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E-Newsletter of July 31, 2012 | Vol. 5, No. 31



Another election season is upon us, and perhaps I’m just showing my age, but the stakes seem higher and the dialogue more divisive than I can ever recall.  At the same time, I seem to find myself more frequently drawn into various types of litigation on behalf of clients.  Elder law, at least from my perspective, can no longer be categorized as purely transactional.  In this climate, it is all the more remarkable to find the level of generosity and civility displayed by our section colleagues and members of the Elder Law Governing Council.  I am honored to act as chair of the council for the coming year with people I hold in the highest respect. 

Thank you to the following who have volunteered their time as officers and committee chairs for 2012-13:

Vice Chair: David Rephan 
Secretary: Lori Skibbie
Treasurer: John Kantke
Awards Committee: Julian Zweber and Stuart Bear
Bylaws Committee: Dick Hawke and Tom O’Connell*
Communication Committee: Joel Button
Education Committee: Jill Adkins*
Law Student Committee: Laura Orr
Legislative Committee: Julian Zweber
Medical Assistance: Cathryn Reher
Newsletter Editor: Allison Burke
Nominations Committee: Dan Steinhagen
Pro Bono Committee:  Adam Rohne
Strategic Planning Committee: Jennifer Wright*
Vulnerable Adult Committee: Ken LaBore and Suzy Scheller
MSBA Assembly Representative: Andrea Wing
MSBA Assembly Representative Alternate: Mary Frances Price
MSBA Legislative Representative: Julian Zweber

* indicates committee chairs who are ex-officio members of the council

Submitted by Laura Zdychnec, Esq.


Do you have a great story, have you read a good book, have you dealt with a case that relates to elder law? The Communications Committee is always looking for informative items for the weekly newsletter.  Please email submissions to the newsletter editor, Allison Burke, at

Submitted by Joel Button, Esq. 
Communications Committee Chair



Per Health Quest from Minnesota DHS, Annuities can be allowed as a means to increase income for an institutionalized person.

An annuity was purchased for our client, a widowed female, in December 2011 with the first payment to commence in January 2012.  The annuity was a period certain annuity with DHS named as remainder beneficiary.  Application for Medical assistance for long-term care was submitted for March 2012.  The county raised the question as to imposition of a penalty against the annuity as an uncompensated transfer for asset reduction.
Health Quest determined that as long as the annuity was actuarially sound, there would be no penalty imposed on the purchase of the annuity.  Also clarified is that the annuity is income versus an asset.

This gives us a tool that can be used to reduce assets pre application and create income to help reduce the cost to the family.

Submitted by Traci Sherman


Elder Law News


Wisconsin and Minnesota are neighbors but miles apart on health care reform | The Northwestern

Minnesota man sentenced for stealing from dying father | Grand Forks Herald (Link Expired)

Choosing a nursing home requires forethought | Sentinel Source

Medicare Payouts Bumped for Nursing Homes | Wall Street Journal (Link Expired)
Poor Sleep Ups Odds for Nursing Home Care, Study Finds | US News

Being proud of being a senior | Greenwich Citizen

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

There are no new cases to report this week. 

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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

Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

The Affordable Care Act Decision: Implications for Health Law and Beyond
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Presentation in the new Anderson Center, Room 111 
6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Reception on the Anderson Center Rooftop Terrace
1.25 CLE credits applied for
Registration fee for CLE credit is $35. Free for Hamline Law Alumni and guests not earning CLE.

The Supreme Court's long-anticipated ruling on constitutional challenges to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a profound impact on all segments of the healthcare industry.  Providers, payors, employers, and governmental agencies must address the challenges of compliance with the numerous mandates in the Act.

Our expert panel represents three disciplinary perspectives -- constitutional law, tax law, and health law – provided by faculty experts at Hamline University School of Law.  Over 75 minutes, the panel will provide participants with an assessment of the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling for Minnesota practitioners and their clients.  Panelists include: Associate Professor Laura Hermer, Associate Professor Mogran Holcomb, Professor Jonathan Kahn

Submitted by Kari Winter


SAVE THE DATE!  The 22nd Annual Elder Law Institute will be held on October 11-12, 2012 at the Minnesota CLE Center in Minneapolis. 

SAVE THE DATE!   "Legal, Medical, and Ethical Issues in Minnesota End-of-Life Care," the Hamline University Health Law Institute's multidisciplinary CLE Symposium, will be held in Hamline's brand new Anderson Center on November 8-9, 2012. To learn more, click here.

Submitted by Thadeus M. Pope, Esq.


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. 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, August 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.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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