Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

A good estate planning attorney will work with a client to determine what combination of documents is most appropriate for their client. I would be remiss if I did not also take this time to stress the importance of durable powers of attorney. In my opinion, these can be the most important documents a client creates. Without them, if a client loses capacity during their lifetime – which is becoming more and more common as people live longer with illnesses that impact cognitive ability – then we see the number of adult guardianships and conservatorships rise. Having durable powers of attorney for finances and healthcare will, in most cases, prevent the need for a guardianship or conservatorship. They are powerful documents, though, and are one of those things you must be prepared to have tough conversations about and should not be just a one-sizefits-all kind of document. What are some of the most challenging cases you work on? What are some of the most rewarding? The most challenging cases are always those that have hard family situations. These can be either families fighting or families experiencing really difficult circumstances. They can both be difficult to navigate and to separate yourself from the emotional part of the case. However, resolving those can also be some of the more rewarding cases because they were so challenging. My area of practice, for me, is very rewarding overall. I am privileged to work with clients through stressful and emotional times. When I am able to lighten their load even a little, then I feel like I have put my degree to the exact use I hoped I would when I decided on law as my career path. EXPERT INSIGHT 77 Having durable powers of attorney for finances and healthcare will, in most cases, prevent the need for a guardianship or conservatorship. About Nikki Mitchell Nikki Mitchell is the owner and managing partner of Mitchell, Brown & Associates. Her practice covers all aspects of elder law. Prior to joining the firm, Nikki worked as a legal aid attorney and gained experience in a broad range of legal issues including elder law, disability, special education, SSI applications, family law and disability. During and after law school, she was also an editor and then managing editor of the Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy, a journal that focused on the intersection of health and animal law and ethics. Mitchell, Brown & Associates Mitchell, Brown & Associates, LLC is an elder law and special needs law firm that serves clients in St Louis and the surrounding areas. Its team advises clients on both legal matters and the many non-legal issues that may arise while pursuing them, whether related to finances, health or long-term care concerns. Contact Nikki Mitchell Partner Mitchell, Brown & Associates LLC 473 N. Kirkwood Rd. 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63122, United States Tel: +1 314-962-0186 Fax: +1 314-962-1298 E:

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