The Star-Herald

PROBUS members brush up on legal matters

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook area PROBUS Club met at Northern Maine Community College on June 21.

Program director Dana Crory introduced guest speaker Carol St. Amand, a paralegal at Aroostook Elder Law in Presque Isle. The practice, owned and operated by attorney Martha Grant, focuses primarily on estate planning, long-term-care planning and probate matters.

St. Amand, who has a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine, stressed the importance of planning ahead in all areas of personal finances, beneficiaries, funerals, all assets and health care.

She said that there are very crucial documents that should be a part of this planning.

Number one is a last will and testament, which should always be updated. Sweetheart wills leave all the assets to the other spouse and their children. Trust funds are other options.        

Number two is a delegated power of attorney document, which names someone who will act on behalf of persons not able to make decisions for themselves.

St. Amand named four types: Durable power of attorney goes into effect as soon as the document is legally signed; springing power of attorney is effective only when the parties are fully incapacitated; successor agent power of attorney in the case of several children, perhaps, starting with the first sibling and proceeding through the rest; and durable power of attorney, for all health care decisions only. This could include a living will, which doctors may need to access, with medical attachments.

In order to qualify for Medicare there must be three overnight hospital stays. If a rehab facility is required, Medicare can pay 15 to 100 days. Under Medicare, residential homes will allow ownership of a home, two vehicles and a mortuary trust, said St. Amand.

She also explained what the state requires if a patient needs MaineCare.

Janet Snow gave a reading by Adrianne Juardo entitled “Gaining Wisdom.” What really matters is that we all grow wiser every day by reading, observing and listening to all that is around us at every opportunity. Old age is not the sole requirement for gaining wisdom and learning.

President Tom Lunn adjourned the meeting after reports from the secretary, treasurer and scholarship committee.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.