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MSBA News

06-06-16

MSBA ELDER LAW SECTION E-NEWSLETTER

June 6, 2016

Vol. 9, No. 19

E-Newsletter Editorial Staff:

Communications Committee Chairs:  Allison Burke and Margaret M. Barrett Kyle

Editor in Chief:  Rachel Schromen

Web Editor: Position Open

Contributors:  Adam Rohne, Genevieve Gaboriault, Laura Orr, Barb Brekke

Elder Law Section Annual Meeting and Elections

A Note From the Editors

As the bar year comes to close, we would like to encourage all members to attend the Elder Law Section Annual Meeting and Elections, being held on at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, 2016 at the Estate and Elder Law Services at Volunteers of America (VOA) of MN.

Attendance of the annual meeting allows members to welcome new Council Members.  A slate of candidates approved by the Governing Council at the April 15, 2016 meeting, will be voted on.  Nominations from the floor will also be accepted.    

The meeting will take place in the building’s conference room.  There are parking spaces behind the building and ample street parking.  To enter the building, please enter through the back door at the back of the building, which faces directly into the meeting room. 

We look forward to seeing you at the Elder Law Section Annual Meeting and Elections!

Date: Friday, June 24, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location:
The Estate and Elder Law Services at Volunteers of America (VOA) of MN
1900 Central Avenue, NE, Suite 106
Minneapolis, MN  55418

To participate via teleconference:
Call 1-877-226-9607
Conference ID 815 797 6029#

EVENTS SCHEDULED IN THE NEXT MONTH –

NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE: Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 12-1 p.m. at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401.   Minutes of past meetings are available. The meetings are formatted so that a seasoned elder law attorney will speak for the first half hour, and the second half hour will be questions and answers. Please contact Pook Grathwol at pgrathwol@chestnutcambronne.com or (612) 336-2919 or Jeanine Johnson at jjohnson@meyernjus.com or (612) 630-3254.

PRO BONO COMMITTEE: Friday July 15, 2016 at 12-1 p.m. at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Questions may be directed to Jill Sauber at jsauber@maserlaw.com.

SPOTLIGHT ARTICLE

LEGISLATURE APPROVES CHANGES TO THE COMMUNITY SPOUSE ASSET ALLOWANCE, TREATMENT OF RETIREMENT PLANS FOR HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS, AND ESTATE RECOVERY

In the waning hours of the 2016 Session, the Legislature approved significant changes to the Community Spouse Asset Allowance, treatment of tax-deferred retirement plans owned by Community Spouses and MA Estate Recovery.  Effective June 1, 2016, Minnesota will allow the Community Spouse to retain marital assets without having to compute marital assets on an asset assessment date prior to the date of application for benefits.  Since 1993, Minnesota has required that all non-exempt, non-excluded martial assets be counted on the first date of a period of institutionalization for the applicant spouse that lasts 30 days or longer.  The resulting number was then cut in half and adjusted between the minimum and maximum amounts protected for the Community Spouse under federal law.   Minnesota will now join the States that go directly to the application date to determine the amount of assets to be protected for the Community Spouse.  The amount of available assets ordinarily protected for the Community Spouse will now be the maximum currently allowed by federal law:  $119,220 (plus $3,000 for the applicant spouse).  Conference Committee Report on HF 2479, the Omnibus Supplemental Finance Act of 2016, lines 328.4 to 330.30.    Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill.  The change is expected to apply to all applications in process as of June 1, 2016.

The Legislature also approved temporary changes to treatment of tax-deferred retirement plans owned by a Community Spouse.  Effective June 1, 2016, the Community Spouse will be allowed to keep marital assets in excess of the ordinary maximum if the denial of eligibility would cause "undue hardship to the family due to loss of retirement funds for the community spouse or funds protected for the postsecondary education of a child under 25 years of age."  This change would protect these assets only until such time as the Community Spouse is eligible to withdraw retirement funds from any of these accounts without penalty.  Conference Report, lines 330.31 to 333.11.  This change was enacted to mitigate the potential harsh effect on a younger Community Spouse resulting from enforcement of the so-called "spousal impoverishment" rules beginning this year in the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) programs.  Prior to enforcement of the spousal impoverishment rules, there was no asset limit for a Community Spouse whose spouse was receiving benefits through these programs.  This change would cease to apply if enforcement of the spousal impoverishment rules in the HCBS programs would no longer be required by CMS.    
 
Lastly, the Legislature also reduced the amount of the MA claim that can be asserted in estate recovery.  Effective retroactively to benefits provided on or after January 1, 2014, the claim will consist only of payments for nursing facility services, home and community-based services or related hospital and prescription drug benefits, subject to the other restrictions against recovery under federal law.  Conference Committee Report, lines 341.23 to 346.7.  Since 1967, Minnesota has attempted to recover all medical assistance costs from the estates of certain recipients and their spouses.  This change will reduce MA estate recovery from the maximum allowed by federal law to the minimum required by federal law.  This change was enacted to reduce public concerns over MA estate recovery arising from participation in the MA programs available through MNsure.
  
