Elder Law

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Planning for the future—either your own or that of an older or disabled loved one—does not have to be stressful. At the Falls Church Law Offices of John L. Laster, we approach elder law and special needs planning as an opportunity to craft creative solutions to the issues you and your family are facing. We take the time to learn about you and your family, so we can provide quality legal counsel tailored to your specific needs.

Elder law – addressing concerns with respect

As our population ages, more families find themselves caring for older relatives. The laws in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. provide several options in the forms of powers of attorney and advance directives that address the needs of aging family members. If you are getting older, you should outline your preferences early on so that it is easy for loved ones to make decisions regarding your care.

Advance directives – AND future care decisions

An advance directive allows you to clearly state your wishes regarding your later life care in the event you are incapacitated and cannot express your wishes. There are two types of advance directives:

  • Appointment of an agent

    —Also known as power of attorney for healthcare, appointment of an agent simply means that you may authorize a friend or family member as your agent or proxy to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

  • Living will

    —A living will enables you to state the life-prolonging treatment you do or do not want if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and are unable to express your own wishes. Your advance directive can also include similar instructions even if you are not in a terminal condition.


Advanced care planning is not limited to appointing an agent or creating a living will. We are skilled in helping you express your intentions about all kinds of future care decisions.

Guardianships and conservatorships

If a family member becomes incapacitated, a guardianship or conservatorship may be needed to provide for his or her care and finances. Different options work for different people—a guardianship or conservatorship may never be necessary for many people. Some may require one or the other, and some may need both.

  • Guardianships—An individual selected as guardian is legally responsible for the healthcare, housing, and other daily necessities of the incapacitated person.
  • Conservatorships—A conservator is appointed by the court to oversee the assets and finances of a person the court determines is legally incapacitated.

To contact the offices of John L. Laster with any questions, click here.


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