Posts Tagged ‘Robert Fleming’

The Elder Law Answer Book: A New Resource For Practitioners


If you have questions about elder law subjects, you may be interested in a new offering from Panel Publishers. The just-released Elder Law Answer Book provides answers to many common elder law questions.

The new book is written by Robert Fleming, partner in the Tucson law firm of Fleming & Curti, P.L.C., which in turn publishes Elder Law Issues. It addresses a wide range of legal concerns facing the elderly and disabled. The book’s nineteen chapters are divided into five sections:

Establishing and Managing an Elder Law Practice (including both practice and ethical considerations)
Estate and Retirement Planning (including tax and non-tax issues and a chapter on post-mortem estate planning)
Fiduciary Administration (including probate and guardianship proceedings, and the use of powers of attorney)
Paying for Medical and Long-Term Care (including care options, long-term care insurance, the Medicare and Medicaid programs and a chapter on Special Needs Trusts)
Health Care Decision Making and Protection of the Elderly (including chapters on patient autonomy and advance directives, elder abuse and age discrimination)

The book is organized in a convenient Question-and-Answer format, and is written in plain English. Though there are citations to the relevant legal authority throughout, an effort has been made to answer real questions in understandable terms.

A sampling of some of the questions addressed in the Elder Law Answer Book:

Should a living trust be the beneficiary of qualified retirement plans? (Q 4:58)
At what age should a client consider long-term care insurance? (Q 12:10)
Can a patient refuse medical treatment even though refusal will certainly lead to the patient’s death? (Q 17:9)
What should an elder law attorney consider in reviewing a Continuing Care Retirement Community contract? (Q 11:21)
What rights does a surviving spouse have in community property states? (Q 7:25)

Although the Elder Law Answer Book was written primarily for attorneys, it can be a useful resource for other professionals who deal with elder issues on a regular basis, including accountants, financial planners, social workers, nurses and facility administrators. It can help explain complex legal concepts for clients, or introduce elder law issues to practitioners who primarily deal with other (but related) areas of the law. The Elder Law Answer Book sells for $118, and can be purchased directly from Panel Publishers (which is a division of Aspen Publishers). It can be ordered directly from Panel Publishers at (800) 638-8437 or online at the Panel Publishers/Aspen Publishers website.

Legislative Changes

JUNE 27, 1994 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 31

The 1994 session of the Arizona legislature ended in mid-April. Most of the new laws adopted during that session will become effective in about three weeks, and newspaper articles about those changes should begin appearing soon.

Several new laws are of particular importance to the elderly and disabled. The changes include:

Private Fiduciaries
Senate Bill 1103 directed the Arizona Supreme Court to develop a system for registration and regulation of private fiduciaries. Any person or organization serving as guardian, conservator or personal representative of a person or estate, unless related to the ward or decedent, must meet the Supreme Court’s standards.

In response to the new law, the Supreme Court has established a committee to draw up minimum standards, disciplinary rules and other regulatory provisions. It is unlikely that the rules will be ready by July 16 (the next meeting of the Committee is set for August 1), but some protection will be provided for incapacitated adults, children with substantial estates and heirs in the near future.

Pima County representatives on the Supreme Court committee include Robert Fleming, Hon. William Sherrill (the presiding Pima County probate judge) and Eleanor terHorst (the Court’s Probate Law Counsel). Any of the three would be happy to hear from concerned citizens, particularly those with first-hand knowledge of abuses and concerns with private fiduciaries in the past, or with suggestions for protective regulations.

Age Discrimination Cap Removed
Senate Bill 1226 removes the present cap of age 70 from Arizona’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Older employees are now protected from discrimination under the law.

Investment Advisors
After particularly complicated legislative wrangling, House Bill 2271 passed both houses and was signed by the Governor. This legislation creates a regulatory structure for investment advisors, requiring them to register with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Minimum qualifications were also established, and a mechanism to report abuses and suspend advisors from practice.

Respite Care
House Bill 2317 created a pilot project to provide respite care for the frail elderly. The primary focus of this legislation is on attempting to show whether respite care permits caregivers to function in their home-care roles for a longer period. Only $75,000 was allocated, and the pilot project was limited to Maricopa County, but it may signal an acknowledgement on the part of legislators that respite care is an important issue for the future, and perhaps a willingness to expand such a program.

State Retirement COLAs
Senate Bill 1058 introduced the concept of an automatic (or perhaps semi-automatic) cost of living adjustment to the Arizona State Retirement System. COLAs will be limited to half the increase in the Consumer Price Index (or 3%, whichever is less) and will only be available in years when funds are available (according to a formula adopted as part of the law). The COLA legislation automatically ends in five years.

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