Hurley Elder Care Law Newsletter - October 2017
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October 2017   

Georgia’s New Power of Attorney Law- What it means for you and what actions you should take

Earlier this year, Georgia enacted a new power of attorney law. As you all know, we strongly encourage every person over the age of 18 to at least consider having a power of attorney (POA) in place. This document allows you to name someone to step into your shoes and make financial decisions for you if you lose the ability to do so yourself. This document can become priceless after a serious medical emergency, a major accident, or a debilitating loss in cognitive functioning. POA laws have been in place for a long time in Georgia, but major changes have been made to these laws as of July 1, 2017. This new legislation, known as the Uniform Power of Attorney Act and codified as  O.C.G.A. 10-6B-1 et. sec., does two major things for our families. First, it provides clarity on the agent’s obligations to the principal and thus greater protection from theft or misuse of assets by the financial agent. Second, this act provides for the ability to require that third parties accept the POA. These are huge changes and should give anyone with a POA already in place good reasons to execute a new POA. We are recommending that individuals update their POAs because the new laws only apply to POAs signed on or after July 1, 2017. Older POAs will continue to be valid, but those older POAs will not receive the additional benefits provided for under the new laws. 
If you would like to learn more about this new act, please click here

We have compiled the top 8 things to know about the Uniform Power of Attorney Act:

 1.     What are the major features of the new Uniform Power of Attorney Act?
The UPOAA provides ways to protect individuals from “bad actor agents” who are misusing the POAs often for their own benefit.  Of special concern are those who are suffering from some form of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.   It also provides some way to force third parties, such as banks and other financial institutions, to honor a POA.
2.     Are old POAs still good?
Yes, however any POA executed prior to July 1, 2017 regardless of the language will not receive the protections featured in the UPOAA.
3.     How does the UPOAA make a POA easier to use?
The UPOAA allows electronic and photocopied versions to be utilized.  The original is   still required for real estate transactions.
4.     What is required in the New POA to receive the Protections?
a.    Must use the statutory form (or language that substantially reflects the form) in     OCGA Section 10-6B-70.                     
b.    The POA must have been executed on or after July 1, 2017.
c.     The POA must be signed by the principal and one or more witnesses and a notary           public.

5.     How can I force a bank or other institution to accept my new POA?        Certain steps must be followed to force acceptance.
a.    Present the POA for acceptance. 
b.    If refused, the third party has up to 7 business days after being presented with the      POA to request an agent’s certification, an English translation or an opinion of attorney.
c.     After presented, the third party has 5 business days after receipt of the requested documents to accept the POA.
6.     What are the consequences for a third party that still won’t accept a POA?
If all the proper steps are followed and a third party has no reason to deny the validity of a POA, then a court can issue an order finding the document valid and require the third party to accept it.  In addition, the third party can be required to repay the principal for things like attorney fees and litigation expenses.  The third party may also be liable for actual damages like loss of value.

7.      What Does the New Law do to help protect me?
A person who accepts the role of “agent” under a POA will now be held liable for    breaching their fiduciary duty. For example, if your “agent” buys a Corvette for themselves while not paying for your caregivers, they could be liable. There are mandatory requirements such as acting in the best interest of the principal. Non-mandatory requirements, such as conflict of interest and the Prudent Person Standard, may be modified while drafting the POA. 
8.     What action do you recommend?
Review your current POA. If it still meets your needs, it is still effective. If you are concerned with financial institution acceptance (as you should be) consider executing a new POA that conforms with the new law.
Laws change constantly, and the best way to protect yourself is to have your documents comply with the most current laws. If you have any questions or concerns about your POA, please reach our office for a complimentary phone consultation at (404) 843-0121 or

Family Business Danielle Humphrey attended the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) conference on October 6th. There was a helpful presentation on elder fraud and abuse. Danielle was also part of a Medicaid Panel that discussed the problems we all can face when dealing with the Department of Family and Childrens Services. It was a great learning experience and it gave her valuable knowledge to help better serve our clients. 
Events Open to the Community:
Tuesday, October 24th- Join Dawn Houston, RN, of Hurley Elder Care Law for a Complimentary Presentation on "Costs of Alzheimer's Disease: Options, Decisions, and Discussions” at Lotus Adult Day Center of Towne Lake
Every 67 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia. In 2015, Alzheimer's and other dementias cost $226 billion. You never know exactly how you will be affected by this disease, yet these statistics show that you or someone you are very close to will likely have this disease. Knowing your options and planning for the unexpected loss in functional and cognitive capacity is the best way to protect yourself. The options for paying for long-term care are limited. Did you know that Medicare will not pay for home care or assisted living care? Do you know what Medicaid provides? Most families do not realize their limited options until they are in a crisis. Have you clearly communicated to your loved ones what your wishes are and how they can step in to help you? The earlier you plan, the more options you will have available. Dementia is hard enough when there is a plan in place; dementia with no plan will leave your loved ones exhausted, stressed and broke. 5:00 PM-5:30 PM- Refreshments. 5:30 PM-6:30 PM- Presentation. Lotus Adult Day Center of Towne Lake, 4595 Towne Lake Parkway, Bldg.400, Ste. 100, Woodstock, GA 30189. RSVP:

