Many people think elder law is a stand-alone set of laws that pertain only to probate. Not true. Elder financial abuse cases often cross over into other areas of the law in interesting ways. Below are some examples of matters successfully handled by Elder Law Center attorneys.
As of January 1, 2013, new senior protection statutes came into effect. These statutes outlaw certain practices of insurance agents who have been plying the senior annuity market. The new laws make it illegal for an insurance agent to use the delivery of legal documents as a means for gaining entrance into a senior’s home.
Financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult is proscribed by the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, codified in Chapter 11 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code (“the Act”). Passed in 1982, the focus of this Act, sometimes referred to as EADACPA, is “to protect a particularly vulnerable portion of the population from gross mistreatment in the form of abuse and custodial neglect.” Historically, elder or dependent adult abuse was rarely litigated “due to problems of proof, court delays, and the lack of incentives to prosecute these suits.”
The scenario is all too familiar – mom has been living alone, has dementia and is no longer able to live by herself or care for herself. Her physician has indicated that it is time to consider a facility to provide for her ongoing needs because providing in-home care is not feasible due to cost or the level of care needed. The doctor has recommended skilled nursing care for her. So, now that a skilled nursing home appears necessary, how is mom going to pay for this care?
The Great Real Estate Meltdown of 2008 generated numerous attempts to address the massive uptick in real estate foreclosures. The all-too-common scenario that needs to be addressed is when a borrower is told by a nameless mortgage servicer’s phone representative that they can qualify for a loan modification if they just stop making payments on the loan.
As most of you know, Contra Costa County has scheduled Elder Court calendars nearly every Tuesday morning since 2008 to handle financial, physical, or emotional abuse cases affecting Contra Costa adults age 65 and older.
Year after year, the news out of Sacramento is depressingly the same: reduced funding for the courts. The exact figures are not before me, but literally millions of dollars have been cut from the budget of our county over the last several years. Clerks have been let go. Hours of service have been reduced. And most recently the positions of five court commissioners have been left vacant, including those sitting in the discovery and family law departments.
Planning an elder law issue for the general consumption of lawyers is a challenge. Elder law defies definition. It is contracts, taxes, benefits planning, probate, conservatorships and trusts. It is class actions. It is personal injury, family law and criminal law. It is real estate. Not only is elder law as a practice area ridiculously broad, the elder law landscape is in constant motion.
After my mother was hospitalized for a broken hip, I had 24 hours to place her in a skilled nursing facility. One would think that with a growing population of seniors, there would be a wealth of information, but I learned that some of the key information could only come from others with personal experience.
Who shops for the shoes? I never considered the question until becoming a professional fiduciary. Attorneys often recommend professional, neutral fiduciaries to help and protect elderly clients when family conflict threatens or there is no immediate family living in the area. To get a glimpse into a fiduciary’s day, take a moment to put yourself into these “shoes.”
How would you like to have the amenities of a residential retirement community while staying in your own home and aging in place safely, securely and with the confidence of having a high quality of life? The objective of a village is to help its members delay, or if desired, avoid relocation to a retirement community without compromising that quality of life.
There are two recently decided cases that affect Contra Costa practitioners no matter what area of law they practice in, addressing the question of whether a party waives the attorney–client privilege forever by voluntarily disclosing privileged documents to the federal government.
On January 25, the 2013 Board of Directors and Section Leaders of the Contra Costa County Bar Association were officially installed during a luncheon honoring Richard Frankel for nearly two decades of extraordinary volunteer service to the CCCBA. After the presentations, Board President Jay Chafetz sat down with the Honorable Goodwin Liu for a mesmerizing Q&A chat.
The Membership Renewal Drive is ending on March 1, 2013. Don’t miss out on being included in the 2013-2014 membership directory.
Here’s a few benefits of the directory:
- Membership-wide distribution increases visibility
- Utilized as …
Congratulations to Steven L. Sumnick, 2013 winner of the CCCBA Online Renewal Drawing. Mr. Sumnick has won a “day pass” worth $175.00 for the use of the CCCBA conference room with our new concierge service.
As a full-time mediator, I have had the privilege of mediating several cases addressing elder issues. One involved a ninety year old widower who contested his daughter’s belief that he could no longer effectively manage his considerable portfolio of properties and would deplete her anticipated inheritance.