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E-Newsletter of June 11, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 23




“How would you like to do something for your Country?” That was the way my father started many a conversation with me during my youth.  Of course the answer to that question was always something like “sure” or “of course.”  How else could I respond to such a question? It certainly got my attention every time I heard it.

So, if I have your attention now, how would you like to do something for your Elder Law Section?

Please think about becoming active with the Elder Law Council. I’ve been active with council matters for maybe 15 years. I always have felt that it was a great honor to be a council member, a council officer, a committee chair, or a committee member.  I have always felt privileged to rub shoulders with many of the best and brightest lawyers working in the elder law field, and to participate in the service the council and the council committees provide to the section. I have always found that participating in elder law section matters was generally fun, entertaining and rewarding, and I am sure that if you decided to participate, you would experience the same.  You can be on the cutting edge of what’s happening in Elder Law arena, which will likely be a growing and profitable area of the law, especially with the front end of the baby boomer generation entering its retirement years.

The annual meeting and the final elder law council meeting are scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.  A new council year begins on July 1, 2013, and hopefully all readers of the eNewsletter have received a slate of candidates through the list serve on Thursday, May 23, 2013.  If you are not now active in the Eder Law Section, there are great opportunities to participate as a member of the various Elder Law Section Committees because you do not have to be a member of the Elder Law Council to serve on the committees, or to be a committee chairman.  The Council has standing committees which are as follows:


Law Student


Medical Assistance




Pro Bono


Strategic Planning

Vulnerable Adult

Elder Law Institute

If you go to the Elder Law Section website, you can read about each of the above-named committees, including what tasks they undertake each year.  The Elder Law Section Chair appoints the committee chairs or co-chairs, and the other committee members.  However, usually people wishing to serve on any particular committee can get appointed to that committee just by asking. I initially worked on the nominating committee, which is a good place to start, and that committee is looking for new members.  

While the published slate of candidates will likely be elected at the June 21, 2013 annual meeting, you can almost immediately begin to participate in section committees by contacting the Section Chair, presently, Laura Zdychnec, and soon to be David Rephan, or you could contact the section liaison, presently Tamara Patton (612) 278-6305.  You can always contact me, and I can make sure you get to the correct contact person.  If you go to the Elder Law Section website and click on “about section,” you will find links to the section committees, other interesting information, and contact information.  There should be an Elder Law Section link below on this page.

I hope to see you at future section meetings, or at committee meetings on which I am a member. 

Thomas R. O’Connell, Esq.



10 AARP Foundation Scholarships Available for Advocates to Attend Institute

The AARP Foundation is awarding 10 AARP Foundation Litigation Jerry D. Florence scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to pay for registration and the cost of travel expenses to attend the 2012 National Aging and Law Institute, November 7-9, 2013, in Washington, D.C.  Scholarship recipients are responsible for all additional travel costs in excess of the scholarship amount.

AARP Foundation established this scholarship fund in the name of Jerry D. Florence, who served as the Director of the AARP Foundation for two years before dying suddenly at the age of 57 on November 28, 2005. Mr. Florence was a leader who was quickly able to envision how a new idea could transform the lives of AARP’s members. He delighted in finding ways to help others, while his energy, positive attitude, and easy smile touched many hearts. AARP Foundation is proud to continue the memory of this visionary through scholarships for advocates at this conference.

Consideration will be given to all applicants for the AARP Foundation Litigation Jerry D. Florence Scholarships; however, priority will be given to applicants who:

  • Have not previously attended the National Aging and Law Institute, National Aging and Law Conference, or NAELA’s Advanced Fall Institute.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Provide legal services or advocacy to older persons. 

You can apply for the scholarship online here.

Please note that 2012 scholarship recipients are not eligible to apply. For questions about the scholarship, please contact 703-942-5711 or

Scholarship applications are due by August 2, 2013.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.



ProJusticeMN currently has a number of pro bono opportunities available for placement with an elder law attorney. Below is a sampling of available cases.

  • Mortgage modification for an elderly lady in danger of losing her home (Estate & Elder Law Services);
  • Probate of homestead for low-income widower; home is the only asset of deceased wife’s estate (Estate & Elder Law Services); 
  • Seventy-two year old potential client is seeking to have a will drafted (VAP – Duluth);
  • Potential probate issue involving individual concerned over sister’s informal administration of mother’s estate (MMLA).
  • Potential client and her disabled elderly father at risk of foreclosure and homelessness need help in dispute with condominium association (MMLA). 

Keep track of your pro bono hours to report with the MSBA’s North Star Lawyer Program. You may also claim 1 hour of CLE credit for every 6 hours of pro bono legal representation provided in a case that has been referred to you by an approved legal services provider or by a MN Judicial Branch program. Visit the Minnesota Board of CLE for more information.      

Submitted by Adam Rohne, Esq.

Elder Law News


Early retirement getting more rare for Minnesota public employees | Pioneer Press

Baby boomers are killing themselves at alarming rate: Why? | Pioneer Press

FHA reverse mortgage losses may require bailout | Pioneer Press

FHA chief says agency may need nearly $1 billion bailout because of reverse mortgage losses | Star Tribune

On the road for 88 of his 105 years, New Zealand's oldest driver says, 'I don't think I'm old' | Star Tribune

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

There are no new cases to report this week. 

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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

Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

This summer, Hamline Law is offering Elder Law both for law school credit and for CLE.  It will be taught by former Elder Section chair Suzy Scheller, and runs from June 14-17. To view the schedule and course description, click here.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. 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, and the Annual meeting, will be on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm. 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. For further information, please contact Laura Zdychnec, 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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