Trusts, Estates & Probate

Medicaid Benefits during COVID-19

All states that wish to maintain a 6.2 Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) must not terminate Medicaid benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic, unless the enrollee volunteers. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Pub. L. 116-127), individuals enrolled in Medicaid on March 18, 2020 are exempt from termination.
This means that coverage for elderly Medicaid recipients must continue until the end of the last month of COVID-19, as declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This protects individuals from losing Medicaid benefits during the pandemic, however it raises concern for their eligibility to continue in their Medicaid program once the Coronavirus Pandemic is over. Eligibility may be subject to more scrutiny than before due to a state’s budgetary pressures and pre-COVID statutes, rules, and regulations. Pending changes and transfer penalty periods may begin once the pandemic is over. Elder law attorneys should monitor their Medicaid agencies and keep clients informed of potential changes.

To read more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, click here.

May Review

National Elder Law Month


Arace v. Medico Investments LLC

Cite as E071194
Filed March 24, 2020, Certified for Publication May 11, 2020, Fourth District, Div. Two

If there is proof of financial elder abuse, attorney’s fees must be awarded regardless of whether damages are awarded.

Plaintiff and Respondent, Melanie Arace, initiated action for elder abuse against Medico Investments, LLC in the interest of great-aunt, Grace R. Miller. Plaintiff alleged that Medico, or its employee, Elizabeth Colon (Colon), engaged in multiple acts of elder abuse of Miller. The jury ruled in favor of plaintiff, who was awarded damages, attorney fees, and costs. Upon Medico’s appeal, the court of appeal affirmed. The court of appeal held that once Medico was found liable for financial elder abuse, an attorney fee award was mandatory regardless of other factors.

Robertson v. Saadat et al.

Cite as B292448
Filed May 1, 2020, Second District, Div. One.

Posthumous use of stored gametic material is entirely dependent on available evidence of the decedent’s intent.

After the death of her husband, Aaron Robertson, Plaintiff, Sarah Robertson, attempted to conceive a child with his stored sperm which had been extracted while he was in a coma. When the reproductive fertility center could not find her husband’s gametic material, she filed suit. After the trial court ruled that Robertson was not legally entitled to use her deceased husband’s sperm, she appealed. The court of appeal affirmed, holding that Robertson had insufficient evidence of her husband’s consent to the posthumous use of his sperm.


Trusts, Estates & ProbateCW3 Founder Robert L. Schein’s Interview with Valerie

COVID-19 placed unexpected challenges to Estate Planning; as well as, increased focus on its importance. In this interview, Valerie discusses with CW3 Founder, Robert L. Schein, how she has continued to make sure her clients’ needs are being met throughout this pandemic; and, answers questions about Estate Planning, Trusts, and Wills for anyone considering or in the process of estate planning. Click here to view the full interview.

Trusts, Estates & ProbateUpcoming Events

Legal Land Mines in the Time of the Pandemic

Join us for Part II of our COVID-19 Webinar Series with Palm Springs Life.

July 8, 2020 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

In Part II of our series with Palm Springs Life, SBEMP Partners Valerie Powers Smith and Vee B. Sotelo review current employers’ law suits, employees’ rights under the CARES Act, and novel legal theories that will set precedent for employers in the future.



DISCLAIMER: This newsletter does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This newsletter may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this newsletter. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

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