Charlie Jones is an estate lawyer and grief counselor featured on Modern Aging to help us better understand and legally prepare for an unfortunate illness or circumstance. Besides rescuing cats and dogs, Charlie represents conservatee clients as a court appointed attorney.This requires engaging with clients in a difficult point of their life. Conservatorship is a court supervised process for naming someone (family, friend member, or private professional) to take care of the personal and business life of a person is no longer able to do it herself or himself.
If you have a power of attorney, you don’t have to to get a conservatorship. This is ideal because it saves you time and money. When you haven’t appointed a power of attorney, a conservatorship is appointed to you by the court to legally act for you. This may take days because the court needs to investigate to make sure that this is the right person to take the job. It gets more complicated when there are siblings involved and everyone wants to be appointed conservator.
Do you know the difference between estate planning and elder planning or elder law? Estate planning is essentially preparing for what to do with your assets – your stuff. Elder Law is estate planning for when you are older. If you are likely to need public benefits, you need to know how to structure your assets in a way to allow yourself to obtain these benefits at a minimal cost. So, ideally, you want to have a health care directive and financial attorney in place in case of an unfortunate event. These conversations need to happen before crisis hits.
What’s In This Episode
1:43 About Charlie
1:58 Conservatee Clients
2:58 Power Of Attorney
5:16 Family Dynamics
6:40 Permitting the termination of life support
8:00 Talking to kids about end of life
11:10 Cost of conservatorship
13:08 What if you can’t pay?
14:48 Charlie’s grief counselor experience
15:53 Internalizing a catastrophic event
16:40 Estate planning vs elder planning
18:38 What is probate?
19:45 Third party ownership questions
20:40 What happens if you die without a will?
24:13 Conservatorship statutes and laws protect people
Charlie is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is part of the Thomas & Libowitz professional association in Maryland. His practice focuses on representing individuals and families in their goals regarding long-term family and wealth. He is also a grief counselor, so he brings compassion and empathy when he helps his clients.