‘Legal bootcamp’ planned for Thursday for elderly residents

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 9/26/17

A free “Legal Document Bootcamp” is being held in Jasper for older citizens, as well as their family and caregivers, on Thursday.

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‘Legal bootcamp’ planned for Thursday for elderly residents


A free “Legal Document Bootcamp” is being held in Jasper for older citizens, as well as their family and caregivers, on Thursday.

Carolyn Fortner, who is executive director of the Middle Alabama Area on Aging (M4A) in Alabaster, said Monday that the event is being held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Jasper Civic Center. The Jan Neal Law Firm, LLC, an elder law firm based in Opelika, will give a one-hour presentation, followed by one-on-one session starting at 11 a.m. and running through 3 p.m.

The event will show what documents an elderly citizen may need and what is available at no cost through Older Americans Act legal assistance.

“It is some of the basics, what they need to be looking at,” Fortner said, noting it will cover “the legal documents we need to have in place, or if someone is a caregiver of a parent, some of the things they need to be talking about with their parents.” 

Many don’t think about these legal issues and documents before it sneaks up on them, Fortner said.

“I think it is like all of us. We think maybe we’re immortal and we don’t think we need those documents or we don’t think about it until it becomes more of a crisis,” she said. “People definitely need to have power of attorney. People need to have an advanced directive. We need, as we get older, to look at our financial plans for retirement, and even having our funeral needs met.”

She said the elderly also need to be aware of scams that involve preying on older citizens.

Fortner said it is particularly urgent that people make informed decisions about items such as power of attorney and advanced directives while they are able to make good choices about who they want to represent them.

Refreshments will be offered by the Walker County RSVP.

M4A (m4a.org) is one of the 13 Area Agencies on Aging in the state that serves older individuals, their caregivers, and people with disabilities at any age to access information, assistance, resources, and services. It serves Blount, Chilton, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties.

“Thursday’s legal boot camp is just one way in which M4A is not only raising awareness of senior needs but working with our wonderful Walker County partners to meet those needs,” she said.

Registration will be required for the meeting. Those with existing documents will be required to bringing them. Anyone wanting to reserve a seat may call 205-670-5770.