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Tennessee Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: My dad is bedfast but refuses to go to a nursing home. What can I do as the only living child to have him placed?

He is in diapers, can't get to his food or take his meds on his own. Hospice caregivers come but he refuses any care from them. He has a brother who is 83 that checks on him and does those necessary thing for him but his health is also failing fast as he is a recent cancer survivor. My dad... Read more »

Robert D. Kreisman
Robert D. Kreisman answered on Jan 22, 2018

From what you have asked, the action you could entertain is hiring a local attorney to discuss whether your dad would be one who would qualify for a guardianship. If so you or another person, usually a family member could be appointed by the court to make decisions for your dad, should he be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Do I have to have power of attorney to sign for mom's hospice care?

I don't want to get into trouble and can't afford help right now as far as an attorney but her home care is wanting her on hospice and saying I have to sign for it. If I do will I get into trouble. She has dementia.

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 21, 2018

If they are asking you to consent as her next of kin and are not insisting on POA, then you can sign. Just make sure you are not signing to be responsible for payment unless that is your wish.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Health Care Law and Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Can the sister of a patient override the daughter if there's proof the patient didn't want his daughter involved?

This man has had his daughter banned from receiving any information about his health almost every time he has been admitted to the hospital and has told multiple friends and family members he doesn't want her involved. Somehow she figured out the password to come see him and has taken over as... Read more »

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 5, 2018

Without a power of attorney for health care, the daughter is the next of kin. Legally she gets to make the call.

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1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: How far in advance does a house need to be signed over in TN before the state can take it for nursing home payment?

My father's health is going down. Can he sign his property over so the state can't take it?

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Dec 21, 2017

The "look back" period for estate recovery to recoup medicaid nursing home payments is 5 years. You should consult an experienced elder law attorney to see what steps might be able to be taken to preserve as much of his estate as possible and plan for his care. Best of luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Mother and father passed in November, 2017. They resided in Tennessee.This question covers multiple topics.

My mother passed on November 7th. My dad passed on November 30th. Their bank account was accessed by a family member who fraudentely obtained POA for my father without my consent or knowledge. The account has a negative balance. I would like to have the family member prosecuted for withdrawing... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 12, 2017

It is doubtful that law enforcement will prosecute the theft.

The Next-Of-Kin can file a lawsuit against the Attorney-In-Fact who took the money for his/her own benefit. It is for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and any monies/property that he transferred to himself is presumed to be fraudulent...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: A man still married, but separated, has had his children taken from his home and now to another state. What can he do?

She says she only wants him to see the kids at her house or his mom’s & not his new house because she has HEARD that his girlfriend was “abusive” to children in a past relationship. But the girlfriend has showed NO aggression towards the kids & has recently given her life to God. The... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 6, 2017

This is a complicated situation with lots of moving parts. He should contact local counsel asap for his best options but it sounds like he'll want to commence divorce and custody proceedings asap.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Schedule A of a trust is blank. As sole beneficiary, successor trustee and spouse, how will assets be dispersed?

My husband (the grantor) created a trust and named himself the trustee. He named me the sole beneficiary as well as the successor trustee. The problem is the Schedule A/Assignment of Property does not actually mention what property. Is it assumed that all assets will go to me his current spouse of... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 10, 2017

A contest is certainly possible since there are NO assumptions. Based on what you have said, I suspect a contest is indeed likely. This is unfortunately a common problem with some " do-it -yourself" trust/estate planning documents: the documents get signed, but the transfers to be made to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: My mother passed away 17 months ago from complications of Alzhiemers. I was her caregiver and still presently reside in

her home, while trying to recover from P.T.S.D. due to 2 years of 24/7 caregiving with zero assistance from any of my 5 siblings. She had a trust. I am one of two (2) executors on her trust. Now the other executor (my half brother) is filing suit for me to pay rent from the time of her death and... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 13, 2017

Sorry, but there is no easy answer. You don't have any rights by virtue of having lived there so long ( this was simply by consent of your mother- she could have charges you rent if she wanted to, but apparently she didn't) .

