Law Office of Carolyn R. Spring: Westborough attorney specializes in elder law and estate planning
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Law Office of Carolyn R. Spring
Address: 1900 West Park Drive, Westborough
Contact: 508-898-1835, firstname.lastname@example.org
What is elder law?
“Elder law is helping folks as they get older. It includes estate planning to make sure assets go where the client wants and also trying to protect those assets as much as possible if an older person has to go into a nursing home or assisted living facility,” said Carolyn Spring, a Westborough attorney who has specialized in estate planning and elder law for over 20 years. She holds a free monthly legal clinic at the senior centers in Westborough and Grafton.
“The crucial thing to think about in elder law is don’t wait. When people wait until the situation reaches a crisis, there’s only so much you can do. One of my main concerns is that a power of attorney and health proxy be in place for the elder family member. If you wait until someone is mentally incompetent, you have to go to court to appoint a guardian. That’s a cost you don’t need to bear.
Do you usually work with elderly clients or their adult children?
“It’s a combination. If the children are involved, I like to have a family conference. I like to get as many of the children involved as much as possible so everybody knows what’s going on. I’ll go to clients if they are not mobile. Many older folks are more comfortable talking in their own home.”
What should people know about estate planning?
“I do estate planning for all ages. Does everybody need a will? No. You only need a will if you care about where your assets go and/or you have a child under the age of 18. If you have a child under 18, you need to name a guardian for that child so the court doesn’t decide for you.
“If you’re a college student over 18, you need a health care proxy and power of attorney. It’s more for your parents because, without a power of attorney, they can’t even find out your grades even though they’re paying the tuition bills. If you are injured, doctors can’t talk to your parents without a health care proxy in place.”
“Last year Massachusetts adopted a uniform probate code and a uniform trust code. I’ve attended numerous seminars to stay current on those new laws.”
And you have a television show?
“Yes, I have a show on Westborough Cable TV with a guest and a different topic related to the law or money each month, such as year-end tax tips in December. I’ve covered estate planning, bankruptcy, having those difficult discussions with your parents or with your adult children.
“I also have a website, www.cspringlaw.com, with a new monthly column, and I offer a free half-hour consultation if someone wants to get acquainted or has a quick question.”
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