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  • Dec 11, 2019Shana Siegel Named in Best of Essex County for Elder Law

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, has been recognized by Suburban Essex Magazine in their “Best of Essex” contest.

    About the Award

    The “Best of Essex” contest has been an annual tradition for local, independently-owned businesses since 2008. The website allows consumers to find the best local shops, services, and dining options year-round. This year’s contest supported CASA of Essex in their mission to “Help Foster Children in Essex County Find Safe Homes.” Every vote cast benefited the cause.

    “With my involvement in Montclair over the past thirteen years, I am so honored and truly appreciate Suburban Essex Magazine, its readers, and the Essex County community,” said Siegel, who won the bronze award in the category of “Elder Law/Individual.”

    For more information, please visit www.bestofessex.com.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. A past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Siegel regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: ,

  • Nov 14, 2019Shana Siegel to Present on End-of-Life Care Planning in Woodbridge, New Jersey

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care and Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Just Do It: Planning for a Good Life and Death” at the New Jersey “Conversation of Your Life” (COYL) program. Hosted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the free event will take place Friday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Berkeley College Atrium in Woodbridge.

    About the Presentation

    “Planning for end-of-life is difficult for many to think about and discuss, but it’s extremely important to plan in advance for end-of-life care,” said Siegel.

    The presentation will cover the importance of advance care planning. Siegel will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, and important documents; and planning for your financial needs. For more information, visit the COYL website.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. A past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Siegel regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , ,

  • Nov 08, 2019Shana Siegel to Speak on Advanced Care Planning in Somerset, New Jersey

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care and Special Needs Law Practice Group, will present “Advanced Care Planning” at the New Jersey “Conversation of Your Life” (COYL) program. Hosted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the free event will take place on Tuesday, November 12, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., at the Franklin Township Public Library in Somerset.

    About the Presentation

    “One of the hardest things for people to talk about is planning for end-of-life care. Our programs cover topics beyond the ones people are even thinking about, and the COYL programs are the perfect outlet for us to be able to do so,” said Siegel.

    The presentation will cover the importance of advanced care planning. Siegel will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, important documents, and planning for your financial needs. For more information, visit the COYL website.

    About Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , ,

  • Oct 29, 2019Shana Siegel and Lori Kayne to Speak at West Orange Conversation of Your Life Event

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, and Lori Kayne, the firm’s Geriatric Social Worker, will present “Advanced Care Planning” at the West Orange Conversation of Your Life (COYL) Series. The free event will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., at the West Orange Library.

    About the Presentation

    “Long-term care planning addresses much more than health care needs, family dynamics, personal values, and resources available. Our goal when discussing the planning process is to offer continued guidance, advocacy, and support as changes in health, finances, and lifestyle occur,” said Siegel

    Kayne added, “Throughout the planning process, we create relationships and assist families in preparing for challenges that may arise from aging, illness, and disability that they may or may not be aware of.”

    The presentation will conclude the West Orange COYL two-week series and will cover the importance of advanced care planning. Siegel and Kayne will discuss planning for your health care needs, including medical power of attorney, health care proxy, and essential documents. For more information and to register, please click here.

    About the Presenters

    Shana Siegel

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), she has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. Siegel is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    Lori Kayne

    Kayne has been working in the health care field for over 20 years. In collaboration with clients’ attorneys, she conducts Geriatric Assessments and develops detailed Life Care Plans to address any care, legal, or financial issues the client may have.

    Prior to joining the firm, Kayne was an Elder Care Coordinator at WanderPolo & Siegel. Kayne earned her M.S.S. from Bryn Mawr College in 1983, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Bucknell University. She holds a Certificate in Elder Care from Stockton University and a Certificate of Gerontology from Rutgers University.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin’s experienced elder care and special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Services offered blend estate planning with long-term care planning. The firm’s estate planning & administration attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with a particular emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , , ,

  • Aug 12, 2019Shana Siegel and Lori Kayne to Present on Planning for Solo Seniors

    Shana Siegel, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, and Lori Kayne, Geriatric Social Worker, will present “Planning for Solo Seniors.” The seminar, hosted by Senior Source, will take place on Tuesday, August 13 at 1:30 p.m., in Hackensack.

    Do you anticipate growing older without the support of close relatives and friends nearby? Siegel and Kayne will address this overwhelming challenge that many aging adults face. The presentation will cover the best way for “solo seniors” to prepare for the financial, legal, and other challenges they may face as they age. For more information please click here.

    Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), Shana has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal.  She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. A past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), she has regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the Elder Law Bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and the Bergen and Essex County Bar Associations. Siegel earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, honors, in 1989.

    Kayne has been working in the healthcare field for over 20 years. In collaboration with client’s attorneys, she conducts Geriatric Assessments and develops detailed Life Care Plans to address any care, legal, or financial issues the client may have.

    Prior to joining the firm, Kayne was an Elder Care Coordinator at WanderPolo & Siegel. Kayne earned her M.S.S. from Bryn Mawr College in 1983, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Bucknell University. She holds a Certificate in Elder Care from Stockton University, and a Certificate of Gerontology from Rutgers University.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , , ,

  • Aug 01, 2019HELPING OLDER AMERICANS KEEP THEIR SAVINGS: THE ELDER INVESTMENT FRAUD AND FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION PREVENTION PROGRAM

    Abstract

    An estimated $2.9 billion is being taken away from older Americans every year, up from $2.6 billion in 2008 according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute. A major portion of these wrongful takings result from “selling” older folks, including the millions of aging Baby Boomers, fraudulent and/or inappropriate investments. Kiplinger’s has dubbed this “The Crime of the 21st Century.”

    This article will look at older Americans and explore why they are interesting targets for those seeking money, including the demographics and wealth distribution of those over 65. It will also look at the impact of market conditions on investment alternatives, especially since 2008. The particular vulnerabilities (and some surprising strengths) of older Americans will be addressed as will the problems of communicating effectively with them.

    The article will then look at responses from both government and private organizations to attempt to interdict the financial abuse of the elderly. Governmental responses have restricted how investment sellers and advisers market themselves.5 In addition sanctions for violating the law where an older person is involved have been increased, the Government has also organized efforts to address elder investment fraud, including extensive investor education programs’. And most recently 26 States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have implemented an interdisciplinary initiative to try to find a better, more direct way to assess the financial acuity of older Americans and, potentially, to offer more effective outside intervention.

    The Scope of the Issue

    By the 2010 Census, the population of Americans ages 65 and over was some 40.1 million, or about 13% of the total U.S. population of almost 309 million. That number is up from 31.2 million in 1990 and 35 million in 2000. The population of Americans 65 years old and older grew by 15.1% during the decade of 2000 to 2010 in significant contrast to the 9.7% growth in overall U.S. population. There is every reason to believe that the acceleration in the number of older Americans will continue for some time into the future as the so-called “Baby Boom” Generation reaches senior citizen status. Indeed, beginning in January 2011, more than 10,000 members of the Baby Boom Generation hit age 65 every day, a circumstance that will continue for at least 19 years. In sum, there is every reason to expect the growth of both the number of older Americans and the percentage of the entire population that they represent. That means the number of targets for elder investment fraud will grow as well, suggesting that “the crime of the 21st century” might become ‘the crime [wave] of the century,’ absent effective steps to combat the fraud doers.

    In addition to sheer numbers, older Americans present particularly attractive targets for financial fraud. There are two distinct reasons for this, which unfortunately feed into each other. Older Americans were believed to hold and/or control over $13 trillion in household investible assets as of 2007. Even allowing for the precipitous decline in investments brought about by the 2007-2009 Recession, older Americans own and/or control well more than $10 trillion today. Those assets are tempting targets for those who would take funds from others. The second reason for seeing older Americans as presenting especially interesting opportunities for fraud is precisely the effect of the 2007-2009 Recession and subsequent efforts by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) to “manage” the economy back to vibrancy.

    The 2007-2009 Recession caused the net loss, even after the recovery through 2011, of some $5 trillion of invested assets. Most of these funds were part of the resources older Americans intended to rely upon in their retirement. Suddenly total retirement assets dropped by some 22%. Aging Americans had less money in retirement accounts, savings, and other assets (including their homes, where home equity fell by over 30% from 2006 to 2008). Moreover, the time to save and accumulate resources before retirement was foreshortened, as the economy only slowly recovered. Finally, older Americans seeking reasonable yield on financial assets were hamstrung by the efforts of the Fed. Since 2009 the Fed has held long-term interest rates below 2%. All these factors suggest that an older person might be particularly susceptible to persons offering “above-market” returns, either in investments with terms of yield (interest and/or dividends) or for appreciation (principal growth). And such appears to be the case, based upon available anecdotal evidence.

