Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P. S.

Elder Law

Margaret Dore represents clients in guardianship, probate and trust matters. She does not represent professional guardians.

Ms. Dore has written articles on guardianship topics. She has also presented seminars

Ms. Dore is a former Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the ABA Family Law Section. Her published decisions include Guardianship of Stamm, 121 Wn. App. 830, 91 P.3rd 126 (2004). For more information about Ms. Dore, see About Margaret K. Dore.


Will. A will is a written document that directs how your assets are to be distributed after your death. It is not effective until your death.

Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is a written document that gives another person the right to act on your behalf. It can be immediately effective or effective upon a certain contingency, for example, your incapacity.

Health Care Directive. A health care directive is also known as a “living will” or a “directive to physicians.” You may be familiar with this document due to the Terri Shiavo case. It sets forth your wishes as to life support and related matters.

Probate. When a will is filed with the court and a legal proceeding started, the proceeding is called a probate. In Washington State, probate procedures are relatively inexpensive.

Guardianship. Guardianship is a formal, court-appointed method of substitute decision-making on behalf of a person who has been declared legally “incapacitated” or “incompetent.” Guardianship is also known as conservatorship or interdiction. Guardianship can be necessary to provide an incompetent person with care. It is, however, an undertaking in which the ward loses substantial rights. In recent years, there have been increasing reports of guardianship abuse.