Law Territory: Blog Law Territory: Blog Copyright by Law Territory en Law Territory Wed, 16 Oct 2019 03:09:30 -0400 Valiente Law Educates Florida Residents About State Firearms Laws At Valiente Law, we’ve prepared an infographic to shed light on Florida’s firearms laws and the consequences of a conviction for weapons charges. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are highly regarded for helping our clients enforce their gun rights and defending them against weapons violations.

A Primer on Florida Weapons Charges

Floridians enjoy the right to bear arms under both the state and federal constitutions. Nonetheless, the state has strict firearms laws and being charged with a weapons violation is a serious matter; a conviction can have lasting repercussions.  

Weapons violations in Florida can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the facts of the case. Common weapons violations in Florida include:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm
  • Illegal sale of a firearm/gun trafficking
  • Carrying a concealed firearm
  • Possession of a stolen firearm
  • Manufacturing of firearms

In short, it is illegal for certain individuals to own or possess firearms in the state, such as:

  • Minors under the age of 16
  • Convicted felons whose civil rights have not been restored
  • Individuals deemed mentally incompetent or addicted to drugs by the court

While concealed carry permits are not difficult to obtain in Florida, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is unlawful. If the weapon was a firearm, this offense is considered a third degree felony.

Other serious weapons violations under Florida include illegally selling or manufacturing firearms or using a weapon during the commission of a crime. Additionally, minimum mandatory prison sentences can be imposed for certain weapons violations under Florida’s 10-20-Life law.

As our infographic shows, a conviction for weapons charges in Florida can have serious consequences, even more so if other criminal offenses are involved. If you have been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, a concealed carry violation, gun trafficking or any other weapons offense, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner.

The Informed Choice in Florida Firearms Law and Weapons Violations

While gun rights enjoy broader protections in Florida than many other states, a conviction for a weapons violation can result in fines, imprisonment, and the loss of your civil rights. The best way to defend yourself against weapons charges and enforce your gun rights is to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Valiente Law has a proven history of successfully defending our clients against state and federal weapons charges. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys leverage their knowledge and skill to mount aggressive defenses against weapons charges.

Attorney Bio

After his graduation from American University’s Washington College of Law, Miami attorney Antonio F. Valiente, Esq. began his legal career at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. Between his time at the Public Defender’s Office & since founding Valiente Law, he’s tried over 50 felony jury trials as lead counsel, dozens of misdemeanor jury trials, taken over one thousand depositions, & dozens of juvenile trials/adjudicatory hearings. Mr. Valiente’s experience encompasses everything from minor traffic-related misdemeanors to serious first-degree murder charges. Since 2015, Mr. Valiente has expanded his practice to handle property insurance matters – primarily first party claims, post-hurricane losses, and assignment of benefits claims. Having the opportunity to work with & learn from some of the best and most experienced property insurance attorneys in the State, Mr. Valiente now provides his property insurance clients – mainly homeowners and emergency remediation companies – with the same excellent representation he is known for providing his client’s accused of state & federal criminal offenses.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:05:16 -0400
Steps to Take After a Car Accident Steps to Take After a Car Accident

A car accident is a terrifying experience for anyone, but if you’re not prepared it can be even worse. That’s because you find yourself suddenly faced with a whole bunch of different problems that you need to resolve, and no idea just how to do it. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as all that. You just have to know the right steps to follow.

  1. Make Sure Everyone is All Right

The physical safety of everyone involved in the car accident should be your number one priority. Make sure that you and anyone else in your vehicle are okay and then check on the people in the other vehicles involved. If there are serious injuries or any injuries that need medical attention make sure that you jump to step 3 right away and take care of the people involved. The rest can wait.

  1. Evaluate the Accident

In some cases the accident may have been minor. You might have a scrape on your vehicle or you may have no damage at all. In these cases it is up to you and the other driver to decide what you’re going to do. In a more serious accident it’s important that you evaluate the vehicles and that you proceed to step

  1. Call 911

In minor accidents where there is little or no damage and you and the other party are not planning to report the accident for insurance purposes, you don’t need to call 911. If you are planning to report the car accident to your insurance company, however, you must get a police report. This means calling and having an officer report and evaluate the situation.

  1. Be Clear and Concise

Tell the officer what happened and what the damages are. This includes any injuries that you or the other people in your vehicle have suffered as well as any damages to the vehicle itself. Point out any areas where damage is visible. The officer should take down your statement and take photographs of all injuries or damage.

  1. Get Insurance and Police Report Information

Talk with the other driver to get their license and insurance information to report to your car insurance company. Make sure you also get all the information you can about the police report that will be filed. This will generally take a day or more to be completed, but the officer should have the report number available immediately.

  1. Clear the Scene

It seems like tow truck drivers always know when there’s an accident where they might be needed. If your vehicle is not drivable talk with the tow truck driver at the scene or call your own to get your vehicle removed. If your insurance company has a specific company they deal with try to have them come to pick up your vehicle. If the vehicle is drivable you should be able to remove it. Make sure the officer investigating has completed everything they need before removing the vehicle.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

It’s crucial that (if you have insurance) you contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. As soon as you have left the scene you should let your insurance company know what happened and you should make sure they know the report number for the car accident, all of the information necessary and where your vehicle can be found. They will need to review all of this information to make a decision on what your policy covers.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Once all of the adrenaline from the accident has cleared your system and you’ve taken care of the major tasks necessary it’s time to just take a moment to relax. Being in a car accident is stressful even when it doesn’t cause you physical injury. So taking a little time to let that stress out and to calm yourself down is important as you continue through the process of dealing with the accident.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 23 Jul 2019 22:33:32 -0400
Traffic ticket attorneys: What they do and other essential information In the modern age, it is all about speed and in these busy day to day lives, even the most law-abiding citizen ends up committing a traffic infraction. Several traffic rule violations might give you a ticket. The more tickets you accumulate, the more points on your license.

When it is about traffic offenses, there are simple ones, and then there are the complicated ones that might even lead to a jail term and crippling penalties. The simple violations include speeding, parking in the wrong spot, running the red light, and driving an impaired vehicle. However, if you are caught driving under the influence or the hit and run, then the consequences are much severe.

This is where the traffic attorney comes in. Search online for your local Long Island traffic lawyer if you get charged with a traffic violation or infraction. Make sure to check the reputation of your expert before you hire.

When do you need a traffic ticket attorney?

Yes, it is quite right that not every infraction or violation needs the traffic ticket attorney. Not every case goes to court, and not every fine can be remitted. There are infractions like the parking ticket where you need to pay the fine. In such cases hiring a lawyer is futile and will cost you more than the fine itself.

However, there are other serious offenses where expert legal help is a great idea. It is economical as well since some of the fines for serious offenses can be crippling to the savings account. We have compiled a list of all the infractions for which you will need a traffic lawyer.

  • In case of tickets for speeding
  • In case of reckless driving
  • Accumulation of outstanding warrants for the non-payment of tickets
  • Caught driving an uninsured vehicle
  • Caught driving without a license (revoked/suspended included
  • In the case of hit and run cases
  • Leaving the scene of the accident involved in
  • Violations of lane changing
  • DUI
  • Arrest warrants for multiple unpaid traffic infractions

It is imperative to best possible on-court representation if and when such severe cases move to the court. Consult a traffic attorney right now to prepare better.

