Elder Law Services

Since March 2018, Taiwan has become an “aged society,” meaning that over 14% of Taiwan’s population has attained the age of 65 years or older. It is estimated that by 2026, Taiwan will officially become a “super-aged society,” as by then over 21% of its population will be aged 65 or older. In other words, as soon as 2025, one in five people in Taiwan will be a senior, aged 65 or older.

Given Taiwan’s transformation towards a super-aged society, there is a dire need for the Taiwan Government to reform its medical system and long-term care policy across the board to suit these changes. Simultaneously, many legal issues concerning the elderly are becoming increasingly important and urgent. Those legal issues may encompass the following aspects:

1.Mental capacity of elderly persons: This aspect may involve (i) assessments as to whether a senior lacks the mental capacity (e.g., to determine whether a legal act of a person suffering from dementia has legal effect), (ii) procedures for applying for declarations of guardianship or assistantship when the senior lacks mental capacity, (iii) difficulties the senior may face under guardianship or assistantship, and or (iv) advance preparations for adult guardianship agreements.

2.Medical issues regarding the elderly: This aspect relates to medical decision-making for the elderly, including but not limited to (i) preparations for advance directives (AD) and appointments of a health care agents (HCA) in accordance with the Patient Right to Autonomy Act; (ii) preparations for letters of intent in accordance with the Hospice Palliative Care Act and relevant procedures and problems that may arise therefrom; and (iii) medical treatment preferences (e.g., home hospice care) and even issues related to death with dignity.

3.Long-term elderly care: This may involve a senior person’s long-term care options and potential questions that may arise therefrom, including but not limited to execution of long-term care contracts, equipment for home health care, arrangements for care-givers, and the prevention of elder abuse.

4.Estate planning for the elderly: This may include (i) trusts for the elderly (such as elder care trusts, pension trusts, inheritance trusts, and designations of trust supervisors), (ii) insurance (such as annuity insurance, medical insurance, and long-term/disability insurance), (iii) wills (including distributions of probate estates, gifts, will trusts, and designations of estate executors or appointments of estate administrators), (iv) alternative estate planning or management (e.g., reverse mortgages), (v) preparation, establishment, execution, and supervision of living wills or preneed contracts (such as for making advance funeral and cemetery arrangements), taxes, and other related issues.

5.Elderly Employment: There may be a need for suitable changes to employment terms for senior workers, and challenges related to age discrimination in the workplace will need to be addressed.

Founded in 1974, Formosa Transnational (FT) has played a significant role in the legal community in Taiwan and has earned widespread acclaim at home and abroad, thanks to the leadership of the founding partners and the support and continued efforts of FT’s staff. As a firm of legal veterans and a dedicated law practitioners, FT has extensive experience in elder law practice and has successfully handled many cases, advising clients in matters such as medical and care decision-making, estate planning and arrangements while living, probate estate distribution, contract drafting, and supervision and execution of wills.

To prepare for the ever-increasing needs as Taiwan transforms into a super-aged society, Formosa Transnational established a “Legal Research Team for the Super-Aged Society” in 2018. The team gathers experienced attorneys and law professionals to study and review a wide range of contemporary legal issues prevailing in super-aged societies; also, the team regularly holds seminars and invites experts to speak on related issues. Standing at the forefront of this new area of legal practice and issues, FT is fully prepared and determined to provide clients comprehensive services and specialized expertise on elder law related matters.

As of the end of 2021, the “Legal Research Team for the Super-Aged Society” at Formosa Transnational has held nearly 30 regular meetings. Many esteemed legal professionals and law scholars have been invited to those meetings to speak on and exchange opinions with respect to a string of topics, including issues related to the Patient Right to Autonomy Act, insurance, trusts, care systems, and property inheritance. On 17 July 2020, FT held a seminar titled “Stepping Towards a Super-Aged Society, You Will Need Lawyers Even More.” During this seminar, FT outlined the attorneys’ role in an aging society and how attorneys can assist the elderly in areas such as medical decision-making, agreements for adult guardianship, and wills and trusts (for details, please see the seminar script published in the FT Law Review, Vol. 233). Looking forward, FT is well positioned in early 2022 to present a publication dedicated to the emerging elder law practice, under the title, “Advance Total Planning Ahead of the Super-Aged Society – Let’s Do ATP!” It is Formosa Transnational’s fervent hope that the book will inspire a great number of readers to begin considering the future and prepare in advance for possible issues they may face in the upcoming super-aged society.