Getting a family member into a nursing home or assisted living facility already comes with a lot of stress. It’s generally a difficult time, and it’s one that isn’t always comfortable for the new resident or the family. In the midst of all that change and upheaval comes a huge mountain of paperwork that has to be filled out. Often, people just sign most of it without reading it. They assume it’s standard everywhere, and that they can’t make changes even if they wanted to. But it turns out that’s not entirely accurate.
Among all the paperwork are some arbitration clauses, and residents and their families don’t have to agree to them. In order to opt out, though, they need to find the clauses and make changes before signing anything. Many kinds of contracts have arbitration clauses, and they’re very common throughout the world of business. A lot of providers don’t make them optional, in that you either sign the contract as it is, or you don’t get to use them for the services you’re trying to get.
With assisted living, though, you may have the option to say no to arbitration. States have different views on the subject, so where you live could play a role in the success you have with opting out of arbitration in an assisted living agreement. California refused to require arbitration in a wrongful death claim in a nursing home, while Kentucky forced a similar type of claim to go to arbitration. With differing opinions on the subject, even in the legal field, it’s wise to explore your rights before signing on the dotted line.
Arbitration is designed to keep you and the company you’re contracting with out of court, but you should be aware that it could limit your rights and stop your ability to sue. If you want to make sure you have all your legal rights, you may not want to sign an assisted living agreement that forces arbitration.
No matter what your estate planning requirements may be, we are here for you. We will carefully listen to you to create an estate plan that meets your wishes and needs.To learn more, contact The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center!