About the cost of a traffic attorney

Traffic attorneys generally charge at an hourly rate for the court representation. Consultation fees are subject to individual attorneys. In case of the more straightforward issues involving paperwork, there are flat rates. Establish the rate upfront with your lawyer.

Keep your expectations real

If you have been involved in an accident due to your negligence or been caught while committing a traffic infraction, then you will be served a fine and a ticket. Depending on the severity of the violation, you might even face jail time. The attorney is the only solution but keep your expectations real. Yes, you are better equipped to deal your side with legal help, but there are no guarantees. However, in most cases, a lawyer can keep a conviction off the license and reduce the sentence.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:44:14 -0400
What to do to build a strong case against a hit and run accident? Car accidents are common in the US and attract severe penalties for offenders across different regions, including Arizona. However, of the different types of cases of personal injury, hit and run accidents can be a little tricky to deal with because of the legal complications. Arizona alone reported more than 5,000 hit-and-run cases in 2017, of which 2,900 cases involved injuries, 64 fatalities, etc. Many also included claims of property damages. If you are a victim of a hit and run accident in Tucson, Arizona, you can qualify for compensation that covers your medical expenses, lost income, and the emotional and physical sufferings, etc. But for this, you would have to take care of a few things.

As per the state law, the drivers who are a part of a car accident that resulted in injury, damage or death should give their full contact details along with the registered car number. The driver should show his driving license to the victim. Also, he should help the injured people and call the police at 911. Failing to do any of these can cause the guilty to face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances. Here are a few crucial points that can come in handy for you as a victim of hit and run case.

Things to do after the accident happens

Write down the details

If the driver has left the spot, it’s a criminal offense. But as a victim, you have to keep in mind the details to help the police to trace the whereabouts of the escaping driver. Recall the license plate number and the appearance of the car and its driver. Please note it down somewhere to avoid any confusion or clouding of thoughts. Also, written records will carry more weight in front of the police. So, when, where, and what time the accident occurred is critical to write down. Also, mention the traffic and weather conditions at that time.

Contact the police

Get in touch with the police as soon as possible and be straightforward when it comes to reporting the accident.

Collect evidence

Speak to the people who saw the accident and the car. You must take down their complete contact details so that your personal injury lawyer can reach out to them when required. Also, don’t forget to click pictures of the spot, the wrecked vehicle, and your injuries. It will be better if you can also capture the photo of the fleeing car.

Take medical help

Whether or not your injuries are minor, you should meet a doctor immediately and get the treatment done. Sometimes, accident symptoms take time to show up due to the shock that you went through in a hit and run case. Also, you would need proof of the injuries sustained from the accident to claim for compensation.

Once you take care of all these aspects, get in touch with a well-known Tucson accident injury attorney for assistance. The accident lawyer can help find the driver from the clues you provide. Also, there will be video surveillance of the location to arrest the absconding driver. As soon as the police and lawyer get the driver, you can submit an insurance claim against the other party to cover the damages you suffered. Just make sure you don’t speak to an insurance firm before taking advice from your attorney.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:43:51 -0400
Learn about the things that you need to do after you get into a car crash Sometimes, even after being careful, you may face a vehicle accident because you did not anticipate that suddenly a car from the opposite direction would emerge and the two vehicles would collide. Such an incident can take you a few seconds to recollect and compose yourself due to the shock. You may not understand in that situation what to do. But God forbids if something like that occurs, you should have some prior awareness of how to deal with such unfortunate circumstance. Here are a few easy tips that can prove useful during that time.

Steps to follow during a motor collision

  • You first need to check yourself and the co-passengers for injuries. In case you notice any physical damage, contact 911 for help.
  • If you and others (if any) are fine and the car is also in operational condition, then push it off the road to a safe place. Standing in a busy or active traffic lane can be dangerous for you and your car also.
  • Switch on all the hazard lights of your vehicle for clear visibility, and check on the other driver for injuries. Calling 911 is critical if the driver has sustained any physical harm.
  • Check the cars for damage and click some pictures.
  • Take a snapshot of insurance, car ownership, driving license and other such documents that you and other driver have.
  • You don’t have to inform police if combined damage to both the vehicles is below $2,000. However, in case the amount exceeds this, and the cars are operable, then you should drive to a police division.
  • Another essential thing is that you should notify your insurance company immediately. Otherwise, you may not get your claim.

However, it's critical to note that the situation can take an ugly turn if the accident involves a case of impaired or distracted driving. Both these are a criminal offence in Brampton. An example of inattentive driving can involve the use of a handheld device for talking, emailing, texting, or dialling while driving. The case of impaired driving refers to an incident where the driver is guilty of riding a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drug. If 100ml of blood contains a trace of more than 80 mg of alcohol, then it becomes an event of a criminal offence. The person who does not give a breath sample to the police when asked can also face a criminal charge.

Getting rid of these events cannot be easy or possible without the help of a qualified criminal lawyer. So, by chance you get yourself into any such situation, contact a trustworthy criminal lawyer Brampton immediately. An experienced lawyer knows how to deal with such cases and defend their clients. He can also guide you precisely what to do and what not to do to avoid further gravity in the matter.

Drunk driving is mainly a severe crime everywhere in Ontario, and can cause you high penalties. The state laws are strict, and hence, you have to treat them with equal seriousness. Only with the help of a lawyer, you can expect to save yourself from the severity of the consequences.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:43:15 -0400
Fired from the job? Important things to learn about severance pay The provincial employment rules in Ontario mandate that the employee should get a termination letter, termination pay, or both if he or she has not resigned from the job themselves; it is the employer's decision. However, to qualify for that, the professional has to be in the company for at least three months in a row and should not have any misconduct charges against him or her. There can be a few more exceptions also, which only an employment lawyer can tell you precisely.

Besides, there is another thing that a fired employee is entitled to receive, i.e., severance pay. If your employer has forced you to quit the job, you can ask for it. However, there are a lot of considerations that can contribute to a decision in your favour, such as the nature of your job, your experience in the field, how old you are, and the condition of the job market, etc. Your lawyer can assist you and your employer with an amicable negotiation.

Here are a few points that you should be aware of regarding severance pay.

Situations when severance pay is applicable

Your entitlement to severance pay depends on the following factors:

  • The company hired you for 5 or more years on the job
  • The employer pays $2.5 million in salaries
  • The company is removing 50 or more professionals within six months due to a problem in business

You get severance in case your employer dismisses you from the service without there has been an issue of misconduct from your end. Or, it's constructive dismissal. Another scenario can be where your employer asks you to quit for 35 weeks or more within 52 weeks. The layoff has occurred due to business shut-down, or you resign as per the statutory notice period serving two weeks of notice after your employer gives you a termination notice.

Things to keep in mind under such a scenario

  • Don’t accept the severance offer immediately after your dismissal from the job. Talk to your spouse and an employment advocate about how to negotiate it better.
  • The employer can propose you severance pay for the numbers of years you served the company. The amount can be less or more. But there is no assurance you will get it. So, always look for negotiation.
  • You can negotiate for health benefits as it is critical for Canadians. The employer may not extend medical coverage after termination period.
  • You can opt for total severance payment in one go. If you choose this, the employer can give you the lump sum amount after some deductions. It can be a favourable choice if you have confidence that you can get a new job soon. However, if you don't go with complete payment, then you would need to inform your previous employer as soon as you find another employment somewhere.
  • If you get career counselling in your package, do take advantage of this opportunity as it can expose you to new networks, and learning atmosphere.

