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Michelle C. Berk

Michelle Berk’s Answers

9 total

  • My dad in on MediCal and in a skilled nursing facility. I was approaced by Hospice/VITAS and asked to sign a consent form for

    my dad to receive their services. The social worker said it was an extra layer of care at no cost to him through MediCal. Why would he need this service in a skilled nursing facility? I don't know much about it, have read the consent form but am...

    Michelle’s Answer

    I suggest having a consultation with an elder law attorney to understand what the consent form entails and whether it is required, necessary or a scan to make you a "responsible party" as you suspect. Some county bar associations or area agencies on aging have low cost initial consultations.

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  • My dad is in a skilled nursing facility and on MediCal. Each month I send his share of cost to the facility from dad's checking

    account. I have been on his checking account as joint owner for quite some time but only as a safety measure due to his advanced age. The checking account is dad's. Now, as dad cannot sign for himself, I am responsible for sending his share of c...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Any transactions made under the power of attorney should have your signature and be identified as the power of attorney since you are not acting for yourself but as dad's agent and that should be disclosed. Medicaid estate recovery does not create a responsibility to repay out of your funds, only from dad's if there is a probate estate remaining after he dies. The power of attorney dies with the individual. You could be liable though if you converted his funds to your own use, which you did not and will not, so you have no personal financial responsibility under Medicaid estate recovery.

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  • My Mother of almost 80 is being used and abused and Brainwashed by my sister,and Family cause of a grudge against me?

    My mother just met a boyfriend at 80 years old which took her out of her deep depression. I was the one who made it happen. By taking her out more. My sister is so insistant that she finishes up writing her 4th will now. While she is being cited b...

    Michelle’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    there are many alternatives all of which involve using either an elder law attorney, elder mediation to resolve family issues with the help of a skilled, trained elder mediator, or a combination of the two. Your mother may lack capacity to make a Will and an evaluation should be made by a geriatric doctor or assessment in an elder health unit of a hospital or facility to assess her capacity to determine whether the Wills are even valid. You can the file to be appointed her guardian.

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  • Dentist, did not call to get ok for veneers

    80 year old lady does not have the ability to make financial decision's her daughter takes care of her and has power of attorney. she went the dentist for check up and teeth cleaning, during this the dentist questioned her about her finances fo...

    Michelle’s Answer

    The District Attorney's Office may have an elder fraud unit.Also the county agency on aging may have a unit to investigate this as may a consumer protection advocacy group under governmental auspices and any of the foregoing may have enforcement or the ability to recover the charges or file a claim against the dentist.

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  • Can my sister, brother and myself prevent another brother from visiting our mother?

    Our mother has Alzheimers, we are attempting to keep her home as long as possible. The house was given to 4 children excluding the brother in question. Our recently deceased father had in the past 2 restraining orders against this brother who has ...

    Michelle’s Answer

    If your mother has some capacity since there are many degrees of cognition, she could execute a power of attorney whereby you could do whatever is needed for her health and wellbeing, including screening her visitors. If she lacks capacity to execute a power of attorney and an elder law attorney should be consulted to both determine that and to draft the document, both for finances and healthcare, you should retain an elder law attorney to pursue a guardianship whereby you will be appointed guardian by the court and can do whatever is necessary to maintain her wellbeing.
    Michelle C. Berk
    Law Offices of Michelle C. Berk P.C.

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  • Must I probate a will if all that remains is money in a banking account and I have access to it via bank card and internet?

    My mom requested in her will that the money be divided evenly amongst myself and my siblings. I was legal power of attorney for the last three years and I am aware of all funds that exist. My brothers and sisters are fine with my dividing up the...

    Michelle’s Answer

    You must be appointed executor to access the funds since the authority granted to an agent under a power of attorney dies with the principal. Once appointed executor you need to pay PA inheritance tax also. A 5% discount is available if inheritance tax is prepaid within 90 days of the date of death. Probate also affords you protection from creditors and also from your siblings if at some point they are not fine since it requires disclosure and following the mandated requirements of the Register of Wills office.
    Michelle C. Berk

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  • Must an estate always go through probate if it consists only of a checking and money market account?

    My father recently died leaving a small estate composed of about $10,000 in a checking account and another sum of about $6,000 in his name and his children's names. His will calls for the funds to be equally divided amond his children. If probat...

    Michelle’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    An account in joint names is a non-probate asset so probate is not required. If the $10,000 account was in his name alone either probate is required or an attorney can be hired to file a petition to distribute without probate whereby a judge's order authorizes distribution to the heirs without probate after payment of inheritance tax and any debts that are disclosed on the Petition to distribute the small estate. An individual can probate if named as executor, although if not, another executor can be appointed if renunciations are filed. Then the Register of Wills office will provide you with forms and deadlines to be met. You can prepay inheritance tax within 90 days of the date of death to obtain a 5% discount from tax.
    Michelle C. Berk

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  • SSA thinks i owe them over $14k??

    Have Multiple Sclerosis, was unable to work back in '08. Began application process but then started new drug that gave me back my life. Never completed application. Seven months later recieved letter and check for three months backdated disability...

    Michelle’s Answer

    In order for you to prevail against SS once you appeal the overpayment, you must prove you you were not at fault and that also do not have the ability to repay the overpayment, both of which you can do hopefully, but first you must appeal the overpayment. On line forms are available however I suggest you hire SS counsel also since you will have an in office hearing.
    Michelle C. Berk

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  • Medicaid Rules

    I am currently on Medicaid, waiting for SSI disability and live in a home owned by my parents. My parents want to sell my house and give me money to start up in another house. I know I am able to own my own residence on Medicaid, but do not know h...

    Michelle’s Answer

    If all the proceeds from the sale of the old house will be used to purchase the new house it should not result in a denial of benefits due to being over resourced. Proof consisting of the settlement sheets and your bank accounts should suffice. If there are excess proceeds they could be spent down on Medical bills or prepaying a funeral by purchasing and irrevocable burial cd, etc. I would consult a ny elder law attorney in your county.
    Michelle C. Berk

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