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LAW OFFICE OF JANE E. BEDNAR

Attorneys - Mediators

My Blog

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Big win for victims of nursing home abuse

Posted on September 28, 2016 at 11:37 PM Comments comments (3758)
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have won the right to have their cases heard by a jury. In a landmark change in regulations by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  nursing homes can no longer require residents to submit claims to private arbitration. 

The change was prompted by high-profile cases in which residents and their families were barred from seeking relief in the courts from horrendous instances of physical abuse. In one of the cases, a 100-year-old nursing home resident was strangled to death by a roommate, and in another, a 94-year-old resident died of a head wound at a Pennsylvania facility. 

The rule will go into effect in November 2016. Unfortunately, it does not apply retroactively to residents who signed admission contracts before that date. 


When the bank won't honor your power of attorney

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 3:32 PM Comments comments (714)
Most estate plan packages include a financial power of attorney. This document is intended to make sure that if you become unable to manage your financial affairs, your nominated agent can take over.

But more and more frequently, banks and brokerage firms reject these attorney-drafted powers and insist their own forms be signed.

That's not a problem, unless you've already lost your capacity to sign such a document.

This can create a nightmare for relatives who urgently need to step in for an impaired parent or other family member.

So how can you get around this apparent roadblock?

First, insist on speaking with someone higher up the bank's chain of authority. This often will work.

If it doesn't, enlist the help of an attorney, who may be able to force the bank to accept the existing power of attorney.

It's a good practice to review all of your estate planning documents on a regular basis and make any updates required.

You can also contact the financial institutions you do business with and ask if they require their own power of attorney form. If so, get one and have it signed now.



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