LegalJourney Blog

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day Offer Day 4

Day 4: Free Online Will Based Estate Plan Package1

The LegalJourney Law Firm is providing a free “Online Will Based Estate Plan Package” for the first 2 mother's who sign up for a new client account via the online legal services link at www.legaljourney.com. 

To set up a free online account:

1.     Go to www.legaljourney.com;

2.     Select “Click Here For Online Legal Services”;

3.     Select “Register for a New Online Legal Services Account today!"

Create a user account and you will be notified within 24 hours if you will be a recipient of todays offer.

The LegalJourney Law Firm’s Online Will based Estate Plan Package includes: a Will, a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPPA Authorization and Durable Power of Attorney.

To find out additional details, please contact the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC

1This offer is available until close of business May 15, 2014.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lifting From Others the Burden of Your Own Death

John F. Wasik (NYTimes.com) has recently published an article entitled, Lifting From Others the Burden of Your Own Death (May 14, 2014). Provided below is a short summary of the article from NYTimes.com:

Lifting From Others the Burden of Your Own Death

Although death planning can be emotionally vexing, it is essential for families and survivors.

Death planning will not only allow you to plan a dignified, meaningful and even splashy exit, but will provide guidance for those attending to your last moments and beyond.

FUNERAL CONSUMERS ALLIANCE provides advice on funeral planning and costs, and monitors industry trends.

Because critical care procedures and some drugs can damage organs, "Only about 3 percent of deaths would be suitable for lung or liver or heart donation after being on life support in a hospital," said Lisa Carlson, former executive director of the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance and co-author with Joshua Slocum of "Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death".

Many states allow in-home funerals, although eight states require the involvement of funeral directors.

Do you want specific music played or pictures displayed? Are there past events or accomplishments you want your survivors to remember? Most important, Ms. Carlson noted, is to discuss with your family what you don't want in your final moments and beyond.

"If I'm totally dependent upon someone else," Ms. Carlson said, "My sense of self will evaporate. My time is up at that point. I will be looking forward to the other side - and coming back." Although death planning may be one of the most difficult things you will do, it is one final act of self-determination.

For more information on this topic, continue reading the article "Lifting From Others the Burden of Your Own Death" by John F. Wasik (NYTimes.com). 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day Offer Day 3

Day 3: Free Online Will1

The LegalJourney Law Firm will provide a free “Online Will” for the first 4 mother's who sign up for a new online client account via the online legal services link on www.legaljourney.com.

To set up a free online account:

1.     Go to www.legaljourney.com;

2.     Select “Click Here For Online Legal Services”;

3.     Select “Register for a New Online Legal Services Account today!"

Create a user account and you will be notified within 24 hours if you will be a recipient of todays offer.

Every mother who connects with the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC via the LegalJourney BlogLinkedInTwitterand/or Facebook during the month of May will receive 10% off any online legal service.

1This offer is available until close of business May 14, 2014.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

National Military Appreciation Month - Week 2 Offer

Week 2: Free Online Power of Attorney1

The LegalJourney Law Firm will provide a free “Online Power of Attorney” for the first 4 active duty and/or reserved military members who sign up for a new online client account via the online legal services link on www.legaljourney.com.

To set up a free online account:

1.     Go to www.legaljourney.com;

2.     Select “Click Here For Online Legal Services”;

3.     Select “Register for a New Online Legal Services Account today!"

Create a user account and you will be notified within 24 hours if you will be a recipient of todays offer.

Florida Statute Section 709.2101 through 709.2402 (effective date October 1, 2011): Although still effective, everyone with a Power of Attorney (POA) created prior to October 1, 2011 should discuss his or her options with a knowledgeable estate-planning attorney. Issues have arisen in the past with financial institutions not accepting POAs or requiring their specific form to be signed. However, for POAs created under the new Statute, per section 709.2120, F.S., a third person is required to accept or reject a POA within a reasonable time and is not allowed to require an additional or a different POA for authority granted in the present POA. If the third person rejects a POA under the new Statute, they could be held liable for damages and attorney fees.

