Elder law attorneys talk with our clients about the most intimate matters in life—illness, death, family—often forming deep, long-lasting relationships. I have found that this intimacy allows me to carefully observe my clients over time for clues about health, family relationships, and potential legal issues. Do I see involuntary hand movements I’ve not seen before—which may lead to a conversation about updating health care documents? Why has a usually well-groomed client come into the office looking and smelling unwashed—does this suggest a possible elder protective services issue? Has the client’s ability to process information become shaky? If so, how reliable is the person the client named as her attorney-in-fact?
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