Elder Law

Elder Law

Elder Care Law is a legal concentration that is defined by the clients served. Proper legal care includes providing seniors with a variety of planning strategies, which may include Special Needs/Disability Planning, Guardianships, Medicare Planning (Medi-Cal for California residents) and foundational estate planning. We will help you put a plan in place to ensure that you have the maximum protection of and control over your assets, should you become incapacitated or require assisted living.

Recent Answers

Estate Planning Attorney

Your dad would need to sign a new power of attorney (POA) to transfer the authority to you (or back to you) and revoke the prior POA(s).  It sounds like, however, he may be suseptiable to undue influence. So possibly his girlfriend could get him to sign another POA again and it becomes difficult to... (more)

Your dad would need to sign a new power of attorney (POA) to transfer the authority to you (or back to you) and revoke the prior POA(s). 

It sounds like, however, he may be suseptiable to undue influence. So possibly his girlfriend could get him to sign another POA again and it becomes difficult to stop that, which is when some people turn to the court to get a conservatorship or guardianship. However, you would need to show your dad cannot manage his finances himself and he sounds very active.

You could transfer and ensure all of his assets are in his trust, including the bank accounts, since the POA only controls non-trust assets. 

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Senior Advisor

There are a few ways of doing this.  I'm not sure if you have friends or family nearby to help.  If you do, I would recommend that they help you with a simple "garage sale".  Have them separate the valuable from the not so valuable.  Garage sales are not for big ticket items.  Furniture, yes... (more)

There are a few ways of doing this.  I'm not sure if you have friends or family nearby to help.  If you do, I would recommend that they help you with a simple "garage sale".  Have them separate the valuable from the not so valuable.  Garage sales are not for big ticket items.  Furniture, yes.  Diamond bracelets... No.  This is the easiest and cheapest.  And you keep all the profits.  There are companies that you can pay to come in and do this. They are called estate sale companies. These type of companies have their advantages and disadvantages.  They are going to take a percentage of the money made, but they will be asking a premium price for the items they sell.  Here is the thing with them... they will do it all.  From organizing to pricing to advertising... everything, that's why it costs you.  Another way I can recommend is going through your church.  The second part of your question about "health care and other advice as we plan to age in the home".  Don't hesitate to ask your questions, that's what were are here for.  

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Senior Advisor

I would reach out to the Mayor's Commission on Aging in Philadelphia.  The mission of the Mayor's Commission on Aging is to improve the quality of life for older adults in Philadelphia. Opportunities and Services for Philadelphia Residents 55+. Their services are Free to Residents.  They are located... (more)

I would reach out to the Mayor's Commission on Aging in Philadelphia.  The mission of the Mayor's Commission on Aging is to improve the quality of life for older adults in Philadelphia. Opportunities and Services for Philadelphia Residents 55+. Their services are Free to Residents.  They are located at 100 South Broad Street 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19110.  Their office phone number is (215) 686-8450 

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Estate Planning Attorney

If you have any clear evidence of elder financial abuse by someone, you should report it to adult protective services and the police. However, it sounds like you are just noticing some irregular charges. It also sounds like you have tried to speak with your mom about this. You might want to bring up... (more)

If you have any clear evidence of elder financial abuse by someone, you should report it to adult protective services and the police. However, it sounds like you are just noticing some irregular charges. It also sounds like you have tried to speak with your mom about this. You might want to bring up a time where you had and issue with fraudulent charges and how you handled it or a story you had heard so mom is not as embarrassed. 

Do you have a durable power of attorney for mom? If so that document might allow you to access her accounts and review the charges. If mom does not have this document in place it would be a good idea to see an attorney to draft one. This will allow you to manage mom's finances in the event she cannot. 

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Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

You can call a government agency available is all states called Adult Protective Services.  They will investigate any report of neglect, abuse, or theft from an elder.  Also check with www.caremanager.com for a referral to an Aging specialist in your area. Sounds like Financial Elder Abuse maybe... (more)

You can call a government agency available is all states called Adult Protective Services.  They will investigate any report of neglect, abuse, or theft from an elder.  Also check with www.caremanager.com for a referral to an Aging specialist in your area. Sounds like Financial Elder Abuse maybe happening from computer fraud (such as the ransom virus where it makes you pay money to get control of your computer, which you never get back).  Also, she could have a friend (even a BOYfriend or someone faking as a romantic partner) who is asking for money. Or it could be a relative or a neighbor who is the abuser.  

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Estate Planning Attorney

You would want to find out if your dad has a Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), which is a legal document that names an agent to make medical decisions on his behalf. Along with this document, your dad should consider having a Living Will which addresses end of life decisions such as if he were... (more)

You would want to find out if your dad has a Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), which is a legal document that names an agent to make medical decisions on his behalf. Along with this document, your dad should consider having a Living Will which addresses end of life decisions such as if he were in an irreversible coma, would he want life support to be removed.

There are other health related documents that also deal with end of life decisions -a Do Not Resusitate Order or DNR may state more broadly that your dad does not want to be Resusitated at all no matter what. The DNR order in California is now called a POLST. So you would want to check your specific state forms. 

Your dad's doctors office or local hospital should have some sample forms for you.

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Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

Look at your state's palliative care website for health care directives for your state.  Or contact an elderlaw attorney

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Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

Yes, as long as it is from the allowance, and not from her income that must go to nursing home in order for Medicaid to pay for her care.

