Elder Law & Special Needs Section Blog | Elder Law and Special Needs Section

This blog focuses on protecting the rights of the elderly and individuals with disabilities, and  provides advice, information and advocacy in areas relating to the legal issues that affect their lives. Published by the State Bar of Wisconsin's Elder Law and Special Needs Section.

Members of the State Bar of Wisconsin may join the section by visiting https://www.wisbar.org/formembers/groups/pages/join-a-group.aspx (login required).

Website: https://www.wisbar.org/forMembers/Groups/Sections/ElderLawSection/pages/home.aspx

The Elder Law and Special Needs Section is a very collegial and welcoming section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

I know this from personal experience. I have served on committees and in a leadership position with the section for seven years. I personally witnessed that the members of the section and the board go above and beyond when it comes to sharing their expertise with new members and attorneys who are striving to expand their practice of law
Continue Reading Diversity and Inclusion is a Top Priority of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section

For those of you who have not seen the cinematic classic that is Legally Blonde, the above title is a nod to the main character’s most notorious line.After Elle Woods successfully gains admission to an Ivy League law school, one of her classmates cannot fathom how she was admitted, and her response is the above phrase of incredulity.Amy K. Greske, William Mitchell 2014, is an attorney at O’Neill Elder Law, LLC, in Hudson. She practices elder law and
Continue Reading Transferring Guardianship to Another State Under Chapter 53: ‘What? Like It’s Hard?’

Wisconsin summers invite many enjoyable activities: boating, hiking, fishing, and of course, trips to the family cabin. A hallmark of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the family cabin, is a treasured piece of Wisconsin culture. Its foundation tells the story of a family’s hard work, close bond, and dedication. Families gather, laughter is shared, and memories are made.

It is no surprise that the cabin is often a family’s most valuable asset. As such, protecting it from devastating long-term care costs requires
Continue Reading Protecting the Family Cabin with a Family LLC

Thinking about becoming a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)? Here is my experience.

Greg J. Banchy, Marquette 1987, is an attorney with Banchy Law Center LLC in Eau Claire, practicing in elder law and estate planning.

Last September, I sat for the certification exam to become a CELA – a designation given by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

I was warned that the exam would be difficult – and it was. The biggest challenge was actually the breadth and
Continue Reading Becoming a Certified Elder Law Attorney

An algorithm is a set of steps that leads to a conclusive result. Both humans and computers can process algorithms – even simple arithmetic is an algorithm. Computers use complex algorithmic formulas that reference large quantities of data in order to make automated decisions.

Governments, employers, insurance companies, and health care providers are dramatically increasing their reliance on automatic decision-making software. Decisions as diverse as evaluating risk during criminal sentencing, deciding where to prioritize police resources, sorting resumes, ranking
Continue Reading Algorithm Bias: Due Process versus Trade Secrets

It seems as if we are starting to see, once again, some of the actions of Wisconsin nursing homes that led to the original Nursing Home Reform Act.

Now is a good time to take a look back and review what that federal law was all about.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
In 1986, Congress authorized the Institute of Medicine to conduct an analysis of complaints against the nursing home industry by its residents and their families.
Continue Reading Why We Should Revisit the Nursing Home Reform Act

The Elder Law and Special Needs Section (ELSNS) Board has had a carryforward of funds from one budget to the next.

While the board will use some funds in an emergency or for unforeseen circumstances, it also plans to spend funds each year to further the goals of the section, its members, and the public.

Fund Policy

The board has a policy to set forth the use of the funds. The board plans to spend funds on the following:
Continue Reading Grant Opportunities with the Elder Law and Special Needs Section

In Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Atul Gawande writes about how often medicine fails the elderly and those with terminal illness.

His first example is a man who chose a surgery that didn’t stand a chance of giving him what he really wanted (“his continence, his strength, the life he had previously known”). Despite seeing his wife die in intensive care and resolving to avoid the same fate, the man chose a risky
Continue Reading The Hardest Lesson to Learn in Elder Law

On July 1, 2019, I did something I never thought I would do: I became “of counsel” to my firm.

During most of my career as an elder law attorney, I planned to keep working until I died. I remember mentioning this to a colleague, Robert Fleming, when I was at his office in Tucson in 1996. Robert, Charlie Sabatino, Craig Gordon, and I – all National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) members – were at Robert’s office
Continue Reading Life of an Elder Law Attorney after Retirement

Nothing stops a dinner party conversation quicker than when people inquire of your profession and you reply, “I’m a lobbyist.”
Lobbying gives people a certain impression – maybe created by movies or TV, or even by politicians themselves, who often swear off lobbyists on the campaign trail. As often the case, the perception is much different from the reality – and lobbying and advocating for justice and the legal system has never been more important.
About State Bar Lobbying
Continue Reading State Bar Lobbyists: Advocates for the Elder Law and Special Needs Section

Note: This article was originally posted in the McCarty Law blog.

COVID-19 has been hard on all of us, but especially on residents of nursing homes. Because nursing homes house our most vulnerable population, extra precautions needed to be implemented to protect them.

This resulted in nursing homes being “locked down,” meaning residents were not allowed to leave, nor were they allowed visitors. Early on during the pandemic, we all saw heartbreaking pictures of families waving at a
Continue Reading Medicaid Issues with COVID-19

It was the first day on the job for my new staff attorney. He did not expect that his first day would be spent at a funeral. But there he was, with me.
In the casket was a client of mine. She was beautifully dressed in pink, her face peaceful, and her son and family stood nearby. I paid my respects, and they expressed their joy that the final days of her life had been spent at home.
Continue Reading It's Time to Address Racial Inequities in Elder Law

Dear members of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section and other interested persons:
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new blog for our section!
Blogs are designed to deliver the latest news, practical advice, and valuable resources that focus on the issues that we encounter in our practice.
We chose to create a blog because they offer more flexibility in providing timely and more frequent communication to our members. Also, posts can be shared on social
Continue Reading Welcome to the Elder Law and Special Needs Blog