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Montana High Court Approves “Death With Dignity” Request

JANUARY 4, 2010  VOLUME 17, NUMBER 1 Retired truck driver Robert Baxter, a Billings, Montana, resident, was dying of leukemia. He wanted to be able to choose the time and manner of his own death, and he turned to his physicians. He asked for a lethal dose of medication; his doctors sympathized, but declined to …

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Video by Exploiters Leads to Witness Tampering Conviction

DECEMBER 21 , 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 65 Washington State resident Shirley Crawford, then age 80, had a difficult problem to deal with. She had fallen in 2001 and was hospitalized. Her only child, Anne, was severely mentally disabled and lived in Ms. Crawford’s home. Ms. Crawford needed someone to help her with management of …

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Protecting Clients From Their Own Mistakes Can Be A Challenge

DECEMBER 14 , 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 64 Preparation of an estate plan is more than the individual documents. A good attorney considers the client’s circumstances and wishes, and analyzes the best course of action. The process requires the attorney and the client to communicate, and to work together. Too often, however, problems arise after …

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Guardian Allowed to Restrict Visitors, Telephone and Mail

NOVEMBER 23, 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 62 Being appointed as guardian for another person can be a daunting challenge. The responsibility is enormous, and most guardians get little or no training other than the “on-the-job” type. The stakes — a human life — are enormous. What is the proper goal for a guardian? Is it …

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Lawyer Ordered to Return Funds Taken by Conservator

NOVEMBER 2, 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 60 Michigan Attorney William R. Ford represented Preshus Graves, who had been appointed as conservator of her son Calvin Graves. Calvin Graves, then not quite three years old, had been injured in an automobile accident, and his mother had pursued a personal injury action against the driver of the …

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Some Medicare Recipients Will See a Rise in 2010 Premiums

OCTOBER 26, 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 59 The Medicare program has announced its 2010 premium and coinsurance rates. As predicted, an anticipated increase in medical costs will mean a steep rise in Medicare-related premiums, but federal law protects most recipients from having to pay the new rates. One effect of changes in Medicare rate-setting over …

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Dispute Over Family Home Pits Children Against Stepchildren

OCTOBER 19, 2009  VOLUME 16, NUMBER 58 More than a decade ago we told you about a Utah case involving a widower’s remarriage (see Surviving Spouse Revokes Trust–Children Disinherited from February 2, 1998) . Although the children of the deceased woman and her surviving husband were supposed to receive everything on his later death, the widower …

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