Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Monday, November 21, 2016

What happens to your mortgage when you die?

We’ve lost a lot of legends this year, from David Bowie, Natalie Cole to Prince. And while it may seem fairly normal for a Regular Joe to die without a will, it seems really strange to find out that stars like Prince, someone with an all-access pass to consultants and attorneys, would die intestate.

The world was shocked to learn that Prince didn’t have a will and that his remaining family members were fighting over his estate in Paisley Park. What will become of his estate remains to be seen, but it will likely be passed on under the laws of intestacy for Minnesota, where Prince’s

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Four Warning Signs of Financial Elder Abuse

What are the signs that a senior citizen may be a victim of financial exploitation by a wealth advisor?

It is a sad reality that, of all the ways the elderly can be mistreated, financial elder abuse is one of the most common. At a time when one in thirteen financial advisors has been subject to some form of disciplinary proceeding, seniors and retirees are especially vulnerable.

Indicators That A Financial Adviser May Not Have Your Best Interests At Heart

1. Recommendations that ignore practical needs.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Niche in elder care: assisted living for LGBT seniors

What should you look for in an assisted living facility?

Few of us like thinking about where we might end up when we are no longer able to care for ourselves or safely live on our own.  But, planning ahead for this type of eventuality will allow you to choose a facility that will truly meet your needs. 

Owners of assisted living facilities are getting more creative and are starting to offer accommodations to suit many different kinds of needs.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

New California Law Helps Seniors Avoid "Observation Status" In Hospitals

What are the medical and financial risks for elderly patients placed under observation? 

Elderly patients who are placed under "observation" are often under the mistaken impression that they have been formally admitted to the hospital and that their care will be covered by insurance. They may even spend days or weeks in a hospital room while still under observation. In many instances, they are never told about their status. But being under observation means less medical and nursing care for seniors and less insurance reimbursement, leaving patients with huge bills.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nursing Care Bill Seeks Changes in Rights of Seniors

How much control do elderly patients have over their medical care when incapacitated in a nursing home?

Proposed legislation in California has elder care advocates concerned—and illustrates the need for seniors to make sure they are legally protected in advance of a medical problem.

Legislation Would Give Nursing Homes New Powers to Make Decisions for Elderly Patients

The bill, SB 503, covers the procedures for treating “unrepresented” patients at nursing homes. These are patients who are unresponsive or unable to give "informed consent" to treatment. A previous law dealing with this situation was found to be unconstitutional.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vacation Home Memories May Be All the Kids Want

Q: Should I leave my vacation home to the children?

Estate planning is designed to plan for the distribution of your assets after you’ve passed away. Facing your own mortality can be unsettling for some, but the peace of mind you get after putting your affairs in order is priceless, particularly if your situation involves special needs, MediCal, or other specialized planning.

When you inventory your assets and think of whom you’d like to leave certain items to, nostalgia can take over.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bad Connection: Financial Elder Abuse Telephone Scams

How can the elderly be protected from financial elder abuse?

Today’s elderly folks come from what’s known as the “Greatest Generation”--those who came of age during the Great Depression and who are the parents of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers are not only often caretakers for their elderly parents, but are themselves rapidly joining their parents among the ranks of the nation’s senior citizens.

Today’s elderly grew up in a very different world.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Financial Elder Abuse Threatens Elderly Couple With Eviction

Mistreatment of the elderly takes many forms, but the most common is financial elder abuse. Fraud, misappropriation of funds, and other betrayals by people in a position of trust often cause at least as much harm as physical abuse, with far reaching consequences.

A Too-Trusting Couple Deeds Their House to Their Grandson

The recent experience of a California couple is a case in point. Both in their late 80s, the elderly couple considered borrowing against the home they had shared for half a century.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mom Frozen Out of Public Benefits After Son’s Death

Can in-home supportive services caregivers collect unemployment benefits after their child dies?

In an ideal world, no parent would have a terminally ill child or have to bury a child. It’s just not the natural order of life. Yet, life isn’t ideal--or even fair.

In California, a parent of a terminally ill child may not only apply for assistance through the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits program, but may also seek state-based assistance by applying to be an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Caregiver for their child. The latter designation allows the parent to stay home to care for their terminally ill child while earning minimum wage.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

California High Court Limits Applicability of Elder Abuse Statute in Neglect Lawsuit

When does California's Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act apply to a healthcare provider's neglect of an elderly patient?

When the California legislature enacted the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, it aimed to protect the elderly from a wide range of problems, from physical neglect and mistreatment to financial abuse. But, according to a recent case, the law may not apply to those who do not have a "custodial" relationship with the elderly victim.

Children Sue Outpatient Medical Group for Negligent Treatment of Their Mother

The plaintiffs in the California litigation sued an outpatient medical group and several of its doctors for negligence and incompetence when their elderly mother died after the amputation of one of her legs.

Several years before her death, the patient had been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease, with poor blood flow in her legs. She saw doctors at the medical group repeatedly for problems that included tissue damage, infections, and wounds that would not heal.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dying Without a Will or Trust Can Cost You Money, Privacy, and Control

What happens if I die without a will or trust in California?

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”-Prince

In late April, the music world was shocked by the loss of the artist (formerly known as) Prince, who died suddenly at the young age of 57. The above quote is a lyric from one of his most popular songs, “Let’s Go Crazy”.

And speaking of crazy…one thing most people do as they “get through this thing called life” is prepare a will or trust. Prince-- a man worth an untold fortune, with no spouse, parents, grandparents, or known children—apparently died without either.

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