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Pennsylvania Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My job is a caregiver

I recently switched company's and my client I had with my old company changed to the current company I'm with now before I started there the client in question wants me to still be their caregiver and I would too but we both signed a paper in short that can't happen until a year has... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Aug 25, 2021

It sounds like you have a non-compete and/or non-solicitation agreement with your former employer. If the agreement is enforceable, and you violate the terms, your former employer can sue you and your new employer. You should have your contract containing the non-compete/non-solicitation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Health Care Law and Public Benefits for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can family have a say in an elderly person's need to move to a care facility? This person is of-sound mind;

She lives in filth, doesn't eat, can't clean herself and sits and sleeps in her own feces and urine.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 3, 2021

I would approach an elderlaw attorney who is certified; the area office on aging can be of help.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a county run facility refuse to accept an individual?

My mother has dementia. My father can no longer take care of her. My sister discovered she was hiding her medication which allowed her to become violent. She has been in hospital since last episode and back on her meds with no violent episodes for over a week. A county run facility near her home... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 21, 2021

Call the office of aging in the area. Get a consult from a certified Elder Law attorney. Contact each if your County Commissioners.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a Trustee refuse to make a distribution to a beneficiary of a discretionary trust and

then ignore said beneficiary requests for an explanation?

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on May 22, 2021

The powers of any Trustee are prescribed first by the wording of the Trust document itself, augmented by the powers specified in the PA statutes.

To answer your question correctly, a lawyer would need to examine the wording of Trust document.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: What are the determining factors as to whether or not a trustee has actually acted in the beneficiary best interest?

Are there any rules governing what a Trustee must do to ensure they know what IS & IS NOT in the beneficiaries best interest and act accordingly?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 20, 2021

Entire books have been written on this subject, and this has been the subject of numerous lawsuits across the country. There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer, I am sorry to say. If you have a particular action in mind and would like legal advice regarding that, you should consult with an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Foreclosure and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My 71 yr old father is facing forclosure due to a scam.

My father got involved with a woman facing legal troubles and believes he is funding a big top secret lawsuit against a gov. agency. However, no legitimate lawyer is ever produced when asked and some tragic event always occurs to prolong the case. It's been 5 yrs. He gave away all of his... Read more »

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on May 19, 2021

If your father refuses to sign any documents, even for a loan from you, you can (if the amount is doable) approach the holder of the Note and Mortgage and offer a pay-off in exchange for an assignment of the existing Mortgage and endorsement of the Note to you. The bank should be happy to work... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: This is extremely complicated and Covid related. At beginning of pandemic all persons over 60 laid off for months

Upon returning - we were required to disinfect all areas between patients with new disinfectants, masks and shields. By afternoon this had me vomiting violently. Sent home on many occasions suspected of infection. Occupational Medicine would not see me. I was consistently approved for time off... Read more »

Timothy Belt
Timothy Belt answered on May 11, 2021

That is indeed a complicated set of facts. It sounds like your doctor has indicated your condition is related to a work related chemical exposure. As such, this may be considered a work injury. If you have not already provided notice to your employer of a work injury, you have 120 days from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Nursing Home Abuse for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, How do I find the information about the civil lawsuit that was filed last week?
Michael Brevda
Michael Brevda answered on Feb 18, 2021

You can find public access to Pennsylvania’s civil court docket online. You can search by party name to locate either 1) the name of the injured nursing home victim or 2) the legal entity name of the negligent nursing home.

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.

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