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Bequests To Disabled Children Should Be In Special Trusts

MARCH 20, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 38 Suppose your adult son is disabled and receiving both financial and medical assistance from the government. While you do not consider yourself wealthy, you have worked hard all your life and managed to build a modest estate. If you leave your disabled child his share of your estate …

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Appellate Court Ruling May Allow Feeding Tube Removal

MARCH 6, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 36 Just over eighteen months ago Elder Law Issues reported on the tragic story of Robert Wendland (“Lack of Advance Directives Contributes to Family Tragedy,” August 10, 1998). Last week the California Court of Appeals added a new chapter to the Wendland story, and may have completely changed the …

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Physical Restraint Of Nursing Home Patients Limited By Law

FEBRUARY 28, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 35 The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 mandated changes in American nursing care. Chief among those changes: patients may not be restrained (either physically or chemically) unless it is medically necessary. How has that mandate fared in practice? Frail (usually elderly) nursing home patients may be unable to …

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Daughter Has Priority As Guardian Despite Conflicts

FEBRUARY 21, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 34 Esther L.K., an elderly Wisconsin woman (Wisconsin courts help preserve anonymity by using initials rather than last names), needed a guardian. Her family members assumed they would be appointed, but the court instead appointed a private fiduciary organization, Legal Guardianship Services, Inc. Esther’s daughter Patricia A.M. (with support …

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Premarital Agreement Protects Husband From Wife’s Creditor

FEBRUARY 14, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 33 Premarital agreements are increasingly common, particularly in second marriages and between older couples. Do agreements between couples really work? A recent Arizona case provides good evidence that premarital agreements really can protect both husband and wife. Christopher and Shelley Schlaefer were married in 1994. They had already signed …

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Phoenix Leader In Private Fiduciary Industry Goes To Jail

JANUARY 31, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 31 Arizona, unlike most other states, has a network of professional guardians and conservators to handle the personal and financial affairs of incapacitated adults (and minors). Most of the time, that network serves the community extremely well. Once again, however, the image of Arizona’s professional fiduciary industry has been …

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Expert Testimony Required In Lawsuit Against Nursing Home

JANUARY 24, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 30 Fred O. Thompson lived in the Embassy Rehabilitation and Care Center in Iowa. While there, he developed serious bedsores, ultimately requiring surgery to repair the damage. After his recovery, he brought suit against the nursing home, alleging negligent care. His complaint was dismissed by the Iowa courts. Mr. …

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Grandparents’ Court-Ordered Visitation Rights Under Review

JANUARY 17, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 29 Should grandparents have the right to enforced visitation with their grandchildren? Does the U.S. Constitution permit states to impose grandparent visitation on parents? Does state law adequately protect both the interests of families and the well-being of grandchildren? These are the questions posed by the U.S. Supreme Court …

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Prenuptial Pact Prevents Wife’s Claim Against Probate Estate

JANUARY 10, 2000 VOLUME 7, NUMBER 28 Jerry Cantrell lived in Tennessee and owned property there and in Kentucky. Mr. Cantrell was single, but had five adult children from a former marriage. In 1994, he saw Analyn Rojo’s picture in a mail-order bride magazine, and he got in touch with Ms. Rojo. They arranged to …

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