    Older Americans, in addition to dealing with the challenges presented by possible retirement and with the economic pressures brought on by the 2007-2009 Recession, face individual issues inherent in aging, which for many materially increase their vulnerability to abuse. As the number of older Americans has increased, so has the number of academic and medical studies about what the aging process entails and what effects it may have on mental acuity, judgment, risk assessment, and even ability to live independently. One major study found that the ability to make sound financial decisions, including assessing risks, potential returns, alternative investments and the like, peaks at approximately age 53 1/3.19 Thereafter financial acuity typically (though not always) deteriorates as time progresses. Other studies indicate that there are significant changes over time in the part of the brain (the Orbitofrontal Cortex) where executive functioning capacity is located. These changes (and others connected to overall physical health, including type II diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and the like) can lead to a condition that may (but also may not) eventually “progress” to Alzheimer’s Disease. The result is a biochemical-related limitation on mental ability known as mild cognitive impairment. As an example, persons with marked changes in their Orbitofrontal Cortex are far less risk averse than persons of the same age without comparable changes. Other studies have identified financial management (along with independent living and driving an automobile) as one of the most demanding and complex areas of decision-making capacity in older adults. It is believed that more than one-third of Americans over age 71 have mild cognitive impairment, making them particularly vulnerable to efforts to sell them unsuitable and even outright fraudulent investment products. Indeed, the combination of rapidly-growing numbers of older Americans controlling vast amounts of investible wealth, facing the volatile stock market and near-zero interest rates, while the necessary mental capacity to make fine judgments is deteriorating as part of the aging process, creates what has appropriately been called “a potent, perfect storm” for financial fraud focused on the elderly.

    Strategies of Response

    As the number of older Americans increased, the NASAA (the organization of securities regulators in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Canadian Provinces) put together an educational program entitled “Seniors Against Investment Fraud” in 2005 and began to make a series of presentations to seniors throughout the United States. This effort and a related series of enforcement actions in a number of the states led the US Securities and Exchange Commission, with the support of NASAA and of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) (the self-regulatory organization that oversees broker-dealers and their registered representatives) to convene the first of what have become annual Senior Summits focused on protecting seniors from investment fraud and sales of unsuitable securities. The resulting Senior Initiative has three components: (i) increased regulatory examinations to detect abusive sales tactics targeting seniors; (ii) increased enforcement in cases involving seniors; and (iii) enhanced investor education and outreach, particularly for seniors.

    In the years following 2006, many American states have amended their securities (so-called “Blue Sky”) laws to restrict substantially the use of senior-specific designations is by market professionals (such as “certified retirement specialist”).29 This intended to constrain, in part, the sales practices of securities professionals. A similar restriction has been adopted in some states with respect to licensed insurance producers who sell various annuity insurance products.

    As part of the second prong of the Initiatives, the securities laws have been amended in some jurisdictions to increase the penalty applicable if violating acts or omissions involve an older American as the victim, raising the amount of the otherwise applicable maximum fine. These steps evidence the hope that the threat of increased punishment will deter some illegal actions. One difficulty with deterrence is that it depends on the threat of post hoc punishment. NASAA reports that state regulators opened about 14,000 investigations in 2009 and 2010, many of which will take years to complete. There are reasons to believe that significant amounts of financial fraud involving seniors are not reported, given the number of complaints filed in contrast to surveys suggesting that as many as 20% of older Americans have experienced financial exploitation or have been targeted by persons attempting to defraud them.

    That leaves the third prong of the Senior Initiative: investor education and outreach. The SEC, along with the State securities regulators and several other entities, has allocated significant resources to try to educate the public, and particularly the elderly, about investment fraud and unsuitable financial products — “if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.” At least one commentator estimates the amount spent annually on these efforts is more than $10 million. There are, however, at least three reasons why investor education programs may not be as effective as had been hoped. First, any education program must figure out how best to gain the attention of the intended “students.” Given the plethora of media and the fragmentation of modern American society, it is not simple to reach any significant portion of adults of any age on a $10 million-dollar budget, as evidenced by the costs of the recent Presidential election campaigns. Second, studies of securities fraud schemes targeting older Americans have shown several recurring practices, which tend to interfere with and/or minimize the effectiveness of investor education. The sellers use gifted sales personnel, who are both self-confident and glib, touting “guaranteed” or “can’t lose” propositions. Many of these propositions, in turn, offer a fast and large appreciation of money — the proverbial “get rich quick” opportunity. The sales personnel often assert that an offer is limited in time, noting that many others who are similarly situated have already invested. The sales personnel become attuned to learning as much as possible about a “customer,” and then tailoring the sales effort to evoke a positive response. These sales personnel are especially careful to be charming, nice, respectful, and deferential when selling to older adults. Research on securities fraud victims also indicates that many are financially literate, often successful business people (especially men), confident in their judgments and capabilities and not necessarily willing to seek a “second opinion,” let alone attend a fraud education program. “Older adults do not like be reminded that they are old”…Rather, “‘the aging person wants to maintain his or her youthful self-concept, so messages that reinforce the perception… [of youth]” are more effective than messages that emphasize age.

