Postscript on Irresponsible Responsible Person

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Our article on “The Irresponsible Responsible Person” in the April 2010 issue of Shorts prompted a number of great responses and questions, along with a few new clients wanting revised admission agreements (Thanks!). The article, in short, pointed out that the term "responsible person" or "responsible party" is used frequently in SNF and assisted living admission agreements but is not defined anywhere in applicable state or federal law. We recommended replacing the term with two different terms – "financial legal representative" (someone with legal control over a resident’s funds and assets) and "personal legal representative" (someone who agrees to accept required notices and give certain consents for a resident). The point we made was that using a term that has no legal meaning, like "responsible person," tends to confuse both providers and third parties such as family members because it’s not clear what a "responsible person" is agreeing to do or can legally be required to do.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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