Since this process can include a lot of paperwork and assessment of different employment clauses, taking help from a reputable law firm in Mississauga is recommendable.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:42:44 -0400
Do you think that a personal injury lawyer will take an interest in your case? At times, attorneys do not want to accept cases. People keep on wondering the reasons behind this. After getting injured, certainly, you will certainly think that hiring a lawyer will help you to get the compensation you deserve. But you may end up finding that no professional injury lawyer is interested in taking up your case. In order to understand the situations where a personal injury lawyer would deny your case, continue reading this article.

A lawyer can deny from taking up your case. A personal injury lawyer may not show interest in taking up your case at all due to several reasons. We have enlisted some of the common reasons below for your convenience:

No severe injury

Most of the times, criminal lawyers get to hear from victims "I could have been killed". But it is not actually an element of damage that could be submitted to the jury.

Legal damages need to be proven to ensure that you get compensation accordingly. Speculative damages will not lead you to anywhere.

When it is a question of personal injury case, it is important to prove that you are badly hurt due to the incident. If the injuries are not major, a lawyer may pass the case because the monetary compensation will be quite minimal.

You sound like already discussing your case with several other lawyers.

It is essential for victims of personal injury to choose the right attorney for the case. He needs to look for experience, qualification and subject area of the lawyer before hiring him. But sometimes, cases are directly turned down by lawyers when the clients appear to be looking to choose someone on the basis of the feedback he receives on the case value.

Moreover, if your case is dropped or released by another law firm, a personal injury lawyer will think several times from the aspect of unreasonable expectation and liability before taking it.

The economic reality related to pursuing your case

Usually, the cases are taken by personal injury attorneys on a contingency fees basis. Sound business judgment needs to be present in the lawyer while taking cases. This includes the time he needs to allot to a case, expected fee as well as the expenses for developing the case. It is really essential for an attorney to consider whether the amount he is getting from the client worth the effort and time he needs to spend in handling the case. The most successful and experienced an attorney is, the higher the fee becomes. From this perspective, defence lawyers now prefer to charge an hourly basis. The client also needs to pay the upfront expenses for handling the case, and the lawyer needs to be paid irrespective of the final decision of the case.

If you want to know more about situations where injury lawyers prefer not to take the cases of the clients, stay tuned to us. We will provide you with the latest updates about law and related information. You can check out with Personal Injury Lawyers Perth for your case.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:42:08 -0400
What to ask a bankruptcy lawyer before you avail their services? What worries most a person is his or her financial condition, and that's why you don't feel surprised when a study informs you that humans spend almost 3.5 hours every day per week thinking about it. And when you realize you are edging the verge of bankruptcy; the gravity of the matter becomes more intense. No doubt, it can be the most overwhelming situation for you, but you can still deal with it wisely by taking expert help. You can speak to a seasoned bankruptcy attorney over the phone for consultation before moving forward. Here are a few points that you can include in your list for phone communication.

Which type of bankruptcy to file - Chapter 7 or chapter 13?

These are the two popular types of bankruptcies you can file. As per chapter 7, you have to give all the property to your bankruptcy trustee that is not exempted by law. You can refer to the Bankruptcy Exemptions list of your state to understand what you can retain and what you have to let go when you file for bankruptcy to clear your debts. However, it deserves mention here that you generally don't get rid of the following responsibilities –

  • Student loan
  • Child support
  • Unpaid back taxes

As far as chapter 13 goes, you can repay the creditors over three to five years without losing your property.

An experienced attorney will be able to thrash out what these bankruptcies mean and which option can be your best bet after analyzing your situation based on the information you provide over a call.

How much will this process cost?

Knowing the overall expense that you will have to bear in this process is critical so that you can take a call. You need to know if there would be any additional cost apart from the lawyer’s fees. Is there any retainer fee? How do the payments need to be made? Whatever be the cost and payment mode, you need to make sure there is a comprehensive agreement in place.

When can you file a case and how long it may take to close?

If the lawyer has significant experience, he will be able to give you a fair idea of the amount of time that may go into the filing process based on his schedule as well as the manner local courts proceed. Just remember your cooperation will also matter in this as you have to share the necessary details and also check the forms before their submission. Nevertheless, the attorney should guide you through the entire process step-wise and give you an estimate of how much time it will need for processing.

You can schedule a phone consultation with your chosen attorney for a discussion so that you get an idea of whether he or she can solve your problem or not and how open he or she is with clients. You can ask any concern that you may have regarding bankruptcy. If you have a feeling that there can be some challenges or you want to know about the risks, consult with them without hesitation.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:41:05 -0400
Bail bond for drug offenses – Essential questions to ask The idea of a crimeless world is a Utopian concept! It's good to retain a realistic world view and know that multiple crimes and injustice will happen. To set things correct, we have a legal system in place that doles out law and order. Almost everyone is aware of drug offense and crimes today. From the youth to adults, the criminal age spectrum for drug abuse and offense is vast. There are times when an innocent person can get accused of a drug offense, just because he/she was present in the crime scene. It is essential to free this person from jail and prove innocent. For that, you need to say yes to a bail bond company for bail.

The contexts that determine a drug offense is very slim! Hence, before you opt-in for a bail bond agency, it is essential that you address a few critical questions.

  1. What is a drug offense or crime?

Drug crime or offense is a situation where a person is found to possess intoxicated/prohibited substances. The following facts point towards drug offenses.

  • If a person possesses drugs illegally
  • When a person has a particular medicine without any authentic prescription
  • When a person illegally possesses the prescription medicines

The substances that get counted as drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

  1. What are the repercussions of getting arrested for a drug offense?

Once a defendant is guilty of a drug offense, he/she needs to be there at the police station. The police will question about the crime, get the required fingerprints, take photographs, and record every important detail. Here you have a chance to pay a bail amount and get free from jail. However, if your drug offense is severe, the bail amount might increase.

If you can't afford that you have to stay in jail, else, there's always the option of joining hands with a bail bonds company that provides bail for drug offenses. To know more, you can check out Castle Bail Bonds Columbus Ohio.

  1. What is the bail amount for a drug offense?

The bail amount for a drug offense varies because of multiple factors. One of the essential elements includes felony possession and misdemeanor. The amount is calculated based on your drug intake and also your intention to sell the drug. Furthermore, the misdemeanor charges qualify for a petty bail amount. On the other hand, the felony drug charges will be more. Also, defendants of a felony drug offense might have to be at the jail before their bail gets sanctioned.

  1. What should the defendant do if he can’t afford the bail?

The defendant has to pay money to book a lawyer to fight his/her case. If they don't have the necessary amount to pay the entire bail amount, opting in for a drug offense bail bond is the best solution. They have to pay 10% of the bail amount. They need to make court appearances as dictated by the court, and else they need to pay the penalty.

These are some of the essential questions that you need to ask before you opt-in for a drug offense bail bond from a bail bond agency.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:40:19 -0400
What are the potential benefits of debt settlement in terms of law? Are you the one who is suffering from the huge credit? If so, then we are here to tell you about all the things which help you in improving the bad credit. If you are not able to repay the burden of the credit card liability, then you are going to find the debt assistance. A person's life becomes irritating when they receive annoying calls by the credit providers and agents regularly. If the credit providers don't get the response of their calls, then they also send people for collection to your house.

Due to this, the person's are being disturbed physically as well as mentally. You are being capable of taking debt assistance to meet up the financial requirements in a hard time, and after some time, your burden becomes impossible to pay off. It is crucial that you need to look for the best choice, which provides debt assistance to maintain your stress life. There is a choice which can assist you best to get out of the huge burden.

