Durable Power of Attorneys.

Hi there just so you know I am not a Lawyer I am a Paralegal. So this in no way to be considered as legal advice. Let’s not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.

Side-Note:  The person you choose for your Power of Attorney is your agent. That is how they will be referred to in any other legal documents related to your power of attorney.

Okay, let’s talk about the Durable Power of Attorney or P.O.A. The deference between a durable power of attorney and the ones I talked about last week is fairly simple. Once a regular power of attorney has been ended its over you can never use it again. For example you have set up a Health Care Power of Attorney you appoint a special someone to look after you if something bad happens. Then something bad happens and your special someone does step in to look after you and you do get better great happy ending well done…  However, 6 months later you are in an auto accident and if you haven’t created a new health care power of attorney. Sorry, your special friend can’t do a thing for you. You are on your own until blood relative gets there. With a durable power of attorney you can set things up so that your special friend can step in no matter how many times you get hurt or sick. But keep their limit their power to only to when you are sick and or injured.

Now, to cover the 2 types of a durable power of attorney. 1st is the medical durable power of attorney. This person is who y

you want making the medical decisions for you when you can’t.  2nd a fiscal durable power of attorney.  This Solider handles your money and sees to it that your bills get paid while you are out of it.  As I said before a person you give authority too in a power of attorney does not have to be a lawyer. It can be anyone you choose as long as they are of legal age.

Side-Note: Legal age means being old enough to vote, sign a contract and be responsible for you actions.  In all the United States this means being at least 18 years old. Old enough to kill or be killed for your country but not old enough to drink.

Just so you know, you can choose just one person to be both your medical and a financial durable power of attorney agent at the same time. Most often though most people don’t.

The fact is a durable power of attorney is a major portion of a Living Will. I will be getting into what makes up a Living Will next week.

 

 

 

Affordable Care Act or Obama Care

I am going off topic this week.  I did some checking and this is what I found out about the Obama Care that has got the Tea Party republicans so upset.  I got this information from the US.Gov website.

After listening to the replicons. I would like to know the difference between an IRS agent making decisions about my health care versus a Corporation Accountant. The only difference I can think of is the IRS agent will decided if I live or die based on if I got the paperwork right. The corporate account will decide based on how much saving my life will cost the stock holders.

In Missouri, people with Medicare saved nearly $142 million on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act.  In 2012 alone, 75,201 individuals in Missouri saved over $49 million, or an average of $650 per beneficiary.  In 2012, people with Medicare in the “donut hole” received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent discount on generic drugs.  And thanks to the health care law, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs will continue to increase over time until the coverage gap is closed.  Nationally, over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on drugs since the law’s enactment.

The health care law extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years.  From 2010 to 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at 1.7 percent annually, substantially more slowly than the per capita rate of growth in the economy.  And the health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Over the last four years, the administration’s fraud enforcement efforts have recovered $14.9 billion from fraudsters.  For every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse activities in the last three years the administration has returned $7.90.

The health care law increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Montana, 17 health centers operate 89 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 101,406 people.  Health Center grantees in Montana have received $36,081,463 under the health care law to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.

Community Health Centers in all 50 states have also received a total of $150 million in federal grants to help enroll uninsured Americans in the Health Insurance Marketplace, including $1,477,139 awarded to Montana health centers.   With these funds, Montana health centers expect to hire 27 additional workers, who will assist 14,341 Montanans with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage.

By the Numbers: Uninsured Montanans who are eligible for coverage through the Marketplace.

•185,904 (22%) are uninsured and eligible

•150,978 (81%) have a full-time worker in the family

•69,786 (38%) are 19-34 years old

•138,248 (74%) are White

•1,546 (1%) are African American

•7,439 (4%) are Latino/Hispanic

•1,673 (1%) are Asian American or Pacific Islander

•101,567 (55%) are male

Nest week I will talk about court costs and Probate

Probate 4

As I said before and I will say yet again. I am not a lawyer, I am a Paralegal.  So this is in no way to be considered legal advice only legal information, let’s not forget when a lawyer of a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.

