Settling family law disputes between parties outside of litigation is always best, Scott Watanabe, associate attorney at Geyer Law, firmly believes. Since protecting the best interests of children is the rightful focus in most divorce litigation, Watanabe is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution methods.
In the areas of estate and elder law, Watanabe knows, advance planning is key to preventing future misunderstandings and disputes. With the rapidity of new medical developments, elder health law is constantly evolving, he explains. Since law school days, Watanabe has evinced a keen interest in elder health issues; as a member of the Health Law Review, he submitted a paper on Alzheimer’s. He mentions one development in elder law that allows an “override” option in advance healthcare documents, in which an individual given healthcare power of attorney can override a Living Will order based on circumstances of the situation.
Clients too often focus on creating a will, losing sight of other, equally important, documents, Watanabe observes. Other clients believe living trusts are “must-haves” in estate planning. With the estate tax exemption levels so much higher now than in former years, testamentary trusts have become a better choice in many situations.
When it comes to Medicaid planning, there are two kinds, Watanabe observes wryly - crisis planning and long term planning. Myths about asset protection are rife, he adds; the fact is, with proper planning, many assets can be preserved.
Providing representation to all clients of all ages is high on Watanabe’s priority list. As a trained Guardian ad Litem and volunteer with Kid’s Voice of Indiana, he fights to protect the rights and the welfare of children; as an active member of the elder law section of the Indiana Bar Association and the Indianapolis Bar Association, he works on behalf of the elderly and their adult children. He has been an active participant in the Legal Aid system, and believes strongly in providing representation to clients in all financial circumstances.
Scott Watanabe is proud to be the newest member of the Indianapolis estate planning and elder law firm, Geyer Law, knowing that the firm is dedicated to offering a full range of options for families and individuals facing challenges and change.
by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer blog team