The Advance Directive may be your most important estate planning document, given that nothing will impact you more personally than someone else directing your medical care.
A well-drafted general financial power of attorney is also crucial if you become financially incapacitated. A general power of attorney would allow a person you designate (your attorney-in-fact) to do anything with your finances and assets that you could do. A thoughtfully drafted power of attorney might also authorize gifting in appropriate circumstances. Oregon has recently passed a law specifically allowing “springing” powers of attorney that do not take effect until a specified event takes place (such as becoming incapacitated). Springing powers of attorney can add a level of protection to you and your finances, but may also raise a further issue.
Language in powers of attorney or trusts that allow someone else to handle your finances often requires some evidence that you are incapacitated – often in the form of a letter from a doctor. However, the HIPAA privacy laws can make it next to impossible for your attorney-in-fact (or successor trustee under a Trust) to obtain a letter from a doctor as proof of incapacity. Different doctors and hospitals will have their own versions of HIPAA Authorizations (or “Releases”) that will allow you to grant specified individuals access to your medical records for designated purposes. It is wise to also have a backup HIPAA Authorization that can be used if needed.
While Wills and Trusts are the estate planning documents that receive the most attention, Advance Directives and well-drafted powers of attorney are also critical. An appropriate HIPAA Authorization may be the key needed to help unlock the power of your estate planning documents that you have so carefully prepared.
Our strengths as a focused estate planning and elder law firm include a dedication to finding solutions without “overselling” our clients or overcomplicating situations. You can contact us with confidence that we will work hard to address your real needs — and act as quickly as possible or necessary to make sure you achieve maximum asset protection.
Almost everyone in their fifties and many people earlier in their lives think about planning for nursing home care or treatment of a serious illness. Whether you have received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or early dementia, believe you are genetically susceptible to any such condition, or simply want to be prudent and proactive, we are well prepared to help you with long-term care decisions and Medicaid planning.
Your options may include:
Gaining assurance that your substantial assets are sufficient for any likely scenario, so that you know you will be able to pay “out of pocket” for long term care
Purchase of long term care insurance that provides security and peace of mind
Specialized estate planning — from specific language in your will and power of attorney to development of an income cap trust or another specific legal document — designed to accomplish Medicaid planning and protect the futures of your spouse and other heirs
Not only does attorney Phil Hingson have extensive knowledge of Oregon laws, estate planning, and Medicaid eligibility, our firm frequently calls upon other specialized resources you can trust — from capable financial planners to providers of legitimate, proven long-term care insurance. We can provide referrals or work alongside you to help ensure your goals are met.