Elder Law

Strained Adult Protective Services to get relief July 1, but stakeholders seek more aid

June 29, 2016
Dave Stafford
Adult Protective Services has only 28 investigators to look into reports of mistreatment of endangered Hoosiers, along with 18 district directors. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has pledged to release funds July 1 to hire 18 more investigators. 
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Adams: Setting standards for 'silver tsunami' preparedness

June 29, 2016
A popular topic in the media lately is the “silver tsunami” — the huge wave of baby boomers who will leave the workforce in the coming years and become eligible for the senior discount. The legal system needs to prepare today for the influx of issues that will wash ashore.
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Attorneys create for-profit guardianship company

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
After about a year of thinking and planning, two Indianapolis attorneys launched Scout Guardianship Services Inc. in December 2015. This for-profit business can function as either a guardian, attorney in fact or health care representative for adults who want and have the financial assets to pay for these services.
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COA: 82-year-old can return home

March 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the Delaware Circuit Court that said an elderly woman needed 24-hour care supervision at a nursing facility and allowed her to return home after it found Adult Protective Services did not present sufficient evidence she was involved in a life-threatening emergency.
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Project targets elderly in high-conflict families

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Steuben County is a test site for a new eldercaring coordination program.
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Elder law matures

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Claire Lewis has been an elder law attorney since before there was such a thing. She can recall a time when people would have asked what she was talking about if she described that as her profession.
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St. Joseph County gets $399,000 grant to fight elder abuse

October 21, 2014
IL Staff
St. Joseph County will receive a $399,000 Department of Justice grant for training and services designed to combat violence against elderly and vulnerable populations.
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Nursing home chain to pay $38M in US settlement

October 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A nursing home chain has agreed to pay $38 million to resolve allegations that it billed Medicare and Medicaid for substandard care at dozens of facilities around the country, the Justice Department said.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Lawmakers put more teeth into consumer protection of Indiana seniors

June 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana seniors get some new consumer protections July 1. As a group, they also get a little younger.
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Attorneys give hospice patients peace of mind

June 19, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a will may be described as “simple,” for patients in hospice care having a completed will and knowing their wishes are recorded in a legal document can bring a peace that makes the word “simple” seem like a misnomer.
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Divided justices suspend attorney for 2 years

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Hancock County attorney was suspended for two years after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 opinion that he charged unreasonable fees to an elderly client, converted funds belonging to her, and was dishonest before the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.
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Embracing elder law

June 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
As the general population ages, younger lawyers are attracted to serving seniors.
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Filial statutes create questions about duty to support

June 20, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A recent Pennsylvania court decision has spurred discussion among elder law attorneys about when an adult child may be found financially responsible for a parent’s long-term medical care.
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Judge: facility not exempt from property tax

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has upheld the decision of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that a Tipton County assisted living facility failed to raise a prima facie case that it is exempt from property tax under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16.
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Mediation could benefit familes with aging parents

October 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
When siblings can’t see eye-to-eye about how to care for their aging parents, families sometimes end up settling disputes in courtrooms. But elder care mediation can help families resolve conflicts before they become matters for litigation, if only more people knew about and used this option.
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As boomers age, lawyers seeing new trends in estate and health care planning

May 11, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are not like generations that came before them with regard to estate-planning needs. Many of them are living longer and will be working longer – some by choice and others because the value of their retirement accounts has plunged in recent years. As they look toward their future, the boomers’ top concerns are asset protection and paying for long-term care, although each person may have a different approach about how to accomplish those goals.
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Attorney helps senior citizens stay in their homes

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Orville Copsey Jr. works for Indianapolis Legal Aid Society as a liaison between the elderly with housing issues and the Marion County Health Department’s attorneys and inspectors.
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New national act would address adult guardianship matters

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
New law changes are on the horizon in order to create more uniform guardianship laws throughout the country and reduce conflicts between states.
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Adult guardians sworn in

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A swearing-in ceremony for the first class of the Wishard Volunteer Advocates Program took place Oct. 18 at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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Guardians program fulfills need

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To help address the need for guardians for patients of a northwest Indiana hospital, Lake County Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider – with others in the court and with permission from Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard – worked on a guardianship program that involved temporary volunteer guardians.
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Adult guardianship programs continue to operate with little funding

September 1, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around Indiana have started their own guardianship programs based on the Lake County model program in Allen, Elkhart, Lawrence, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, and Vanderburgh counties.
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Appellate court upholds guardian appointment

March 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the appointment of a third-party guardian for an incompetent adult because a disinterested person may hopefully prevent unnecessary disputes caused by mistrust between the woman's children and husband.
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Elder law attorney started as paralegal for ILS

January 6, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Today it's a growing practice area, but three decades ago, only a handful of attorneys practiced what is now known as elder law and not many more were aware of what it was.
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Court: Don't assume undue influence by child

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion issued today to caution courts to not assume a child is exerting undue influence over a parent when analyzing cases involving adult children assisting an aging parent.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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