Attorney/Lawyer/Law

Conservatorship

Conservatorship

July 2017
 

By Carl A. Glad, Partner, Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

A conservatorship is a legal concept that allows an individual to manage the affairs of someone that is incapable to doing the same for themselves.

The conservator is the Court appointed individual that manages those affairs. In Connecticut, a Probate Court is the only Court that can appoint a conservator. This occurs after a hearing. At the hearing, the Court will hear evidence, including an examination of a physician’s medical evaluation, that demonstrates the potential conserved individual is incapable of managing their affairs. The Court will also look to see that there are no other less restrictive means such as a Power-of-Attorney or Health Care Representative that would accomplish the same goal. Once the determination is made that a conservator should be appointed, the Court will determine the person that should act as conservator. Often a conservator is a family member that has volunteered to undertake this responsibility. However, the Court may also appoint an independent party such as an attorney to act in this role. The Court will look to see that the proposed conservator is familiar with finances and the responsibilities of a conservator.

Additionally, an individual can voluntarily apply for a conservatorship. When this occurs, the Court will appoint a conservator. However, the Court must ensure that the individual is aware of what it means to be conserved. A voluntarily conserved person can also terminate the conservatorship at any time.

A conservator can be responsible for either an individual’s finances or their person and medical needs. A conservator may also be responsible for both aspects of the individual’s life. There may also be two separate individuals to handle each of these aspects. The Court requires financial accountings and reports about the personal needs of a conserved person. This oversight helps to ensure that a conserved person is not exploited.

Applying for a conservatorship should be a last resort. It is an extraordinary measure that significantly alters the conserved individual’s relationship to the community. An attorney experienced in the Probate Court can assist with this difficult and important process.

Visit our blog to read more http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

 

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

Advance Directives

Advance Directives

July 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Esq., Partner, Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

An unforeseen event, such as a stroke, can make it impossible for you to make medical decisions or communicate your desires regarding your treatment.  Your family, loved-ones, or even complete strangers or Court appointed representatives will have to make decisions about your medical treatment and whether to sustain your life.  Without guidance, such a decision can be unbearably difficult for them to make.  You can take that burden away by making that decision in advance.

Of all your Estate Planning tools, the Advance Directive is the most helpful for your loved-ones.  Certainty a Power-of-Attorney is necessary to ensure your financial needs can be meet in the event of incapacity.  Everyone should have a Last Will and Testament.  But, the potential for a catastrophic medical event requires that your put into place your Advance Directives.

Commonly known as a Living Will, your Advance Directives outline instructions for certain medical treatments.  Most frequently these legal documents will direct whether you want artificial life sustaining measures.  These measures include but are not limited to nutrition and hydration, respiration, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

These documents will ensure that your desires for treatment or met, but more importantly this will be a great relief of your loved-ones.  You will be making the end of life decision on your own.  You will not burden your family with that decision and the lasting guilt that they may have to suffer.  Making this decision will also prevent a potential conflict over your actual desires.

Protecting your family is easily accomplished by meeting with an attorney to discuss your Advance Directives.

Visit our blog for more information http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

A Fair Hearing

A Fair Hearing

May 2017

By Carl A. Glad, Esq, Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg LLC

To say the Medicaid application process can be frustrating would be a great understatement.  Receiving a letter with the statement “NOTICE OF DENIAL” can be defeating.

This letter informs applicants that they are not eligible in whole or in part for long-term care.  There are many reasons for a denial, but most relate to the amount of assets of either the applicant or their spouse.  The immediate concern is certainly: “I know I should qualify, what do I do and how can I fix this.”

Under the law, you are entitled to a hearing to contest the denial.  The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) will hold this hearing upon the applicants request to review the decision.  This hearing is called a “Fair Hearing.”  Once you request a hearing, DSS will send a letter with the date of your hearing and will also send a document outlining the reason for the DSS denial along with supporting evidence.

At the actual hearing, the applicant should present their position and the reason they should have been approved along with supporting evidence.  The DSS caseworker that issued the decision will also present the reason for the DSS denial.  A hearing officer presides over the hearing and will issue a decision.  Most often the hearing is held through video-conference with the hearing officer sitting at another location.  The decision will not be made at the hearing.  A final written decision will be mailed to the applicant.

