By Mike E. Jorgensen
The first chapter of this book introduces basic demographics about our elderly, in order to establish an understanding of the aging population. An understanding of who the elderly are, where they reside, and the trends of health, life expectancy and social arrangements will help increase an awareness of policy, history and future concerns.
Chapters Two, Three, Four, Five and Six concern mental capacity issues and discuss subjects as what is capacity, what causes incapacity, what are the warning signs, how does the elder law attorney make an assessment of the client's capacity? The discussion then evolves into informed consent, the physician's duty to inform, self autonomy, and the right to privacy. The right to privacy is a introduction into medical advance directives, including the living will and surrogate decision makers. In the discussion, issues of due process in "capacity" versus "commitment hearings" are developed, and the differences between commitment hearings and capacity hearings. When someone lacks capacity and they have not planned with proper directives, then we discuss an overview of guardianship and the legal process necessary to protect due process and making the process the least restrictive means necessary to provide a surrogate decision maker.
In Chapter Seven we discuss health care issues and the history of our health care system today. What is an HMO and a PPO? What is the difference between managed care and fee-for-service plans. In Chapter Eight we introduce Medicare, eligibility, deductibles and co-payments, spells of illness and levels of skilled care. In Chapter Nine we learn about private health insurance and basics of ERISA, long term care insurance and the policy concerns of privatizing Social Security. In the next chapter, Chapter Ten, we begin the learning of Medicaid and we discuss eligibility, Miller Trusts, and the basics of planning.
Chapter Eleven is dedicated to "special needs trusts" and the importance of having such trusts in the limited situations where needed. In Chapter Twelve, we introduce employment issues that affect the elderly and aging, from employment discrimination to an introduction to disability discrimination. In Chapter Thirteen, we evolve into planning for our estates and the disposition of property. Although the majority of taxpayers will not need "estate and gift" transfer taxation protection, most people still require a knowledge of estate planning and the proper alternatives for estate planning.
Chapter Fourteen introduces the ugly side of elder law and a discussion of nursing home litigation and elder abuse generally. We learn about the Protective Service Act and the reporting requirements by statute. This chapter leads into Chapter Fifteen which concerns domestic issues, including an introduction into the Troxel issues of grandparent visitation and adoption.
Chapters Sixteen and Seventeen concern transportation issue and housing issues, respectively. When should a driver's license be revoked and has society planned for alternate forms of transportation or city development to provide necessary mobility and access to mobility for those who are restricted to public transportation. Chapter Seventeen discusses the issues of whether the elderly should be provided property tax reductions and exemptions to allow the elderly to age in place, rather than lose their homes to tax increases and burdens. We also introduce the ability to the elderly to form communities that restrict the age requirements of the community and whether such restrictions are contrary to anti- discrimination laws.
Mr. Jorgensen, LLM Taxation, University of Florida, 2001; J.D. University of Idaho, 1986; B.S. Brigham Young University, 1982. Mr. Jorgensen is currently an Associate Professor of Law at the Florida Coastal School of Law. He commenced his teaching career as an adjunct professor soon after Florida Coastal School of Law opened the school and has taught several courses, including, Federal Income Taxation, Estate and Gift Taxation, Corporate Taxation, Elder law, and Florida Constitutional Law.