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Articles

Avoiding Elder Financial Abuse, Stefanie West, Esq

Lafayette Senior Services Newsletter
Winter Edition, 2011

As an estate planning attorney, many of my clients are seniors. Unfortunately, I have heard dozens of stories of elder financial abuse. Sometimes there are means to reverse the damage. In other instances, it’s too late.

Making Medical Emergencies A Little
Easier For Your Family

Lafayette Senior Services Newsletter
Summer Edition, 2011

As an estate planning attorney, I often am asked to help clients when there is an emergency and the family is thrown into a state of panic. I have visited hospital rooms and skilled nursing facilities. In the still of night, I was present for a daughter who (reluctantly) admitted her dear mother with Alzheimer’s to a nursing home. I have sat in the waiting room while a husband removed his wife from life support. These have been very profound and stressful experiences for my clients.

Not Your Father's Estate Plan

Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine Online Edition
August 1, 2011

Estate planning attorneys commonly hear war stories from clients who served as the successor trustee of their parents’ estate. Some stories are more memorable than others.

Last year, a client was recounting her experience as trustee and beneficiary of her father’s estate. Dad’s trust divided the estate equally amongst the children. One of her siblings, while a “nice person,” never really grew up. The sibling had creditor problems, could not hold down a job, divorced a few times and had recently filed for bankruptcy. This was not an unusual story.

There's More To Estate Planning Than Just The Will

From the New York Times by Alina Tugend
September 5, 2014

WILLS, health care directives, lists of passwords to online accounts. By now, most people know they should prepare these items — even if they haven’t yet — and make them available to trusted family members before the unthinkable, yet inevitable, happens.