elder law

Estate Planning Basics: Comparing Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

No Time Like the Uncertain Present to Prepare for the Certain Future While it is always the time to get your affairs in order, since putting off these important decisions can lead to financial and emotional pain for your survivors, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought mortality to the forefront of many minds and has brought home the urgency of planning for one’s end-of-life care. In this article, we will review two legal tools available to

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How can I take care of my unmarried brother’s financial obligations now that he is in a coma and has no Power of Attorney?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My brother is in a coma and will likely not recover to the point of being able to work or care for himself. I need to take care of his bills, loan accounts and bank account and start the process of obtaining disability benefits and Medicare for him. He has no Power of Attorney, spouse or children. Upon discharge from the hospital, he will be moved to a Long Term Acute Care Hospital. How

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What constitutes elder abuse?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Our mother is 89 years old and relatively good health. My dad passed away 2/2016 and my older sister moved home due to losing her job. She now takes care of my mom although my mom is in assisted living. She has said to my mom “spend all your money” My dad left her with 3 million dollars that he worked extremely hard for. My mom is spending the money like crazy. Trips ,

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Can my sister force my disabled sister out of the family home?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My sister is disabled and living in our mother’s home. My mother now resides in a memory ward of a senior living facility. My other sister wants to kick my disabled sister out, but she’s on disability and can’t afford housing. She claims that they need to sell the house in order to pay the $5000/mo facility cost. Please advise ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU: Assisted living bills need to be paid

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Am I still obligated to pay?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother has had 2 strokes within the past year. The 2nd stroke was severe enough that my mother needed to be placed in a long term/nursing facility. According to the admissions person at the nursing facility, my mother’s 100 days of Medicare ended 9/15/16. Mom was Medicaid eligible as of 7/1/16. The nursing facility sent a bill for the resident responsibility for the entire month of September. Since Medicare coverage was until 9/15/16

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Can we protect my mother’s assets from Medicaid by having a family members live in her house and act as caretaker?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: I heard from a neighbor but can’t confirm that Medicaid’s five year “look back” for assets that can be applied to nursing home expenses is cut back to two years if a family member lives in the house and acts as caretaker. If so, do they have to be living there for two years before the reduced look back takes effect? Or does it take effect right away? Thanks! ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L.

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If a caretaker does not get a doctor for an elderly person who is not of sound mind, what is their liability if the person dies?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The person who is not of sound mind is 71 and will not eat or get out of bed. He only wants alcohol which his wife gives to him. ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS: Elder abuse is a serious offense. Being a caretaker is a hard job, which also carries much responsibility. The Massachusetts Appeals Court in Commonwealth v Cruz 2015 WL 5164397 (Mass. App. Sept. 4, 2015) recently held that

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What happens when a senior residing in a nursing home has an appeal denied for medicaid?

  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Her application was denied. I know an appeal is next but what happens after that? I am POA, but am on disability and the lawyer has used up nearly all of the retainer, and there is no more money to pay anyone. ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS: It would be helpful if you stated the reason that the application was denied. The first step to challenging the denial is to request a

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Direct Knowledge of Severity of Senior’s Injuries Not Required to Support Conviction for Elder Abuse (Mass. App.)

91-year-old Olivia Cruz died of sepsis caused by wounds developed sitting stationary in her feces and urine while under the care of her son, Filip. When paramedics were called to her home after she suffered a stroke, they were overwhelmed with the odor of urine and rotting flesh. A jury ultimately convicted Filip of wantonly or recklessly permitting serious bodily injury to an elder under his care and with wantonly or recklessly committing abuse, neglect, or

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My sister has gotten my mother to give her fiduciary power, even though before her dementia her Will gave it to my cousin.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: How do I prove undo influence? I have an unsigned Will only. My sister refuses to speak, nor share documents or Drs. info. Not even between lawyers. I have proof my sister took $10,000 in 3 months; I doubt my mother needed anything. She put lots of money in her own name; and moved it back when I put pressure on. As my sister is Power of Attorney, how do I stop her from

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