Quick Links
 
 
 

 
YOUR LEGAL UPDATE FOR JUNE 2013

 

group shot sept 2012 

Our Attorneys
From left to right: 

Helen Mesoloras, Janna Dutton, Kathryn Casey, Hanny Pei.  

 

click here to learn more about our attorneys.

 COOK COUNTY PROPERTY FRAUD ALERT SYSTEM

According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white collar crime. It can be as simple as someone recording a document in the county land records' office that fraudulently makes it appear that they now own your property.

 

The Cook County Recorder's office now offers a property fraud alert system which allows the owner to receive a phone call or email anytime a document is recorded against their property.

 

To signup for the property alert system, go to wwww.cookrecorder.com  and click on 'free property fraud alert'. To signup via telephone, call 1-800-728-3858.

PARKING  PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY 

With the passage of HB5624 (Now, Public Act 097-0845) in May of 2012, HANDICAPPED PARKING there are changes to  Illinois's Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities. The most significant change to the program involves removing the ability for all persons with disability license plates and/or placards to park for free at metered spaces. This legislation establishes more stringent criteria for a person to park for free at parking meters in order to reduce the incidence of fraud.

 

For more information, click here.

TAX BREAK MAY HELP PAY FOR CCRC FEES

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) -- which offer the entiretax deduction   continuum of care under one roof -- are an appealing retirement housing option, but they can be very expensive. The good news is that there is a little-known tax break which can help defray the costs.

 

CCRCs offer a range of services from independent housing to assisted living to round-the-clock nursing services. When moving into a CCRC, residents enter into a contract that usually includes a large  entrance fee that may or may not be refundable. The residents pay a monthly fee as well. 

 

If your medical expenses are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (beginning in 2013 the figure is 10 percent for those under age 65), you may be able to deduct some health care costs from your taxes. Because CCRC's provide a full range of health care services, when residents enter a long-term contract with one of these facilities, they are contracting for future health care. If the CCRC's entrance fee is non-refundable, the IRS considers a portion of that fee to be prepayment of medical expenses. If the entrance fee is refundable, the tax deduction only applies to the portion of the fee that is non-refundable. In addition, a portion of the monthly fee may also be deductible. Click here for an article that explains how the tax deduction might work.

 

The exact percentage of CCRC fees that are tax deductible varies considerably from CCRC to CCRC. The amount doesn't depend on the health care services that an individual resident actually received -- it is the aggregate for the entire community. The CCRC is responsible for informing residents of the percentage of its fees that are for medical costs.

 

For more information on CCRCs, click here.

 

The attorneys at Dutton & Casey concentrate in estate planning, probate, and elder law. This includes planning for long-term care items such as planning for housing expenses and reviewing contracts from perspective housing communities. For more information on how we can assist you or someone who you care about, click here.

ILLINOIS EXPANDS DO-NOT-RESUSCIATE (DNR)
TO PHYSICIAN ORDERS FOR
LIFE SUSTAINING TREATMENT (POLST)

On March 14, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a  revised version of its "IDPH Uniform Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Advance Directive." The updated form is subtitled "Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment" (POLST) This form represents a widely recognized best practice that documents medical orders for life-extending treatments for seriously ill patients. POLST is now in use in 38 states with adoptions by Illinois and Indiana in 2013. It is intended to promote more patient-centered conversations between physicians/other healthcare professionals and the patient or legal surrogate.

 

click here to learn more. 

 

  WILL YOU LOSE MEDICARE OR MEDICAID IF YOU LEAVE THE NURSING HOME TO VISIT FAMILY? 

Reunions, graduations, birthdays, and holidays: Whatever the occasion, nursing home residents don't want to miss out on family gatherings, but may be afraid that they will lose Medicare or Medicaid coverage if they leave the nursing home. In most cases, Medicare recipients can leave for a day or two, although the nursing home may bill them in order to hold their beds. Medicaid recipients will need to check with their state.

 

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited, and it only covers "skilled care" - i.e., treatment provided by a doctor or nurse. Coverage can stop if a patient is no longer benefitting from this skilled care. However, the Medicare policy manual states that a short leave of absence to attend a family occasion is not, by itself, evidence that the resident no longer needs to be in the nursing home. The manual also states that staff should not tell a resident that leaving the facility will cause coverage to lapse.

 

If a resident leaves and returns by midnight the same day, the nursing home can bill Medicare for the day. However, if the resident is gone overnight, Medicare will not compensate the nursing home for the time missed. If the resident wants to leave for a few days, he or she should check with the nursing home to make sure the bed can be held. The nursing home may charge the resident a bed-hold fee in order to keep the space available.