    Finally, research has shown that older persons begin to lose brain powers, especially memory. This natural aging process leads a fair number of older Americans, as discussed above, to develop mild cognitive impairment. Thus, the investor education efforts face substantial hurdles and leading some academic researchers to suggest that investor education programs for older Americans are unlikely to prove enough to the task of protecting older Americans from having their savings taken.

    The Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program

    Faced with this situation in 2009, the Texas State Securities Board (the “Blue Sky” regulatory agency in Texas) collaborated with the Huffington Center on Aging and Texas Consortium Geriatric Education Center at the Baylor College of Medicine to develop “an easy-to-use set of ‘red flag’ questions that …primary care physicians and their…staff could use with older patients.” That work was led by Dr. Robert E. Roush, Director of the Education Center, with financing provided by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, a non-profit devoted to investor education. The project first employed outside experts in decision-making capacity, neurology, psychiatry, and ethics, leading to use of a baseline protocol with four focus groups of six clinicians each, with many older patients. One result is a “Pocket Guide on Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation” for use by health care providers: physicians, geriatric social workers, nurses, home health professionals, and others. The Program evolved from a pilot project in continuing medical education programs in Texas in 2009. Of the 200 physicians who took the course, 67 provided follow-up data showing a 55% rate of use of the guide leading to identification of patients “deemed highly vulnerable…to elder investment fraud and financial exploitation.” NASAA urged its members in 2010 and 201 1 to implement the EIFFE Prevention Program and, as noted at the outset, that has resulted in continuing education programs in 26 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as of October 2011.

    The Program is still young, so substantial assessments of its effectiveness, or even anecdotal information about successful interventions, are not generally available. In addition, the several states that have implemented the Program have sometimes given different approaches preferred emphasis: for example, California directs the EIFFE continuing medical education sessions almost entirely at physicians; Pennsylvania, in contrast, puts a primary focus on adult protective service workers and Geriatric Care Managers. The lead presenter in New Jersey notes that most of the physicians who have attended the education program have been gerontologists, and that geriatric nurses and social workers tend to predominate in the classes. What can be said is that the Program focuses on health care providers because they have more frequent interactions with their older patients, where sometimes those interactions are of significantly greater duration than available in an investor education presentation. Moreover, the health care provider theoretically will have a relationship with the patient involving some level of trust, confidence, and reliance, thus increasing the possibility of gaining meaningful information from the patient. To expand the participation of health care professionals and others (e.g., social workers, Adult Protective Services personnel, etc.) in the Program, the Investor Protection Trust is seeking to obtain Continuing Medical Education (and comparable continuing professional education) credit for Program participants. In addition, the Trust intends to launch an online version of the accredited Program so that health care professionals and others can go through the Program’s training, even if unable to attend face-to-face sessions.

    The EIFFE Prevention Program also includes a tri-fold Patient Education brochure to be available in waiting rooms and for a handout to older patients. In addition, the EIFFE Program Pocket Guide gives health care providers referral contact information for social services and investor protection intervention.

    The EIFFE Pocket Guide for health care providers has four pages. Page one lists two sets of red flags in checklist fashion: one relating to the patient’s history, the other to clinical observations. Page two sets out some questions to be asked and notes possible referrals that may be needed. Page three gives names and e-mail addresses or referral resources. Finally, page four sets out a seven-point “Financial Concerns Checklist” to go over with the patient. The Pocket Guide is straightforward, physically handy, and should prove easy to use. As medical records are increasingly kept in electronic form the Pocket Guide should be readily adaptable as a diagnostic “app.”

    Some health care professionals have expressed concern about when and how deeply they should inquire of a patient about the patient’s financial matters. Importantly, the Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”), in an article published February 16, 2011, offers some guidance as to what questions may be asked, with the key dividing line being the presence or absence of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment. That guidance is derived from well-established protocols used in diagnosing cognitive impairment involving financial acuity. The article goes on to state the following:

    We believe that the physician’s role in monitoring financial capacity of patients includes (i) educating older adult patients and families about the need for financial planning; (ii) recognizing signs of possible impaired financial capacity; (iii) assessing financial impairments in cognitively impaired adults; (iv) recommending interventions to help patients maintain financial independence; and (v) knowing when and to whom to make medical and legal referrals.