It is important to be prepared for these hearings.  You must come with all the relevant evidence to support your argument.  The hearing officer will examine your evidence and your statements to determine if an error or oversight was made that resulted in the denial.  Legal representation is not required, however, attorneys that work in this field, have experience in these proceedings and understand the Uniform Policy Manual and relevant State and Federal laws.

There is also an opportunity to resolve your matter before the hearing.  You can provide the DSS caseworker with new evidence prior to your hearing.  The caseworker will evaluate this evidence.  If the caseworker or their supervisor agrees with your position, they will retract the denial and recalculate your benefits.

Of course the best way to avoid all of this is to hire an experienced attorney at the beginning of the application process.

Visit our blog at http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

Successfully Planning for Aging Transitions by CLO Aging Life Care & Winston Law Group on Thursday May 4, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Located at Century Bank 400 Mystic Avenue Medford, MA 02155

 

DESCRIPTION

This CEU presentation is designed for medical professionals, clinicians, and professionals who serve older adults and persons with disabilities. Elder law attorneys from Winston Law Group and Aging Life Care Specialists from Community Living Options will discuss various life transitions and challenges experienced by older adults throughout the lifespan, including: declines in health, unexpected hospitalizations, transitioning from a family member to a caregiver, the legal documents used to protect older adults, the process of becoming a health care proxy/guardian/conservator, and eligibility for public benefits. Learn best practices and resources to help older adults and their families transition through life successfully. 

Attendees will:

  • Learn strategies to help clients discuss care options and overcome resistance to care 
  • Understand the differences among supportive housing options for older adults
  • Understand how advanced planning documents can be used to protect an older adult's assets and health care wishes
  • Learn about eligibility requirements for public benefits and government assistance when it comes to in-home care, veterans benefits, Masshealth, and more

Lunch will be provided. 

Sponsored by Century Bank

Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/successfully-planning-for-aging-transitions...

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Medford
States: 
Massachusetts
Zip code: 
02155
County: 
Boston
start time: 
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 10:00am

The Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan

By Carl A. Glad, Esq

Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg

Developing an estate plan can be a challenge.  Ensuring your loved ones know your wishes can be overwhelming.  There are many times when clients will ask if their Will or Living Will should include information about the nursing home they would prefer or their desired funeral arrangements.  This type of information is better conveyed to your loved ones in person or in a separate document so that they fully understand your end of life desires.

The legal documents of your estate planning are incredibly important.  They will help your family effectively deal with the legal issues that may arise.  However, there are many items that will not be included in your legal documents.  There are many aspects to consider when faced with planning for your final days.  You may or may not want to be involved in medical decisions.  You may or may not want to have treatment of certain symptoms.  You may want to meet with all of your family members or only a select few.  You may want to meet with a religious figure.  You may want specific flowers, music, or readings at your funeral.  These are the types of decisions that are not encompassed in your legal documents.  But, if these items are important to you, you should communicate your desires to your loved ones.

In our practice, we encourage clients to write down their wishes in a separate document or letter.  If you are considering this type of end of life planning but struggling to start there are a number of online resources available.  One such source is the Conversation Project.  The Conversation Project is a non-profit organization that provides materials to help you begin thinking about, planning, and ultimately communicating your desires.  Their website provides free guides to get you started in the right direction to ensure your wishes and desires are fulfilled.  You can download these documents from their website at http://theconversationproject.org/

Visit our blog at http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

Are there advantages to a Power of Attorney over Guardianship?

seniorhelpdesk.com video blog credited to: 

Kathleen Flammia

Kathleen Flammia Board Certified Elder Law  

2707 W. Fairbanks Ave.
Suite 110 Winter ParkFL32789

(407) 478-8700

At the Law Office of Kathleen Flammia, we protect your future, your way. Kathleen Flammia is a board certified Elder Law lawyer, specializing in the areas of Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning, Probate, Estate Planning, Guardianships and other related services directed at protecting you and the distribution of your assets. Our Winter Park, Florida based legal counsel specializes in the needs of seniors and disabled individuals and their families, especially in the difficult area of Medicaid issues. We help clients navigate the complicated legal system that is characteristic of addressing these needs.