1This offer is available until close of business May 16, 2014.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Offer Day 2

Day 2: Free Online Trust Based Estate Plan Package1

The LegalJourney Law Firm is providing a free “Online Trust Based Estate Plan Package” for the first 2 mother's who sign up for a new client account via the online legal services link at www.legaljourney.com. 

To set up a free online account:

1.     Go to www.legaljourney.com;

2.     Select “Click Here For Online Legal Services”;

3.     Select “Register for a New Online Legal Services Account today!"

Create a user account and you will be notified within 24 hours if you will be a recipient of todays offer.

The LegalJourney Law Firm’s Online Will based Estate Plan Package includes: a Will, a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, HIPPA Authorization and Durable Power of Attorney.

To find out additional details, please contact the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC

1This offer is available until close of business May 13, 2014


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Offer Day 1

This Mother’s Day, as a way of saying thank you, the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC will be offering free and/or reduced estate planning for all mother’s and their loved ones starting today May 12 until friday May 16. 

Day 1: Free Declaration of Preneed Guardian1

The first 4 mother's who contact the LegalJourney Law Firm using the "Contact the Firm" option on www.legaljourney.com will receive a free Florida Declaration of Preneed Guardian.

When included as part of your Estate Plan, the declaration of a preneed guardianship can alleviate the stress involved with determining who will become guardian of a loved ones person and property during incapacity.

The LegalJourney Law Firm’s Declaration of Preneed Guardian free offer includes: an interview with an attorney and a customized Declaration of Preneed Guardian.

To find out additional details, please contact the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC

Florida Statute Section 744.3045 Preneed Guardian States that “a competent adult may name a preneed guardian by making a written declaration that names such guardian to serve in the event of the declarant’s incapacity… ”

1This offer is available until close of business May 12, 2014.


Friday, May 9, 2014

What is a Pooled Income Trust and Do I Need One?

A Pooled Income Trust is a special type of trust that allows individuals of any age (typically over 65) to become financially eligible for public assistance benefits (such as Medicaid home care and Supplemental Security Income), while preserving their monthly income in trust for living expenses and supplemental needs. All income received by the beneficiary must be deposited into the Pooled Income Trust which is set up and managed by a not-for-profit organization.

In order to be eligible to deposit your income into a Pooled Income Trust, you must be disabled as defined by law. For purposes of the Trust, "disabled" typically includes age-related infirmities. The Trust may only be established by a parent, a grandparent, a legal guardian, the individual beneficiary (you), or by a court order.

Typical individuals who use a Pool Income Trust are: (a) elderly persons living at home who would like to protect their income while accessing Medicaid home care; (2) recipients of public benefit programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid; (3) persons living in an Assisted Living Community under a Medicaid program who would like to protect their income while receiving Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid recipients who deposit their income into a Pool Income Trust will not be subject to the rules that normally apply to "excess income," meaning that the Trust income will not be considered as available income to be spent down each month. Supplemental payments for the benefit of the Medicaid recipient include: living expenses, including food and clothing; homeowner expenses including real estate taxes, utilities and insurance, rental expenses, supplemental home care services, geriatric care services, entertainment and travel expenses, medical procedures not provided through government assistance, attorney and guardian fees, and any other expense not provided by government assistance programs.

As with all long term care planning tools, it’s imperative that you consult a qualified estate planning attorney who can make sure that you are in compliance with all local and federal laws.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

National Military Appreciation Month - Week 1 Offer

Week 1: Free Online Will1

The LegalJourney Law Firm will provide a free “Online Will” for the first 5 active duty and/or reserved military members who sign up for a new online client account via the online legal services link on www.legaljourney.com.

To set up a free online account:

1.     Go to www.legaljourney.com;

2.     Select “Click Here For Online Legal Services”;

3.     Select “Register for a New Online Legal Services Account today!"

Create a user account and you will be notified within 24 hours if you will be a recipient of todays offer.

Every military member (current active duty or reservist) who connects with the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC via the LegalJourney BlogLinkedInTwitterand/or Facebook during the month of May will receive 10% off any online legal service.

1This offer is available until close of business May 9, 2014.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 2014 Offers

As a way of saying thank you, the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC will be offering free and/or reduced estate planning for *Mother’s day and **National Military Appreciation during the Month of May.