If you want to take the debt assistance, then it will be beneficial for you. Some of the benefits are going too mentioned below. Let's discuss below:-


There are several advantages of debt relief options, due to which they are attaining the high popularity. As we all know that there can be nothing better compared to not making payments to the bank. For the payables, credit card bills can become the most irritating forms. Few cardholders are feeling sorry for offering the card when the first payment has to be given. In the case of a settlement, the reduced amount doesn't have to be paid through the customer. If the full deduction is attained, it doesn't mean that the client must pay the amount at the specific stage.  

  • Recessions

Few people have the opinion that the money granting companies will claim the reduced sums when the period of recessions reaches at the end. Recession is the main reason due to the debt relief options have been introduced in the first place. Banking institutions have faced dangerous problems when people have not been paid their bills for a long time. This problem is not with one or two people but has countless citizens. Granting companies has run out of funds, and its operations have reached a halt.

  • Part payment of the balance amount

Debt settlement offers you to give a portion of the total amount due. It has done because the creditors have the idea that the opportunities for recovering the outstanding amounts are quite low once it becomes the default. Sometimes creditors prefer to charge off the outstanding debt amount to sell it to the minor market for the proper proportion of the entire balance. Debt buyer and the real creditor get a bonus to discuss the settlement due to get the return on investment as compared to the no return. 

  • Over time

By the debt settlement firm, you need to contribute a very small amount every month to an account, at which settlement have been made. If the creditors don't want to discuss the settlement, or if a person doesn't have proper funds for paying the huge sum, it is less possible for negotiation.

  • Law firm protection

A law company can be able to care for the creditor harassment due to the creditors can't be able to get in touch you if a person knows that they are going to represent through a lawyer. A law company will suggest you about the creditors who are represented so that you do not get harassed during the collection. If people are unable to follow the rules of law, they should take help of an attorney who can express his clients about the fair practices of debt collection.

  • Charges based on the initial balance

When an attorney is going to charges their fees, then it depends on the end balance of the debt. If the fees charge for settlement of debt depends on the emergency, which is the proportion of savings. Then it is good for you which are charged based on starting balance.

  • No charges till settlement

If the sales rule of the telemarketing also exclude the professional debt settlement firms from charging you until your total debt is settled. It means that people make the settlement of debt need to be deposited into their trust account to get benefits when people can settle their debt. You must not be charged to any account till the end when the debt is settled along with the creditors.

  • Mental peace

You have to be sure that you have the complete mental peace along with the debt settlement program. Don't worry about the harassment, and then you won't be able to pay off the debts. If you are going to make the settlement of debt by taking help from the law firm along with hundreds of benefits from the debt settlement.

If a person knows about the harassment or the efforts for collection stops, then you will get mental peace. You will see that the debts being settled, and then the fees will be levied when your account is settled. It is fully settled when your creditors disobey the law, that's why you required hiring an attorney who takes proper care of the legal rights.

  • Lawyer understand about the debt collection

When we are talking about the collection of debt, then most of the people are facing failure in their cases because they don't know about the actual process. For this reason, you must be hiring a person who has required skills and experience, which is essential to navigating our case in the courtroom. To hire the best attorney, you must be looked on the internet; it provides you the detailed information.

These are some of the advantages which get by the person when they are going to settle their debt according to law.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:43:45 -0400
Things to keep in mind before hiring an auto accident lawyer It is quite a pattern of life that when you least expect it, some tragedy happens. All you can do is prepare for all the eventualities and consequences. This is why it is imperative to have a contingency plan. Auto accident lawyers come in handy when you have met with an accident. For a free consultation and quote contact your Maryland auto accident attorney today. 

So, what are the things that you should keep in mind before hiring your auto accident lawyer? Here are some of the essential facts for you to keep in mind,

Free consultation

If the situation doesn't need immediate advising and legal counsel, meetings with the auto accident attorney are free of charge. You will need to negotiate about the details of the case with the staff or the attorney personally as long as the case is ongoing. Most attorneys have a no-win-no-fee protocol in place, and this brings us to the next point.

The no-win-no-fee rule

Some might still require you to the pay up the retainer fees upfront before even accepting the case, but most of the professional practice is sure of the outcome of a case even before the attorney takes it. Therefore, in most cases, there is a no-win-no-fee rule in place. In case you win, a percentage of the settlement will be awarded to the attorney for his/her services.

More on the fee

The percentage taken by the attorney as his/her charge depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the state of residence, and personal preference of the lawyer. So, make sure you know what you will need to pay your attorney before signing on the dotted line.

Provide all the information to the attorney

You need to call up your attorney or visit his/her firm armed with all the details of the case. You will need the vehicle insurance policy, the medical insurance policy, medical records, and hospital bills following the accident. Pictures of the vehicle after the crash or collision, along with other details like the official accident report, police report if the law enforcement was involved and witness statements should also be recorded and brought to the attorney.

The process is tedious and lengthy

Even with an expert legal help keep in mind that the settlement is a lengthy and tedious process and you will face delays and frustrations all along the way. So, maintain communication with your attorney throughout the process to keep the hopes and moral high.

About doing your part

The attorney is just one member of the team. For the team to function efficiently, you need to make sure that you do your part correctly as well. Maintain lines of communications, do not miss appointments, and always provide the attorney with all the details, information, and documents that are required.

These are the simple considerations that you need to keep in mind before investing in an auto accident lawyer. Do your part and all the best!

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:28:57 -0400
Answers to some pertinent questions related to MSA MSA or Medicare Set Aside account is required so that the cost of your future medical expenses, including treatment and medicines for injuries, can be covered throughout your life. Maintaining a separate MSA fund is necessary so that all the money is used on your injury-related medical needs only before Medicare covers your medical bills.

Additionally, Medicare also wants you to report them how you have been using the money from this fund on your treatment so that it is ready when it has to pay your expenses. The medical bills should be sent to the authorities only when all the money from the account was exhausted. Medicare would like to verify the details of the payment before approving your bills. Failing to use up all the money on the treatment as well as not sending reports on time can hamper your chances of qualifying for Medicare benefits.

If you want to utilize the funds most effectively and secure Medicare benefits also, then make sure to practice caution and take help from resources, which can help you deal with the complicated process following the settlement. In case you need assistance, consider visiting once. Additionally, you can read on a few of the answers below about MSA.

How to manage MSA funds?

Get in touch with a professional administrator first as he can design a well-rounded plan for you to handle your MSA account. The person will keep an eye on your expenses and negotiate with the other parties to get you medical discounts on doctor visits, medical equipment, and prescription drugs to enable you to manage your costs as long as possible. The medical rebates can save you about 10 to 65% of medical expenses, which, in turn, will be able to take care of the cost of future treatments.

Make sure you bring in the administrator at the right time so that everything is organized well and you qualify for the right amount of discount. He will also ensure that when the money is exhausted, Medicare comes in to pay for the expenses.

What are the critical MSA rules?

Some of the MSA terms and conditions that you must follow:

  • Transfer a portion of the settlement money into an interest-bearing account
  • Spend money from this account on injury-related treatment
  • Pay for those costs only that are covered under the Medicare program
  • Pay standard or customary prices for the bills
  • Send reports to Medicare on the suggested time frame
  • List all the items that you paid for using MSA within the eligibility period

Not abiding by any of these rules can cost you Medicare benefits and force you to transfer misused amount back into the account.

