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Pennsylvania Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My friend's mom is near death and her sister, brothers and father are not allowing her necessary care and visitation.

Her mom lives in an apartment above her garage and is in the end stages of life. Her sister from NYC and brother from Florida are denying her necessary medical care. Can she obtain a restraining order?

John Rafferty
John Rafferty answered on Oct 14, 2020

She might consider filing a petition for guardianship of her mother, alleging that she needs assistance caring for herself and determining who can see her, and her current care-situation is insufficient. An estates attorney should be able to help you prepare and file such a petition.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is my son responsible for my nursing home payments should I have to be in one? My property is in his name also, \

My property is the joint property of my son and me. Should I pass away before my husband, my husband has lifetime residency of the house but it reverts to my son. If I should have to go into a nursing home is my son responsibile for my expenses since he is part owner of the house? I can't turn... Read more »

John Rafferty
John Rafferty answered on Oct 14, 2020

Your could be responsible for your nursing home payments if he signs a personal guarantee, or something similar for the nursing home, promising to make payment if you or your estate assets run out of funds. Alternatively, if you ran up a significant bill that the nursing filed a suit in order to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandma was diagnosed with dementia can she sign her house and property over to mr so that state doesn't take it.

I was told if she was put in a home that the state would take the property and whatever is in her bank account. It is in her will that the house and the property goes to me and my brother l, but if her Dr. Says she needs to be put in a home, I was told the state will take the property. So I wanted... Read more »

John Rafferty
John Rafferty answered on Oct 14, 2020

If she was diagnosed with dementia, then although she will logistically be able to sign title over, the conveyance will be subject to reversal, on the theory that she lacked cognitive capacity at the time of the conveyance, to convey title. For that reason, it's important you look at any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Was my dad's Income Only Medicaid Asset Protection Trust a good idea? Need to use trust income to pay for elder care.

About 6 years ago, my dad went into an assisted living facility and, AT THAT TIME, a lawyer put most of his assets in an Irrevocable Income-Only Medicaid asset protection trust. At the time, costs were reasonable ($3500/month) and he had a good Long Term Care policy. My dad went through with this... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 4, 2020

Except in California (where the lookback period is only 2.5 years), the Medicaid lookback period is 5 years. That means Medicaid pre-planning must be done at least 5 years in advance of the need for long-term care. When it comes to Medicaid pre-planning, an accurate crystal ball is extremely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I responsible (if NOT a POA or guardian) to stay in a home 24/7 for a mother and father with undiagnosed dementia?

The office of aging claims that she can be legally responsible for them (mother and father). She DOES want to be helpful and a good daughter but does she need to be there 24/7? She has had to leave her job and is a ‘prisoner’ to their home. This is all until they are placed in a nursing home.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2019

Pennsylvania is unusual (compared to other states) in that it does impose on relatives the obligation to care for and maintain or financially assist indigent persons.

Here is the Pennsylvania statute:

§ 4603 Relatives' liability; procedure

(a) Liability.--...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I suspect a POA agent of abusing principal's finances, is it up to me to ask for a court's review of expenditures?

Or, does a court review expenditures, as a matter of process, after a POA has been appointed? I can only guess it was a general POA. The principal (a PA resident) has, since, passed and, while I understand the POA was terminated with the principal's death, I fear the estate (small) is less... Read more »

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka answered on Oct 1, 2019

this is a very broad question so at best can give a general answer. If this was a POA pursuant to a written General POA signed by the principal (as opposed to a court appointed guardian or agent) then there is not much oversight unless the principal or someone on behalf of the principal reports... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Elder Law, Federal Crimes and Nursing Home Abuse for Pennsylvania on
Q: No attorney will take my case. How do I file charges for abuse of a corpse?

My father passed away in a nursing home. Not only did they lie about the time of death but my father was struck in the face after he died.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 2, 2019

Call the police department in the town where the nursing home is located, and tell them you want to file charges.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My best friend has been placed in a nursing home permanently. How can I clean out her apartment for her?

My sister (actually best friend) has been placed in a nursing home permanently. Her immediate family will not clean out her apartment. It is paid up for the next two weeks, which is the end of the month. She has nobody else to do it. She stands to lose everything if the management has to clean it... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Nov 21, 2018

When you say clean out, does that mean you intend to store her effects or get rid of them? Even though she doesn't have a will doesn't mean there will no be an estate raised. You might do best with staying out of this or, if your conscience won't allow that, then you could meet with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death for Pennsylvania on
Q: My Father passed 1 year ago under terrible circumstances at a Tioga county nursing home. Can I file suit?

I have powerful video and paper evidence of his civil rights bieng extremely violated. I was told by NH staff he was deemed incompetent after he signed Medical proxy to me - in front of me , I have pictures - documents -video evidence to provide

I checked with courts - he was not deemed... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2018

There may be a claim the estate can make. Whether it's a claim for the DA is up to the DA for the county where it happened. Feel free to call me and I can recommend some attorneys who can discuss the case in more detail with you. Do understand nursing home cases are difficult as the people go... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am a neighbor to a woman here in pa..

