SeniorEvaluations provides a variety of professional services designed to meet the needs of attorneys involved in elder law, estate planning, guardianship / conservatorship proceedings, and litigation regarding contested wills, decision-making capacity, or vulnerability to undue influence. Our services are also designed to meet the needs of courts of law and the departments of social and adult protective services.
When older adults prepare or update their will, power of attorney, or advance medical directive, questions may arise regarding their capacity to understand and properly execute these important estate planning documents. Other concerns may involve their physical or emotional vulnerability to undue influence. These concerns are especially relevant to older adults with a terminal illness, a history of chronic medical problems, a history of memory difficulties, or a prior diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. Moreover, litigation challenging a deceased senior’s prior capacity to properly execute their estate planning documents is becoming increasingly common and the legal battles that follow often tear families apart and deplete finances.
SeniorEvaluations provides in-home, independent medical evaluations of a senior’s decision-making capacity. We objectively assess an individual’s capacity to understand and execute estate planning documents and provide a professional opinion regarding possible undue influence. In an ideal situation, the evaluation is performed at or near the time the estate planning documents are executed.
In petitions for guardianship/conservatorship where the court is being asked to declare the respondent “incapacitated” (statute VA Code Ann § 64.2-2000), submission of a medical or psychologic evaluation is required. Many physicians and psychologists are uncomfortable performing this evaluation or lack sufficient training or experience to do so in an objective and comprehensive manner.
If needed, Dr. Oberlender will appear in court as an expert witness to testify in support of the findings and opinions provided in his evaluation.
SeniorEvaluations utilizes over 35 years of specialized geriatric medical experience to objectively and comprehensively assess an individual’s capacity to make informed and reasoned decisions regarding management of their personal affairs, health care, living environment and financial assets.
Litigation challenging estate planning documents is becoming increasingly common in Virginia. SeniorEvaluations will provide a detailed and comprehensive review of all medical records and relevant case documents and offer thoughtful, objective and fully substantiated opinions regarding the decedent’s decision-making capacity, physical and mental condition, potential medication side affects, functional dependency and vulnerability to undue influence. On request, we will prepare a comprehensive, detailed evaluation of our findings and opinions and will appear in court to offer expert witness testimony in support of these findings.
In previous litigation, Dr. Oberlender has been certified as an expert by a number of Virginia Circuit Courts including the Cities of Roanoke, Salem, and Radford and the Counties of Roanoke, Fairfax and Campbell.