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March 2009 Minutes

ELDER LAW COMMITTEE

Friday, March 27, 2009 -- 10:00 a.m.

Conference Call Meeting

Chair:  Kathryn Cook DeAngelo, Esq.

MINUTES

Members Present:                  Staff Present:

Catherine Angus                      Dana Kurtz

Andy Atkins, Guest

Nat Benson

Judy Blackwell, Guest

Michael Bridges

Blakely Cahoon

Leigh Flynn

Carole Gunter

Anderson Horne

Allen Jeffcoat

Roger Jellenik

Barbara McFadden

Franchelle Millender

Catharine Miles

Mitchell Payne

Mike Polk

Eddie Weinberg                    

Judith Whiting

Welcome and Call to Order

In Chairperson DeAngelo’s absence, Ms. Millender welcomed the Committee members and called the meeting to order.

Approval of February 27, 2009, Minutes

Ms. Millender asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the February 27, 2009 meeting.  Ms. Weinberg moved approval, Mr. Horne seconded the motion and the minutes were passed by acclamation.

ELC Subcommittee Reports

CLE

Ms. Flynn reported that she has spoken to Terry Burnett, CLE Director, with regard to the Elder Law Committee co-sponsoring a CLE with the South Carolina Medical Association.  The date for the CLE is August 7, 2009.  Ms. Flynn, Mr. Burnett and Mr. Bowers from the South Carolina Medical Association were to meet in two weeks to discuss topics and speakers.  Ms. Flynn was to report the details to the Committee at the May 1 meeting. 

Ms. Flynn also reported that the subcommittee was currently working on plans for a CLE at next year’s Bar convention.  

Ms. Millender discussed the upcoming CLE that was to take place on June 5, 2009, at the SC Bar building.  The two hour CLE was to be preceded by a short business meeting.  Ms. DeAngelo and Barbara Seymour were to be the speakers.  Mr. Polk volunteered to contact the CLE Division to take care of the necessary requirements to get the seminar approved for CLE credits.  

Education

In response to letters sent out to area churches offering speakers on elder law issues, Ms. Gunter reported that Ms. Cahoon was to give a talk at the First Cavalry Baptist Church on Thursday, April 2, 2009.

G/C

Mr. Jellenik reported that the subcommittee met on March 13, 2009.  All the items that the subcommittee had been working on had been handled.  They were looking at new items:  Probate Court/Family Court Adult Protection Services interface.  Sarah St. Onge was to take the lead.  Ms. Angus was to be putting together a gap analysis at how the process works identifying where the resources are deficient.  Also they discussed the need for a public guardian.  

Mr. Horne volunteered to work with the G/C subcommittee.

Ms. Millender reported that the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act and the recommendations by the Elder Law Committee were adopted by the Board of Governors and were with the Legislative Council.

Ms. Millender also reported that the subcommittee working on the Probate Code Overhaul, part 5, sec. 1-4 had met and that they are looking at fairly major revision.  

Legislation

Mr. Payne reported that he was following a number of pieces of legislation and was to send out report on each.  The follow items were of specific interest:

S 571 - Relates to probate code jurisdiction and would restrict the ability to remove hearings from probate court to circuit court.   Mr. Payne suggested that the Committee take a position on the bill and was to get a recommendation to the Committee for the next meeting.

S 343 -- Changing requirements for reporting elder abuse.

S 464 -- Proposes to try extend Medicaid benefits to help pay for assisted living facilities. Mr. Payne suggested that the Committee take a position in support of the bill.  

H 3358 -- Similar to S 343 which will change requirements for reporting adult abuse.   

H 3332 -- Currently introduced and pending before Ways and Means. To provide a tax credit up to $1000 for long term insurance.

Senator Hayes had a bill pending that would clarify the elective share provisions to make it clear that if one leaves assets to a Q-tip trust it will not reduce the elective shares for the spouse.  Mr.  Payne suggested that the Committee may want to put in an opinion.

Ms. Flynn suggested the Committee look at S 486 which passed in the Senate and had gone to the House.   The legislation had some suggested changes that Ms. Flynn believed to be beneficial.  

For clarification purposes Mr. Payne described the duties of the Legislative subcommittee.  The Legislative Subcommittee monitors filed bills that may be of interest to the Elder Law Committee and brings them to the Committee’s attention.  If the Committee decides that action is required, a subcommittee is formed.  The legislative committee has not been charged with initiating legislation.

Pro Bono

Ms. Weinberg discussed the Guardian Pro Bono Pilot Project which began on October 1, 2008, recommending that the age limit be changed in order to serve more people.   After discussion the Committee agreed to change the age limitation to “disabled adults” rather than “adults over 65 years old”.  Additionally, the Committee discussed the possibility of including more counties (the pilot project includes only Richland, Newberry, Fairfield, Sumter and Kershaw counties).  Ms. Weinberg suggested the Committee look into expanding into other areas.  Ms. Millender asked Ms. Weinberg to look into the best approach to growing the program and report at the next meeting.  

The Pro Bono and Education Subcommittees agreed to meet to discuss the combining of the subcommittees into one newly formed subcommittee renamed the Outreach Subcommittee.  Ms. Whiting and Ms. Miles volunteered to join the new subcommittee.  Other members include:  Ms. Weinberg, Ms. Gunter, Ms. Cahoon, Bob Hazel, Ms. Flynn and Cathy Kennedy.  

The Outreach Subcommittee was to report back to the Committee at the May 1 meeting.

Recruitment

The Recruitment Subcommittee had been abandoned.  The emphasis on recruitment was to take place on a yearly basis during the Committee sign-up period.  

Mediation/ADR

No report at this time.  

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.