A recent guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Jamestown was local attorney and community volunteer Dale Robbins, Esq., partner in Burgett & Robbins Trial Attorneys. Robbins is a Magna cum Laude graduate of Duke University where he also earned his Juris Doctor degree. He is very active in a wide range of community, professional, church and governmental positions.
The topic for the month's meetings was "BE PREPARED," regarding end-of-life-issues.
Robbins spoke about the growing need for family and individual legal planning for "issues of incapacity." According to Robbins, more advanced age is generally associated with more incapacity. Increases in life expectancy have increased the number of people with potentially costly needs for services and specialized assistive devices later in life. Advanced financial and legal planning is imperative to protect the elderly and their family's security.
Dale Robbins, local attorney, and Sharon Hamilton, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Jamestown, discuss Robbins’ presentation to the local club about “being prepared for end-of-life” issues.
Robbins described six key legal tools available to everyone and urged using them as appropriate: power of attorney, health care proxy, a living will and a traditional will, revocable and irrevocable living trusts.
Robbins also said the increasing complexity of the legal forms (e.g.: N.Y. power of attorney documents have grown from two to 14 pages) allows for individualized provisions while making do-it-yourself, commercial legal forms are less reliable than an experienced attorney. In addition, Robbins advised that an attorney can submit all such legal documents to a centralized document bank for retrieval as needed. He advised keeping multiple copies and assigning a main and back up individual to administer certain actions or make certain decisions for an incapacitated loved one or friend.