Just so you know are four major types of Guardianship.  There is a personal guardian who is responsible for medical and or money decisions. .  The Estate guardian which is needed to protect your stuff when you can’t.  The Personal & Estate guardian which take care of both at the same time.  Last is the temporary guardianship, this is usually an emergency court order given when someone’s  loved one suddenly becomes unable to take care of themselves. However it will cost about $60, when the loved one gets better, for the Guardian or the Guarded One to cancel it.  It also can have a limited life span.

However guardianship do need approval from probate judge especially under a Living Will or if three are children are involved. A guardianship can also be challenged by someone who wants to take over the assigned guardianship.  If the Guardianship is not challenged it usually costs about $50 to get court approval.

Okay moving onto a Power of Attorney.  1st and foremost the person you choose to be power of attorney does not have to be a lawyer.  It can be anyone you choose.

There are 5 major types of power attorney.  1st is the general power of attorney, which is mostly used when you have a business or assets you want someone  to look after a while you are traveling for a couple of years. Or say you don’t want anyone bothering you while contemplating the universe at a monastery.

Next is a Limited Power of Attorney this is almost identical to a general. Reasons of giving someone power over your assets is pretty much the same except like the title says, the power is limited to only one thing.  For example you’re traveling somewhere overseas and you are receiving benefit check from a court case you won. You can leave someone a Limited Power of Attorney so they can take the check get it cashed, pay a few bills like your rent and get the rest deposited into your bank account. That way you can get your money and spend it while having fun in Ireland.

Then there is the Health Care Power of Attorney. Say you are not married and live a long way from anyone in your family. With a Heath Care Power of Attorney you can appoint a special friend to look after you.  Your friend would be able to make the decisions’ a doctor needs to save your life after you have just been in a devastating auto accident.  It is used a lot in states that can’t seem to see same-sex couples. You need to make sure your health insurance company has a copy as well as your friend.

Next week I will cover the Springing and Durable Power of Attorney.

Probate 3

 

Time to get back to work, I am a Paralegal not a Lawyer. So this is in no way to be construed or taken for legal advice, so as before this is only legal information. Let’s not forget that when a layer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.

Picking up on Probate. Probate is a legal system focused on taking care of things after you die or if you become unable to look after yourself because of a major injury. Namely it takes care of who is in charge and how someone will handle your Will and take care of your Estate after you leave or if you become injured too. Simply put, Probate Law will make sure your wishes are followed and no one is cheated.

Right now I am focused on Living Wills. Living Wills deal with what you want to happen when bad things happen to you but you are still in the land of the living.

SIDE-NOTE:  A Testamentary Will is a Will telling your loved ones what you want to happen after you leave this world.  It is a legal document filed with your lawyer, or left with a loved one. Either after you leave or while you are still living it has been validated by the Probate Courts. This will cost your Estate $190. Once again this price can varies depending on which state you in. But not by very much.

Just so you know there are several different types of Wills. Such dealing with different types of problems and situations. I will try to explain the different types later on. However if you have any concerns about which Will you may need; Please God See a Lawyer!!

In my last Probate article I talked about Conservators. Now let’s talk about Guardians. The most well-known Guardianship involves children. In such a case you have made a Testamentary Will or a regular Will. In this Will you named someone you trust to look after your children A Guardian is very similar to a Conservator, except that a guardian has limitations for example a child guardianship has to be approved by the courts.   There are several different types of Guardians in addition to child guardianship. Using the more common children guardianship as an example, you could assign someone to look after your kids and another person to look after any property or money you leave them. It depends on what part and or how much of your life you want your guardian to protect.  Under a Living Will you can appoint Cousin Fred to look after your money and only your money and with the same Living Will you can appoint your mother to look after your kids.  You can even appoint your 12 year old niece Harriet as Guardian for your beloved dog Niki.

Next week I will be talking more about Guardianship and about the Durable Power of Attorney. Just so you know you do not have to be an Attorney to have Durable Power of Attorney.

Veteran’s Day

As you have probably have guessed this is going to be another opinion piece.