Thursday, November 9th- Join Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA, of Hurley Elder Care Law for a complimentary presentation on "Tough Conversations: Georgia Advance Directives” at Arbor Terrace Burnt Hickory
Do you know who would be making your healthcare decisions if you were unable to communicate? State regulations about who can step in and make your healthcare decisions may go against what you want. Learn why you need a Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care and what can happen if you don't have one and cannot express your wishes. Participants will have an opportunity to complete their own Advance Directives. 6:00 PM- 6:30 PM- Refreshments. 6:30 PM- 7:30 PM- Presentation. Arbor Terrace Burnt Hickory, 920 Burnt Hickory Road, Marietta, GA 30064. RSVP:

CEU Events for Healthcare Professionals:

Tuesday, October 17th- Join Joanna Hurley, for a Complimentary CEU on "Planning for the Expected: Decisions, Documents and Death" at Arbor Terrace Johns Creek
Death is unavoidable, yet most Americans are woefully ill prepared for this eventuality; planning for the expected means taking control. We will provide guidelines to begin essential conversations about advanced planning and the benefits of taking charge of the inevitable. This presentation offers a welcome road map for healthcare professionals supporting patients and their families facing the end of life. Key discussion points include: the impact of dying without a will, the benefits of a trust, detailed guidelines regarding what to do when someone dies as well as an overview of the probate process. CEUs available: 1 core hour for social workers; 1 contact hour for case managers and RNs. 5:00 PM-5:30 PM- Registration & Dinner, 5:30 PM-6:30 PM- CEU Education. Arbor Terrace Johns Creek, 3180 Karen White Drive, Suwanee, GA 30024, RSVP:
 Thursday, November 9th- Join Miles Hurley, JD, CELA, for a Complimentary CEU on "Choosing a Surrogate Health Care Decision Maker: An Ethical Discussion" at Emory Johns Creek Hospital
Most healthcare professionals understand the importance of selecting a Surrogate Decision Maker for Health Care; in fact, many social workers and case managers, particularly in the health care field, frequently encourage clients to complete an Advance Directive for health care. Mr. Hurley will detail these and various other documents that may be recommended for families/individuals receiving care to consider or that may have already been executed: Living Wills, Guardianship Appointments, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives. Mr. Hurley will discuss factors to be considered when a person designates a surrogate decision maker and ethical issues surrogates themselves may face. Guidelines for making health care decisions on behalf of another person will be offered. Through a series of case discussions, he will discuss how likely a surrogate's decisions are to match the wishes of the person who appointed him/her. CEUs available: 1 core hour for social workers; 1 contact hour for case managers and RNs. 4:30 PM- 5:30 PM- Registration, Snacks & Networking, 5:00 PM- 6:00 PM- CEU Education. Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Classrooms A and B, Main Conference Room, 6325 Hospital Parkway, Johns Creek, GA 30097, RSVP: Emory
 Tuesday, November 14th- Join Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA, for a Complimentary CEU on "Ethical Dilemmas in Geriatric Care: A Case Study Approach" at Dogwood Forest Acworth
Unique challenges exist at the intersection of ethical decision-making and geriatric care. Even though we have clear ethical principles, the messy realities of patients and families often leave helping professionals questioning the best course of action. Are there times when you should advocate for the family caregiver instead of the patient? Is it sometimes okay to disclose confidential information? Does your patient have the right to make her own decisions? Please join Ms. Humphrey in a discussion of unique ethical dilemmas in geriatric care. With the use of case studies, we will explore issues related to client identification, capacity, confidentiality, undue influence, conflicts of interest, and informed consent. Each case is unique, and we look forward to your input. CEUs available: 1 core hour for social workers; 1 contact hour for case managers and RNs. 5:30 PM-6:00 PM- Registration & Dinner, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM- CEU Education. Dogwood Forest Acworth, 4461 South Main Street, Acworth, GA 30101, RSVP:

For more details and a complete list of upcoming events, please visit Hurley Elder Care Law Community Education.
Recent BlogsMedicaid to Pay for Assisted Living?  A new push to change Georgia’s laws.

Who Decides? Several decisions you can make for your own aging process.

Caregiver Tips- These ideas can help you cope with caregiver stress.

Happiness and Health- Tips to find more joy in your life!

Elder Care Resources
Anticipatory Grief- How to help yourself.

Pre-paying for Funeral Expenses- Using the  Medicaid “spend down.”

Toolkit for Dementia Diagnosis- Online resources for initial detection.

 Medicaid- Do all nursing homes accept it?

Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA  Miles P. Hurley founded Hurley Elder Care Law in 2006 to provide legal assistance to the elderly population on issues relating to aging including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of eleven attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Certified Elder Law Attorney Certification, and one of approximately 400 nationwide. 
Hurley Elder Care Law is dedicated to the process of long-term care and estate planning. 
Call us today for a free phone consultation with a client coordinator at (404) 843-0121.

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Hurley Elder Care Law
100 Galleria Pkwy, Suite 650
Atlanta, GA 30339

Satellite Offices
2011 Commerce Dr. Suite 100, Peachtree City, GA 30269   
225 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188       
6340 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30096

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