Friday, September 07, 2007

PBI Publishes "Elder Law in PA", 2nd Edition

On September 1, 2007, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute announced publication & availability of the updated reference by Jeffrey A. Marshall, Esq., founder of Marshall & Associates, entitled "Elder Law in Pennsylvania", Second Edition.

It was promoted today in an email message sent to lawyers as "a 'must have' resource for
lawyers who counsel older adults".

The Second Edition of Elder Law in PA brings you up to date on the dramatic recent developments in the laws governing planning for seniors.

It will help you understand the implications of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) on transfers of assets and planning for long-term care, provide effective advice about advance health-care planning after the new Act 169, and guide you and your clients through the maze of Medicare prescription drug plans.

There is nothing like the Second Edition of Elder Law in PA to provide the Pennsylvania practitioner with the tools needed to counsel clients in advance health-care planning.
Anticipating its release, I had exchanged email messages in August with Jeff, asking if I could use the book in teaching my Elder Law class at Widener Law School (Harrisburg Campus).

Jeff's book addresses many of the topics scheduled to be covered in our Elder Law class. The Table of Contents of Elder Law in PA, 2nd Ed. displays such topics:
  • Ethical Considerations in Representing the Elderly
  • Planning for Incapacity – Financial Issues
  • Planning for Incapacity – Health-care Issues
  • Guardianship
  • Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid (Medical Assistance) — An Introduction
  • Veterans’ Benefits
  • Medical Assistance Eligibility and Transfers
  • Medical Assistance Marriage Issues
  • Home and Community-based Services
  • Medical Assistance Applications and Appeals
  • Medical Assistance Estate Recovery
  • Elder Abuse and Protective Services
Beyond the detailed explanations, and even beyond the source materials cited, this publication offers professionals & consumers in this Commonwealth two significant advantages.

First, although referencing the national or federal settings for laws, this book is state-specific to Pennsylvania.

Second, the companion CD-ROM duplicates the text in PDF format and offers forms in three formats (PDF, Word, & WordPerfect), so the reference is also electronic. The text and forms become reproducible, portable, and searchable.

This is the on-disc explanation provided by PBI as to the forms:

The forms that are part of this book and CD-ROM are available in several formats. For reading or viewing on screen like the rest of the text, they are printed in the book, and are included in this Adobe Acrobat version of the book.

For an attorney’s use in preparing his or her own versions of these documents, they are included in a separate FORMS folder on this disk in two word-processing formats: WordPerfect and Microsoft Word. These are word processing files separate from the Acrobat files that constitute the “book” you are reading now.

In addition to these WordPerfect and Word files, there are Adobe Acrobat PDF versions of forms that did not lend themselves to a simple word-processing format. These forms are used by opening Adobe Acrobat and filling in form fields. The instructions that follow refer to the forms included in the FORMS folder on this CD-ROM.
The CD-ROM is, very simply, fantastic! It alone should be worth the price charged. Yet it does not completely replace the book. PBI notes:
Not all of the appendices in the manual are included on the disk. Appendices that are for information only or forms that must be obtained from original sources were not included.
I commend Jeff for his scholarship and for his continuing contributions to the profession.

I also commend PBI for support of Jeff's efforts and for its continuing faith in users -- that they will not abuse the capabilities of the product offered by unlawful sharing or reproduction.

Two hours before class last evening, the book showed up in a big box sent by PBI. I took it to class.

I circulated the book & we noted the contents of the CD-ROM. The book's sheer size (996 pages, in a binder) produced a reaction of "wow!"; and the capabilities of the accompanying CD-ROM produced a reaction of "cool!"

Yes, we'll use this reference in class. I thank you, Jeff, for making it available to us (all).