What to do when the MSA money is exhausted?

Once all the money has been used, and reporting has also been done, Medicare or private insurance company will come forward to cover your future medical expenses. But for that, you need to be a Medicare member who has paid the premium amount. If you take care of this step, the chances are that you can qualify for up to 80% of coverage for your medical costs. Only 20% payment will go away from your kitty. Nevertheless, this also has specific terms and conditions.

So, if you want to take advantage of Medicare plans and enjoy an ongoing medical treatment, then hire an MSA consultant first.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:28:27 -0400
How to Appear and Behave in a Criminal Justice Courtroom When you are charged with a crime, you will need to appear in court. In most cases, you will need to appear even if you are represented by a criminal defense lawyer.  While the outcome of your case should be based on the facts and the law, how you conduct yourself in court can certainly affect your case.   Creating a good first impression for any circumstances is essential (even in a courtroom).

You have this opportunity to either make a positive or negative impression on the judge, who will be making many important decisions, including whether to suppress key evidence from your case and what your sentence will be if you are convicted. It may be difficult to imagine that how you act in court could mean the difference between probation and a jail sentence, but this is often the case. The following are some tips for how to appear and behave in a criminal justice courtroom.

Arrive Early

It is extraordinarily important to be on time to your court hearing - so important that you should always leave early to account for any unexpected situations. You will not know the order of the court docket in advance, and you do not want the judge to call your name and have you not be there. In fact, if you are not there when it is your turn, the judge could even issue a bench warrant for your arrest for failure to appear.

Dress Professionally

Courts each have their own rules about what you may not wear in the courtroom - commonly tank tops, shorts, hats, and revealing clothing. You should always go a step further, however, and dress as professionally as possible. Your clothing and grooming will be the very first impression on the judge, and there is no second chance for a first impression. Taking the time to dress professionally can indicate you are taking your court matter seriously.

Act Respectfully

Courtrooms have policies and expectations for decorum from everyone involved, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, spectators, and defendants. The following are only some examples of common rules to know in order to act respectfully as possible in criminal court:

  • Always stand when court opens, recesses, or closes
  • Stand when you are addressing the judge or the judge is addressing you
  • Always refer to the judge as “Your Honor,” and not by “Judge Smith” unless they specifically request it
  • Refer to the prosecutor, witnesses, or other people involved by their last names
  • Never interrupt or argue with the judge - you will get your turn to speak
  • Do not disrupt the courtroom with gestures or audible comments

In general, do not do anything that could be viewed as being rude or combative, as this will give the judge the wrong impression and they will surely remember such demeanor when it comes time to make decisions regarding your case.

Be Prepared

When you go to court, you should understand why you are there, the nature of the charges against you, and other details of your case. If you have a defense attorney, they will usually do the talking for you, though they should also prepare you for what to expect during the hearing, when to arrive, how to dress, and how to act. This is only one of many benefits of having the right defense representation for your criminal case.

Your criminal lawyer representing you will also give you tips on how to properly present yourself in court.  If you have any questions regarding criminal please visit for more information.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 15 May 2019 19:36:51 -0400
Protect Your Peace of Mind With Advance Health Care Directives and Living Wills

Do you want to ensure that your wishes and beliefs are upheld in your medical care? Advance health care directives instruct others about your wishes concerning medical treatment, should you become unable to communicate them yourself.

Documenting your plans can give you greater peace of mind and make decisions easier for your loved ones in potentially stressful situations. Here are some steps that will help you create these important documents.

Learn the Importance of Advance Health Care Directives:

  1. Have your wishes and beliefs honored. It's natural to feel uncomfortable thinking about physical incapacity and death, but it's comforting to know that you can exercise some control. You'll feel more secure if you take every possible step to ensure that the medical care you receive is consistent with your personal values and beliefs.

  2. Relieve your loved ones of unnecessary burdens. It's difficult for your loved ones to know what you want unless you talk with them in advance. You may be able to help them stay calm and united.

  3. Help professional caregivers help you. Doctors and nurses have demanding jobs. Make it easier for them to provide you with the best care even if that means referring you to a provider who better serves your needs.

Master the Basic Terminology:

  1. Consider creating a durable power of attorney. This advance directive lets you appoint another person who becomes your agent for making medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. It's sometimes also called a medical power of attorney. This power extends to all medical decisions unless you specify additional conditions.

  2. Understand the limits of living wills. Living wills express your desires regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical treatment. Practically speaking, their effectiveness is very limited, compared to a durable power of attorney.

  3. Decide on Do Not Resuscitate Orders. One more directive is worth mentioning: Do Not Resuscitate Orders. These provide instructions to medical personnel if you wish to decline life-prolonging measures under certain circumstances.

Create and Use Advance Health Care Directives:

  1. Select a health care agent. Your health care agent can be your spouse or another close family member or friend. An agent may also be called a surrogate or attorney-in-fact. In any case, select someone you trust with such a serious responsibility.

  2. Get the correct forms. Getting forms is easy. Facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments are required to provide you with written information. You can also obtain forms at local hospitals, community agencies, medical societies, geriatric care managers, and from many individual attorneys and physicians.

  3. Follow state laws. Every state recognizes advance directives, but requirements vary by state. You may want to seek legal advice to ensure you comply with requirements such as notarization and witness signatures.

  4. Distribute copies to key individuals. Your advance directive is more likely to be enforced if you give copies to all the key individuals involved. These include your family, your primary care physician, and hospital personnel. Of course, you need to discuss the final document with your agent and give them a copy. You may also want to deposit copies with your attorney and keep one in your safe deposit box.

  5. Talk with your doctor and family. Your doctor can help you understand medical implications and terminology to clarify your directive. Most of all, talk with your family about these sensitive issues.

  6. Keep your directive updated. It's a good idea to review your directive regularly to ensure it's compatible with your current life circumstances. Experts recommend that everyone 18 or over prepare a directive, so a lot can change over the years.

Advance health care directives can be simple to draft, but involve many complex issues. Get the guidance you need from medical and legal experts so you and your family will be prepared even in difficult circumstances.

Uncategorized Editor Sat, 24 Nov 2018 01:22:52 -0500
Essential Steps for Setting Up a Trust Fund

Have you considered setting up a trust fund but were intimidated by the process? A trust fund doesn’t have to be complicated and your attorney or bank can guide you through the process.

Follow these steps:

1. Determine why you want or need a trust fund. Depending on your needs, the trust fund process can change.

  • You don’t need a high income with a large number of assets to benefit from a trust.
  • Trusts can be an important part of your financial plans and useful tools for planning your inheritance.
  • Consult an attorney or financial expert for how a trust could benefit you the most in your situation.

2. Consider who will be your trustee. A trustee is the person who manages the trust. It’s a management role that can serve multiple purposes over time.

  • You can have one or more trustees, but they’ll have to work together.
  • You can select family, friends, lawyers, banks, trust companies, and others to fill this important role.

3. Consider who will be the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person who will receive the trust.

4. Select the type of trust that you need. Trusts are available in multiple forms:

  • A revocable trust allows you to change the terms.
  • An irrevocable trust can’t be changed after it’s created. This means that the terms and beneficiaries are set.
  • Living trusts are able to go into effect while you’re still alive.

5. Create the trust. You’ll have to consult a lawyer or other expert to create a trust.

  • After it’s created, you’ll have to fund the trust. You can fund it by transferring titles from assets or properties. You can also fund it by transferring ownership. You can designate different accounts that will be used to fund the trust. They can be transferred right away or after you pass away.

