Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Very helpful through the whole process.
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Knowledgeable and great service.
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
An office appointment was scheduled after attending one of their free and informative estate plannin...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I had my trust set up with you 5-6 years ago. I was happy with the process. I did contact you ,maybe...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Thank you all for making this very easy! This was exactly what I was hoping for, to make things easi...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Thank you for your help in setting up my trust. I have peace of mind now. Everyone was helpful & eff...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I think the attorneys are very knowledgeable, they provide a good service, and the fee is fair, but ...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
The Pettis Webber team assisted us in getting our ducks in a row and establishing a trust. Their kn...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
The women at Pettis Weber took the time to really get to know us and our family in order to recommen...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Working with the Pettis Webber team was a very pleasant experience. They were very personal and pro...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
When my wife and I were thinking about redoing our wills, I saw an ad invitation to an informational...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Worth every penny, I feel well taken care of.
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Karen helped me work through my unusual circumstances offering solutions that met my needs. Wonderf...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
They were very thorough and efficient. All our questions were answered and we now feel confident tha...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Great at doing original documents and explaining what they do. Not so terrific at questions and foll...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Webber Pettis did a great job with both mine and our in laws estate planning. When that day comes, I...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
We worked with Karen Webber -- Karen walked us thru the set up of our revocable living trust. She w...
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Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I got what I needed done and I'm Satisfied.
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I found the service in devising my will, to be very thorough and competent
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Karen Webber and the staff were all so extremely helpful as they worked with me to protect my assets...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
Very professional and helpful!! If they don't know an answer to a question I have they find someone ...
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Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
When we were ready to create a will and trust, they were able to answer our questions, guide us in m...
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Feedback -Our experience with PETTIS-WEBER, was smooth and reassuring. All questions we had were alw...
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Not as responsive getting back to the clients when I need to talk to my attorney. Otherwise all is ...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I am completely satisfied with the estate planning documents you did for me. Your attention to detai...
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Very helpful and knowledgeable. With COVID they did the best they could. Karen was so patient and ki...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
PWPE & AP was instrumental in getting us up to date on our wills setting up a trust, and including o...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
I have always been treated with respect and staff is well informed of information I needed. Thank yo...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.
You set up our trust in a hurry do to my upcoming surgery. Took the time to explain it and get what...
Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. Pettis Webber Pacific P.S.

The “Power of Three” When a Diagnosis Happens: Medical, Financial, Legal

When David was 66, he and his wife, Kristin, met with their elder law attorney to plan for the second half of their lives. Two years later, David was diagnosed with cancer. In the course of treatment, he had a stroke and needed to be moved to a nursing home. Kristin called their attorney and they set into motion the plan they had in case something like this happened. She assumed the legal responsibility for David’s healthcare decisions based on his wishes, and she didn’t need to worry about losing her home or her assets. She could instead focus her entire attention on David.

When people receive a major medical diagnosis, such as cancer or dementia, or when disability occurs from accident or injury, they are often overwhelmed. Their attention is consumed by medical treatments and financial concerns, and they don’t often take into account an important third consideration: the legal ramifications of a serious diagnosis or disability.

If you were in David’s shoes, your spouse or children might need to make decisions for you regarding your medical treatment, taxes, insurance, finances, real estate, or other issues—but they don’t automatically have the authority to act on your behalf. While it is important to discuss your wishes with your family, if you don’t have the proper legal documents in place, your family may be forced to go to court to obtain the legal authority to carry out the wishes you have expressed. This is known as guardianship, and it can be an expensive and time-consuming process, one that can be avoided when the proper planning is done ahead of time.

So what kind of legal planning would you need to prepare for the future? Let’s look at some of the ways to protect yourself and your family.

Durable Power of Attorney. In a DPA, you select one or more people to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own decisions. A DPA allows your agent(s) to deal with personal, financial, and real estate matters. It also authorizes an agent of your choice to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It’s important that you discuss your wishes with your agent before any need arises so that he or she knows what you would want to do in the event of a medical crisis. You also need to consider a related document, a Health Care Directive, that clearly states your wishes around end of life medical decisions, so that there is no confusion over what you want to happen if the time comes that such decisions need to be made.

Long-term care planning. If you receive a diagnosis for an illness that may lead to incapacity, you will need to consider how this will affect you and your family. Will you be able to receive the care you need at home, or will you need care in an adult family home or a nursing home? Either option can be very expensive, and without legal planning, you may have to pay for some or all of these expenses yourself. The average cost of skilled nursing care per day in Washington is now $323.00, which is over $9,800.00 per month. Medicare will only provide for you on a short-term basis, and you need to meet certain asset and income qualifications to be eligible for Medicaid. Long-term care insurance may be available, but you must purchase it prior to being diagnosed, and good policies are now usually difficult to come by.

In addition to the legal planning needed during life, there is also planning to ensure your wishes are honored when you die.

A Last Will and Testament or a Trust. These documents direct your estate after you die. A trust has powerful, additional benefits in planning for asset management during your life if you become incapacitated. You should speak with an elder law attorney to determine which one is the best vehicle for carrying out your wishes. If you have a very large estate, you may also need some estate or income tax planning considered.

If you already have a will or trust in place, make sure that your plan is up-to-date and that your named agents and beneficiaries are current. If you drafted your will or trust when you had minor children, you may need to update it once they are of legal age.

Once you have your documents in place, let your trusted family or friends know about them and where they are located. You should also keep in a safe place a list of your financial accounts, insurance and tax information, any other important papers, and the names and contact information for your medical, financial, and legal professionals. Be certain someone you trust has access to these documents in case something happens to you.

Planning for the future may seem daunting, but when guided by competent, capable, and experienced attorneys who know the intricacies of your legal options and can help you plan for all stages of the second half of life, it’s not. People often regret that they didn’t speak with an attorney before a serious illness or diagnosis. Phelan Webber Pettis P.S. can help you customize a plan best suited for ensuring your wishes are carried out. Hopefully, you’ll never suffer a serious diagnosis or disability, but if you do, you can have peace of mind knowing that a plan is in place to handle whatever life throws at you.

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