Legal Assistance Reserve All-Hands.ppt

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Legal Assistance Reserve All-Hands.ppt

  1. 1. Ninth District Legal Assistance Program Legal Assistance Brief Reserve All Hands April 24, 2005 Steve Lynch, D9 Legal Assistance [email_address] 216-902-6010
  2. 2. Briefing Covers <ul><li>Overview of Services </li></ul><ul><li>SCRA </li></ul><ul><li>USERRA </li></ul><ul><li>POAs, AMDs, Wills </li></ul><ul><li>Identity Theft </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & Comments </li></ul>
  3. 3. Authority & Eligibility <ul><li>Eligibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active duty military personnel & dependents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reservists for pre-deployment matters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retired military personnel and dependents </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Legal Assistance Program Includes <ul><li>Individual Client Legal Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited Representation – Not in-court </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preventive Law Program – Circuit Rider, XO E-mails, Web Page, Networks </li></ul>
  5. 5. Legal Assistance Topics <ul><li>Family Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guardianship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.co.oakland.mi.us/probate/division_committee/estates-division.html Support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.michigan.gov/fia/1,1607,7-124-5453_5528---,00.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.adoptionfamilycenter.org/resources/states/bythenumbers.htm </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Legal Assistance Topics <ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest Rate Reduction to 6% - Say what? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Garnishments & Wage Offsets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Travel Reimbursements? Yes. ALCOAST 191/00 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bankruptcy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.mnb.uscourts.gov/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer debt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.ag.state.il.us/consumer/consume.htm </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Legal Assistance Topics <ul><li>Immigration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Estate Planning - Wills </li></ul><ul><li>Landlord-Tenant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Security Deposits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early termination </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. SCRA <ul><li>SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT </li></ul><ul><li>CONTACT LEGAL ASSISTANCE PRONTO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Car leases – Recall, Deployment or OCONUS PCS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Terminate w/o penalty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Must notify in writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment must be at least 180 days </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residential lease – Recall, Deployment, or any PCS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same rules, but ….deployment at least 90 days </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. SCRA <ul><li>Servicemembers Civil Relief Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires a court or administrative hearing to grant at least a 90-day stay if requested by the servicemember. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional stays can be granted at the discretion of the judge or hearing official. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-resident member’s income can’t be used to boost spouse’s tax bracket in state where member assigned. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. SCRA <ul><li>6% Interest Rate – RETROACTIVE EAD </li></ul><ul><li>Applies only to debts & loans incurred before active duty AND </li></ul><ul><li>Active duty must “materially affect” member’s ability to pay </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student loans exempted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other restrictions apply </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. USERRA Introduction <ul><li>Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replaces the Veterans’ Reemployment Rights (VRR) Act and case law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gives Reserve and Guard members right to go back to the civilian job held before federal military service – several catches </li></ul>
  12. 12. USERRA <ul><li>Reinstatement of Health Care </li></ul><ul><li>Prompt Return to Work </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable Accomodation </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Help – VETS (DoL) and DOJ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bronze Star Recipient – Hired Own Attorney? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Assistance May be Able to Help Too </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Other Services & Topics <ul><li>Powers of Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Wills/SGLI Beneficiaries </li></ul><ul><li>Advance Medical Directives </li></ul><ul><li>Servicemembers Civil Relief Act </li></ul>
  14. 14. Powers of Attorney (PoA) <ul><li>POA – designate agent to act on behalf of principal </li></ul><ul><li>Agent has same legal authority as principal for those acts </li></ul><ul><li>Others need not honor a POA </li></ul>
  15. 15. General vs. Special POA <ul><li>General POA – agent can do ANYTHING principal could do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worst cases do occur </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special POA – limits agent’s authority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommended – lowers risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of 100 POAs – how many SPOAs? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Special PoA <ul><li>Special PoAs are recommended for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Household goods - Possession/moving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing – Accept/terminate/ clear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use/license/register autos (not sell) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handle legal proceedings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect money due you </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Advanced Medical Directives <ul><li>Living Will or Directive to Physician </li></ul><ul><ul><li>States your wishes if you become incompetent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Durable General POA, with or without a “springing clause”. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are incompetent, another acts for you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medical POA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to make your medical decisions for you </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. SGLI, Wills, and Probate <ul><li>SGLI is paid outside probate, e.g . to spouse or trustee for minor children </li></ul><ul><li>Will generally does not affect who gets SGLI -- SGLV form controls funds </li></ul><ul><li>Will only affects assets subject to probate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Will may give your motorcycle to your brother </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you know who gets the $250K SGLI proceeds? </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Who needs a will? <ul><li>Individual call </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ordered to get one? Not a good idea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most need one, especially those with children or who may have children </li></ul><ul><li>Without will – court appoints “executor” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That means time and $$$ </li></ul></ul>Will
