One local event is aiming to get local senior citizens in shape - financial and legal shape, that is. The Southwest Louisiana Elder Law Boot Camp is scheduled for March 7, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., inside the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall.
"We hope to bring knowledge to our local communities of issues faced by our seniors everyday. This event will be packed with information," said Jackie Green, Calcasieu Council on Aging (CCOA) executive director.
The Boot Camp is a free and educational event covering issues not only affecting senior citizens but also their caregivers and loved ones, as well as service providers. CCOA, Louisiana Elder Law Task Force, and the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs (GOEA) are all sponsors of the event.
The Lake Charles event is only the second full Boot Camp held so far in the state, but it is expected to expand. The first one was held in Slidell last April.
Jane A. Thomas, Legal Assistance Developer for the GOEA, expects more than 200 participants for the March event. She credits Green with being instrumental in the handling of and interest in the Lake Charles seminar.
"She has done a great job. It has just taken off," said Thomas.
As for being called a 'boot camp,' Thomas states that the name is fitting.
"It is run like a boot camp with [our presenters] wearing camo shirts and getting out as much information as they can in a short amount of time. It is just a great informational opportunity," she said.
Topics will include the following.
• Estate Planning
- What constitutes community property
- What is sufruct
- Do you need a last will and testament
- Advance directives such as healthcare powers of attorney and living wills
- When is an interdiction necessary and does a power of attorney help
- Non probate assets and beneficiary designation planning
- Small succession affadavit process
• Public benefits
- VA aid and attendance pension
- Who qualifies for Louisiana Medicaid
- How to freeze your Social Security number to avoid identity theft
- Social Security Administration benefits
• Debt problems
- Debtor and creditor rights
- Reverse mortgages
- Predatory lending
- Investment scams
• Legal information
- Southwest Louisiana Law Center, Lawhelp.org/la and the GOEA legal self-help page
- Grandparents raising grandchildren
Page 2 of 2 - CCOA will be offering a lunch to attendees.
Seating is limited, and the deadline to RSVP is March 5. For reservations, call 337-474-2583