Dec
17
2015
0

Beware of Arbitration Clauses

The New York Times has examined, in a series of articles, the problems with mandatory arbitration agreements in consumer contracts. The articles examine “… how clauses buried in tens of thousands of contracts have deprived Americans of one of their most fundamental constitutional rights: their day in court.”

The NY Times series discusses how consumers are often, unknowingly, forced to have their disputes heard by business-friendly arbitrators, without the benefit of courts or judges. As a result, the claim resolution may end with business biased results, without accountability through the justice system.

Unfortunately, nursing homes usually have arbitration clauses in their admission agreements. When the resident signs an agreement upon admission that has an arbitration provision, the resident agrees to give up their constitutional right to have a dispute decided in court, with a judge and jury. This arbitrator’s decision is final, binding, and with no right to appeal.  Arbitration is expensive, with the arbitrator receiving between $400 and $1,000 an hour for his time. Also, studies have shown that arbitrators have a pro-business bias, and that consumers receive less money from arbitration awards, than through the court process.

It is illegal under California law to force a prospective nursing home resident to sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of admission. Also, the state requires that the arbitration agreement be separate and apart from the admission agreement. So, the best way to preserve your right to the judicial system is to not sign the arbitration agreement. Our financial powers of attorney do not give powers to the attorney in fact to sign an agreement for binding arbitration.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Dec
17
2015
0

Help For Caregiver Burnout

Over the past years, practicing in the area of elder law and long term care planning, we have observed many cases of elder care burnout. The caretaker spouse or child is usually not equipped to adequately care for a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, or other debilitating diseases. These diseases a usually progressive, which means that the caretaker’s duties and responsibilities increase over time. The care needed can cause depression, illness and even death of the caretaker.

We counsel our clients to try to avoid elder care burnout by asking for help. You can join Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease support groups. Various churches and parishes also provide help in the form of support groups.

Moreover, we encourage our clients and family members to seek the help of a geriatric care manager. These individuals are well trained and experienced to help you understand what the future looks like as far as the care that will be needed for your loved one. They will also guide you in finding the best in-home care, board and care and other care facilities.

At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, we can provide information to you regarding preferred geriatric care givers. In addition, we can help you develop a plan to pay for these services, and to preserve assets.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Dec
17
2015
0

Be On The Lookout For Sweepstakes Fraud

There are thousands of companies that use sweepstakes offers in an effort to lure people into sending them money. This has been reported by the Office of the Attorney General in California. The report says that many of these companies have been prosecuted by the California Attorney  General, attorneys general in other states, by the Federal Trade Commission and by the Postal Inspector. However, most of these companies manage to disappear before action can be taken against them. Many of these companies hide their true ownership, which makes prosecution against them very difficult.

Regrettably, Senior citizens are especially susceptible to these solicitations, which are sent to them through the mail in the form of cards and letters. Our office has received calls from clients who have asked us about these solicitations, and we advise that they throw them away.

The Attorney General offers several tips regarding these fraudulent solicitations:

  • Watch out for congratulations that you are a winner, but that you must first send money for taxes or for a fee;
  • Never send money in any form in advance of receiving a prize;
  • In order for a sweepstakes to be legal, you must first be allowed to enter the sweepstakes without any expenditure from you;
  • Never provide your bank or credit card information in order to enter a sweepstakes;

Also, be mindful that if you respond to these companies, your name and address may be sold as “suckers list” to other fraudulent companies.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

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