Cheri L. Elson and Allen G. Drescher, Retired
21 S. 2nd St. ● Ashland ● Oregon ● 97520

Welcome to Drescher Elson Sperber, P.C.

Cheri Elson has been licensed to practice law in California since 2001 and was certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law. Cheri is delighted to announce that she has begun practicing law once again!

Cheri is honored to have been chosen by Allen Drescher to carry on his practice, which is one of the most respected in the Rogue Valley and has been serving this great community for over 40 years.  As well as providing legal counsel in the areas of Estate Planning and Elder Law, Cheri will be able to handle many other areas of law, serving the legal needs of both her existing clients and Allen’s clients as Allen has in the past.

Cheri’s service and commitment to her clients will not change.  What will change are the resources she has to offer, the ability to fully represent her clients, and the opportunity to assist you in a wide range of legal issues. 

2018 and the Fight Against Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), the upcoming elections could be a turning point in the funding allotted to Alzheimer’s research.  With an estimated 1 in 5 Medicare dollars spent on the disease and someone developing Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds, this disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.   Alzheimer’s is also the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression.

Elected leaders have increased federal research investment and taken important steps to improve care and support services, and voters rightly expect them to do more to address the Alzheimer’s crisis. According to a nationwide poll, 4 in 5 voters support increasing federal research funding for Alzheimer’s disease.  Voters also believe Alzheimer’s poses the greatest risk to their retirement, with those over 45 most concerned.  Even Millennials, the largest generation in our nation, already understand that Alzheimer’s poses the greatest risk to their retirement compared to other conditions.

All of this underscores why all politicians, both local and national, should highlight Alzheimer’s as a top policy priority in their campaign.

For further reading:

Is 2018 the Tipping Point in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s?

Morning Consult National Tracking Poll #180326

Powers of Attorney for Finances – the Scoop

Most people are familiar with powers of attorney and how they work at a basic level.  However, these documents can have very important consequences to your overall estate plan and should be thoughtfully drafted.

Let’s begin with defining the different roles in a power of attorney. The Principal is the person creating the power of attorney, giving someone else authority over their financial decisions.  The Agent is the person being given the authority.  Now we can discuss how powers of attorney work.

Powers of attorney may be broad or narrow in scope. For instance, the Principal could give the Agent powers to manage all of the Principal’s assets or limited to only address real property.  Powers can also be limited by time, so that the Agent only has the power to manage the Principal’s assets while the Principal is away.  However the Principal wants to limit the Agent’s powers, is fine; the Principal need only clearly state those limits in the document.

It is important to understand, however, that the Agent’s powers only exist as long as the Principal has the legal capacity to exercise those powers themselves.  If something physically happens to the Principal and they are not able to manage their own finances (due to a coma, say), the Agent loses their powers to act on the Principal’s behalf as well. 

This does not work so well in the world of estate planning, where we typically do not want our Agents to have any powers unless we are incapacitated. This is easily addressed by making the power of attorney “durable,” which allow it to continue to function even when the Principal lacks capacity.  In order for a power of attorney to be “durable,” it must include specific language stating this intent.  In the world of estate planning, our powers of attorney are typically “durable” as that is how we best serve our clients.

Another choice in powers of attorney is whether it is effective immediately or “springing.”  A power of attorney that is effective immediately gives the Agent the powers in the document immediately upon the Principal signing it.  Even though the Principal is fully capable of managing their own finances, the Agent has full authority alongside the Principal.  Typically, when we are naming an Agent to manage our finances for us, we do not want them to have any power untilwe are incapacitated.  To effectuate that, I usually advise a “springing” power of attorney – one which only comes into effect upon the Principal’s incapacity.  In this situation, it is important to have a good clear definition of incapacity in the document itself in order to avoid court for the determination. 

A well-crafted Durable and Springing Power of Attorney often works best to satisfy my clients’ desire to have someone named to manage their assets only if they are unable to manage them alone.  Working with an experience estate planning attorney will ensure that your documents are drafted in a way most beneficial to your situation.

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