E-Newsletter of December 3, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 49
PRO BONO SPOTLIGHT
In the October 2013 issue of Bench & Bar, MSBA President Phil Duran wrote about “expanding access to justice for people across Minnesota.” Duran notes the myriad of tools available to MSBA members “that make it easier to serve clients in need,” such as Practicelaw forms, MNDocs, list-servs, and Fastcase. But perhaps the most impressive pro bono tool is ProjusticeMN.org—an “online portal for pro bono resources, including practice and forms libraries on poverty law-related topics, updated and catalogued listings of training opportunities, and a searchable database of volunteer attorney programs as well as listings on available pro bono opportunities.” At ProjusticeMN.org, solo and small firm elder law attorneys will find the resources and support necessary to help pro bono clients.
Log on to ProjusticeMN.org today to review the following new case available for placement:
Keep track of your pro bono hours throughout the year to report with the MSBA’s North Star Lawyer Program. You may also claim 1 hour of CLE credit for every 6 hours of pro bono legal representation provided in a case that has been referred to you by an approved legal services provider or by a MN Judicial Branch program. Visit the Minnesota Board of CLE for more information.
Submitted by Adam Rohne
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
Special Needs Trusts and Children: First party special needs trusts are required to limit distributions for the sole benefit of the disabled beneficiary. The question arises whether the trust assets can be used to also benefit the minor dependent children of the beneficiary. For example, what if the beneficiary’s rent covers her and her two children? Can the trust pay that rent? The answer is probably “no”. The better solution is for the beneficiary to use her own income, such as Social Security Disability, to pay the rent, and then use trust assets for other expenses, such as cell phone charges and car insurance (but be careful when using SSI income to pay the rent because of the one-third reduction rule). If that does not work, it may be possible to obtain a court order of child support, and then argue to the government agencies that the trust should be allowed to pay the court-ordered support obligation because it is for the sole benefit of the beneficiary by paying her debts or obligations. This argument may fail with the government agencies, so tread cautiously.
Submitted by David Rephan
UCare to offer informational meetings in Owatonna | Owatonna People's Press
Minnesota's home care for elderly gets $58 million federal boost | Star Tribune
Submitted by Joel Smith
There are no new cases to report this week.
There are no statutes, regulations, or bulletins to report.
There are no upcoming events or CLE programs to report.
VULNERABLE ADULT SUBCOMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT: There are planned Vulnerable Adult Subcommittee meetings on the following dates from 12:00 to 1:30 to be held in my office in Edina (5001 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410). The dates are January 16, 2014, and April 17, 2014. Please call Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048 or email him at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.
NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE: Meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month starting November 14, 2013 at noon. The new lawyers committee has set meeting topics for the coming year. The meetings are formatted so that a seasoned elder law attorney will speak for the first half hour, and the second half hour would be questions and answers.
The meeting topics have been set in the following order:
1. Building a Practice including marketing, networking, forms and software, office relationships. Meeting date 1/9/14
2. General Practice Tips including the initial client interview. Meeting date 3/13/14
3. Billing including software, forms, retainer agreement fee, how to collect payment. Meeting date 5/8/14
4. Probate including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 7/10/14
5. Guardianship/Conservatorship including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 9/11/14
6. Veteran's Affairs benefits. Meeting date 11/13/14
Meetings will be held at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Please contact Pook Grathwol at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 336-2919 or Jeanine Johnson at email@example.com (612) 630-3254.
MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 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, Pook Grathwol of CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE P.A., is Committee Chair. For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Bill Lent with CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE, P.A., at 612-336-2948 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Topics for the meeting may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 612-336-2940. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law 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 that faces directly into the meeting room.
GOVERNING COUNCIL: The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, December 20 at 3:30 pm. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law 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 that faces directly into the meeting room. For further information, please contact David Rephan, Chair, at: email@example.com.
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.
Go to the Section Website