All right, once again I am not a lawyer, I am a Paralegal, so anything you read is not to be taken as, construed as, intended to be taken as legal advice.  Let’s not forget when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involves you problem becomes an issue.

Okay let’s talk about Probate. Probate is a legal system focused on taking care of things after you die. Namely it takes care of who administers and how someone handles your Wills and your Estate after you leave. Simply put, Probate Law will make sure your wishes are followed and no one is cheated.

Let’s start with Wills.  Wills are binding legal documents describing what you would like done after your death.  For example you have an ancient beautiful grandfather’s clock that has been handed down through generations and you want it to go to your great-grandson Eric who has been in love with your clock since he was two.  With a Will you can make sure he gets it. Also if you think there might be a huge fight over your clock and you’re afraid that fight might hurt your family, you can order your clock sold and have the money equally divided among your heirs.  You can also leave directions on how to deal with your physical remains.  If you have children, you can leave directions about who you want to take care of them.

Speaking of wills, let’s talk about a living will.  A living will is once again a legal binding document. It deals with what you want done if things go bad with your health.  You can direct how long you want to be kept on life support, or how far your doctors can go as they try to save your life.  If your heart stops do you want CPR?  Who can make decisions about your care or what life support measures can be used in your care. If can’t think for yourself but don’t need life support who do you want making decisions about your care.

Probate law also covers your life insurance policies. Making sure your loved ones gets their money and what you want done with it gets done.

An Estate is your money, for example bank accounts, even to your last tax refund and personal property such as cars, jewelry and art work. Of course let’s not forget your house.

SIDE-NOTE: Just so you know the infamous Estate Tax as of 2013 does not come into play unless you have property and assets worth over $5,250,000.  I don’t know too many people in my world

with those kind of assets.

SIDE-NOTE; An Asset in the legal world is anything such as a house, car, jewelry bank accounts or stocks and bonds. Or say you have written a book and it sells fairly well. It can be anything as long as it has a money value attached to it.

This is Probate next week I will be getting into the actual costs of the Probate Legal System.

Congress Bankruptcy

A letter to Congress

A letter to Congress 

I found this great post on facebook and it got me thinking. I guess a lot of tea party republicans seem to believe that that worst comes to worst the federal government can just file for bankruptcy and everything will be cool. I wonder if any of these lawyers ever read the laws concerning bankruptcy.

First none of the debts I have seen listed on the news is dischargeable under Chapter 7.   I don’t think the United States Government can even apply for bankruptcy protection.  Would congress have to go to the United Nations for Bankruptcy protection? There was an article on a MSN new website that said if we default China our largest debt holder would foreclose on the United States.


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 republicans. I have a question, 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

Court Costs/Small Claims and More

Sorry folks for being so late with this week’s article. I understand from my internet service provider that a series of sunspot created significant interference was blocking my internet connection. I have been down for 4 days.

All right then to work. Once again I am not a lawyer, I am a paralegal. Also when a layer or a paralegal becomes involved you problem becomes an issue.

Picking up from last week, in small claims court, the court clerk can help you with services of process. For a fee. They will send your opponent a certified letter of your complaint for $15. In some county’s you might even be able to get the county sheriff to make service of process or hand deliver your complaint for $80.

SIDE-NOTE: Service of Process is the methods used by the courts and lawyers to notify someone they are being sued. If you mess up notifying your opponent, your case will be terminated or to but it simply ‘thrown out on its ass’. I will get deeper into that in future posts.

Now there are ‘people’ who get to be sue happy in the small claims court system. You see technically you can file as many court cases as you like. Using the county of Los Angles small Claims rules and regulations. For example, let’s say you file up to 2 complaints asking for $2500 in each case during the same calendar year. Each case costing you $50 dollars in filing fees. However if you file a 3rd, 4th or 5th case during the same calendar year each case will cost you a whole lot more in filing fees. You see each additional case you file will cost you $100 per case. Additionally the amount you can ask for in damages reduces. In the first two cases you filed you asked for the $2500 and if you file a 3rd one you can only ask for $1500. Additionally you can only claim the standard $30 filing fee as part of your damages even though you paid $100 in a filing fee.

SIDE-NOTE: Damages is supposed to mean how much money it will take to repair or fix your problem (issue) and make you ‘whole’. Your Lawyer’s fees, court costs and filing fees do count as damages. Just remember if you file more than 2 small claims court cases in the same calendar year you cannot claim the more expensive filing fees you have been charged as damages. You can only claim the slandered filing fee

Again please forgive me for being late. I will try to make sure tech didn’t become a future issue. Next week’s article will touch on probate and court costs.