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E-Newsletter of March 4, 2014 | Vol. 7, No. 10



One of the least utilized benefits under Medicare is the hospice benefit.  The hospice benefit is generally available to Medicare beneficiaries who are expected to live six months or less, are certified terminally ill by a primary care physician and the hospice medical director and who make the hospice election.  When compared with the homebound benefits, the hospice benefit is more generous, with fewer hourly restrictions.  There is no deductible or copay for the hospice coverage, except for drug coverage and respite care.  Coverage of illnesses other than the terminal illness continues under regular Medicare.  Clients worried about the finality of the hospice election can be reassured that the election may be revoked.  Find out more here.

Submitted by Anne Starr Goodman



The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans is seeking volunteers for its upcoming “Drop-in Legal Clinic for Veterans.” The clinic takes place Tuesday, March 11th from 9am-2pm in the Auditorium of the VA Medical Center. Contact Sara Sommarstrom at 651-224-0292 or to volunteer or learn more about the event.

If you missed it, you can log-in to to view the PowerPoint slides or video replay of the CLE “Guardianships, Conservatorships and Powers of Attorney: Ins and Outs” presented by Lorie Skibbie, Attorney at Estate and Elder Law Services, and Sean Burke, Staff Attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. You will not receive CLE credit for viewing the video replay.

You can now log your pro bono hours completed in 2013 with the North Star Lawyers program. Attorneys who provided 50 or more hours of pro bono legal services in 2013 will be recognized as North Star Lawyers by the MSBA. Follow this link to the North Star Lawyers Program webpage to report your hours online. The deadline for reporting your 2013 hours is February 28, 2014. 

Submitted by Adam Rohne


Elder Law News


For Many Older Americans, an Enterprising Path | New York Times

Woman, 89, raped by caregiver at Hermantown, Minn., senior facility | Star Tribune

Hermantown senior living home accused of withholding facts in rape case | Star Tribune

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia | US News

5 Tips for Helping an Elderly Parent or Relative Pay Bills | US News

Protecting Our Parents: Can Science Help? | Huffington Post

Submitted by Joel Smith

Elder Law Cases

The following unpublished decision was released by the Minnesota Court of Appeals on February 18, 2014:


In re: Guardianship/Conservatorship of Wallace Berge


In this appeal from an order appointing respondent as appellant’s limited guardian and limited conservator, appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by admitting an emergency-room report into evidence and by appointing respondent as his limited guardian and limited conservator.  We affirm.

The opinion is available here.

This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2012).

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo



Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

Who Calls the Shots? Exploring the Authority of the Principal, Agent, and Provider under a Health Care Directive


Friday, Aprill 18, 2014 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM


Salon D | Radisson Hotel Roseville  Roseville, MN 

For further details, and to register, click here. Registration is due by April 15, 2014.

Submitted by Jill Adkins

Hamline University School of Law will be offering a condensed "Elder Law" class from June 17-21, 2014.  This course earns 2 law school credits or 23.5 CLE credits.  To visit the website, click here.

Course Description: This course examines a number of legal, ethical, and social issues raised by our nation's growing elder population. Special attention is given to: (i) elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation; (ii) the licensing, certification, accreditation, and general regulation of health care and housing providers; (iii) end-of-life issues, including senior settlements, health care directives, surrogacy, and physician-assisted suicide; (iv) guardianship and conservatorship; (v) financial planning for retirement; (vi) managing and paying for health care, including Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care insurance, and health care reform issues; (vii) property management, including durable powers of attorney for property, joint ownership and financial accounts, trusts, and estate planning; (viii) age discrimination; (ix) ethical issues in elder representation; and (x) other family issues, including “grandparents as parents,” grandchild visitation, and later marriages and re-marriages.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope


Elder Law Section Activities


VULNERABLE ADULT SUBCOMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT: There are planned Vulnerable Adult Subcommittee meetings on the following dates from 12:00 to 1:30 to be held in my office in Edina (5001 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410). The next meeting will be held April 17, 2014. Please call Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048 or email him at

NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE: Meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month starting November 14, 2013 at noon. The new lawyers committee has set meeting topics for the coming year. The meetings are formatted so that a seasoned elder law attorney will speak for the first half hour, and the second half hour would be questions and answers.

The meeting topics have been set in the following order:


1.      General Practice Tips including the initial client interview. Meeting date 3/13/14

2.      Billing including software, forms, retainer agreement fee, how to collect payment. Meeting date 5/8/14

3.      Probate including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 7/10/14

4.      Guardianship/Conservatorship including general overview, basic steps and forms. Meeting date 9/11/14

5.      Veteran's Affairs benefits. Meeting date 11/13/14

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

MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, 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, Pook Grathwol of CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Bill Lent with CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE, P.A., at 612-336-2948 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 612-336-2940. 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.

GOVERNING COUNCIL:  The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 18 at 3:30 pm. 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 David Rephan, 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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