6. Consider notifying the people involved. It’s up to you to decide who should be notified about the creation of the trust.

7. Understand the limitations. Trusts can be useful tools for determining who will receive property and other assets. However, they have limits and can’t solve all issues. Be aware of the trust limitations.

  • Trusts aren’t the same as living wills, so you can’t specify your medical wishes in them.
  • Trusts can’t protect you from creditors, so your debts will still need to be paid. They can’t stop you from being sued by creditors.

8. Update the trust. Have you gone through a recent divorce and later remarried?

  • Life situations can change, so trusts may need to be updated periodically. Has your family situation changed significantly? Has your financial situation changed?
  • Have you adopted a child? Has a beneficiary listed in the trust passed away?
  • Frequent updates can make things easier for your beneficiaries in the future. They can reduce challenges down the road and make the trust easier to manage.

Trust funds can be an important way to save and provide for the future. If you follow the basic steps, then you’ll be on your way to have a working trust fund.

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 07 Oct 2018 01:08:17 -0400
5 Ways to Use Technology to Protect Your Finances During Divorce If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to stay aware of any actions that occur on your financial accounts. Technology can be a useful part of your plan to keep your money safe.

Use these strategies to take advantage of technology to protect your accounts:  

1. Change your personal account passwords. If your ex knows your passwords, it’s essential that you change them immediately.

2. Monitor accounts with online tools. Does your bank or other financial service offer apps and online tools to help you monitor accounts? These tools can send you automatic alerts about deposits, withdrawals, and other actions.

  • If your ex makes a transaction that goes against the divorce agreement, these tools will give you a record and help you keep track of it. You can use this information to inform your lawyer and the judge.
  • These tools can also help you manage your own personal finances during this challenging time as well. Use them to keep a close watch on direct deposits, automatic withdrawals, and your balance.

3. Monitor social media activity. In divorce cases, lawyers and judges are now using social media activity from both partners to make decisions about alimony, child support, and other financial matters.

  • Be careful about what you post on social media, particularly posts that have anything to do with money, your job, your lifestyle, or your children. Once you post something, it can always be copied and saved, so deleting it may not be enough to protect you.

4. Figure out how to handle joint accounts. Joint accounts become an issue during a divorce. It’s important for you and your partner to agree on how you’ll handle the joint accounts and how to use them during the divorce. For example, you may want to keep them open temporarily to pay for household expenses.

  • If you keep the accounts open, then you both may need online access to them.
  • Use the technology that your bank offers to monitor these joint accounts closely.

5. Be aware of tracking software and tools. Couples who are going through difficult divorces sometimes resort to using tracking software and tools. These tools can enable your partner to see and monitor your activities. This includes financial activities that occur online or on your phone.

  • These technology tools can show up on your devices and affect your finances.
  • In some areas, it isn’t legal to use this type of software or programs without the other person’s consent. If you’re considering these options during a divorce, it’s smart to consult a lawyer and check the local laws first.
  • If you become a victim of this type of software during a divorce, notify your lawyer and the judge. This can have a big impact on your divorce case. It can also affect custody battles that may be occurring at the same time. Keep track of all the software and programs you find on your devices.

Divorce can be a difficult time for both parties, and your personal finances can suffer. It’s important to be proactive about protecting your finances as you separate and divorce. Following these tips will help you feel more secure about your finances.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 18 Sep 2018 03:57:55 -0400
Beware of These Top 6 Estate Planning Mistakes

Most people view estate planning in the same way they view a root canal: Put it off until the pain is too great to ignore any longer. Also, those with little income or net worth believe that estate planning doesn’t apply to their situation. But estate planning is much more than just the allocation of cash, real estate, and other assets. There are other things to consider, too.

There are many errors that occur again and again in estate planning. Avoiding these mistakes is half the battle.

Steer clear of these mistakes for a successful estate plan:

1. Procrastination. Estate planning is a little like completing a tax return. No one really wants to do it. But it’s so important to push your reticence aside and get it done!

2. Not paying attention to the conflicts that exist within your beneficiaries and estate plan. For example, if your will declares that your husband receive your retirement account, but your ex-husband’s name is still listed as the beneficiary, this could prove to be a big challenge.

3. Not using the unified credit to your advantage. This only applies to those with a significant net worth, but this mistake is made regularly. In most cases, assets pass to the surviving spouse. Up to $5,250,000 can be excluded from taxation.

  • If this isn’t handled properly, though, the surviving spouse will only have their exclusion available when passing assets on to their heirs.
  • There are ways to potentially shelter this money from taxation in the future. One solution is a credit shelter trust.

4. Not having adequate life insurance. Life insurance can be a great estate-planning tool for the affluent, but life insurance is vital to those with low income as well.

  • Consider how your family will survive financially if you or your spouse were to die unexpectedly.
  • If you have significant wealth, you might consider using life insurance in conjunction with an irrevocable trust for tax purposes. An attorney that specializes in estate planning can make recommendations based on your unique situation and explain the details.

5. Creating a plan that lacks flexibility. Creating a plan with a little wiggle room will allow your heirs to take advantage of any new laws as well as use the assets in the most advantageous fashion.

6. Not gifting assets. Up to $14,000 can be gifted to each beneficiary per year without incurring a gift tax. This can be a great way of reducing the taxes imposed on your estate at the time of your death. You also have the chance to see how well your beneficiaries can manage your assets.

  • Additionally, you have the advantage of being able to witness someone enjoying your assets. You can’t do that after you’re gone!

Estate planning isn’t the most enjoyable activity, but it is likely to be one of the most important things you do for your family.

Everyone should have a basic estate plan that spells out their wishes. This is important even if there are no children or assets. An attorney can be invaluable unless your estate is very simple. And even then, the $100+ it will cost to have an attorney take a look at your documents will be money well spent.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 06 Aug 2018 03:52:07 -0400
5 Warning Signs to Recognize Senior Abuse

No one thinks about ABUSE until it rears its ugly head... and usually after it has been going on for a while. And no one wants to think it can happen to their parents. After all, they are in a reputable nursing facility where it is well maintained and has a very friendly staff. It does. And the more you know the "warning signs" the faster you will be able to stop it from happening to your loved ones. Allow me to share a story with you of one such incident that will hopefully make you more aware of what to look out for and how to avoid it.

Emma's story is not unlike that of many seniors who fall prey to abuse from care givers and facilities. I wanted to share her story, and that of her children, to give you a better understanding of how something like this can happen... innocently and without others being aware. Her story, as with many others, started out very subtle. Emma had the onset of Alzheimer's... a slow moving yet very tragic and disabling disease. I want to share some details about her condition since it is something I see quite often with older couples and their families. Hopefully this will help increase your awareness of how easily abuse can happen to a loved one.

Susan and Bill are in their mid-60s. The other day they expressed some very serious concerns about Bill's mother. A couple of years ago they told me they suspected Bill's 87-year old mother, Emma, was starting to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. We had a long discussion about Alzheimer's and how it is an irreversible, progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age. Fortunately, Bill's mother did not start showing signs of Alzheimer's until her mid to late 80s.

Susan had been doing some research on the Internet and learned it is the most common form of dementia. Those of us who have had to watch a friend or family member suffer through Alzheimer's know it targets and destroys memory and thinking skills. The causes and symptoms vary from one person to the next, as does the progression of the disease. Being educated about the disease and the various care options is the key to helping a loved one with Alzheimer's disease.

