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California Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: No POA but my name is on my moms lease. She no longer has capacity, but mgmt changed locks & my moms keys don't work.

In Northern Calif. My name is on her lease for emergency, next of kin, and also it grants me access to her apt if & when needed. She gave me her keys. She has taken a turn for the worse. I need to clear out her apt, but mgmt won't let me in unless they get paperwork showing my mom... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 4, 2020

Best wishes to your mom. Start with getting a letter from her M.D. stating that she has suffered a stroke, is suffering from COVID and cannot make decisions for herself. They probably want to cover their asses rather than cause you grief. I assume that you do not have a Health Care POA. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: Is there legal recourse to see, visit, and speak with an aging parent (87yr) who is being isolated by one family member?

My sister removed mother from senior living without notification, blocked my number, won’t let my mother see me, speak to me. I believe she is isolating her and then leaving her alone just to cash her social security. She claims COVID-19, but this started before and my mother has been seen in... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 21, 2020

First, this is not really Family Law, it is Conservatorship/ Elder abuse law, and you need to repost so those attorneys get an email showing this question. IMO you need to file for a Conservatorship of your mom. You can search for an attorney that deals in Conservatorship/Guardianship on this... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: Hello I'm needing a lawyer for my wife she is accused of commenting elder abuse which was false she has court on 08/14
Steven Lance Bynum
Steven Lance Bynum answered on Aug 8, 2020

In which California County are you located? I assume this is a criminal elder abuse matter? Please provide more information

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2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death and Elder Law for California on
Q: Can I bring a lawsuit against family member I feel adided in my fathers death instead of helping
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Sorry for your loss. This is really not a "Family law" issue or "criminal law" issue unless your family member was a nurse or M.D. This may be an "Elder abuse" situation and it may be a "wrongful death" which is a category of personal injury actions. As his... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Wrongful Death for California on
Q: Would i be able to bring a suit against my step sister who not hiring the proper care for my dying father .

Father had a catheter due to peeing blood

Some kidney problems, she was the only one caregiver contacted ever !

My sister borrowed 6 thousand from my father at that time his care had to reduced from 3 to 2 days . I was unaware of so much I feel she deliberately alienated him... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Sorry for your loss. This is really not a "Family law" issue or "health care" issue unless your SS was a nurse or M.D. This may be an "Elder abuse" situation and it may be a "wrongful death" which is a category of personal injury actions. As his heir, you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: What if I have been renting a bedroom for the last 21 months on a gentleman's agreement from a man just died May 1st

And now his arrogant, mean, hateful ex wife is doing all kinds of illegal things to me. Like changing all the locks to everything and only giving me 1 key to 1 door. And now they've completely locked me out of the garage where all of my electrical and carpentry tools and materials are located?... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Your "gentleman's agreement" is only worth the paper it is written on. However, your LL is not allowed to commit "Forcible Entry" under CCP 1159 or 'Forcible detainer" under CCP 1160. These things include changing locks to exclude you from real property that you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: What if I have been renting a bedroom for the last 21 months on a gentleman's agreement from a man just died May 1st

And now his arrogant, mean, hateful ex wife is doing all kinds of illegal things to me. Like changing all the locks to everything and only giving me 1 key to 1 door. And now they've completely locked me out of the garage where all of my electrical and carpentry tools and materials are located?... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Your "gentleman's agreement" is only worth the paper it is written on. However, your LL is not allowed to commit "Forcible Entry" under CCP 1159 or 'Forcible detainer" under CCP 1160. These things include changing locks to exclude you from real property that you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: What if I have been renting a bedroom for the last 21 months on a gentleman's agreement from a man just died May 1st

And now his arrogant, mean, hateful ex wife is doing all kinds of illegal things to me. Like changing all the locks to everything and only giving me 1 key to 1 door. And now they've completely locked me out of the garage where all of my electrical and carpentry tools and materials are located?... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Your "gentleman's agreement" is only worth the paper it is written on. However, your LL is not allowed to commit "Forcible Entry" under CCP 1159 or 'Forcible detainer" under CCP 1160. These things include changing locks to exclude you from real property that you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Rights, Elder Law and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: Is it legal for a public defender to blatantly make the case for the other side?

We contested the personal and financial conservatorship of my mother. During the hearing, our court appointed public defender who spoke to my mother once, without me, totally made the case for the other side. Her speech definitely convinced the judge to grant conservatorship. She did not represent... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Jun 25, 2020

Your experience is not unusual. It’s not the job of the public defender to contest the conservatorship in all instances, especially if it’s clear to the PD that the need for a conservatorship exists based on personal observation, a review of a doctor’s capacity declaration, interviews with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Elder Law and Federal Crimes for California on
Q: does the police or sheriff dept have the right to allow volunteers to investigate without a court order in my home

in riverside they are claiming listening devices and spiritual eyes from a certain church that they can see in my home and they have probable cause to watch,as well they are monitoring my bank and finances and they left drugs in my home i reported this to police by giving them the bag of meth...i... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Jun 10, 2020

More information is needed in order to respond to your inquiry. Any lawyer would need the full context of what you are talking about. The few details you have provided are insufficient to permit me to offer any kind of reasonable advice. Prepare a full chronology of the events starting at the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can county put mother in a home and take estate through court conservatorship based on an undocumented diagnosis?

