Elder law planning is not a cut-and-dried area – there are no one-size fits all solutions. In the process of gathering information from the client in the initial meeting, it is very important to develop a sense for the client and his or her family. Who does the client trust? Who does the client think is good with money? Which of the client's relatives can make tough health care decisions for the client? In some cases, the answer will always be one and the same person, but definitely not always. It is important for the lawyer to work hard to elicit the client's wishes, and to be sure that decisions in this area are not being unduly influenced by one relative or another.
One way to be sure that the right individuals will be chosen for agent/executor/trustee is to explain each of those roles to the client.