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Pamela M. Burdick

Pamela Burdick’s Answers

6 total

  • Can you send a list of professional Guardians to me that you recommend...

    My wife has Alzheimers; in and ALF; and I am her only advocate..I need a back-up to me to make sure her health and welfare are kept up.

    Pamela’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with Messrs. Carr & Pippen. I do not have a list, but if you wish to call me, I can recommend a professional guardian who is well qualified to assist you.

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  • Does the widow keeps anything (possessions) obtain during the marriage? Such as car that husband brrought as a gift.

    My husband of two years passed away, and brought me a car. Do I keep the car or does his childred have the right to take it away from me.

    Pamela’s Answer

    The answer depends upon how the car was titled after your deceased husband bought it for you as a gift. If it was immediately titled in your name alone, it is your car and nobody else has a right to it. If it was titled jointly in your name and your husband's name, as joint owners, it became your car on his death. You will need to take the joint title along with a certified copy of his death certificate to the DMV to have it transferred to your name alone.

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  • My mom has a disability "mental impairment",she never work , is she able to get medicaid?

    she lives with me, she is permanent resident since 2002, she didn't pass the test of citizen because her impairment, we didn't notice her problem in that moment. I need soome help because I had to work and she is not able to be by herself

    Pamela’s Answer

    Without thoroughly understanding your mother's medical and financial situation, I cannot state with certainty whether your mother will be able to get Medicaid. However, you can obtain assistance with different Medicaid programs by contacting the Department of Children & Families. You did not mention your mother's age, but there are many Medicaid programs that may be available to assist your mother depending on her age and disability. Go to the following site to see the list of most of the Medicaid programs:

    In addition, there are adult day care programs that may be available for minimum costs; services through Catholic Family Services, Jewish Family Services (you do not need to belong to either religion to seek help). You may wish to go online to check for help with your local Area Agency on Aging.

    If you do not feel that you have the time or skills to assist your mother in finding her a program to meet her needs, or if you simply need guidance in doing so, please contact an elder law attorney in the Orlando area. You can search on AVVO, go to the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys at:

    And call your local bar association for a referral.
    I wish you the best in your search.
    Pamela Burdick

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  • My mother is getting senile. Her doctor's office is taking on more responsibility for her care.

    The doctor's nurse is going to her home and getting involved in her care. She is supposed to keep me informed (I live out of state). I feel soon I will need to become her guardian. She has no other relatives. Can the doctor's nurse or doctor himse...

    Pamela’s Answer

    If you have reason to believe that her nurse or doctor are acting in any way that is not in her best interest, you may need to apply to be appointed guardian. However, if your mother has planning documents in place such as a durable power of attorney and living will and health care surrogate designation, a guardianship may not be necessary.

    I suggest that you begin by locating a good geriatric care manager (GCM) in her area (which you can do by contacting a reputable elder law attorney for recommendations. This person would be hired by and report to you about her condition, and her care, to ensure she is being looked after properly. The GCM can arrange for reputable, bonded home health care, as needed according to her condition.

    You did not mention whether you are her agent under a durable power of attorney and her health care surrogate pursuant to an advance directive/health care power of attorney. If you are, this allows you to retain the GCM and an elder law attorney and oversee her care from a distance. If she does not have these documents in place, I suggest that you arrange for her to consult with an elder law attorney to have them done as soon as possible. Furthermore, she should designate a pre-need guardian. That designation will then be filed with the clerk of court in her county of residence to ensure her preference is considered first by the court.

    If you believe that the nurse or doctor may be exerting influence over your mother's decision, it may be important for you to visit as soon as you can to assess the situation yourself and hire a GCM and assist your mother in finding a reputable elder law attorney while you are here.

    If your mother cannot go to an attorney's office, many of us make house calls, as well as nursing home and hospital visits, due to the age and frailty of many of our clients.

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  • What happens if a person does not have a living will

    My 51 year old husband was just diagnosed with advanced lung cancer that has spread to his brain. He does not have a living will. Am I able to act and made medical desions for him such as declining life support if and when the time comes. He is...

    Pamela’s Answer

    Because you state that your husband is incoherent, it is unlikely that he may now sign a living will and designation of health care surrogate. For such a situation, Florida law provides for a person to serve as a health care proxy in Section 765.401, Florida Statutes.

    If there is not a court appointed guardian, you as the spouse would be that proxy and can act and make medical decisions for him. His adult children would be next in line if you were unable to act for him. That law states in pertinent part:

    765.401 The proxy.--
    (1) If the patient has not executed an advance directive, or designated a surrogate to execute an advance directive, or the designated or alternate surrogate is no longer available to make health care decisions, health care decisions may be made for the patient by any of the following individuals, in the following order of priority, if no individual in a prior class is reasonably available, willing, or competent to act:
    (a) The judicially appointed guardian of the patient, who has been authorized to consent to medical treatment, if such guardian has previously been appointed; however, this paragraph shall not be construed to require such appointment before a treatment decision can be made under this subsection;
    (b) The patient's spouse;
    (c) An adult child of the patient, or if the patient has more than one adult child, a majority of the adult children who are reasonably available for consultation;
    (2) Any health care decision made under this part must be based on the proxy's informed consent and on the decision the proxy reasonably believes the patient would have made under the circumstances.
    (3) Before exercising the incapacitated patient's rights to select or decline health care, the proxy must comply with the pertinent provisions applicable to surrogates under this chapter, except that a proxy's decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging procedures must be supported by clear and convincing evidence that the decision would have been the one the patient would have chosen had the patient been competent.

    The pertinent provisions applicable to surrogates under this chapter and procedures to follow are set forth in Section 765.305 Procedure in absence of a living will.--
    (1) In the absence of a living will executed pursuant to s. 765.303, the decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging procedures from a patient may be made by a health care surrogate designated by the patient pursuant to part II unless the designation limits the surrogate's authority to consent to the withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures.
    (2) Before exercising the incompetent patient's right to forego treatment, the surrogate must be satisfied that:
    (a) The patient does not have a reasonable probability of recovering competency so that the right could be exercised by the patient.
    (b) The patient's physical condition is terminal.

    I am sorry about your husband's illness and that you find yourself in such a terrible position. Your husbands unexpected illness illustrates why it is so important for all of us to have living wills and designations of health care surrogates and, just as important, to have durable powers of attorney.

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  • Look'g to buy 6-7 bdrm home for Assisted Liv'g Facil. How do I know if city will allow it? What ?? do I ask?

    Not sure where to look yet. Sev'l medical friends looking into this. Will look in whatever city will allow a residential home to be a home for elderly. Was looking . . middle to northern Fla. & into Georgia. Need some assistance. Don't know who t...

    Pamela’s Answer

    This was posted as an Elder Law question. It is actually a question for planning/zoning/licensing attorneys, or those who deal with those agencies in the cities of interest to you.

    Initially, you may wish to explore the idea with the planning zoning departments of the cities and counties you are looking at. Eventually, I recommend that you consult with an attorney. One who does this regularly will know the contacts you need to make etc.

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