From wills to estates: Presentation provides legal info to Guam’s manamko

(PNC photo)

Guam – A presentation was made Friday morning on Elderly Law by the Public Defender’s Office. Organized by the Legislature’s Committee on Senior Citizens, chaired by Senator Amanda Shelton, the presentation tackled legal matters that would be of interest to our island’s manamko.

According to Sen. Shelton, the presentation was part of the celebration of Senior Citizens Month, and her office wanted to provide services that would enable senior citizens to understand some of the common legal issues that they are facing.

“Many people know that the Public Defender’s Office is there to provide service for criminal defense work, but not many people know that their large mission as referenced in their name is to defend and help the public in legal matters to include civil matters which is part of the mandate of the Public Defenders Office,” Shelton said.

Representing the Public Defender’s Office was executive director Steven Hattori who explained topics of interest to our island’s manamko like powers of attorney, estates, trusts, and wills.

“For all seniors really, they should all look towards taking care of these legal issues so that their children and the other loved ones that they leave behind don’t have to deal with it in an emergency type situation,” Hattori said.

One of the things that Hattori stressed was the importance of preparing wills while senior citizens are still healthy.

“If you become incapacitated, you cannot change a will. Of course, if you die, you can’t change a will. But you can change a will anytime until you are either incapacitated or you pass away. Wills give you the most amount of control over your assets,” he said.

After the presentation, Hattori provided free legal consultation to the senior citizens who attended the presentation.