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States Differ On Grandparents’ Rights To Visit Grandchildren

JULY 30, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 5 When the United States Supreme Court decided its landmark case regarding grandparents’ visitation rights in June of 2000, the Justices might have thought they were laying many of the legal issues to rest. Troxel v. Granville decided that the law in Washington State giving grandparents the right to …

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California Court Says Patients Can Sue Medicare HMOs

JULY 16, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 3 George and Barbara McCall, California residents, sued their HMO and their primary care physician. They claimed that the HMO (PacifiCare of California) refused to refer Mr. McCall to a specialist when he needed a lung transplant, and that he was ultimately forced to disenroll from PacifiCare and seek …

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Lawyer Must Follow Impaired Client’s Wishes In Most Cases

JULY 9, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 2 Lawyers who represent mentally impaired clients often wonder: is the lawyer’s duty to advocate the client’s wishes, no matter how peculiar, or to act in the client’s best interests? That was the dilemma facing New Hampshire attorney Tony Soltani after his client was committed to a mental hospital. …

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Yet Another Tax Protestor Finds Trusts Are No Magic Tax Shield

JULY 2, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 1 Income tax protestors may really believe that they can choose to opt out of the federal government’s income tax system. Some objectors may think they are making an important political point. They keep losing, however, and paying extra taxes and court costs for making arguments that are simply …

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Publishers Clearing House Must Cooperate With Iowa Investigation

JUNE 25, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 52 Sweepstakes solicitations have become a major financial problem for the elderly in America. Thousands of individuals send millions of dollars to promoters of get-rich-quick schemes every year. Spouses and other family members are often powerless to prevent the fleecing of gullible individuals as they send in check after …

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New Tax Law Will Mean More Planning Is Necessary, Not Less

JUNE 18, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 51 Last week Elder Law Issues predicted that the principal effect of the federal government’s estate tax repeal would be to make most people revisit their estate plans (and their attorney) more often. Because of the automatic “sunset” of the repeal measure in 2011, any plan addressing the changes …

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What Estate Tax Repeal Means For Most Taxpayers: Not Much

JUNE 11, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 50 On June 7, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Despite extensive media coverage of tax reform, and especially of estate tax repeal, over the past six months, you may have been left wondering what it means. It turns …

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Marriage Involving Transsexual Challenged By Decedent’s Son

JUNE 4, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 49 Marshall and J’Noel Gardiner were married in Kansas in September, 1998 after a short courtship. At the time Mr. Gardiner was 85, his new wife was 40. Mr. Gardiner died less than a year later, survived by Mrs. Gardiner and one son, Joseph Gardiner. Mr. Gardiner had not …

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Small Life Insurance Policies Complicate Medicaid Eligibility

MAY 28, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 48 Elder law attorneys often discuss characteristics common to the older individuals they deal with. Clients frequently show up early for appointments, are unflaggingly courteous and pleasant to deal with, and seem to enjoy talking about their families and travels. One other common characteristic, perhaps arising from a Depression-era …

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