Special Edition of
The Estate Update
May 2019

Happy Birthday, TPC!
On May 1, 2010, The Peninsula Center's doors opened for the first time! In our nine years of existence, we are so thankful that hundreds and hundreds of clients have become part of our TPC family. We hope you have found your experience with us to be as enjoyable as we have found our experience to be with you.

If you would like to share your experiences with TPC and with our attorneys, please consider reviewing us on one of our many online platforms:

Avvo.com : Please click the "Reviews" button, which is the third tab from the left. Then, click "Review [Attorney Name]" to share your experience. Click here for Helena S. Mock's Avvo page, here for Meredith H. Maust's Avvo page, and here for Catherine E. Sears's Avvo page.

Google.com : If you have a Google account (for example, for a Gmail email address), you can review us on Google by clicking here . On the right-hand side of the page, click "[x] Google Reviews," and then click the blue "Write a Review" box at the top right.

Facebook.com: If you have a Facebook account, don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook by clicking here ! We want to be your friend!

Martindale.com : On each attorney's page, please scroll down to "Client Reviews," then click "Write a Review." Click here for Helena S. Mock's Martindale page, here for Meredith H. Maust's Martindale page, and here for Catherine E. Sears's Martindale page.
TPC Blog Post of the Month:
We are bloggers! Enjoy our latest blog from TPC Attorney Meredith H. Maust regarding the concept of "the ethical attorney."
The Ethical Attorney
By Meredith H. Maust

If I were to say “ethical attorneys” in front of a group of people, I am likely to hear a joke or two that will, inevitably, conclude with the idea that this phrase is an oxymoron. Oh, the discomfort that comes when I casually remind the jokester that, not only am I an attorney, but not all attorneys are corrupt. 

So, you have suspended reality to consider that not all attorneys are corrupt, but the jokes about attorneys exist because there are unethical attorneys out there. You know the type: lawyers who perform unnecessary tasks to create more billable hours from their clients; those who are dishonest and misrepresent the reality of a case to their clients; those who fail to communicate once they have your retainer; and those who seem more focused on representing their personal interests and financial gain rather than those of the clients’. I am not unfamiliar with attorneys who fall into these categories.

Well, if I can admit lawyer jokes have merit, why is it that I am so unwilling and unable to graciously accept the humorous denigration of my chosen profession?

Click here to continue reading.
Recipe of the Month:
Oreo Dump Cake
If, like TPC, you have a May birthday, try this recipe for Oreo Dump Cake! Rich and chocolatey, this easy cake recipe is perfect for a birthday cake or for a sweet Mother's Day treat. Enjoy!
Monthly Mind Game:

This month, we are returning to a classic mind game: Sudoku. This daily puzzle from the New York Times allows you to choose whether you want to play at an Easy, Medium, or Hard level, so puzzlers with all levels of experience can enjoy. Click here to play.
In case you missed it...
National Health Care Decisions Day
April 16 th is National Health Care Decisions Day. Approximately only one-third of adults in the United States have any form of a written advance health care directive, or medical power of attorney document, to designate who they want to make medical decisions on their behalf if they become incapable of making those medical decisions for themselves. Therefore, the goal of National Health Care Decisions Day is to educate the public about the importance of having a medical power of attorney document in place.

If you do not have a medical power of attorney in place, or if you know someone who does not have a medical power of attorney, use this as an opportunity to talk to an attorney and learn more about what you need to do to make sure that you are protected in the event of incapacity and that people of your choosing will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf. While you are planning for the possibility of future incapacity, a good attorney should also recommend that you execute a durable power of attorney. This will ensure that a trusted family member or friend will be able to use your finances to pay for the medical treatment that your medical agent authorizes on your behalf, as well as manage the rest of your legal and financial affairs in the event of your incapacity.

If you do already have a medical power of attorney, then use this as an opportunity to make sure that your document will protect you adequately and still meets your wishes. For example, is your agent still an appropriate person to serve? Do you have a successor agent named in case your primary agent becomes unable to serve? Does your agent have HIPAA authority to speak to your doctors so she can make an informed decision about your care? Does your document contain language stating that medical professionals can rely on the decisions your agent makes?

Once you ensure that your agent has the proper legal authority, he will need to make your medical decisions, you must also consider whether your agent knows what types of choices you would want him to make on your behalf. A good medical power of attorney document will provide guidance to your agent about your specific wishes. After all, it is difficult to step into someone else’s shoes and make these very personal medical decisions, so providing detailed guidance is a gift to your agent and to yourself to give peace of mind in knowing that your wishes will be known, even if you become incapable of articulating what those wishes are at the time decisions need to be made.

Among the most sensitive decisions to be made is the decision of what treatment you would want to receive when your death is imminent. Many people elect to state their wishes for end-of-life treatment in a separate document, called a living will, instead of including this language in the medical power of attorney document. By expressing your wishes in a living will, you are ensuring that your end-of-life wishes are honored once a doctor determines that you are near death, instead of leaving this final decision up to the discretion of your medical agent.

In addition to stating these wishes in your medical power of attorney and living will documents, it may be wise to talk with your medical agent about your medical wishes. So often, people delay having this conversation, knowing that it will not be a cheerful one. However, having a frank discussion now can reduce anxiety and heartache for both you and your agent if and when your agent needs to act.

National Health Care Decisions Day (NHCDD) is a day of education and awareness, to encourage more individuals to plan for health care decisions. To learn more, click this link .
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Helena S. Mock, Esq.

461 McLaws Circle, Suite 2
Williamsburg, VA 23185 
Phone: 757-969-1900