Submitted by Julian J. Zweber, Chair, Legislative Committee

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY FOR RETIRED ATTORNEYS

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (MMLA) has an exciting volunteer opportunity for retired attorneys.  Join our “Active Senior Attorney Project!”  We are looking for two volunteers to commit to about 3 hours a week of volunteer time at our office in downtown Minneapolis.  Retired attorneys have been helping the Senior Law Project of MMLA do client intake interviews for over a decade.  Volunteers are not giving advice but instead are gathering case information and issue spotting to help collect that information.  We will train you in to our system and work with your schedule.  The Senior Law Project exclusively serves seniors age 60+ who reside in Hennepin or Anoka county.  Active Senior Attorney Project volunteers commit to one morning (or afternoon) a week to come to our office and complete client interviews.  It can be a fun variety of clients and a great way to participate in the legal services community. For more information please call the Active Senior Attorney Project Coordinator, Lila Talvitie-Zamora, at 612-746-3634

Submitted by Genevieve Gaboriault, gegaboriault@mylegalaid.org

 WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN?

The Elder Section Education Committee is planning several CLE seminars for this upcoming section year. If you would like to play a role in planning the issues that are studied and taught in the seminars, please consider participating in the Education Committee.

Please feel free to contact Education Committee Chair Laura Orr of SMRLS Metro Senior Law Project Laura if you would like to join the committee, participate in a meeting by telephone, or simply share a suggestion about how the section's CLE programming can meet your needs.

Submitted by Laura Orr, laura.orr@smrls.org

WEB EDITOR POSITION OPEN

Position Description: Monitor DHS website for new bulletins and manual letters pertaining to Elder Law. Collect and compile these updates and email to Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@statebar.gen.mn.us periodically to include on the Links/Resources page. Annually update the Mary Alice Gooderl Award Recipient page. Research, collect, and submit additional updates as requested by the section. If you are interested, please contact Rachel Schromen at Rachel@SchromenLaw.com or 651-571-2515. 

PRO BONO OPPORTUNITY

Serve MN:  Real Help from Lawyers for Families Dealing with Dementia

Elder law attorneys are encouraged to sign-up for this new opportunity to provide important information and resources to individuals recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and to their families.  The Pro Bono Committee of the Elder Law Section of the MSBA is working with the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota to engage attorney volunteers to provide legal information and resources to individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s.  Please consider learning more about this new exciting pro bono opportunity.  If you would like to participate, please complete the enrollment form at Pro Bono Application and submit it to icaservemn@gmail.com

Reminder:  Keep track of your pro bono hours to submit to MSBA’s North Star Lawyer Program. You may also claim 1 hour of standard CLE credit for every 6 hours of pro bono legal representation provided in a legal matter that has been referred to the lawyer by an approved legal services provider or by a Minnesota Judicial Branch program. Visit the MN Board of Continuing Legal Education to learn more and find a list qualifying organizations.

Submitted by Barb Brekke, bbrekke@brclawyers.com

ELDER LAW NEWS

Please submit news articles of interest to Rachel@SchromenLaw.com

ELDER LAW CASES

Please submit Elder Law cases of interest to Rachel@SchromenLaw.com

STATUTES, REGULATIONS, BULLETINS

Please submit statutes, regulations, or bulletins of interest to Rachel@SchromenLaw.com

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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, Rachel Schromen at Rachel@SchromenLaw.com

ELDER LAW SECTION ACTIVITIES

ADVOCACY COMMITTEE:

Contact David Rephan at drephan@chestnutcambronne.com or Suzy Scheller at suzy@schellerlegalsolutions.com for more information.

GOVERNING COUNCIL: 

The remaining meetings of the Elder Law Section Governing Council for the year ending in June 2016 will be held at 3:30 pm on the following Fridays:

June 17, 2016          

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 Mary Frances Price, Chair, at MFPrice@mnelderlaw.com or (952) 929-0622

MA COMMITTEE MEETING: 

The 2015-2016 MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every other month:

June 21, 2016

August 16, 2016

October 18, 2016,

December 20, 2016

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, Lisa Pluto, of Pluto Legal, PLLC, is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracy Sherman with Pluto Legal, PLLC, at tsherman@plutolegal.com or 507-247-5900 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to tsherman@plutolegal.com under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 507-247-5868.

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.

NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE:

Meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month at noon.  Each meeting has a different topic based upon input from the new lawyers committee.  Minutes of past meetings are available. The meetings are formatted so that a seasoned elder law attorney will speak for the first half hour, and the second half hour will be questions and answers.

Upcoming meeting dates:

July 14, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

Meetings will be held at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Please contact Pook Grathwol at pgrathwol@chestnutcambronne.com or (612) 336-2919 or Jeanine Johnson at jjohnson@meyernjus.com or (612) 630-3254.

PRO BONO COMMITTEE:

Meetings will be held the third Friday of every other month, from 12-1pm. Meetings will be held at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Questions may be directed to Jill Sauber at jsauber@maserlaw.com.

There is no meeting in July; the next meeting is to be determined.

VULNERABLE ADULT COMMITTEE:

Meetings are held from 12:00 – 1:30 at Ken LaBore's office located at 5001 Chowen Avenue South.  Ken always provides pizza and drinks.  The last meeting was March 24, 2016 to discuss vulnerable adult issues and potential areas that need advocacy. Contact Ken for more information at Klabore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com or 612-743-9048.

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DON'T FORGET 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.

To access the ELDER LAW SECTION WEBSITE click here.  

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Please send E-Newsletter contributions by 10 p.m. on the last day of each month to Rachel Schromen at Rachel@SchromenLaw.com.

If you do not wish to receive this E-Newsletter, send your request to be removed from the mailing list to Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@mnbar.org.

Current and prior E-Newsletters are posted on the website for the MSBA Elder Law Section and are available here.