Free workshops on essential legal documents

Pierce County’s Aging and Disability Resource Center will host four free workshops on essential legal documents, which includes wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care and finances.

The workshops will discuss the importance of having advance directives and other legal documents in place before medical emergencies or the incapacitation of a loved one. This class is intended for any adult who wants to take control of who may make health care decisions on his or her behalf.

Local attorney Jonete Waters Rehmke will explain the details of advance directives, which are written instructions about future medical care in the event you are unable to express your medical wishes. In addition, designating another person, or persons, as Power of Attorney for healthcare or finances takes careful thought and conversation. Rehmke is a partner and owner of Rehmke Law, Fircrest. She has been an Elder Law attorney for over 17 years and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Forbes magazine reports that 51 percent of Americans age 55 to 64 don’t have wills. Worse, 62 percent of those age 45 to 54 — and 67 percent of women that age — haven’t drafted wills. It is also reported that 64 percent of the public in general doesn’t have a will. Figures for Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives are no better.

“Every day people have tragic accidents or die unexpectedly,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “At that point families start asking themselves what they should do and what their family member would want done. Without specific documents at hand, actions will be taken and questions will linger.”

Adults of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. Workshop sessions scheduled are:

· March 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sumner Branch Library, 1116 Fryar Ave. in Sumner
· March 18, 10 a.m. to Noon at the Pierce County Sound View Building, 3602 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma
· March 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Parkland/Spanaway Branch Library, 13718 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma
· March 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University Place Branch Library, 3609 Market Place W., Suite 100
in University Place

Event is free. No RSVP is required. For more information call (253) 798-4600.

– Pierce County