 

If a Medicaid recipient leaves a nursing home to visit family, it is called "therapeutic leave." State laws regarding therapeutic leave vary widely. Some states will pay to hold a bed for as long as 30 days a year, while others pay nothing at all for such a leave. Each nursing home is required to provide residents with information about their bed-hold policy before the resident leaves the facility. In addition, if a Medicaid recipient is absent longer than the nursing home's policy allows, federal law requires the nursing home to readmit the recipient to the first available room. For a list of state bed-hold policies, click here.

 

For more information about Medicare's nursing home coverage, click here.

 JUNE IS NATIONAL APHASIA AWARENESS MONTH
Aphasia is an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually   acquired as a result of a stroke, head injury, brain tumor, or neurological disease. It impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty with reading and writing. However, it doesn't affect intelligence, as it is the ability to access ideas and thoughts through language, not the ideas and thoughts themselves that is disrupted. Aphasia can occur in people of any age, and as many as one in 250 people are impacted by it.
 
For more information on aphasia, including helpful resources, click here to go to the National Aphasia Association's website.
 BENEFITS CHECK UP
This free, confidential website screens individuals for   thousands of public and private benefits that can help them pay for food, medicine, housing, utilities, and more. Click here to learn more.benefits check up 
   UPCOMING PROGRAMS FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Administering a Special Needs Trust 

Attorney Janna Dutton will provide information on the duties oeventsf the administrator of a special needs trust. It is important for family members who put special needs trusts in place to understand what is required of the trust administrator in order to be certain that the right person is selected to fulfill this important job. In addition, it is good for the trust administrator to understand their obligations and what is required of them in this role.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time: 10:30 AM- Noon

Location: CJE Senior Life, 3003 West Touhy, Chicago, Illinois. This program is being sponsored by the Linkages Program at CJE Senior Life.

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Please contact Rosann Corcoran at 773-508-1694.  

**************************************************************************

Taking Control of Your Future: Strategies for Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

Adequate legal planning for your future involves more than writing a will. This session will address six important topics which can impact your physical, mental, and financial health: disability, health care coverage, health care surrogate decision-making, long term care, planning for retirement, and estate planning.

Presenter: Kathryn C. Casey, JD

Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: St. Alexius Medical Center, 1555 Barrington Rd, Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Click here to register.

 

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LISTING OF OUR UPCOMING PROGRAMS

 UPCOMING PROGRAMS FOR PROFESSIONALS
Surrogate Decision Making

This session will focus on powers of attorney for healthcare and property, the health care surrogate act, the mental health treatment preference declaration act, and guardianships.

 

Presenter: Kathryn C. Casey, JD

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

Location: Kenneth Young Center, 1001 Rohlwing Road, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Continuing Education: 1.5 clock hours will be awarded to Illinois Social Workers, Counselors, and Nurses

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Click here to register.

**************************************************************************

Elder Law and Ethics, 2013

This will offer an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics topics such as:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Risk factors for neglect, abuse, exploitation, and undue influence
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Medicaid

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013

Registration: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM - 12 Noon

Location: Abington, 3901 Glenview Rd., Glenview, Illinois                       

Continuing Education: This program will award 3.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses, and this program will satisfy the Illinois social worker 3 hour ethics requirement. 

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and remaining seating is very limited. click here to register.

  **************************************************************************

Are You Prepared to Serve All Seniors? Think Again.

As professionals, we are very aware of the challenges faced by an aging population, especially those who are frail or ill. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals facing a health crisis, the challenges are often magnified. Out of fear, both real and perceived, many LGBT seniors delay or avoid getting the care they need.

 

This training, offered through the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and sponsored by Dutton & Casey, the Senior and Community Resource Center at St. Alexius Medical Center, Center on Halsted, and Elderwerks, will provide you with information and resources to best serve LGBT older adults and address the unique challenges faced by this community. The training will include group discussion, interactive small group activities and break-out sessions.

 

Presenter: Britta Larson, M. NH, Senior Services Director at the Center on Halsted

Date: Monday, September 23, 2013

Registration: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Presentation: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: St. Alexius Medical Cnt, 1555 Barrington Rd.Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Continuing Education: This program will award 4.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses.

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and seating is very limited. Click here to register.

 

**************************************************************************

 Elder Law and Ethics, 2013

 Please join us for an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics topics, such as:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Risk factors for neglect, abuse, exploitation, and undue influence
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Medicaid

Presenter: Kathryn C. Casey, JD

Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Registration: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM - 12 Noon

Location: Friendship Village, 350 W. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, Illinois

Continuing Education: This program will award 3.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses, and will satisfy the Illinois social worker 3 hour ethics requirement.

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and remaining seating is very limited. click here to register.  

   

 CLICK HERE FOR A LISTING OF ALL UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS. 

Appointments with our attorneys are available in
Arlington Heights, Chicago, Skokie and Vernon Hills, Illinois.