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E-Newsletter of February 7, 2012 | Vol. 4, No. 56


Item of Interest


Mark your calendars!  April 16 is NHDD

The Elder Law and Estate Planning Society and the Center for Elder Justice and Policy at William Mitchell will again host an all day public event on April 16 to facilicate end-of-life health care planning.  

From 9 am to 5 pm Monday, April 16, students and volunteer attorneys will provide free assistance to anyone who wants to complete an advance health care directive, which legally documents a person’s health care wishes so family and physicians will know exactly what medical procedures should or should not take place if the person is unable to communicate.

It takes less than an hour to complete the form, which may include preferences about special end-of-life treatments and pain management, directions about funeral arrangements and organ donation, and more.

The event is part of the fifth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, in which health care providers, attorneys, and others will participate in a national effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making. National Healthcare Decisions Day at William Mitchell is sponsored by the Elder Law and Estate Planning Society and the Center for Elder Justice and Policy at William Mitchell College of Law. More information about NHDD events will be posted in upcoming E-Newsletters.

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, Esq.


Link of the Week


Aging Groups Tell Supreme Court that Health Reform Provisions for Seniors Should Stay

Six national aging groups filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court last Friday saying that there are extensive provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are of "vital importance to the health and well-being of people 65 and older" and that Congress did not intend for any of them to be contingent on whether or not the minimum coverage provision (also called the individual mandate) was constitutional.

"The health and quality of life of many older Americans are already improving because of the health reform law," says National Senior Citizens Law Center Executive Director Paul Nathanson. "We don't believe Congress intended to let the elderly poor languish in nursing homes or be subject to abuse if the individual mandate was found unworkable." 

The amicus brief was filed in the National Federation of Independent Business et al v Kathleen Sebelius et aland the State of Florida et al v Department of Health and Human Services et al cases which challenge the constitutionality of the health reform law. In those cases, the petitioners contend that all of the ACA should fall if the minimum coverage provision is invalidated by the Court.

To read the amicus brief, click here.

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Chair of the Elder Law Section


Elder Law Answers  

This commercial web site has been featured in the past for its “ElderLaw Radio” podcasts. The site also features state-specific benefits information, calculators, checklists, and links to other resources. It may be helpful when seeking preliminary information regarding regulations in other states. To visit the website, click here.

Submitted by Analee Heath Leach


Elder Law News


Legislators table neglect bill -- Care providers for elderly testify that penalties might have unintended results | Star Tribune

Volunteer Connection: Foster Grandparents | KIMT

What's your long-term care plan? | Echo Press

Volunteers helping ease tax burden --Free tax help is available in St. Cloud for senior citizens, people with disabilities | 

Only Old on the Outside | US News

Home improvements could make it easier on seniors | ABC 7

Private GPS Use Benefits Alzheimer’s Patients – And Jealous Spouses Too | The Wall Street Journal

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

There are no new cases to report this week.


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

Federal Update

On February 1, Senator Al Franken joined his colleagues in introducing the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act. 

Nationally, an estimated 11 percent of people 60 and older experience some form of abuse or exploitation. This bill seeks to strengthen federal standards and state prevention, assessment, and response activities to elder abuse. It will likely be included in the Democratic proposal for Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorization. The Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act:

·      Strengthens the definitions for elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 
·      Authorizes the National Adult Protective Services Resource Center to improve the capacity of state and local adult protective services programs to respond effectively to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.
·      Requires the Adult Protective Services Resources Center to study and disseminate best practices on elder abuse screening methods to states.
·      Allows Adult Protective Services, programs that serve as resources for victims of abuse, to be eligible for OAA grant funds.
·      Requires states to incorporate elder abuse prevention training, screening, and reporting activities into all senior services that receive federal funds under OAA.
·      Requires states that receive OAA funds incorporate comprehensive planning for elder justice services (i.e. access to legal services).
Submitted by Kim Dayton, Esq.


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs


UPDATE!  The conference call currently scheduled for today at Noon has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at Noon.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  Call in to 1-877-754-3254 and enter a guest code of 0525.  Discussion topics include Transfer Penalty, SNF Level of Care, Reform Waiver, and Spousal Income Changes.   

"Who are You Going to Call? Preventing Financial Exploitation of Elders and What to Do When It Happens"

Date:   Thursday, February 23, 2012
Time:   7:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Click here to view a program schedule.
Location:   Radisson Hotel Roseville
2540 Cleveland Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113 [Directions/Map]

Please join us for breakfast at 7:45 a.m., followed by the seminar from 8:20 a.m. - noon.

Submitted by Sally Mortensen, Esq.



What: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Where: William Mitchell College of Law
Auditorium and Classrooms for Breakout Sessions
875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Cost: FREE!

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2011. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

GOVERNING COUNCIL:  The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, February 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm at the offices of the Volunteers of America (VOA) at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.For further information, please contact Suzy Scheller, Chair,  at:


Elder Law Website


DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.


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