    One may then say that the involvement of health care providers in the EIFFE Prevention Program is not merely an innovative approach to protecting older Americans from losing their savings; it is an inherent part of the professional obligation to render care.

    Article by Peter D. Hutcheon, Esq., and Alexis Silver, Long Term Care Consultant.

    Posted in: Business Law, Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Peter D. Hutcheon, Securities |

  • Jul 11, 2019Norris McLaughlin and Attorneys Karolina Dehnhard and Shana Siegel Nominated for Best of Essex 2019

    The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to announce its nomination in the Suburban Essex Readers’ Choice Contest, “Best of Essex 2019,” in the Professional Services: Law Firms category.  Karolina A. Dehnhard, a Member of the firm and Chair of its New Jersey Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, and Shana Siegel, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, have also been nominated in the Professional Services: Family Law and Professional Services: Elder Law categories respectively.

    The “Best of Essex” contest has been an annual tradition for local, independently-owned businesses since 2008.  The website allows consumers to find the best local shops, services, and dining options year-round.  This year’s contest supports CASA of Essex in their mission to “Help Foster Children in Essex County Find Safe Homes.”  Every vote cast will benefit the cause.  For more information and to vote, please visit www.bestofessex.com.

    Dehnhard, based in the firm’s Short Hills office, devotes her practice to matrimonial law including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child custody, parenting time, alimony, child support, and domestic violence issues.  She assists with complex financial issues, including valuation of businesses both domestically and abroad; international custody rights; the impact of immigration status on divorcing spouses and their children; enforcement of foreign divorce decrees; and the complexities of alimony rights and post-judgment cohabitation.

    Dehnhard has appeared on TV shows and news programs and published articles on family law topics in numerous print publications, including North Jersey Woman Magazine, Industry Magazine, VUENJ, and various Polish publications.  In addition, she co-authored a chapter in “Understanding the Legal Issues Surrounding Same-Sex Marriage.”  She is also the co-host of two radio shows, “The Law Matters” on WMTR Radio and “There’s Always a Way Out,” hosted in Polish, on Radio RAMPA.

    Dehnhard has been a featured presenter at numerous women in business events on topics including women protecting their assets, becoming the CEO of your home, planning for the future, and promoting financial awareness before and during a divorce.  She has also taken part in U.S. delegations to Ireland, Cuba, and Spain, to develop international business relations among women in business.  Dehnhard was recognized by the Trade and Investment Section of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland for her influence and leadership in integrating women-owned businesses in both Poland and the United States.  In 2018, Dehnhard launched the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce, North-East, covering Maine to Florida, to create business opportunities for both American and Polish businesses.  She is also the Ambassador of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs Short Hills Leadership Lounge, a platform dedicated to the advancement of women globally.

    Named to the “Top Women in Law” in 2018 by the New Jersey Law Journal, Dehnhard was also recognized in 2016 as one of the “Top 25 Leading Intrapreneurs in New Jersey.” She has been selected as a “Rising Star” by New Jersey Super Lawyers® and received the 2018 Leadership Award presented by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, a charity she has supported for more than a decade.

    Dehnhard received her J.D. from New York Law School in 2009, and her B.A./M.A. in Psychology from the College of St. Elizabeth in 1999. Before entering private practice, Dehnhard clerked for the Honorable Rosemary E. Ramsay, J.S.C., in Morris County Superior Court, Family Part and Civil Part. While in law school, she interned for the Honorable Michael Ambrecht, J.S.C., in the Supreme Court, Criminal Part, Manhattan, and the Honorable Raymond T. Lyons, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey.

    Siegel, based in the firm’s Montclair office, concentrates her practice on elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), Shana has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Siegel was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal.  She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years, recently named a 2019 Essex County Top Lawyer in Elder Law by Morris/Essex Health & Life.

    Siegel is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the State Bar Elder Law Section, and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.  She is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the Elder Law Bar and their clients. In 2015, she was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

    Siegel earned her J.D. from Georgetown University, with honors, in 1994 and her B.A. from Barnard College, with honors, in 1989.

    Posted in: Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Karolina A. Dehnhard, Matrimonial & Family Law, News, Shana Siegel | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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