This Veteran’s day I have spent it watching news and television shows honoring Veterans.  I saw stories of men and women black, white, brown and asain. Men and Women who when asked placed themselves at risk to protect our way of life. Even after finding out they were lied to by their leaders, finding out there was no threat kept their promise to our country and stayed on duty.  Male and female soldiers grievously wounded but able to run away, who stayed and fought off deadly attacked to protect friends and fellow soldiers who could no longer protect themselves.

A White brother who gave up his life to protect a fallen Black brother.  A Black sister who risked all to rescue a trapped Asian brother.  A Brown brother who led the charge bringing relief to soldiers cut off. A pilot who risks death and court martial to fly into heavy enemy fire to rescue dying solders. A nurse who fights off an attack to protect wounded soldiers placed in her care. The rescue of an enemy child.

A pundit once said the first thing a real soldier gives up to survive combat is the ability to see skin color. The only color a true soldier who tasted combat can see is the green.

When you choose to become a soldier promises are made. Promises of help in finding a good paying job after you put away your gun. Promise of education to make your dream a reality. Promises of help in buying the home of your dreams.  A promise that while you risk all for your country, your loved one and your children will be cared for. Promise that there will be help in making the educational dreams of your children real.  Promises of help dealing with the physical pain of combat. Promise of help of adapting to the world after surviving your combat injuries. Promises of help in dealing with the emotional pain of war. Promises of help in living with the horrors of war.

Only to be told when you get off the plane and set down your weapon. All those promises your country made, ‘we will get around to them eventually. It may take 3 maybe 4 years for us to keep those promises but we will get to them. No worries.’   ‘In the mean time you are on your own.’

Then to be told “Thank you for your service you are such a hero.”

Now two or three years into patient waiting for those promises to be kept. With 1.6 million veterans and their families without medical insurance, 1.4 million veterans and their families now homeless. With millions more veteran families barely surviving on food stamps.

Now the Tea party republicans is the house of representatives who have never spent a day in uniform, never risked or worked for anything are saying ‘you know keeping those promises is going to cost just too much so we shouldn’t keep those promises’, ‘Oh yeah, food stamps cost too much money so we should cut food stamps but not the million dollar subsides to million dollar hobby famers. Those subsidies are just too important to cut sorry about that.”

Probate 2

Again, I am not a lawyer I am a paralegal. So this isn’t legal advice this is legal information. Also let us not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an issue.

All right let’s talk about Conservatorship, A Conservatorship does come under probate but a Conservator can also be appointed under Family Law. A Conservator is someone a probate court judge allows to have control over your medical, business, financial and personal affairs while you are laying there strapped into life support. Also a Conservator could be appointed if you have suffered such a severe head trauma that you, at least for the time being, have a hard time figuring out how to put your pants on.  It is going to cost whoever asks for conservatorship $400 in filing fees. That doesn’t include support documentation an expert in going to have to sign off on.  Most Conservators will have to hire an attorney to deal with the huge pile of legal issues that go with their job and that can really run up the legal bill. All of which is billed to and or reimbursed by your Estate.  Additionally a Conservator literal has the right to sell your house and treasures without your okay. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to get your stuff back if your conservator does rip you off if don’t have a Living Will/ Testament Will. On the flip side if a loved one becomes your conservator, he or she becomes responsible for all your debts. It is their job to see that all your bills get paid. This means that they will have access to all your banks accounts, social security payments any source of income you have. However, even after your loved one has been forced to empty your bank accounts and has sold everything of value you have to pay your bills, Debtors can still come after your loved one for any money you may still owe and take their money and or assets. Now if you manage to recover thing can become really difficult. Proving to the court you no longer need a ‘conservator’.  You see if your ‘conservator’ fights you this will cost you in lawyer and court fees. Under Conservatorship getting access to your money to pay for a lawyer to help you get rid of the conservator is up to the conservator and or probate court.

Having a Living Will is the best and cheapest way to avoid most of this mess. With a Living Will you can appoint someone you totally trust to become your ‘Legal Guardian’ and or ‘Conservator’ if you become too ill to take care of your needs.  A Living Will fully  or validated in probate courts you can make sure that the Conservator and or Guardian appointed over you is protected and double sure they are someone you trust.

Under a straight Will there are executors. Executor is someone you have appointed to make sure your last wishes are carried out.

More on Probate coming next week.