Sunday, April 27, 2014

SHAFER ELDER LAW is alive and well in Hatfield PA!

ANNOUNCING the Solo Elder Law Practice of Jacqueline J. Shafer, Esquire, MSW.

Last year was a time of great changes for me.  My partner and I decided in late 2013 to dissolve our mutual practice in favor of each of us going solo.  I'm grateful for the time I had with Rich Magee, a fine lawyer practicing in Doylestown. 

My practice covers both Bucks and Montgomery counties -- but so many of my clients are located in the Montgomery County area that it made sense for me to concentrate my time in the Hatfield, MontCo office. 

My office in Hatfield has now become my one and only office now.  I am located in the old pants factory at 21 E. Lincoln Avenue, Hatfield, PA 19446 a block from the junctions of Main & Cowpath (or Forty Foot Road and Rt. 463).  Here's the phone number:  215-412-3330.  I have a unique message-forwarding phone system -- so even if I'm in court of visiting with clients in their homes (which I often do) you can be assured that I will return calls within 1 business day. 

I look forward to continuing to provide Elder Law legal advice (long term care and medical assistance planning) and general Estate Planning (Wills, Powers of Attorney and Healthcare/Living Wills) as well as Estate Administration (working through settling a probate estate of deceased persons).  I also do some real estate work as it pertains to the above areas of law. 

The coffee is always on -- so come by to see me! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Powers of Attorney / Guardianships -- For the Elderly and the Young

Planning for the future should include a BIG reality -- there may come a time when you cannot manage your finances or your medical yourself.  Who WILL manage your affairs? 

'Powers of Attorney' documents, (both Medical and Financial) created and not revoked, give a named "Agent" the power to manage your finances and/or medical information and your care needs when you are unable (incapacitated) to manage these things for yourself. 

Elderly persons often become incapacitated (due to illness, dementia, stroke, or sudden crisis); young persons can have this happen as well (primarily due to accidents, but also as a result of life-long developmental disablity).  Adult children (over 18) with a developmental disability are still "legal adults" in PA when they turn 18.  Do not assume that just because you are their parent that you continue to have parental-guardianship rights after they turn 18! 

Often people have no Power of Attorney document.  What happens then? 

In Pennsylvania, and most other jurisdictions, the law provides for a Guardianship or Conservatorship -- obtained through filing a Petition with the Court to have the person in question declared "incapacitated" (or, sometimes referred to as "incompetent").  Then, someone is appointed by the Court to look after the persons' affairs -- both personal (including medical decisions) and financial.  It's good to know that this option exists -- but better still to have a POA drafted by a competent attorney who will review your estate, your needs and your present situation and include those functions in your POA document that are most appropriate for meeting all of your particular needs!  An attorney whose practice includes drafting these documents can also advise you as to whether or not the person in question has the requisite capacity to understand and sign such a document. 

My office can assist you with these important documents -- whether it be a POA or should you find that you must obtain a Guardianship, we are prepared to assist you and your loved one with that important legal task. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Assisted Living in Pennsylvania will change in January

Pennsylvania care facilities that are now calling themselves "Assisted Living" will have to apply for the new License for the privilege of using that name.  The change will take place around the middle of January, 2011, and will require facilities that are granted ALF status to abide by a new set of regulatory protocols, supervised by the relatively new "PA Office of Long Term Living". Otherwise, they will continue to be regulated by the "Personal Care" regulations as they are now (presently regulated by the PA Department of Public Welfare). 

The ALF regulations are more stringent than those presently required for Personal Care, but not as involved as those the PA Department of Health uses to license and regulate skilled nursing facilities.  Facilities that are granted the ALF license will also soon have a "subsidy" from the Medical Assistance program in PA for those residents who run out of money.  More information can be obtained by contacting my office at 610-275-0700 and ask for Jacqui. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Welcome to my new Blog Spot! I'm excited to begin sharing some insight, advice and other helpful information I find to help provide guidance for family members to handle the aging process. 

Please check back often as I will be posting frequently.  -Jacqui