Now that she has passed, the terms of the trust will...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Son and girlfriend moved in uninvited there is no lease how to remove it's been 3 years

They use injection drugs in my house police say need an eviction notice I live off disability

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 10, 2017

You will need to file a Detainer Warrant in General Sessions immediately, requesting "For Possession Only". There is a three year Statute of Limitations on Unlawful Detainers, but it is up to them to raise the issue. After Judgment if they are still there you will have to request a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: My mother has Alzheimer's Disease and in order to help my dad with her care we are considering having live in caregiver,

I want to make sure they are covered and no one will take their property or advantage of them. How to ensure that properly and legally

Inna Fershteyn
Inna Fershteyn answered on Jun 20, 2017

What you need is Medicaid Planning- Irrevocable Trust, Pooled Income Trust and Medicaid application done.

If your mother needs community Medicaid there is no look back provision in NY and we or any Medicaid planning attorney can do it working 2-3 months.


Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Hello - is the 2015 Tennessee Code the most recent? I need the State's requirements on holographic wills.

I would like a list of the State of Tennessee's minimum legal requirements for holographic wills. I am gathering information for my grandmother who has indicated that she plans to write her will by hand.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Apr 3, 2017

The Tennessee Code is updated every year. There are hundreds of amendments every year, to many sections. You need to make sure you have the most current supplement, which at this time is probably 2016. ( The 2017 amendments will not be completed and published until the end of this legislative... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Tennessee on
Q: Elderly couple - woman need conservatorship of spouse or guardianship?

Man has Alzheimer and Parkinson and is unable to care for himself. He is in long term care and wants to check out against medical advice. His wife is unable to care for him. What are her options to make sure he stays and receives the care he needs?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 3, 2017

Someone ( most likely the spouse) should file to have him declared incompetent and a conservator appointed for him. SHE ( the wife) does not have to be the conservator, although as spouse she has the right to serve if she wants to. If she can't handle the chore, HE still needs a conservator,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury and Tax Law for Tennessee on
Q: My Brother had filed a lawsuit against several nursing homes he was in for elder abuse, damages against a person. He

died before the lawsuit was settled, and lived in the state of California. I live in Tenn. I was named successor in interest over my brothers Lawsuit. He died on 11/27/2015 while Tn inheritence tax was in effect, The total amount I received was 28658.69. I plan on deducting 4500. for an expense he... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 21, 2016

your lawyer should be able to answer that. The law of the state where the estate is governs. Also note generally the claims of injury cases are not subject to state or federal taxes, and hopefully your lawyer worked the wongful death/survival claims in a way that gives the best bounce. But you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: My mother is 94, and has trouble writing. What would I have to do to get power of attorney?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 15, 2016

All she has to do is sign her name, she does not have to write out the wording of the power of attorney. There are many forms available online, but its probably best to get a lawyer in your area to prepare it. If she cant just sign her name, it is still possible for her to "make her mark"... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Contracts and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I take my brother to court to help pay our mother assited living cost.We both live on disilibilty.

We both live on disilibilty.I live on about $1300.00 a month.He has military retirement &military disilibilty plus he is still able to work.I just want to share the extra expence with him each month.He says yes but when time to pay he didn't give it all to me.Without it I cant pay all my... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 25, 2016

Unfortunately no, no child can be compelled to support a parent. You may feel morally obligated to pay for her care or her funeral or any of her expenses, but there is no LEGAL obligation to do. Perhaps you might try sending him the actual bills every month so he can see what the costs are. We have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can conservatory keep family and friends from seeing or having phone calls if they want to?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 11, 2016

If there has been a conservator appointed, that means that a judge has signed a written order explaining why a conservator was needed, and that order should also contain a specific description of the powers and authority granted to the person acting as the conservator. You need to read that court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Tennessee on
Q: A brother has told his sister he will obtain an injunction to prevent her from seeing their mother.

He feels the visits upset his mother. The mother is in early stages of alzheimers.

Is his word enough to obtain an injunction?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 11, 2016

In the strictest sense, yes, his word is enough IF he is believeable, sincere, articulate, or in other words, he does a good job communicating and testifying. If always up to the Judge to make this kind of decision, and its not based on how many people testify- its who is the most convincing. I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: My ex seems to be having symptoms of dementia and has lots of mini strokes. He is in charge of co owned rental.

I feel that at some point he may make poor decisions. This is not specified in divorce settlement. What to do?

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Oct 22, 2015

Go see your family lawyer about this?

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