Trusts and Estates

Season 3, Episode 1: Focus on Function, Not Age, When Working with Clients

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Join us for a conversation with neuropsychologist Jonathan Canick about the interplay between aging and an elder client’s capacity to execute estate planning documents.  Aging itself has no direct effect on mental capacity, but ageist stereotypes and implicit biases abound.  Indeed, many physicians mistakenly assume that advancing age results in cognitive decline.  At the same time, mental function deficits are often overlooked in clinical settings and may inhibit a person’s ability to make decisions.  How then, if at all, should estate planners consider the age of their clients when undertaking estate planning?  

About Our Guest:

Dr. Jonathan Canick has practiced neuropsychology for over 30 years.  He is a member of the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at California Pacific Medical Center and an associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco.  He evaluates, consults, and testifies on matters related to mental capacity, undue influence, and elder financial abuse.  He also provides education and training to health care, legal, and financial professionals.  Dr. Canick may be reached at  

About Our Host:

Jeffrey Galvin is a partner at Downey Brand LLP based in Sacramento.  He litigates trust and estate disputes around Northern California, representing trustees and beneficiaries.  His cases often involve mental capacity and undue influence issues.  Jeff created and edits the blog Trust on Trial, which covers California trust and estate litigation.  He is a member the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyers Association.

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