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Employer Pays Twice After Guardian Mishandles Funds

FEBRUARY 25, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 35 When Ashley Tatum’s father Ernest died Ashley was still a minor. Ernest Tatum had named Ashley as beneficiary on several retirement and life insurance accounts with his employer, BellSouth, and so Ashley’s mother Rosalyn Felder had to go to court to secure an appointment as guardian of Ashley’s …

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Court Dismisses Claim Alleging Neglect Of Mother-In-Law

FEBRUARY 18, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 34 Frances McMahon spent the last year of her life at Guardian Postacute Services, a Walnut Creek, California, skilled nursing facility. According to her family members, the care at the facility led to her early death; she allegedly suffered from malnutrition and dehydration, lost considerable weight, became bedridden and …

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Creditor Files Claim Against Parent’s Joint Tenancy Account

FEBRUARY 11, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 33 Ruth Libros, like many parents, wanted to make it easy for her children to manage her affairs if she became incapacitated. She also wanted to make sure there would be no costly or time-consuming probate proceedings upon her death. She decided one way to achieve both results was …

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Debts Not Forgiven At Death Without Proper Documentation

FEBRUARY 4, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 32 Virginia Lee Bessett was fond of Edwin Huson. Ms. Bessett loaned Mr. Huson money several times over a two-year period. For each loan, Mr. Huson signed a promissory note that Ms. Bessett held as evidence of the loan. Upon Ms. Bessett’s death, a sealed letter addressed to Mr. …

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Damages Upheld For Medicare “Whistle-Blower” Employee

JANUARY 28, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 31 When Illinois anesthesiologist Michael Brandon was fired he was sure it was in retaliation for his efforts to uncover possible Medicare fraud. He sued his employer, Anesthesia & Pain Management Associates, Ltd., and won a jury verdict. That was not, however, the end of the legal wrangling. Dr. …

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Unsuccessful Challenge Costs Claimant And His Attorney

JANUARY 21, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 30 Despite the popular notion that it is easy to attack a decedent’s estate plan, successful challenges are actually quite rare. It is seldom possible to mount a challenge just because the decedent’s plan seems unfair, or because the decedent “always wanted” some other distribution. In fact those who …

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States Vigorously Prosecute Medicaid and Medicare Fraud

JANUARY 14, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 29 According to the federal government, as much as 10% of the funding for the joint federal/state Medicaid program is lost to fraud, mostly on the part of medical providers. The Medicare program is also deeply concerned about the possibility of fraudulent costs. Although both the Medicaid and Medicare …

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Massachusetts First on Modern Conception and Inheritance

JANUARY 7, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 28 If a husband and wife “bank” sperm so that the wife may conceive artificially, and the wife conceives through insemination of this sperm after the husband dies, will children resulting from such a pregnancy enjoy the inheritance rights of “natural” children in Massachusetts? Last week the Massachusetts Supreme …

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Assisted Living Facility May Be Liable For Death Of Resident

DECEMBER 31, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 27 For seniors who need a supportive residential environment but not nursing home placement, assisted living facilities can be a wonderful option. They can combine all the advantages of a controlled placement, but need not interfere with their residents’ personal freedom. Sometimes, however, assisted living facilities can be caught …

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Medicare+Choice Benefits Are Permitted To Vary By Region

DECEMBER 24, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 26 In 1997 Congress created a new range of managed care choices for Medicare beneficiaries. The new options, dubbed “Medicare+Choice,” were intended to give seniors (and the disabled) a range of options for delivery of health care services. The success of the program has been limited, and the availability …

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