Planning for the Future

Planning for the Future

Senior Law Day: Tools to build security for the future and beyond.

The Alexandria Bar Association and Senior Services of Alexandria recently welcomed more than 150 attendees to the fourth annual Senior Law Day. As our aging population continues to grow, issues like estate planning and long-term care should be on the forefront of people’s minds. By the year 2050, 90 million people in the United States will be over the age of 65. Senior Law Day provided the ideal forum for local experts to talk about legal and financial planning issues everyone needs to consider, because early preparation can ease the burden on families and reduce unnecessary stress.


From left: Chris Wright, Alexandria Bar Association; Mary Lee Anderson, Senior Services of Alexandria, and Mitch Opalski, Synergy HomeCare.

The session’s keynote speaker, the Rev. Raymond C. O’Brien, professor of law at Catholic University, kicked off the event by giving a thorough overview of the necessary tools to have in place, including a will, medical directive, and durable power of attorney.

Barbara Anderson, Esq., a principal of the Life & Estate Planning Law Center, moderated a panel discussion on estate planning. Attorneys Deborah Matthews and Patience Alexander joined her in emphasizing the importance of working with someone who is knowledgeable about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s laws concerning probate and estate planning, and the key issues to consider when choosing executors and beneficiaries. Copies of the Virginia State Bar’s “Senior Citizens Handbook” were available for the audience to take home.

The second panel was moderated by Natalie Page Esq., and focused on financial and long-term care planning. This type of planning is critical for families — seniors as well as adult caregivers. AARP expert Patrick Killeen discussed a variety of long-term care scenarios including in-home care, assisted living and nursing home facilities, group homes and adult day-care programs. Navigating this system and finding the appropriate solution can be complicated, and Tom West of Signature Estate and Investment Advisors stressed the importance of considering key issues before a crisis, so that decisions can be made without undue pressure. A copy of the presentations and answers to questions raised by the audience will be available on Senior Services website,

The next Senior Speaker Series event will be “Preparing for Important Conversations,” on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m.-noon, at Beth El Hebrew Congregation at 3830 Seminary Road. Senior Speaker Series programs are free and open to the public. To register for the November session, go to or call 703-836-4414, ext. 10.

Another upcoming event for caregivers is the 28th Annual Caregivers Conference in Alexandria on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 8 a.m.- 3:30 .pm. This event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium, and will feature local health experts providing practical tips on how to respond to behavioral issues associated with dementia, and the opportunity to visit with exhibitors who offer supportive services. On-line registration is at or call 703-324-5425.