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E-Newsletter of April 10, 2012 | Vol. 4, No. 65



Thoughts from the Chair


Elder Law Section Governing Council – Nominations Sought & Upcoming Meeting

Nominations Sought for Governing Council. 

The Governing Council of the Elder Law Section is a group of voting members who direct the activities, finances, and positions of the Elder Law Section.  Governing Council members serve for two year terms and approximately half of the Council members are up for election each year, in order to stagger the terms and provide for continuity.  Currently, there are approximately 32 Governing Council Members – 25 Voting Members, 4 Law Student Liaisons, and 3 Ex-Officio Members.  The Council is a task-oriented group, with 12 Committees and expectations that all those on the Council take on some role during the year to further the mission of the Elder Law Section.  As part of my vision as Chair, I want to both cultivate new members in this area of practice as well as assist existing members in maintaining a knowledge-base and tackling up and coming Elder Law issues.  I invite both groups to seek nomination.  We are in the process of gathering nominees from those with new interest in serving on the Governing Council as well as from those currently serving on the Governing Council (no term limits).  If you have interest in being nominated to be a part of the Governing Council, please contact Dan Steinhagen, Chair of the Nominations Committee, at (612) 922-2260    Nominees will be presented at the April 20, 2012 meeting of the Governing Council and approved at the June 15, 2012 Annual Meeting of the Governing Council. 

Next Governing Council Meeting.

Whether an existing Governing Council member or an Elder Law Section member with interest in finding out more about Section activities, please plan on attending the next Governing Council meeting on April 20, 2012, at 3:30 p.m., at the VOA office (1900 Central Avenue NE; Minneapolis, MN  55418).  Conference calling is available.  Please contact Suzy Scheller with questions or interest.

National Health Care Decisions Day
Spring is here!  That means National Health Care Decisions day is just around the corner.  Join me in contacting Emily Strand, Coordinator, with your interest in volunteering and/or hosting an event.  She can be reached at Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care, 651-659-0423 or  Below is a media announcement highlighting one of the events being planned:

NHDD Committee Minnesota Event
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Minnesota to Host Public National Healthcare Decisions Day Events
Minneapolis, MN – Organizations throughout the state are collaborating to lead a massive effort highlighting the importance of advance care planning —an initiative that has culminated into naming April 16 National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). In recognition of NHDD, a community-wide open-house will be held on Sunday April 15, from 1:30PM to 5:00PM at the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport – Mall of America hotel in the Riverside Room, located at 3800 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN. This event is supported by Greater Twin Cities United Way. Community members are encouraged to come and get answers to their healthcare directive questions, complete an advance care directive and to help set a World Record for completing the most healthcare directives in one day!

The FREE event will feature a panel of local experts on advance care planning from 1:45PM to 2:30PM. Following the panel, people can get assistance by trained facilitators with their advance care directives. Panelists include Ed Holland, Coordinator of Hospice Spiritual Care & Grief Support, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospice; April Boxeth, Attorney, Voigt, Rode, & Boxeth, LLC; Vic Sandler, MD, Fairview Hospice Medical Director; and Mary Schroeder, Clinical Manager Advance Care Planning & Community Palliative Care, Allina Home and Community Services. The panel will be facilitated by Jennifer L. Wright, Associate Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

This event, along with other statewide events, aims to increase awareness and answer questions about advance care planning.  Studies indicate that despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. A recent survey conducted by the Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care revealed that of the 400 Minnesotans aged 50-80 years responding to the survey 98.5% were aware of a health care directive or living will; however of those respondents, only 44.4% had completed one.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Michele Fedderly, Executive Director, MNHPC, “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient and will be able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”
To learn more about this NHDD event, or find an event closer to you visit

Events Include (some may not be listed on the website):
Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport – Mall of America
3800 American Blvd. East, Riverside Room
Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Park Nicollet Clinic - Burnsville
14000 Fairview Drive
Monday, April 16 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

UCare Skyway Senior Center
950 Nicollet Mall, Suite 290 (Skyway Level Retek Building)
Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Minnetonka Community Center
14600 Minnetonka Blvd
Monday, April 16, 2012 – 1:00 p.m.

Methodist Hospital
6500 Excelsior Blvd
Monday, April 16 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Park Nicollet Clinic – St Louis Park
3800 Excelsior Blvd
Monday, April 16 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Lenox Senior Center
6715 Minnetonka Blvd
Monday, April 16 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Dinner included)

William Mitchell College of Law
875 Summit Avenue, 2nd floor Kelley Board Room
Monday, April 16, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
White Bear Area Senior Center
2484 E. County Road F
Monday, April 16 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Suzy Scheller, Chair of the Elder Law Section of the MSBA


Link of the Week


The War Against Youth
In 1984, American breadwinners who were sixty-five and over made ten times as much as those under thirty-five. The year Obama took office, older Americans made almost forty-seven times as much as the younger generation.

This bleeding up of the national wealth is no accounting glitch, no anomalous negative bounce from the recent unemployment and mortgage crises, but rather the predictable outcome of thirty years of economic and social policy that has been rigged to serve the comfort and largesse of the old at the expense of the young.

Read more of this Esquire article by Stephen Marche here.

Submitted by David Porter, Esq.

Translations of Important Resources for Clients

The Minnesota Department of Health website provides the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights, Home Care Bill of Rights, and Assisted Living Bill of Rights in several languages. To visit the website, click here.

Submitted by Megan K. Stowers

Elder Law News


Minnesota Legislature approves tougher elder-abuse bill | Star Tribune

1940 Census a bonanza for Minn. family history diggers | MPR News

Premiums skyrocket for long-term care | Pittsburgh Post- Gazette

HMO profits cap means nearly $8 million for Minnesota | Pioneer Press

Humphrey defends seniors in new D.C. role | Star Tribune

Senior citizens continuing to bear burden of student loans | Pioneer Press

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

There are no new Minnesota cases to report this week.

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

There are no statutes, regulations or bulletins to report this week.

Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

What: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Where: William Mitchell College of Law
Auditorium and Classrooms for Breakout Sessions
875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Cost: FREE!

Submitted by Suzy Scheller, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair


The Hamline University School of Law Health Law Institute will be offering ELDER LAW in a compact format from June 16 to 21.  The course qualifies for 2 law school credits or 24 CLE credits.  To learn more, click here. 

The Health Law Institute is also offering four other courses in the same format in the same time-frame:

Health Reform: A New Age of Regulatory Enforcement (1cr)
Health Reform: Insurance Plans, Exchanges, and Mandates (1cr)
(Un)Healthy Choices: Tobacco, Obesity, and Beyond (2cr)
Health Care Compliance Summer Institute (3cr)

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
Director, Health Law Institute
Associate Professor of Law
Hamline University School of Law

Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2011. 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.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal 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 which faces directly into the meeting room.

The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm at the offices of the Volunteers of America (VOA) at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.For further information, please contact Suzy Scheller, Chair, at:


Elder Law Website


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.


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