January 9 Minutes

Elder Law Committee
Friday, January 9, 2009 ?" 12:00 p.m.
McAngus, Goudelock & Courie
700 Gervais St., Columbia

Chair: Kathryn DeAngelo, Esq.


Members Attending In Person:             Bar Staff:
Kathryn DeAngelo, Chair                       Dana Kurtz, Liaison
Catherine Angus
Charles Black
Michael Bridges
Alyson Fudge
Carole Gunter
Anderson Horne
Roger Jellenik
Catherine Kennedy
Nancy McCormick
Catharine Miles
Franchelle Millender
Arthur Rich
Sarah St. Onge
Judith Whiting

Members Attending By Phone:
Melody Breeden
Deborah Cochelin
Frank Dana
O. Allen Jeffcoat
Mitchell Payne
Brian Treacy

I. Welcome and Call To Order
Chairperson DeAngelo welcomed the Committee and called the meeting to order.

II. Approval of November 7, 2008 Minutes
A motion was made and seconded to approve the November 7, 2008 minutes and was passed by acclamation.

III. Medicaid Policy Changes
Mr. Treacy and Mr. Black discussed the revisions to the Medicaid Policy and Procedures Manual that Franchelle Millender sent out via email on December 1, 2008. There are some significant changes regarding the timelines for applications and reviews. The Committee decided not to take a stand at this time since Medicaid has been offering extensions. They will take another look at the issue at a future date.

IV. Elder Abuse
Chairperson DeAngelo brought to the attention of the Committee The National Center on Elder Abuse ListServe/Website Information which issues a daily newsfeed on elder abuse issues.

V. Excel Elder Law Committee Subcommittee Chart
a. CLE
Ms. Millender reported the Elder Law Committee is sponsoring a CLE at the upcoming South Carolina Bar Convention on Thursday, January 22, 2009. The topic will be “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!” The Committee will not be sponsoring a 2009 Spring CLE, but plans are being made for one at the 2010 Bar Convention and in the spring of 2010.

b. Education
Ms. Gunter reported that she has recently spoken with Leigh Thomas, Communications Director of the SC Bar in regard to offering education to the public through the Bar’s speaker’s bureau. The Bar will send out letters on the behalf of the Elder Law Committee to area churches offering to educate on elder law issues. The Committee discussed various available resources for the elderly. Ms. Angus from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging explained that there are many services for elderly: South Carolina Access has a website that lists numerous resources; The Lieutenant Governor’s Office On Aging and area offices on Aging have specialists in all the offices who can make referrals.

c. Guardianship/Conservatorship
Mr. Jellenik discussed the following items within the G/C subcommittee:
- Elder Care Study Committee Status is a disciplinary group spearheaded by Judge Faulkner, Probate Judge in Greenville County. Other members include Mr. Jellenik, Ms. Angus and Ms. Flynn. They have arrived at a draft report that the committee approved which calls for the introduction of certain innovations dealing with guardianships and conservatorships in probate court. A Task Force is being developed.
- Uniform Guardianship Law ?" Ms. Millender and Mr. Polk are in the process of going through the Uniform Guardianship Law. There are a couple of concerns about the language. Mr. Polk will be making some recommended language changes. Will have more to bring back to the Committee in the next meeting. Chairperson DeAngelo reported that the Act has been filed. Ms. Millender will contact Judge Condon for additional information.
- Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act ?" Ms. Angus distributed “AARP Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It ?" A Comparison of Current State Laws with the New Uniform Power of Attorney Act”. Mr. Treacy discussed aspects of the new Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. The new act gives the client a right of action and covers any attorney’s fees included in the action. A motion was made for Mr. Treacy to chair a subcommittee to look into other issues within the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act working under the Legislative subcommittee. The motion was seconded and approved by acclamation.
- Financial Identity Theft Law ?" Ms. St. Onge has studied the new legislation and will send it via email next week to the Committee with in depth information. In the meantime, it is noted that when filing documents with the court, that if identification numbers such as, Social Security, driver’s license, passports or bank account numbers are on documents being filed with the Clerk of Court they cannot be listed in their entirety unless expressly required by law or ordered by the court. (Section 32-330a)
- Family Court/Probate Court ?" There is nothing new to report at this time.
- Probate Code/Elder Law Review ?" Looked at how the Probate Code review and Elder Law Committee initiatives relate to one another with regard to Guardianship/Conservatorship issues.

d. Legislation
- Probate Code Overhaul
Ms. Kennedy requested volunteers from the Elder Law Committee to work on the Probate Code overhaul. The volunteers would be responsible for reviewing Part 5, Articles 1,2,3,4. This will be a one- to two-year undertaking and most likely will not get introduced until 2011. A motion was made that the Elder Law Committee coordinate its efforts with the Probate Code Overhaul Committee to take responsibility for Part 5, Articles 1-4 of the Probate Code Overhaul. The motion was seconded and carried. Ms. Millender will be chairing the work group for Elder Law. Mr. Payne will work with her.
- Notary Statute
The Committee discussed the proposed legislation for Section Code 26-1-05 which will regulate and govern notaries public. A motion was made that the Elder Law Committee requests the Bar to oppose the legislation on notaries as it is written based on numerous perceived changes including that is it onerous on the practice of law, it limits services to the public, creates significant risk to the notaries themselves and ultimately does not appear to adequately address the underlying problems. The motion was seconded and passed.

e. Pro Bono
There was no report at this time.

f. Recruitment
The subcommittee has met and is actively working on recruitment.

VI. Other Business
Ms. Angus reported that there is a new five-star rating on nursing home comparisons.

VII. Probate, Estate Planning and Trust - Summons/SCRP
Chairperson DeAngelo reported that the Summons/SCRP is on the agenda for the House of Delegates.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.