Legal Assistance Reserve All-Hands.ppt
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Legal Assistance Reserve All-Hands.ppt Legal Assistance Reserve All-Hands.ppt Presentation Transcript

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