Her daughter lives in Virginia, has power of attorney and cleaned out her house of clothes, dinnerware, dishes, bowls, spoons, furniture, bed and box spring...

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Aug 15, 2018

I don't know what your question is. The fact that the daughter holds a Power of Attorney is irrelevant. That would not give the daughter the right to remove those things without her mother's consent.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Woman is abusing my 69 year old cousin mentally and financially. Do we have any recourse? Restraining order?

I have a 69 year old cousin who lives alone. My cousin was befriended by a woman in the same apartment complex. Over the course of a year, this woman ‘helped’ my cousin spend $100,000 from an investment account. My cousin gave her money ($5000, twice), paid for food, gas, footed her spending at... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Aug 2, 2018

Contact the local police also to report the neighbor's conduct, and have your cousin tell the police that she no longer wants any contact from this neighbor. If the contact persists after the neighbor is so notified, she could face criminal harassment charges. It's worth a try.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a child from a previous marriage living in another state put her father in a Nursing home even though he is married?

My husband and I have been married for 30 years, his oldest daughter seems to think that she can override me when the time comes to put her father my husband in a nursing home. She lives in NC, can she do this?

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on May 17, 2018

I do not practice in this area of law but I really doubt that she can do this unless she has herself appointed guardian. She'd have to do that in the state and county where your husband lives and he, and I believe you as well, would have to be notified of her petition.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have been separated for 6 years and my husband may have to go to a nursing home. Can they take my house?

I live in Pennsylvania

Wendy Ashby
Wendy Ashby answered on Apr 26, 2018

The answer to that question depends on additional information that you would need to provide. However, I can say the Medical Assistance laws provide protections for a spouse that would include the marital residence if the healthy spouse is residing in it. You mentioned that you are separated, so... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mom owes on her house if I buy the house for what she owes and she goes to a nursing home can they take the house?
Richard Winblad
Richard Winblad answered on Mar 28, 2018

Contact attorney Jeff Bellomo in Pennsylvania

PHONE:

717-845-5390

ADDRESS:

3198 East Market Street, York, PA 17402

OFFICE HOURS:

Mon to Thurs- 8:30am to 5:00pm (Closed 12-1pm)Friday- 8:30am to noon

EMAIL:

info@bellomoassociates.com

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Should I add my name on the deed to my mother's house?

Only 1 heir (me), no mortgage, no debt either side. mom is 82., dad passed in the fall - sister passed 25 yr ago (not married). I live 1 hr+ away. She just got a settlement from asbestos suit, so do not have to use home for equity to help with monthly bills and taxes for the time being - not... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Mar 16, 2018

Your mother and you would be best advised to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer and develop a comprehensive estate plan.

I will give you a few random things to check on:

1. If your mother needs nursing home care, is the house an exempt asset?

2. If the house is exempt and...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Mom passed away with no will. Has been separated for 10 years. He is incompetent and his family is trying to take estate

They have been separated for 10 years and he was in a accident a while ago and deemed incompetent. She lived a rough last year, and just passed away. His family is now trying to take the estate. What can I do?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Mar 10, 2018

Unfortunately, you need to hire a lawyer. If no divorce action was filed, he is entitled to claim what is called a forced intestate share. He is likely entitled to one-third of the estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: PA Resident - A family member is in a nursing home and fell. There is CCTV video of the fall.

Is the family legally permitted to view the video? The fall occurred in the common space hallway.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 20, 2018

They should be.If not tell admin you want the tape or images secured. Speak with an attorney who handles nursing home issues if there were injuries.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My mother is 89 years old and I am her caregiver. I work but bought a home so that I could meet her aging needs.

Both of our names are on the deed to my house because at the time, it was the best thing to do.

If she passes away, what happens with our home? What can I do to avoid any legal red tape?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Feb 10, 2018

You need to consult with a lawyer to examine the deed. If you and your mother own the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship, her interest would pass to you automatically, but it will cost you 4% inheritance tax on her portion. If you own the home as tenants in common, her interest... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: My boyfriend lives with his grandfather. His grandfather does not have a will.

Just trying to get some advice. My boyfriend lives with his grandfather. His grandfather has no will and was just diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. We live in PA so there's no next to Kin laws. He does own a house but with mortgage. His mother and Aunt believe they can come in and take... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Dec 1, 2017

I am not sure what you mean when you say that Pennsylvania has no next of kin laws. There is a statute, commonly called the Intestacy Act, which provides what happens in an estate where there is no Will. In the circumstances you have described, if the grandfather has no Will, all of his assets... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Divorce, Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Don't know my rights according to common law relationships.

I live in Pennsylvania, northampton county... I'm currently in a long term relationship (11 1/2 years). It has been extremely mentally abusive. I want out and am trying very hard to get out. However, he has always had the upperhand, and still does, to point that I look and at times act insane... Read more »

Lisa Marie Vari
Lisa Marie Vari answered on Nov 28, 2017

Common law marriage was abolished in Pennsylvania in 2005. Marriages entered after January 2005, must have a marriage license and formal process.

Please feel free to read the information about common law marriage on my website....
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