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Estate Planning Attorney

As you know, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services.  Each state has different rules about... (more)

As you know, Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services. Each state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid. I would suggest calling your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify and learn how to apply and you might also consider consulting an elder law attorney in your state.

Under CT Title 19, if you are on Medicaid, you will probably have to spend your monthly pension, Social Security, or other income to pay for your nursing home. What is not clear from my initial reading of the statute is whether giving gifts is a permissible way to "spend down". Clearly medicial bills are, but what else? This what you need to find out. 

You are allowed to keep some money each month:

§  $60 for personal needs. (****I am not sure what the definition of personal needs is but perhaps, the elder could perhaps give gifts from this amount)

§  Support for your spouse or other dependent living at home.

§  Health costs that Medicaid does not cover.

§  $90 each month for a single war veteran or the spouse of a deceased war veteran.

§  Some expenses for your home if you will go back within 6 months, including rent or the mortgage.

Again, since each state's programs are different, I would suggest that you call your state Medicaid program and ask them for their definition of personal needs and see if gifting is included in personal needs.

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Estate Planning Attorney

This is a very interesting question. You always want to review the contract you/your dad signs with the nursing home regarding collections and their policies to make sure you are clear on what they can or cannot do to collect outstanding bills. In my experience, the nursing home does not use peronal... (more)

This is a very interesting question. You always want to review the contract you/your dad signs with the nursing home regarding collections and their policies to make sure you are clear on what they can or cannot do to collect outstanding bills. In my experience, the nursing home does not use peronal items in the resident's home as collateral. Again, review the contract carefully. If you are not sure about the terms - ask. You do not need to sign it "as is" if you are not comfortable with it. 

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Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

No, contents of his home do not count as assets that must be spent in order to qualify for nursing home vendor payments by Medicaid in ANY state in the USA.   Collectibles, coins, art, and other contents do not count.  But in some states the house counts as an asset, and has to sold and proceeds... (more)

No, contents of his home do not count as assets that must be spent in order to qualify for nursing home vendor payments by Medicaid in ANY state in the USA.   Collectibles, coins, art, and other contents do not count.  But in some states the house counts as an asset, and has to sold and proceeds spent in order to qualify for Medicaid, but some states lets' you keep your house if you go in a nursing home, but no income to pay the property taxes or upkeep.  Go figure... 

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Senior Advisor

In most states the Patient Bill of Rights suggests that you have the right to refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health .  As long as you're cognitiv e .  I'll let a lawyer suggest an approach if they are not.  Did your husband speak to his dad about this matter?  Had dad... (more)

In most states the Patient Bill of Rights suggests that you have the right to refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health.  As long as you're cognitive.  I'll let a lawyer suggest an approach if they are not.  Did your husband speak to his dad about this matter?  Had dad given a reason for not wanting to be cleaned up?  A lot of times people feel uncomfortable with someone else bathing them.  Another reason is that they are afraid of loosing their independence.  I'm not sure how the facility is approaching the subject or how much effort is being placed on the subject.  Have they tried both type of nurses (male or female)?  There are other alternatives that your husband can try to get dad bathed.  

I would recommend talking to his Primary Doctor that he knows well.  Sometimes talking to his doctor and alerting them of the situation, they can talk to him and inform him of the issues that can come from not keeping clean.  There usually is trust or a bond there.  Can dad clean himself up (sponge bath)?  You could find a local home care company that you could hire to come in try to bath him.  Check with the facility first to see if they allow outside hired help in.  They might have special requirements for insurance reasons.  

Another suggestion is talking to a Patient Representative — The patient representative is a member of the hospital staff who serves as a link between the patient, family, physicians and other hospital staff. The patient representative should be available to answer questions about hospital procedures, help with special needs or concerns and help solve problems. The patient representative is familiar with all hospital services and will assist you. There shouldn't be a charge for services rendered by the patient representative.  

I'm not sure how much longer dad has in rehab, but you could always look into another facility.  I don't recommend this only if there a serious health concern.  This might not be good for dad.  He might just refuse to bath there too.  

Only as a last resort, if nothing is working and there is a health concern, you may contact the New York State Department of Health by mail or phone.  You may call the toll-free number 1-888-201-4563 (Nursing Home Patient Care Complaints) or you may write them 

send it to:

New York State Department of Health

Centralized Hospital Intake Program

Mailstop: CA/DCS

Empire State Plaza

Albany, NY 12237

I hope everything works out.  

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Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

This is called the right of self determination.  Health care facilities  must respect the rights of people, even when we disagree.  No one ever died for lack of bathing!  As long as he is no danger to himself or others, that's the way it is.

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Estate Planning Attorney

I cannot comment about if there is a specific New York law, but I agree that this is a health issue.  Here are a few things to consider: 1. Does your husband have a valid Advance Healthcare Directive for his father? If so, review what sorts of powers that document gives him.  2. Consider speaking to... (more)

I cannot comment about if there is a specific New York law, but I agree that this is a health issue. 

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Does your husband have a valid Advance Healthcare Directive for his father? If so, review what sorts of powers that document gives him. 

2. Consider speaking to the social worker at the facility regarding this issue.

3. Consider speaking to a geriatric care manager who can counsel regarding ways to approach your father in law regarding this issue.

It would certainly be very difficult to force your father in law to shower. Maybe they staff would give him a sponge bath instead. Many seniors have a fear of showering because they are concerned about falling. Perhaps your husband can address this fear with his father. 

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