For more information visit our web page at:  http://www.flammialaw.com

Are there advantages to a Power of Attorney over Guardianship? To find out the answer watch the video below or sign up for one of my FREE Senior Survival Workshops. The next workshop will be held on March 23, 2017 at One Senior Place. Call 407-478-8700 to reserve your seat today!

Categories: 
City: 
Orlando
States: 
Florida
County: 
Orlando

Beware of the MOON

Beware the MOON

By Carl A. Glad, Esq.

Partner Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg

Next month Medicare beneficiaries will become aware of the MOON.  Starting in March all hospitals will be required to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their patient status and the consequences of that status.  This process is known as the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice or MOON.  The MOON will be provided to Medicare beneficiaries that have received 24 hours of care in a hospital in either an outpatient or observation status.

Currently, a hospital may classify a Medicare beneficiary’s status as either inpatient, outpatient, or observation.  This status can have a serious financial impact on the beneficiary.  Due to cost cutting and audits, hospitals are more frequently classifying patients in an outpatient or observation status.  In fact, from 2006 to 2014 the number of treatment days classified as outpatient or observation more than doubled.  More simply, Medicare beneficiaries are arriving at hospitals, including the emergency room, and receive treatment without being fully admitted as an inpatient.  Outpatient care is paid through Medicare Part B.  Medicare Part B generally covers only 80 percent of the costs of treatment.  Additionally, some medications including those that are self-administered are not covered while in an outpatient or observation status.  Most concerning, when a Medicare beneficiary is in an outpatient status they will not qualify to receive Medicare coverage for 100 days at a skilled nursing facility after discharge from the hospital regardless of whether they need to be admitted to a nursing facility. 

The updated MOON will require both a written and verbal explanation to the Medicare beneficiary of their status and the financial impact of that status.  This is a step in the right direction but, unfortunately, many individuals are too overwhelmed by their medical needs to fully understand the long-term impact of this notice.  That is why it is crucial to have a Health Care Representative that actively follows your treatment and communicates with your doctors.  It is also important to notify friends, family and your primary care physician that you have been hospitalized.

Visit our blog at http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

Guertin and Guertin, LLC's Free Trust Workshop, "Coffee, Donuts & Trusts" on Saturday February 25, 2017 at 10 a.m. Located in the historic Center Fire House building at 26 Broadway in North Haven, CT

 

A free Estate Planning workshop that will satisfy
your thirst for knowledge and coffee!

North Haven, Connecticut - Attorneys George and Marc Guertin of Guertin and Guertin, LLC invite the public to join them for the popular workshop, "Coffee, Donuts & Trusts" on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 10 a.m.coffee and donuts

Enjoy coffee and donuts while Attorneys George and Marc Guertin present an enlightening and often entertaining look at some commonly used Trusts including Revocable, Irrevocable, Asset Protection, and Special Needs Trusts.

This informative session is being held at Guertin and Guertin, LLC's offices at the historic Center Fire House building at 26 Broadway in North Haven. Advance registration is required and seats fill up quickly. The public should call 203-234-7400 or email info@guertinlaw.net to reserve a seat.

About Guertin and Guertin, LLC

Guertin and Guertin, LLC is veteran-owned and is dedicated to Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate and Trust Administration. The practice can be found on the web at www.GuertinandGuertin.com and by phone at 203-234-7400. Guertin and Guertin, LLC's offices are located in the historic Center Fire House building at 26 Broadway in North Haven

.For more information please visit our web page at: http://www.guertinandguertin.com 

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
North Haven
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
07424
County: 
New Haven
start time: 
Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 10:00am

Fighting Financial Abuse

Fighting Financial Abuse

By Carl A. Glad, Esq.