Every mother and/or military member (current active duty or reservist) who connects with the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC via the LegalJourney BlogLinkedInTwitterand/or Facebook during the month of May will also receive 10% off any online legal service.

Opportunities to receive a reduced price or completely free legal service will be posted via the LegalJourney BlogLinkedIn profile, Twitter account and Facebook page.

*During the week after Mother’s day, mother’s can take advantage of the offers each day starting May 12, 2014 through May 16, 2014.

**Active duty and/or reserved military members that reside in the state of Florida can take advantage of the offers each week of May. 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Fla.S.Ct: DIY estate planning + technical execution defects

Juan C. Antunez has recently published an article entitled Fla.S.Ct: DIY estate planning + technical execution defects = partial intestacy contrary to grantor’s “true” intent. Should we adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s “harmless error” rule for technical execution defects?” (April 14, 2014) on the Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog (www.flprobatelitigation.com).

Provided below is a portion of the article from flprobatelitigation.com:

Fla.S.Ct: DIY estate planning + technical execution defects = partial intestacy contrary to grantor’s “true” intent. Should we adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s “harmless error” rule for technical execution defects?

“If you make your living drafting wills or enforcing them in court, here’s what this case should NOT be about for you: inflicting post-mortem punishment on a woman for engaging in DIY estate planning (which was the slant reflected in this short ABA piece reporting on the case). Instead, what this case is really about is how strict compliance with Florida’s execution formalities for wills and codicils, which are meant to be intent-serving devices, ironically produced intent-defeating results.” 

For more information on this topic, continue reading the article "Fla.S.Ct: DIY estate planning + technical execution defects = partial intestacy contrary to grantor’s “true” intent. Should we adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s “harmless error” rule for technical execution defects? " By Juan C. Antunez (FLProbateLitigation.com). 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

Estate planning is important for everyone. We simply don’t know when something tragic could happen such as sudden death or an accident that could leave us incapacitated. With proper planning, families who are dealing with the unexpected experience fewer headaches and less expense associated with managing affairs after incapacity or administering an estate after death.

If a person fails to do any planning and becomes involved in a debilitating accident or passes away, each state has laws that govern who will inherit assets, become guardians of minor children, make medical decisions for an incapacitated person, dispose of a person’s remains, visit the person in the hospital, and more. In some states, the spouse and any children are given top priority for inheritance rights. In the case of incapacity, spouses are normally granted guardianship over incapacitated spouse, though this requires a lengthy and expensive guardianship proceeding.

In today’s world, increasing numbers of couples are choosing to spend their lives together but aren’t getting married, either because they aren’t allowed to under the laws of their state, such as in the case of gay and lesbian couples, or simply because they choose not to. However, most states don’t recognize unmarried partners as spouses. In order to be given legal rights that married couples receive automatically, unmarried couples need to do special planning in order to protect each other.

In general, unmarried individuals need three basic documents to ensure their rights are protected:

  1. A Will – A will tells who should inherit your property when you pass away, who you want your executor to be, and who will become guardians of any minor children. These issues are all especially important for unmarried individuals. In most states, an unmarried partner does not have inheritance rights, so any property owned by his or her deceased partner would go to other family members. Also, in the case of many gay and lesbian couples, the living partner is not necessarily the biological or adoptive parent of any minor children, which could lead to custody disputes in an already very difficult time.  Therefore, it’s critical to nominate guardians for minor children.
     
  2. A power of attorney – A power of attorney (for financial matters) dictates who is authorized to manage your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated. Otherwise, it can be very difficult or impossible for the non-disabled partner to manage the disabled partner’s affairs without going through a lengthy guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.
     
  3. Advance healthcare directives – A power of attorney for healthcare, informs caregivers as to who is responsible for making healthcare decisions for someone in the event that a person cannot make them for himself, such as in the event of a serious accident or a condition like dementia.  Another document, called a living will, provides directions on life support issues.

Estate planning is undoubtedly more important for unmarried couples than those who are married, since there aren’t built-in protections in the law to protect them and their loved ones.  It’s imperative that unmarried couples establish proper planning to avoid undue hardship, expense and aggravation.


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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