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Ben Neiburger

Ben Neiburger’s Answers

33 total

  • What can you do about a medical facility altering medical records prior to being sent to the attorney?

    This was a large in-patient facility that did not provide the proper care for an elderly patient which resulted in brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

    Ben’s Answer

    Sue them. Get a local nursing home/hospital litigation attorney and discuss this. It may be actionable.

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  • How do I resolve signing a contract without a Power of Attorney's approval first?

    A elderly friend whom I've been teaching art to for the last 6 years signed a contract with me to build a website of her artwork. Her POA notified me, stated that I was wrong for not having her go through it first. I had the intentions of having t...

    Ben’s Answer

    Yo should check with a local elder law attorney on this since the laws in your state might be different than what I say. However, generally, the agent under a power of attorney is just an agent, who acts for and in the name of the principal. They cannot contravene what the principal wants and the principal does not give up the power to make contracts or do other things unless the do not understand what they are signing. I think your opinion of the POA is correct and the POA is being very overbearing and may be exceeding his or her authority. You might want to report this situation to a local elder abuse agency to see if anything else is going with this POA. On the other hand, I do not think writing and explaining your side of the story will make any difference in this case and may only fan the flames that are fueling the POA.

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  • Are savings bonds or a savings account the best way to gift to grandchildren.

    these are children I'm very fond of and would like to do something for them. They are 3 yrs. old. I don't have a lot of money so I looking for the most bang for my buck.

    Ben’s Answer

    There is no best way to gift to grandchildren. Both of the option you ask about will work as long as the grandchildren are beneficiaries on the account. However, it may be better to leave them money through a will, even if there will be probate. What if you get sick and need to liquidate the accounts to pay for your care? Which "grandchild's" money are you going to use to pay those bills. It is better to have them in one pool of moeny distributed by one instrument, such as a will (or have each grandchild as a multiple beneficiary on each account).

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  • Spouse with dementia?

    My husband was diagnosed with demetia I told his children and right away they came and wanted to take him to their home, I let him go there to visit, told the kids he had to be back that next week for a doc appt. Now they have flown him out of sta...

    Ben’s Answer

    It seems in this unfortunate situation that you must file a guardianship or conservator ship court case to get control back. This may or may not work, depending on how the court room rulings are issues. In addition, these types of fights are incredibly expensive.

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  • Spouse going into nursing home. All monies in other spouse's name for more than 5 years. Protection is?

    My stepfather entering nursing home. All monies were always Mother's and have been in her name for more than 60 months. Is she liable for any nursing home charges?

    Ben’s Answer

    The answer is maybe. It really depends on state law. You must check with a local elder law attorney before acting. There are two issues, Medicaid qualification and being responsible for bills. State laws differ on both. In some states, if the assets have been separate for five years, then the spouse in the nursing home can get mediciad benefits, in other states that doesn't work. However, most states have a family expense act that requires a spouse to pay for the other spouses medical care. Again, you must call a local elder law attorney to answer this question correctly. Do not rely on this advice without doing so.

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  • Can my Grandmother sell her house to a family member and qualify for Medicaid and have no penalties?

    Can my Grandmother sell her house to a family member? She will be going to nursing home soon. She will be on Medicaid. The house is worth only about $7,500, tax assessed value. We don't totally agree that this may be worth $7,500, we think signifi...

    Ben’s Answer

    Before taking ANY action, you need to confrim this advice with an AL elder law attorney if the property is located there. Generally, as long as the trnasfer is for fair market value, then the purchase will not create a penalty. However, many states differ on how they computer fair market value (appriasal versus assessed value). This is why you need local advice.

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  • A mentally incompetent parent.

    My dad is mentally incompetent for at least four years now. My brother has power of attorney over his finances. My dad was living with his girlfriend who was taking care of him, but recently died. My brother took my father home with him, but can n...

    Ben’s Answer

    If your father refuses to act, it is still really difficult, even with a court order, to force him to do anything. Remember, if your father is acting irrationally, asking him to respond rationally to a court order is likely not to work. You may want to get senior services or a private social worker to help you convice him to go.

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  • What is the law in Illinois on an estate collecting a pension of a parent that passed away?

    My mother passed away 48-hours after my father this past December. My mother has a pension with a private company. When the company was contacted by phone, they said the beneficiary of the pension was my father, therefore the estate does not get...

    Ben’s Answer

    The beneficiary for the pension benefit is dictated by the beneficiary designation form as well as the provisions of the actual pension plan document. What is likely with a pension benefit, as opposed to a 401(k) benefit, is that a pension benefit is a stream of income that is paid to a person during their life or to a surviving spouse while the spouse is alive. You need to ask te company for the beneficiary designation form and the pension plan document to determine what happens in this situation and if there are any benefits for anyone to collect. In addition, the company doesn't keep the money, the pension plan, itself keeps the money and uses it to meet it's obligations to other living beneficiaries.

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  • How can we change the contact person for my Mother in a Nursing Home

    the nursing home says we need an attorney to change the contact person from my brother (who works 2 jobs) to me (I am retired). She has been in the home for 7 years and is still mentally capable. this is ok with my brother also as he doesn't have ...

    Ben’s Answer

    I agree with the post above. In addition, if your mother is still mentally competent, she can direct the nursing home to change the primary contact.

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  • Assisted living or nursing home contracts and liability

    If someone has a family member (or even just a friend) who has a dementia and needs to be in a facility, is it legally safe for the person to sign any paperwork? Concern is FINANCIAL liability--it seems that the person signing should be either the...

    Ben’s Answer

    It is illegal under Federal law for any facility that participates in the Medicaid or Medicare programs to ask a third party to guarantee payment on a nursing home contract as a condition of entry or continued stay in the facility. However, many facilities do not follow this and have "responsible party" provisions in the contracts which can create personal liability for the person who signs the contract, including a POA. the facilities then claim that you agreed to do this voluntarily and then sue.

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