John Oliver on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Sunday night provided a scary and funny explanation of how guardianship works, ending with a public service announcement by William Shatner, Lily Tomlin and others explaining steps you can take to avoid the guardianship.
At a recent conference of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, I spent some time catching up with my old friend and colleague, Paul Sturgul. Paul practices in a very different part of the country from me, in Hurley, Wisconsin, as opposed to Boston's Back Bay. Hurley, which has just over 1,500 residents, is about 100 miles east of Duluth, Minnesota, near the southern shores of Lake Superior. (If you think we've been having a long winter, the average high temperature in Hurley in March is 25 degrees and the average low is 15.)
While Paul has to drive a lot further to see his clients (he has a second office in Ashland, 38 miles from Hurley), what we do for our clients is surprisingly similar. Here's how Paul describes the essence of elder law:Read More
Thirty-one years ago my law firm, Palmer & Dodge, sent me over to Greater Boston Elderly Legal Services for a four-month stint representing seniors being pushed out of their homes during one of the earliest phases of gentrification. This served several purposes. The firm was able to provide a pro bono service. GBELS benefited from an extra staff attorney -- always inexperienced. And we, the young associates, could practice representing clients and appearing in court, without risking our inexperience on the firm's paying clients.Read More
Topics: elder law
In Mary Ellen Gioia v. Richard D. and Ann L. Ratner, the Essex County superior court in Massachusetts refuses to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a registered nurse who claims she was injured by a patient in her care. She brought the suit against the patient, Richard Ratner, and his wife and health care agent, Ann Ratner. Judge Diane M. Kottmyer rules that the suit against Mr. Ratner can move forward but dismisses the claim against his wife.Read More
By Harry S. Margolis
We reported in a recent blog post (To Live Really Long, Be Female and Japanese) on the 50 oldest humans worldwide. Eleventh on that list was Goldie Michelson of Worcester. She passed away last Friday at age 113. She would have turned 114 on August 8th. She graduated from college in 1924 and received a masters degree in sociology from Clark University in Worcester in 1936.Read More
Topics: elder law
Seniors often become susceptible to financial abuse as the result of increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments. They also often have a nest egg that they've accumulated over decades which can make them a target for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage.Read More
What are the chances that you will need long-term care, and what will it cost? These are huge questions in terms of retirement planning. Many older Americans can afford to live on their retirement income and savings as long as they don't have long-term care needs, but risk bankruptcy in the event they do need such care.
A recent Urban Institute study (with the wonky title "Microsimulation Analysis of Financing Options for Long-Term Services and Support") suggests some answers.Read More
Emily Starr, one of the pioneers of elder law in Massachusetts, and I have been asked to appear on a panel at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) this Thursday evening to discuss the history and prognosticate about the future of elder law in Massachusetts. Here are the major changes that I see:Read More