Estate Planning/Elder Law and
Technology for Independent
February 4, 2010
Attorney Terry L. Campbell
Moertl, Wilkins & Campbell, S.C.
Suite 1017, 330 East Kilbourn Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3163
Hostility toward the legal profession is a
The legal profession was abolished in
France in 1789 and complaints about too
many lawyers are common today in the
The Devil's Dictionary defined lawyer as
“one skilled in circumvention of the law”.
The estate planner or elder law attorney is
often spared this criticism.
Often still viewed as a “family advisor”.
Not all estate planners are elder law
attorneys and vice versa.
The traditional estate planner:
− Wills and Trusts
− Powers of Attorney
The elder law attorney's legal services often
− Medicaid Planning
− Medicare/VA Benefit Issues
− Powers of Attorney (perhaps from another
Our firm concentrates in estate planning and
The previous slides listed the role of the
attorney in legal matters. The fact is that
the role of an attorney in these areas goes
beyond providing legal advice.
− The Dysfunction Factor
− Loss of independence
− Financial Planning and Assistance
1. Scattering of Families
2. Changing Values
3. Divorce Rate
4. Lack of Communication
5. Greed and Abuse
Loss of Independence
3. Leaving the Home
4. Physical Impairments
1. Assistance With Investments
2. Paying Bills
3. Organizing and Maintaining Records
Law Offices Are Changing
Becoming a Resource Center
Law Offices Are Changing
Hiring non-attorney professionals such as
geriatric case managers
Offering comprehensive life plans – not
just estate plans. A long-term road map
for total care. A plan to maximize
independent living for as long as possible
and examines how long-term care,
financial, physical and psychological
needs will be met.
Technology is a tool that will often allow a
client to accomplish his or her goals.
Technology is an appropriate spend down
item for Medicaid.
Technology can ease family tensions and
the burdens of the member of the family
assuming the bulk of the responsibilities.
An out-of-state child can check in and be
assured all is well.
A watch system can aid or get rid of an
investigation by the Department of Aging.
This would help in a guardianship action or
assist in dismissing one.
Focus is always on remaining independent
and staying at home. To serve our clients,
we need to be aware of the ways
technology can better the lives of our aging
or disabled clients.
Technology can provide the boost to remain
independent and also remove some of the
fear of being alone.
Products and services now available that:
Dispense medications at prescribed
quantities and times.
Reminder alarm when medication is
Reminder alarm if medication is not
Medication management at home.
Social Connection and Health Assessments
Allow tele-caregivers ability to check in.
Family members can use system to chat
face-to-face with loved one anywhere in
Review medication and wellness
Goal continues to allow the client to be cared
for in the least restrictive environment to
live life as independently as possible.
Alerts to seek help – 24-hour emergency help.
Seniors who live alone are twice as likely to
have a fall than those living with a spouse or
At least one service combines this with safety-
medication monitoring services.
Bracelets allow people to keep track of dementia
wanderers via radio signals.
Shoes that contain GPS technology.
Tracking devices for vehicles.
Special easy-to-use cell phones.
Elder law and estate planning involve more
than just drafting documents and discussing
wills and trusts, Medicaid and probate.
Infirmities of aging and the loss of loved ones
bring fear of the loss of independence.
Alleviating these fears and helping our
clients remain independent for as long as
possible requires us to be aware of options
and available services, many of which are
offered by technological advances.