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E-Newsletter of February 26, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 8




Pro Bono Opportunities
Below is a sampling of pro bono opportunities that are available for placement through Membership is required to view the links below: Join here.  

·      Consumer Law – “letters to creditors” (VAP/Bovey, MN): Involves writing stop-contact letters to the creditors of a potential collection-proof client. This is a very easy way to provide a valuable service to someone in need and is an ideal case for an attorney who is interested in expanding his/her practice into an area of law that many elderly individuals are affected by in Minnesota.
·      Mortgage modification for an elderly client in danger of losing her home (Estate & Elder Law Services/Chaska).
·      Adult Guardianship (VAP/Duluth): Client is seeking help in petitioning to establish a guardianship over her 20 year old autistic child.
·      Probate (VAP/Duluth): Advice for a client whose mother passed away in December 2012, leaving 3 heirs. Decedent had real property and other assets.
·      Probate and Family Exploitation (MMLA/Brooklyn Center): Client has concerns regarding the informal administration of her mother’s estate.
·      Grandparent Visitation (MMLA/Minneapolis): Maternal grandparent is seeking help obtaining visitation rights of granddaughter. Mother died in an auto accident; father is in prison. Custody has been awarded to a paternal relative who is not allowing grandparent’s contact. 
If you are interested in any of the cases listed above, visit its corresponding link to learn more about the case and request the case for review. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for automatic case alerts!

The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans is also seeking volunteer attorneys for its upcoming Drop-In Legal Clinic for Veterans held Tuesday, March 12, 2013 from 9am-2pm at the VA Medical Center Flag Atrium Balcony (Room 2S 114). Attorneys will provide brief legal advice to veterans in several areas, including child support and family law, employment, benefits, expungement, and debt collection. For more information contact Sara Sommarstrom at (651) 224-0292 or

Submitted by Adam Rohne, Esq.
Pro Bono Committee Chair


Attorneys filing their first guardianship or conservatorship may find the forms and paperwork required confusing.  For most initial conservatorship petitions, the documents which must be filed with the court include the following:

1.         Petition for Guardianship or Conservatorship;
2.         Proposed Order for Hearing regarding Petition;
3.         Oath and Acceptance signed by the proposed guardian/conservator;
4.         Consent to a Criminal Background Check;
5.         Physician’s Statement in Support of Conservatorship and Guardianship (the physician’s statement is not required unless it is being used to excuse the attendance of the proposed ward/protected person);

Some counties also require filing the proposed Order Appointing at the time of the initial petition.  Several counties in the metro area require the filing of a statement signed by the proposed guardian/conservator verifying that they have watched the online video explaining the conservatorship and guardianship process in Minnesota. If the petition for a conservatorship, you should also have your client check with a bonding agency to make sure that they will qualify for any required conservatorship bond.

When you are submitting a petition to sell real estate from a conservatorship, the filing typically includes the following documents:

1.         Petition to Sell Real Estate;
2.         Assessor’s Market Valuation;
3.         Two Appraisals of the subject real estate completed by certified appraisers;
4.         Proposed Order Directing Sale and Order Appointing Appraisers;
5.         Physician’s Statement indicating that the protected person is unable to return to independent living (this form is appropriate if you are selling the protected person’s homestead);
6.         Affidavit in Support of Petition to Sell Real Estate (this affidavit helps you organize your client’s testimony regarding a financial basis supporting the appropriateness of selling the real estate, the unlikelihood of the protected person returning to the dwelling, and helping the court in establishing any additional bond at the hearing on the Petition to Sell Real Estate).

Submitted by Dan Steinhagen, Esq.


Link of the Week


Dayton signs Medicaid expansion bill | Star Tribune

Submitted by Ann Hagerty, Esq.



Elder Law News


Northfield's Sen. Dahle: Minnesota must make commitment to seniors and their care providers | Northfield News

Federal law creates delicate balancing act in senior health care | Pioneer Press

Flu shot doing a poor job of protecting elderly | Pioneer Press

In Fridley sex-assault case of elderly man, conviction affirmed | Pioneer Press

Lending Money to Family, Friends | AARP

As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Are Turning to Suicide | NY Times

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

Published opinion released by the MN Court of Appeals on February 11, 2013:

In re:  Estate of James R. Franta, Decedent.


Appellant Roberta Peery challenges the district court's determination that she was unsuitable to serve as the personal representative of decedent James R. Franta's estate.  We affirm.

The opinion is available here.

This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2010).

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, Esq.

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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

Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

"Getting to Know Elder Law"
Are you new to the practice of law? Are you interested in Elder Law? Do you want to learn more? Join the Student Committee of the MSBA's Elder Law Section for light appetizers and drinks while you network with local elder law attorneys followed by a panel discussion.

Topics for the panel discussion include:
- Guardianship and Conservatorship;
- Medical Assistance Basics;
- Care Placement; and
- Marketing, Knowing Your Limits and Other Newbie Frustrations.

Date:   Thursday, March 28, 2013
Time:    5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location:   Ramada Inn Bloomington (formerly "The Thunderbird")
2300 E. American Blvd.
Bloomington, MN

For more information and to register, click here.

Submitted by Jill Sauber


This summer, Hamline Law is offering Elder Law both for law school credit and for CLE.  It will be taught by former Elder Section chair Suzy Scheller, and runs from June 14-17. To view the schedule and course description, click here.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. 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.

 The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm. 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. For further information, please contact Laura Zdychnec, 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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