When Emma first started to exhibit the onset of Alzheimer's, she exhibited mild symptoms which included increasing forgetfulness and mild confusion. From all their research, Susan and Bill knew that in the late stages a person with Alzheimer's is unable to carry out even the simplest tasks.

They decided to take Bill's Mom to a geriatric specialist for an examination. Following her exam, Dr. Hawkins explained that Alzheimer's disease is complicated and getting to a diagnosis is a long process. He told Bill it was wise for him to bring Emma in for an exam because it is important to understand that there will be many steps and visits with doctors to determine whether or not Emma had Alzheimer's.

As Emma's disease progressed, her symptoms worsened. The medication was unable to significantly slow down the damage that Alzheimer's disease was causing to Emma's brain cells. Initially the medicine did stabilize Emma's condition, but only for a short time.

The doctors also treated Emma's behavioral symptoms with medication, along with some other methods to address her symptoms. Dr. Hawkins told Susan and Bill that they needed to watch for triggers. By knowing these triggers, they could employ a variety of coping strategies. Some of these included avoiding confrontation and making sure Emma got adequate rest. They needed to monitor her comfort and maintain a calm environment. Susan asked about herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and "medical" foods as possible treatments to enhance Emma's memory. Dr. Hawkins said there was no conclusive evidence that these things work.

But, as the disease progressed, Emma's memory loss increased, especially her recent memories. Emma, like many with Alzheimer's disease, experienced severe changes in behavior. She started to do things out of character. She became aggressive, agitated, and irritable. She became depressed and had wild mood swings. She also had difficulty sleeping, another common symptom. Emma's ability to think and reason became so impaired that even performing familiar tasks became impossible. The deterioration of her brain caused her to change in ways that were difficult and trying for Susan and Bill to watch and to deal with.

The progressive nature of the disease brought Emma to the point that Bill and Susan could not care for her any longer in their home. So, about six months ago, they admitted her to a nursing home specializing in caring for Alzheimer's patients. It had a good reputation and everyone seemed very friendly and helpful.

Shortly after admitting Emma to the facility, Susan and Bill created their Estate Strategy. Bill told us he was concerned about whether he had a genetic predisposition to the disease. His comment led us to a discussion of the contributing factors, including genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. There are a variety of factors that put Bill at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Age and genetics are risk factors. Fortunately, Bill had not then experienced any signs of the disease. But as Bill aged, his mother's history of Alzheimer's put him at a greater risk of the onset of the disease.

Being aware of the importance of lifestyle and heart health, Bill pledged to avoid stress and fatty foods. Women, like Bill's mom, are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's than men. Some causes and risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are impossible to change or control. However, lifestyle and heart health are things Bill promised to control. Happily, Bill said he was sticking to his healthy diet and exercise routine.

You might wonder what all this had to do with Emma? The key is to not only recognize it early in your loved ones but when you do, to get yourself checked out to catch any signs early. As with any disease, the earlier it can be discovered, the better chance you have of beating it or knowing how to deal with it.

But there was another issue that was weighing on their mind... and it involved the nursing facility Emma was living in. Bill and Susan were feeling that something was going on with Emma besides her Alzheimer's. They were seeing some signs that led them to suspect Emma was being abused and neglected in the nursing home facility. They knew Emma well and there were enough signs that showed them something just wasn't right at the facility.

If this was true and she was being abused or neglected, they wanted us to explain their legal remedies since they had signed a year-long contract with the home. I started with a definition of what nursing home abuse would be considered. It is generally defined as any action, or failure to act, that causes unreasonable suffering, misery, or harm to the patient. It can include such things as the assault of a patient or it can also include withholding necessary food, medical attention, or physical care from the patient.

It was wonderful that Bill and Susan had stayed involved in Emma's life while she was in the nursing home. This is absolutely the best way to recognize or prevent abuse from happening or continuing to happen.

Since they were suspicious something was happening, I took the opportunity to explain what I consider to be the five main categories of abuse and how to recognize their warning signs. Since this was so helpful for Bill and Susan, I wanted to share these 5 things with everyone. The more we are all aware of these signs, even if it isn't for one of our loved ones, the more we can prevent abuse from happening. Here's the list of the 5 categories of abuse...

1. NEGLECT - Neglect can be intentional or unintentional on the part of the nursing home facility. Neglect, in its simplest of terms, happens when a patient's needs are not being met. This would include such things as not providing appropriate food, water, medical, and personal care for the patient. This can be an intentional choice on the part of the staff or it can be unintentional due to the lack of adequate staffing in a nursing home facility.

Regardless of how it occurs, it is important to know the warning signs of neglect. A neglected patient may be dehydrated or malnourished. Bed sores and other skin conditions can also be signs of neglect. A decline in personal hygiene can be a sign of personal care being neglected. Weight loss is also a sign consistent with neglect. I asked Bill and Susan to keep an eye out for any of these signs and to see if they currently recognize any of them. If any of these are present, Emma may be the victim of neglect.

2. PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE - Psychological abuse in nursing homes is one type that can be very hard to identify because it can be subtle and hard to notice. An early warning sign is when the person feels extreme sadness, fear, and/or anxiety. This type of abuse occurs when there is excessive yelling, humiliation, criticizing, or shaming the patient. It might also involve threatening and intimidating the elderly patient. Often time's psychological abuse is accompanied by other forms of abuse.

Because of Emma's Alzheimer's disease, determining psychological abuse is extremely difficult. Elderly people who experience psychological abuse will often become timid and withdrawn. Depression is a sign of psychological abuse, but it's also experienced by Alzheimer's patients. Some victims of psychological abuse will become more angry, agitated, and aggressive... like Alzheimer's patients. Changes in behavior are common in patients who experience this type of abuse. Due to depression, there may be sudden weight loss and loss of appetite. These patients may even refuse to eat or take medications. Bill and Susan are aware of these warning signs and pledged to be on guard for changes in Emma's behavior.

3. PHYSICAL ABUSE - Physical abuse in nursing homes is abuse that involves physical harm to the elderly resident. It involves intentionally inflicting physical harm, such as hitting, kicking, or pinching. Physical abuse can also come from the overuse of restraints, bed injuries, or from physical neglect.

While physical abuse seems to be easier to identify, that is not always the case. Some signs of physical abuse are hidden by clothing or false stories of falls or stumbles. Bruises and abrasions, as well as falls, fractures, or head injuries, can be signs of physical abuse. Injuries requiring emergency treatment or resulting in broken bones should be red flags to the family. Often times the staff who is in charge of an abused resident will refuse to leave when the family is present. This may be a warning sign that something negative is going on with the resident. We advised Bill and Susan to be present and observant when visiting Emma to help ensure her proper treatment and care. It would also be a good idea to get her isolated from her care givers if even for a short period of time so she could be more open to sharing her feelings and insights into her care.

4. SEXUAL ABUSE - Sexual abuse is another form of abuse that takes place in nursing homes. This type of abuse involves any unwanted sexual attention or sexual exploitation. This can happen with any patient and is especially hard to detect in patients who are cognitively impaired or have memory loss, like Emma.

While sexual abuse can be hard to identify, there are some warning signs. Pelvic injury or bruising in the genital and inner thigh area can be warning signs of elder sexual abuse. Newly contracted STDs is a major red flag. Sexual abuse may cause the elderly person to have unexplained difficulty standing or walking. There may also be changes in behavior or mood, including unusual sexual behavior.

