Senior Citizens

General Senior Citizens Articles

Guardianship is a court proceeding. When an adult is unable to make personal decisions, such as medical decisions, or to handle his or her own property, a court can appoint a guardian.
In Maryland, a guardian should only be appointed if there are no less restrictive alternatives. During the court guardianship proceeding, the court must first determine there is no less restrictive alternative available, so consider alternatives prior to beginning guardianship proceedings. This article lists some, but not all, available alternatives.
Establishing a guardianship is a formal, public, legal process. It is initiated when someone files a petition with a Maryland circuit court to be appointed guardian for an “alleged disabled person.” It should be noted that a disabled person is always an “alleged” disabled person until that person is determined by a court to be disabled, based on competent medical evidence, affidavits or opinions. Prior to that determination, a person is presumed to have capacity. If the court determines that a person is disabled, the court will appoint someone, most often an interested person, to serve as guardian, and issue an order setting out the terms and conditions of the appointment.
Interested persons play a pivotal role in guardianship proceedings. For example, only an interested person can petition for guardianship.
If the alleged disabled person does not already have an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney for the disabled person. This is required to ensure that the alleged disabled person’s due process rights are not violated during the guardianship proceedings.
Information for people caring for a frail elderly relative.
What are reverse mortgages and what are the common pitfalls.
Questions and Answers from Maryland Legal Aid's Maryland Senior Legal Hotline
The tax relief provided by this law is based on a calculation that includes your total income and the actual amount paid as occupancy rent.

Discrimination Issues

There are a number of federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination because of age, race, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and pregnancy.

Nursing Homes/Assisted Living

Assisted living is a residential program that provides housing, supervision, personal care services, health related services, or a combination of these to residents who are unable to perform activities of daily living or who need help performing them.
This article answers frequently asked questions about medical assistance and nursing home care. Prepared by: Long Term Care Assistance Project, Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
In Maryland, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer older adults a variety of services and care facilities, ranging from independent living arrangements to nursing home care. This article discusses the issues making a decision.
An ombudsman is a third party that acts to investigate and resolve complaints involving residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman is an advocate whose goal is to promote the highest possible quality of life for residents.
Under the Medicaid Waiver, the federal government "waives" the requirement that services be provided in a nursing facility and pays for home and community based services for those who otherwise go to a nursing home.
This FAQ covers the rights of nursing home residents when the facility moves to discharge or transfer the resident.
This article describes the rights that nursing home residents have under state and federal law and regulations.
Issues to consider before you sign.
Residents of nursing homes have certain rights.
Your treatment, care and services must be adequate, appropriate, and promote your social, emotional, physical and spiritual health. For example, you have a right to a service plan based on an assessment of your needs; you also have a right to three meals and additional snacks each day.

Pensions

Federal legislation gives spouses and divorced spouses some rights in a worker’s pension plan and social security benefits.

Social Security Benefits

You can apply online, over the phone or in person for Social Security Retirement Benefits
Many older taxpayers have Medicare premiums deducted from their Social Security checks each month and forget to take the deduction at the end of the year.
This article contains tools for determining an estimate of how much you will receive in Social Security benefits.
HALLEX is the abbreviation for Hearings, Appeals, Litigation, and Law (LEX) Manual. It contains instructions for administrative law judges (ALJs), the Appeals Council, and the Office of Civil Actions.
How to calculate the percentage of benefits you will receive if you retire.
A representative payee is a person who has been chosen by the Social Security Administration to receive a Social Security or Supplemental Security Income check on behalf of another person.
This article discusses issues involving Social Security benefits, SSI and the prison population.
The Program Operations Manual System, or POMS, is a massive, multi-volume manual of substantive and procedural material for the adjudication and processing of all claims under the jurisdiction of the Social Security Administration.

Wills/Estates/Probate

This page gives an overview of estate administration and links to a number of resources for people who need to open an estate.
A will is a written legal document that states what you want done about various topics after you die.  A will can include your wishes about what happens to your belongings (called the "estate"), and about who will care for any minor children.
This article contains information on different kinds of personal banks accounts, who can access them, and what happens when the owner dies.
A power of attorney is a document that gives someone legal authority to act for another person.
This article describes a general process for giving away property rights to someone else for no money. For example, you may wish to make a gift of property, or you may wish to add a family member to your deed. You should be aware that simply adding someone to a property deed can have very different results depending on the exact words used in the new deed. If you are buying or selling property, it is important to get professional help.
This article defines and describes the basic law of trusts.