Partner, Law Offices of Kurt M. Ahlberg

Financial exploitation is a serious threat to all seniors.  A 2010 survey found that one out of every five seniors had been the victim of financial exploitation.  The Department of Justice categorizes financial exploitation into two categories; those acts committed by Strangers and those acts committed by Relatives and Caregivers.  The type of exploitation committed by Strangers often falls under the guise of a scam either through the phone, internet, or a door to door salesmen.  Exploitation committed by Relatives and Caregivers involves manipulation or theft.  This kind of exploitation is harder to identify and therefore harder to prevent.  As the percentage of those over age 65 increases this problem will only continue to grow.

The State of Connecticut has been proactive in trying to prevent and respond to financial elder abuse.  The Department of Social Services administers the Protective Services for the Elderly Program.  The Program is meant as a safeguard for seniors that are being abused.  Protective Services will investigate claims of abuse and in extreme circumstances will ask a Probate Court to intervene.  Connecticut also recently increased the number of individuals known as Mandatory Reporters.  These Mandatory Reporters are required to report potential abuse to Protective Services.  This list places this requirement on many individuals including but not limited to doctors and medical providers, law and enforcement officers, and importantly individuals that work at municipal Senior Centers.  While the State does provide safeguards, it is important that you also protect yourself.

At a recent event held by the Town of Stratford Department of Senior Services, the importance of relying on yourself was a central focus.  A detective from the Stratford Police Department said that just like locking your house and car doors and wearing a seatbelt you should rely on your own common sense to prevent financial exploitation.  There are legal tools that an attorney can help put in place to protect yourself.  These tools include putting your affairs in order through a Last Will and Testament, a Power-of-Attorney, and a Conservator in Advance.  However, the most important defense is to avoid isolation.  If you are lonely you are vulnerable.  Maintain relationships with your children, siblings, trusted friends, your attorney, or your financial planner.  When you are considering making a gift, appointing a Power-of-Attorney, or changing your Will you should discuss this with those trusted individuals.  Keeping a support network will help to prevent someone from taking advantage of you without your knowledge.

Visit our blog at http://ahlberglawfirm.com/blog.shtml

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Stratford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06614
County: 
Fairfield

A Power of Attorney is an Important Part of Your Estate Plan

 

   A power of attorney is an important part of your estate plan. A power of attorney allows you /principal  to appoint a person/agent(s) to manage your financial affairs upon loss of capacity. With a durable power of attorney, your agent(s) can assist you during times of capacity and incapacity. Although some powers of attorneys are used for short-term purposes, such as allowing someone else to manage a real estate closing, most modern powers of attorney are “durable” powers of attorney and will remain in effect until revoked, or the death of principal. The Powers of attorney instrument is important because it provides a mechanism for managing your financial affairs, if you are unable to do so yourself. If you become incapacitated and lack a power of attorney, your family must apply to a probate court to have you conserved in order to manage your financial affairs.

   The Principal may terminate a Power of Attorney at any time that they are competent to manage their own legal affairs.  To terminate a Power of Attorney, the Principal should, notify in writing, any named Agent that they have terminated the Power of Attorney.  The Principal should also collect and destroy the original and any copies of the Power of Attorney, and notify any bank or any third party that the Power of Attorney has been revoked. A Power of Attorney also terminates upon the death of the Principal.  When the Principal dies, the Power of Attorney and any authority of the Agent is terminated. 

    It’s important to check with an attorney familiar with your state specific Power of Attorney rules and regulations. Rules for determining the  competency of the principal and the procedures to execute the Power of Attorney vary by state. Also, the execution of a Power of Attorney does involve some risk. It gives allows  your agent a great deal of authority over your finances, often without regular oversight. You should only appoint an agent in whom you have great confidence in, so he or she will always act in your benefit and according to your wishes.  

 Jay H. Jaser, Esq. is an Elder Law Attorney in Milford, CT who provides a range of legal services for the elderly and their families. He provides personalized counsel in the areas of Medicaid planning, application, submission, and long term care options. His goal is to assist families during the difficult times when long term care may be required. You can contact Attorney Jaser at (203)799-8888.

 

 

 

Categories: 
Attorney/Lawyer/Law
City: 
Milford
States: 
Connecticut
Zip code: 
06460
County: 
New Haven