Corinne Boudreau has been a lawyer practicing in Nova Scotia since 2002.
Corinne graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters in Health Administration and a Law Degree. She worked in long-term care before attending law school.
Corinne has advised individuals and business owners on estate planning, tax planning and business law issues. She has taught as Dalhousie University and has developed legal courses for business owners.
Corinne practices law at O'Keefe Law in Halifax, NS and runs an online legal business Legal Essentials Inc.
Here is Corinne’s top tips for figuring out supported decision making in your area:
Who you choose to have legal decision-making power is the single most important variable whether you have one guardian or several people contributing.
Start before there is an urgent issue.
Learn about the laws in your area from clear language documents that are likely available from patient groups and even your state or province.
Understand that there are likely some options.
Choose a lawyer that has expertise and experience in this area. Not just in guardianship, but in supported decison making.
Even if the laws are very restrictive in your area, you want someone who is knowledgeable about the issues and can help you to creatively work within your local laws to create a plan that is as respectful as possible of the person.
There are lawyer referral programs who can help you find someone who practices law in this field. Someone with experience might have a higher hourly rate but they will likely save you money by being efficient and by doing a good job and preventing expensive legal issues down the road.
Review any time there is a major change in the life of someone listed as guardian, POA, supported decision maker or AT LEAST every 5 years.
Consider that if there are more people involved with supported decision making then if one person is no longer able to act in the best interest of the person concerned then there are others available to advocate.
Having relationships with a wide variety of people so that there are good options available when setting up these legal decisions is important!
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Special thanks to Corinne Boudreau for joining me this week. Until next time!