County is trying to put my mother in a home and take our family estate by court order conservatorship. Temporary conservatorship granted. Hearing for permanent is on June 24th. I am at loss as to what to do. They have provided no understandable explanation as to details, although I have requested... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Jun 8, 2020

They can’t take the property away from you if that’s what you’re wondering. Mom has a partial ownership interest in the property and so do you. The court can’t take away your interest in your home without affording you due process of law (notice and a hearing). A conservator could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Elder Law, Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice for California on
Q: Does a doctor need an adult-patients consent to give them an anti-depressant?

Hello,

I am 64yo was in a hospital being treated for intestinal issues for a few days by an Internal Medicine MD I do not know and barely spoke with and today the nurse came in my room to give me medications which included four new capsules. I found out they were anti-depressants and they... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on May 18, 2020

You are not required to take any medications you have not first discussed with a physician. Also, if the antidepressants were not prescribed by a treating psychiatrist, I would seriously question why they were prescribed and for what symptoms, and what diagnosis justifies the prescription.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California on
Q: My mother and father are both alive but ailing. If my father passes away before my mother when is his/their will read?

I anticipate issues with my siblings over my parents' estate, specifically one of them influencing my mother to change their will to exclude me if my father predeceases her. But if the will were to be read after he passed away (if he were to pass first) at least we would know his intentions... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 12, 2020

Most modern estate plans use a trust instead of will to transfer assets at death.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: We sold our home in 2019 to retire. We bought a fixer and paid for solar. Can we use the 2019 tax credit of 30%?

We are living on the property, Still renovating the house and it may not be habitable for some time. Does placed-in-service apply to us? We need the credit for 2019, as we no longer have income for 2020.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 5, 2020

If you bought the fixer in 2019 and either contracted for solar in that tax year or had it installed that year you can probably deduct it in you 2019 taxes (I say "probably" because I have not read the controlling statute or the contract).

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: Could I gain legal guardianship over my mother who has alzheimer's even though she's still married to my father?

My mother has alzheimer's and wanders out of her yard into the neighborhood but my father is in denial about her condition and puts her in dangerous situations. He refuses any help from the family. Is there a way where my brother or I could get legal guardianship over my mother?

Mike Darlington
Mike Darlington answered on Apr 24, 2020

You can apply for conservatorship, but should consult a professional in that area as they can be complicated matters in certain situations.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: Seeking conservatorship of dad, who's unable to communicate. He suffered a major stroke in March 2018. Veteran of USMC.

Had been in a Skilled Nursing Facility since the injury. But currently in Kindred Hospital Ontario. Waitng to be transferred back to Inland Valley Care in Pomona. Hopong to get him transferred to Lancaster, to be closer to home. He's receiving Military pension, VA Disability and Social... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Mar 18, 2020

Conservatorships come in two types: the person and the estate.

Conservatorship of the person allows you to make medical and personal decisions. Conservatorship of the estate allows you to handle his finances. Both take a few months to get (add an extra couple months due to the Corona...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Communications Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: Had a good friend of over 20 years suddenly passed before we could discuss everything that needed to be done legally.

Was the contact and his emergency contact for him when in hospital. He was hospitalized since September 2019 & found out he had lung cancer as well as other GI problems. Went home on his birthday January 31st. He was getting stronger but I got sick and was unable to see him. Then I got busy... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Mar 11, 2020

No.

I am sorry but last wishes must be in writing, ether handwritten and signed or typed and witnessed.

Any assets that he left behind belong to his creditors and his family (even if they cannot be found). Eventually some asset search company will find this abandoned money and look...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California on
Q: Is there anyone that can help me with a conservatorship with little or no money for retainer?

My husband is suffering from cognitive decline and has lost almost everything. His employees and ex business partner have stolen so much from us.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Mar 10, 2020

It depends on what you need. The Legal Aid Society and other agencies have free conservatorship clinics (I volunteer at the San Diego one); Google around. They normally only will do conservatorship of the Person, which gives you the right to run that person's life and medical decisions.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: My brother in law is taking financial advantage of my elderly mother in law. How can I protect her financial security?

She lives in a memory care senior community. My brother in law has power of attorney and I believe conservatorship. I am very close to her. I support and take care of her in many ways since my husband passed away. I recently learned that my brother in las has been taking out a substantial amount... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Mar 6, 2020

Without being the conservator of her person and estate, there’s not much you can do except be supportive of her. The conservator has control of her money and is accountable to the court for the use of her money. If he is using her money inappropriately, the court will demand that he pay the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Banking for California on
Q: My mom died in 2018 and my dad been having problems ever since well let me start some lady put a name change on his home

And his money market fund this lady I think she work for well Fargo bank the same bank my dad has

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Mar 2, 2020

If you suspect this woman is unduly influencing your father and/or is taking advantage of him financially, you should immediately contact Adult Protective Services. More information here: https://www.cityofmontclair.org/city-government/police-department/victim-information/elder-abuse

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