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E-Newsletter of March 6, 2012 | Vol. 4, No. 60


Article of the Week


IRS Extends Deadline for Estates to File Estate Tax Return to Make Portability Election Benefiting Surviving Spouses

IR-2012-24, Feb. 17, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance that allows certain estates of married individuals who died during the first six months of 2011 an extension of the deadline to make the portability election.

The portability election passes along a decedent’s unused estate and gift tax exclusion amount to a surviving spouse. An extension is available to estates of married individuals with assets of $5 million or less, but only if the decedent died in the first six months of 2011, and the executor files Form 4768 requesting an extension no later than 15 months after the decedent's date of death.

The extra time is available to an estate even if the estate did not request an automatic six-month filing extension on Form 4768 prior to the regular nine-month filing deadline. As a result, these estates will now have until 15 months after the date of death, rather than the usual nine months, to make the election by filing an estate tax return on Form 706. Thus, the first estate tax returns for estates eligible to make the portability election (because the date of death is after Dec. 31, 2010) are now due on Monday, April 2, 2012.

Affected estates should submit both a properly-prepared Form 4768 and Form 706 to the IRS no later than 15 months after the decedent’s date of death. Further details are in Notice 2012-21, posted today on

Submitted by Paulette Joyer, Esq.



Link of the Week


How Old Is Old?

These two brief articles discuss how aging is perceived and understood by the aging. As (the notoriously age-label conscious) baby boomers require elder law services, understanding how aging is internalized may improve client counseling.

Psychology Today- How Old is Old?
NY Times Blog- How Old is Old?

Submitted by Analee Heath Leach

As attorneys, we are not immune from our client's final days.  We may be called on to do death-bed planning.  The article's discussion is as relevent for attorney as it is for the medical students featured in the story. Read the Bostonia article on Boston University Medical School’s end of life training for medical students here.

Submitted by Richard Hawke, Esq.

Elder Law News


Losses mount from scams targeting older Americans | The Associated Press

Your Legal Rights: Beware of new Medicare, Social Security scams targeting seniors | The Osakis Review

Court: Aunts have no visitation rights with nieces | MPR News

Free tax prep available for qualifying individuals | Crookston Times

Senior citizen flash mob to raise awareness about heart disease | ABC News

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

There are no new cases to report this week.

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, Esq.


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

There are no statutes, regulations or bulletins to report this week. 

Submitted by Peter M. Hendricks, Esq.


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

"Get to Know Elder Law"
Minnesota’s population is aging. And so is Minnesota’s Elder Law Bar. The average age of members of the MSBA Elder Law Section is 53. Only 14% of current members are under 40. If you’re interested in exploring a growing area of practice that is personally rewarding and professionally challenging, consider attending this networking reception and helpful seminar.

A panel of experienced practitioners will discuss the following topics:
•  Who’s your client: identifying and counseling your client when family members are involved;
•  Client interactions: working with individuals who may have diminished capacity;
•  Medical Assistance: spotting when knowledge of M.A. matters and finding related resources; and 
•  Elder law routes and remedies: identifying common elder law problems and the variety of routes to resolution.

Preceding and following the seminar, please join members of the MSBA Elder Law Section for networking, appetizers, and beverages. This program is geared toward law students and lawyers with six years or less in practice.


Stuart Bear, Chestnut Cambronne PA
Laurie Hanson, Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A.
David Rephan, Chestnut Cambronne PA
Jennifer Wright, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law
1 hour of Standard CLE credit applied for
Event Code: 165178

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Light hors d'oeuvres and networking | 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. 
Seminar | 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Substantial hors d'oeuvres, questions and networking | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Radisson Hotel Roseville
2540 Cleveland Avenue North 
Roseville, MN 55113 

Teleconferencing is not available for this program.

New Lawyers Section Members: Free
Lawyers with 6 years or less in practice:  Free
Law Students:  Free
Elder Law Section Members with more than 6 years in practice:  Free
Other Registrants:  $25.00

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair


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.

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, 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


The Hamline University School of Law Health Law Institute will be offering ELDER LAW in a compact format from June 16 to 21.  The course qualifies for 2 law school credits or 24 CLE credits.  To learn more, click here. 
The Health Law Institute is also offering four other courses in the same format in the same time-frame:
Health Reform: A New Age of Regulatory Enforcement (1cr)
Health Reform: Insurance Plans, Exchanges, and Mandates (1cr)
(Un)Healthy Choices: Tobacco, Obesity, and Beyond (2cr)
Health Care Compliance Summer Institute (3cr)

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
Director, Health Law Institute
Associate Professor of Law
Hamline University School of Law

Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 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, April 20, 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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