5. FINANCIAL ABUSE - This type of abuse takes place when the caregiver takes advantage of access to the elderly person's financial matters and steals or compromises the victim's finances. This can be stealing from the person, or their accounts, applying for credit, or incorrectly billing for services paid by Medicare or Medicaid.

Although Emma had limited access to money, we told Bill and Susan to watch for these top 3 warning signs of financial abuse: 1) A caregiver demanding money or taking money or possessions as gifts from her; 2) Unknown charges to credit cards or sudden mismanagement of personal finances; 3) Forcing Emma to sign financial documents or forging her name on documents.

If any of these types of abuse are suspected, it is important to ask questions of the facility and to investigate. Despite the year-long contract, Bill can remove Emma from the facility because abuse and neglect would be a breach of the contract.

Unfortunately, many of elder abuse crimes go unreported. Now Bill and Susan feel much more empowered now that they know what to watch for and what to do to take the appropriate legal action to protect Emma and others who are victims of abuse. The more you know and the more we all share our insights and stories, the higher likelihood we can eliminate the abuse of our senior loved ones in a nursing facility. Let's all work together and look for the warning signs for our loved ones and others.

After more than 40 years helping families and businesses overcome obstacles, work together and chart courses to achieve lasting multi-generational legacies, attorney Tom Walker founded Generations Law Group to establish and maintain long-term relationships with each of our clients instead of ones built on one or two transactions. To that end, we work every day to deliver our legal services efficiently in a supportive, empathetic environment. We create, implement and continually improve an array of systems and services to meet the needs of our clients and assist them in reaping the enormous potential of multigenerational wealth.

If you ever have a question about an Estate Strategy or Estate Planning simply go to our website and ASK A QUESTION. There is never a fee for this and we can hopefully steer you in the right direction and give you some insights into your situation.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 16 Jul 2018 03:48:51 -0400
What to Know Before You Plan Your Estate

What is Estate Planning?

In short, estate planning is the transfer of your estate and wealth in the most cost-effective and efficient way. The Living Trust becomes an integral tool in doing this since no other planning device offers the same level of flexibility, control and management while you're alive and when you depart.

In 2015 $2.6 Billion Dollars was lost in Probate Courts nationwide. This because people failed to understand what they needed to do in order to avoid having them family members trapped in the system. It only takes about 4 Core™ documents to keep family safe and out of the courts.

Good Estate Planning must be

1). Cost effective &

2). Efficient.

Nationally 55% of Americans are not planning the inevitable and allowing their families to struggle in the Probate Court system as they lose money and time.

The 2 Biggest questions Americans are asking are:

1. Do I need a will or do I need a Trust?

2. Do I have enough to plan?

The Probate or court system is where our loved ones end up going to settle our estates if we haven't planned. Whether we have a Will or don't have a Will our estate must be probated in the court. If our gross estate (before deductions) is more than $150,000 of assets or more than $50,000 in real estate in some states and other states it is much lower like $20,000 and above then the estate must go through Probate. Probate comes from the Latin word "probare" or "probatus"to try, probe, test or to prove something and in this instance someone is trying to prove the validity of your Will or jockeying to get in position as the administrator of your estate so they can distribute your property. The average cost on this is $26,000 and up on a small gross estate of $500,000 and if you own more by virtue of your home the cost can easily swell over $50,0000. When You die intestate without a Will anyone who claims to be a creditor can file in Probate Court to become the administrator over your estate (even over family) and the court could appoint them up if they validate their debt until their debt is fully satisfied which puts a stranglehold on the assets that are supposed to be distributed to loved ones or a charity.

There really are 2 Probates.

Probate #1

The first encounter with Probate occurs while your alive and we refer to it as the "Living Probate." This is when life throws you a curve ball like a stroke (800,000 people suffer one annually and 35% are 45 and under), heart attack, dementia or Alzheimer's. You now have to enter the court for a procedure called conservatorship so people can sign off for you in legal capacity. The court procedure has an average cost of $20,000 with many exceeding that due to the need for the court to visually see the person (they will wheel you out to court in this condition), make sure the person seeking appointment is trustworthy (many are not and leads to elder abuse). There is a simple document that is a part of a simple estate plan that avoids this scenario completely and is easy to put in place while you select the person to act as your Agent today while you're healthy and clear.

Probate #2

The second encounter with Probate is when you pass away either with a Will or without a Will; does not matter both end up in Probate court. This can be expensive, time consuming and open to the public with marketers using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to access court documents so they can market services. The court will not allow full distribution of the estate for at least a year in many states so that creditors can have an opportunity to file in court. You have to sound the dinner bell in a publication which reads: "come and get it." Then a credit could file in the Probate Court to become the Administrator of the estate (if no Will) or possible petition to become the Executor (where there is a Will) so that they can use leverage to satisfy their debt. Imagine this third party coming in to court and petitioning the court to become the controller over the estate of your deceased loved one; happens every day.

You can eliminate both of these hassles for your loved ones by having a Living Trust and a Durable Power of Attorney to cover any situation that might take place. It is also highly recommended that you put together an Advanced Health Care Directive (referred to as a Living Will in some states) which describes what you want if faced with a vegetative state or comma and doctors have not given much hope of recovery back to a meaningful way of life. If we don't let others know what we want they will fumble to figure it out while we are incapacitated and we may linger unnecessarily as family members fight in court and medical bills climb draining the life out of your estate that belongs to our family; after all our lifetime work in accumulating it.

In conclusion, there are two plans you can choose:

A. The government's Plan (Probate generates 2.6 Billion per year), or

B. Your plan which gets more of your wealth to your loved ones or charity of your choice.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 06 Jun 2018 03:47:17 -0400
What You Need to Know About Family Leave

Whether you are sick, injured, or pregnant it is important to know the basics of family leave. The two most important statutes are the Oregon Family Leave Act ("OFLA") and the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). The OFLA is specific to Oregon and is similar to the FMLA, which is the federal version. The following are answers to commonly asked questions:

Am I eligible to take leave?

To be eligible under the FMLA you must have worked 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours for the company you are requesting leave from.

To be eligible under the OFLA you must have worked at least 180 days for an average of 25 hours a week for the company you are requesting leave from.

How much leave can I use?

12 weeks of leave.

What can I use leave for?

-My own "serious health condition";

-My family member's "serious health condition"; and,


In addition to the leave covered above, the OFLA also covers:

-Sick child leave; and,

-Bereavement leave.

What is a "serious health condition"?

A "serious health condition" is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Do I need to provide my employer with a note from the doctor?

Yes, your employer can request that you provide a note from your doctor.

Do I have to take the full time off or can I use chunks of leave?

Under both the FMLA and the OFLA you can use leave in chunks unless it is parental leave then the time off needs to be consecutive.

Does my employer have to give me my job back?

Under both statutes your employer must allow you to return to the same, or an equivalent, position.

How soon do I have to tell my employer before I want to use leave?

Generally, you must give your employer 30 days' notice if the leave is foreseeable. If the leave is a surprise then you must let your employer know as soon as possible.

© 9/28/2018 Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.

Phillip Jones is an Associate Attorney with the law firm Hunt & Associates, PC in Portland, Oregon. He is licensed in Oregon and maintains a general practice including civil litigation, employment law, business law, real estate law, family law, misdemeanor criminal defense and personal injury. For additional information, please check out the company's website:

Uncategorized Editor Sat, 19 May 2018 03:46:26 -0400