  20. 20. Avoiding Probate <ul><li>Life insurance proceeds with beneficiary designations -- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make insurance payable to “My trustee to fund a trust created in my will for the benefit of my child(ren)” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There will be probate if payable to “My Estate” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Married couples often own homes and bank accounts in this form </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Avoiding Probate <ul><li>Statutory beneficiary designations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Signature card for bank accounts and securities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No access during your life time & payable to the named beneficiary only on your death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In Trust For ...” = ITF (add the name here) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Pay on Death ...” = POD (add the name here) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Avoiding Probate <ul><li>Death benefits/pension plans </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) with designated beneficiaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a contingent beneficiary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inter Vivos (Living) Trust </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only if assets transferred to or titled in the name of the trust </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Will Covers Only Your Probate Estate <ul><li>Probate Estate is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assets in your name alone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tenants-in-Common - Your portion/share of this asset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Property - Your half </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Parts of Your Will <ul><li>State of domicile - This is where your estate will be probated upon your death </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficiaries - Usually spouse then children - but held in trust until the age you designate -- We recommend 21 to 25 yrs. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Representatives /Executors </li></ul>Will
  25. 25. Parts of Your Will <ul><li>Trust for minor children terminates at age you designate, e.g. 21 yr. </li></ul><ul><li>Trustee to manage the money for children </li></ul><ul><li>Guardian for minor children </li></ul>Will
  26. 26. What is Identity Theft <ul><li>Acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information in order to impersonate them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Date of birth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SSAN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mother’s maiden name </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. What Is Identity Theft <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take over financial accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open new bank accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain credit cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain social security benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase property (autos, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rent property (apartments, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish services (phone, utilities, etc) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Credit Reports <ul><li>Who to contact: FREE REPORTS 3/1/05! </li></ul>Equifax PO BOX 105873 Atlanta, GA 30348-5873 Telephone # 1-800-997-2493 www.equifax.com TransUnion PO BOX 390 Springfield, PA 19064-0390 Telephone # 1-800-916-8800 www.transunion.com / Experian Information Solutions (Formerly TRW) PO BOX 949 Allen, TX 75013-0949 Telephone # 1-800-397-3742 www.experian.com/
  29. 29. Action Steps for Victims <ul><li>Contact all creditors by phone & in writing, to inform them of problem </li></ul><ul><li>Call your local police and your nearest Postal Inspection Service and/ or US Secret Service office </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Call each of the 3 credit bureaus’ fraud units to report identity theft </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiate a Fraud Alert/Victim Impact report </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Action Steps for Victims <ul><li>Alert bank to flag accounts and confirm any unusual activity </li></ul><ul><li>Request PIN change and new password </li></ul><ul><li>Log all contacts/keep copies of documents </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Dept. of Motor Vehicles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See if another license was issued in you name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If so, request a new license number and fill out a complaint with DMV </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Action Steps for Victims <ul><li>Contact the SSA’s Fraud Hotline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-800-269-0271 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.ssa.gov/oig/ifyou.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New SSN? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible, but …. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show disadvantage & best efforts to resolve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local office discretion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.html </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Report Identity Theft <ul><li>Equifax Credit Bureau </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-800-525-6285 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.equifax.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experian Information Solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-888-397-3742 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.experian.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TransUnion Credit Bureau </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-800-680-7289 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.transunion.com/ </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Report Identity Theft To <ul><li>Federal Trade Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-817-FTC-HELP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Security Administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-800-269-0271 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local Police </li></ul><ul><ul><li>File a police report </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Scam Alert - Counterfeit Cashier’s Check <ul><li>Seller offers car for $5000 on E-Bay </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buyer accepts offer but sends cashier’s check for $8000 and asks that seller wire “extra” $3000 to another account </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Scam Alert (cont.) <ul><ul><li>Seller deposits cashier’s check </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bank vouches for validity of cashier’s check </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seller given immediate access to funds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seller wires extra funds to another account </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Week later seller contacted by bank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cashier’s check is counterfeit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seller must replenish the funds or else </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Scam Alert - Counterfeit Checks & Escrow Accounts <ul><li>Don’t send, buy, or sell anything to anyone in Nigeria or West Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspaper story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/columnists/4645425.htm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attorney General Alert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/consumer/advisories/Nigeria_Mar_2003.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Beware - Bogus Escrow Accounts – E-Bay </li></ul>
  37. 37. Contact Points <ul><li>For Legal Assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>D9 - (216) 902-6010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Lakes – (847)688-4753 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ft. Drum - (315) 772-5261 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helpful Web Sites: </li></ul><ul><li>- wwwstage.uscg.mil/legal/la/ </li></ul><ul><li>- http://www.uscg.mil/d9/D9Legal/ </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Common Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are lawyers buried twelve feet under? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why don’t lawyers ever burn in the sun? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any (other) questions or comments? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thanks – trust me, I’m a …. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(216)902-6010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>Questions & Comments

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