Monday, March 05, 2007

Case of the Week 3/2/07

Client's Age: 97
County: Kanawha

Client has been caring for his wife who has dementia for over a decade. Her capacity has diminished to the point where he will have to feed her soon, and she cannot answer any questions. He has been told he needed power of attorney for her and wanted to know how to do that. We had a long conversation about mental capacity and legal decisionmaking, and I explained that it appears to be too late for any powers of attorney, but depending on what kinds of things he needed to have authority to handle, guardianship/conservatorship may not be necessary. Since her only income was Social Security, he could get representative payee status to handle her money for her. We also talked about long-term care Medicaid, and what protections he could have financially if she needed to go to a nursing home to get the care she needed. I also sent him a copy of our purple book of Legal Questions Frequently Asked by WV Seniors.


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