Aging America’s Challenge to the Law

Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

Date and Times: 
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
BNY Mellon Center, 3rd Floor, 500 Grant Street, Suite 5240
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2502

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CLE Credit Information: 

This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for (1) hour of substantive credit. There is a $30 fee for processing CLE credit for this event.

More Americans are old. Over 15 percent of all Americans, about 1 in 7, are age 65 or older. Every day 10,000 Baby Boomers turn age 65. By 2030, over 70 million Americans will be age 65 or older.

Because aging correlates with declines in mental capacity, the unprecedented growth in the number of older Americans presents a challenge to the law.

The law has responded to individuals who have lost mental capacity by recognizing the concept of surrogate decision making whereby an identified individual is permitted to make decisions about the person and property of the mentally impaired individual. Specifically, the law created guardianships and powers of attorney.

Unfortunately, guardianship and powers of attorney have created serious issues that the law, judges, and lawyers struggle with. Three of most vexing questions are: (1) Who is to be named the surrogate decision maker? (2) What is the extent of his or her authority? And (3) Whose values are to guide the surrogate decision maker?

The lunch and learn, presented by Professor Larry Frolik, will address each of these questions in detail. Specifically, the limits of the current law, the appropriate role of the legislature, judges, and lawyers, and proposals for reform will be discussed.

Although ethical issues will come into play, the presentation will focus on substantive legal doctrine, not legal ethics.

Lunch will be provided.

Register here.