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PLG 311: Elder Law

Course Description

This course will focus on an introduction to the subject of elder care. Topics include: advance directives, wills, guardianships, patients’ rights, entitlement programs, diseases of aging, managed care, long-term care insurance, living facilities for the elderly, and financial planning. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Provide definitions when given a list of the key terms in elder law with 80% accuracy.
  2. Identify and correct and false statements about elder law based on the information provided in the text and lectures with 80% accuracy.
  3. Given elder law documents, locate correct information in response to questions posed in hypothetical fact situations.
  4. Understand the legal documents that may be presented in an initial interview of an elderly client, including but not limited to documents related to property, financial papers, insurance documents and wills. Students should be able to recognize the documents and outline the proper questions for an elder law client based on those documents.
  5. Explain the theory of advance directives and the integral role they play in the practice of elder law in clear and concise writing.
  6. Given a hypothetical situation, determine if it is appropriate to institute guardianship proceedings.
  7. Gain a basic knowledge of the nine major diseases which afflict the elderly and identify the causes, symptoms, stages, and possible treatments for each disease with 80% accuracy.
  8. Provide an overview of the Social Security System, Medicare System, and Medicaid System. The correct answer will include the historical background of each program as well as its problems, benefits, application process, and eligibility requirements.
  9. Differentiate between the types of powers of attorney and explain what powers each gives to the agent in clear and concise writing.
  10. Outline of the law of wills, duties of an executor, and the construction and execution ceremonies of a will.
  11. Explain the legal challenges to a will and how they can be protected against in clear and concise writing.
  12. Given a hypothetical situation, complete an inventory of a client's assets.
  13. List the types and causes of elder abuse, how to detect its existence, how it affects the client, and what the obligations of the legal professional are in reporting incidents of elder abuse.
  14. Outline the essential elements of a prenuptial agreement based on the case law.
  15. Explain the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment protection of an individual's liberty rights in connection with patient self-determination as interpreted in the following landmark cases: In re: Quinlan (1976), O'Connor v. Westchester County Hospital (1988), and Cruzan v. Director Missouri Department of Health (1991).

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussions (Weeks 1-7)

20%

Study Guides (Weeks 1-7)

15%

Midterm Exam (Week 4)

15%

Group Project (Week 7)

20%

Final Exam (Week 8)

30%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478)

  • Vietzen, Laurel A. Elder Law for Paralegals. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Publishers, 2011. ISBN-10: 0-7355-0867-4 or ISBN-13: 978-0-7355-0867-5
    • Note: This book is available through the Charter Oak State College book store as an eBook only. 

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

1-5

Topics: The Practice of Elder Law and Advanced Directives

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide

2

1-3,6,7

Topics: Guardianship / Conservatorship and Social Security

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Begin Work on Group Project

3

1-3,7,8

Topics: Medical Matters, Medicare and Medicaid

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6
    • Chapter 7
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Continue Work on Group Project

4

1-3, 9-12

Topics: Estate Planning and Housing

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 8
    • Chapter 9
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Complete Midterm Exam - (Covers chapters 1-9)
  • Continue Work on Group Project

5

1-3,13,14

Topics: Abuse, Neglect, & Financial Exploitation, Financial Matters

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10
    • Chapter 11
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Continue Work on Group Project

6

1,3,15

Topic: End-of-Life and Family Matters

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10
    • Chapter 11
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Continue Work on Group Project

7

1, 2, 3, 17, 18, 19

Topic: Viatical Settlements and Accelerated Life Insurance Benefits

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 10
    • Chapter 11
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Study Guide
  • Submit Group Project
  • Prepare for Final Exam

8

1-15

Topics: Final Exam

  • Readings:
    • Review Chapters 1-15
    • Review Study Guides
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Final Exam - (Covers chapters 1-15)

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.