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Ninth District Legal Assistance Program Legal Assistance Brief Reserve All Hands April 24, 2005 Steve Lynch, D9 Legal Assistance 216-902-6010.

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Presentation on theme: "Ninth District Legal Assistance Program Legal Assistance Brief Reserve All Hands April 24, 2005 Steve Lynch, D9 Legal Assistance 216-902-6010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ninth District Legal Assistance Program Legal Assistance Brief Reserve All Hands April 24, 2005 Steve Lynch, D9 Legal Assistance 216-902-6010

2 Briefing Covers l Overview of Services l SCRA l USERRA l POAs, AMDs, Wills l Identity Theft l Questions & Comments

3 Authority & Eligibility l Eligibility Active duty military personnel & dependents Reservists for pre-deployment matters Retired military personnel and dependents

4 Legal Assistance Program Includes l Individual Client Legal Services Advice Referral Documents Limited Representation – Not in-court l Preventive Law Program – Circuit Rider, XO E-mails, Web Page, Networks

5 Legal Assistance Topics l Family Law Guardianship l division.html Support Support Guidelines l l,1607,7-124-5453_5528---,00.html,1607,7-124-5453_5528---,00.html Adoption – l

6 Legal Assistance Topics l Financial Interest Rate Reduction to 6% - Say what? Garnishments & Wage Offsets l Travel Reimbursements? Yes. ALCOAST 191/00 Bankruptcy l Consumer debt l

7 Legal Assistance Topics l Immigration Citizenship l Estate Planning - Wills l Landlord-Tenant Security Deposits Early termination

8 SCRA l SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT l CONTACT LEGAL ASSISTANCE PRONTO Car leases – Recall, Deployment or OCONUS PCS l Terminate w/o penalty l Must notify in writing l Deployment must be at least 180 days Residential lease – Recall, Deployment, or any PCS l Same rules, but ….deployment at least 90 days

9 SCRA l 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 members income cant be used to boost spouses tax bracket in state where member assigned.

10 SCRA l 6% Interest Rate – RETROACTIVE EAD l Applies only to debts & loans incurred before active duty AND l Active duty must materially affect members ability to pay Student loans exempted Other restrictions apply

11 USERRA Introduction l Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Replaces the Veterans Reemployment Rights (VRR) Act and case law l Gives Reserve and Guard members right to go back to the civilian job held before federal military service – several catches

12 USERRA l Reinstatement of Health Care l Prompt Return to Work l Reasonable Accomodation l Anti-Discrimination l Help – VETS (DoL) and DOJ Bronze Star Recipient – Hired Own Attorney? Legal Assistance May be Able to Help Too

13 Other Services & Topics l Powers of Attorney l Wills/SGLI Beneficiaries l Advance Medical Directives l Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

14 Powers of Attorney (PoA) l POA – designate agent to act on behalf of principal POA – designate agent to act on behalf of principal l Agent has same legal authority as principal for those acts Agent has same legal authority as principal for those acts l Others need not honor a POA Others need not honor a POA

15 General vs. Special POA l General POA – agent can do ANYTHING principal could do Worst cases do occur l Special POA – limits agents authority Recommended – lowers risk Out of 100 POAs – how many SPOAs?

16 Special PoA l 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

17 Advanced Medical Directives l Living Will or Directive to Physician States your wishes if you become incompetent l Durable General POA, with or without a springing clause. If you are incompetent, another acts for you l Medical POA to make your medical decisions for you

18 SGLI, Wills, and Probate l SGLI is paid outside probate, e.g. to spouse or trustee for minor children l Will generally does not affect who gets SGLI -- SGLV form controls funds l 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?

19 Who needs a will? l Individual call Ordered to get one? Not a good idea l Most need one, especially those with children or who may have children l Without will – court appoints executor That means time and $$$ Will

20 Avoiding Probate l 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 l Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship Married couples often own homes and bank accounts in this form

21 Avoiding Probate l 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)

22 Avoiding Probate l Death benefits/pension plans l Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) with designated beneficiaries Add a contingent beneficiary l Inter Vivos (Living) Trust Only if assets transferred to or titled in the name of the trust

23 Will Covers Only Your Probate Estate l Probate Estate is: Assets in your name alone Tenants-in-Common - Your portion/share of this asset Community Property - Your half

24 Parts of Your Will l State of domicile - This is where your estate will be probated upon your death l Beneficiaries - Usually spouse then children - but held in trust until the age you designate -- We recommend 21 to 25 yrs. l Personal Representatives/Executors Will

25 Parts of Your Will l Trust for minor children terminates at age you designate, e.g. 21 yr. l Trustee to manage the money for children l Guardian for minor children Will

26 What is Identity Theft l Acquiring key pieces of someones identifying information in order to impersonate them Name Address Date of birth SSAN Mothers maiden name

27 What Is Identity Theft l 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)

28 Credit Reports l Who to contact: FREE REPORTS 3/1/05! Equifax PO BOX 105873 Atlanta, GA 30348-5873 Telephone # 1-800-997-2493 TransUnion PO BOX 390 Springfield, PA 19064-0390 Telephone # 1-800-916-8800 Experian Information Solutions (Formerly TRW) PO BOX 949 Allen, TX 75013-0949 Telephone # 1-800-397-3742

29 Action Steps for Victims l Contact all creditors by phone & in writing, to inform them of problem l Call your local police and your nearest Postal Inspection Service and/ or US Secret Service office l Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the problem l Call each of the 3 credit bureaus fraud units to report identity theft Initiate a Fraud Alert/Victim Impact report

30 Action Steps for Victims l Alert bank to flag accounts and confirm any unusual activity l Request PIN change and new password l Log all contacts/keep copies of documents l 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

31 Action Steps for Victims l Contact the SSAs Fraud Hotline 1-800-269-0271 l New SSN? Possible, but …. Show disadvantage & best efforts to resolve l Local office discretion

32 Report Identity Theft l Equifax Credit Bureau 1-800-525-6285 l Experian Information Solutions 1-888-397-3742 l TransUnion Credit Bureau 1-800-680-7289

33 Report Identity Theft To l Federal Trade Commission 1-817-FTC-HELP l Social Security Administration 1-800-269-0271 l Local Police File a police report

34 Scam Alert - Counterfeit Cashiers Check l Seller offers car for $5000 on E-Bay Buyer accepts offer but sends cashiers check for $8000 and asks that seller wire extra $3000 to another account

35 Scam Alert (cont.) Seller deposits cashiers check l Bank vouches for validity of cashiers check l Seller given immediate access to funds l Seller wires extra funds to another account Week later seller contacted by bank l Cashiers check is counterfeit l Seller must replenish the funds or else

36 Scam Alert - Counterfeit Checks & Escrow Accounts l Dont send, buy, or sell anything to anyone in Nigeria or West Africa Newspaper story l 4645425.htm Attorney General Alert l s/Nigeria_Mar_2003.html l Beware - Bogus Escrow Accounts – E-Bay

37 Contact Points l For Legal Assistance D9 - (216) 902-6010 Great Lakes – (847)688-4753 Ft. Drum - (315) 772-5261 l Helpful Web Sites: - -

38 l Common Questions Why are lawyers buried twelve feet under? Why dont lawyers ever burn in the sun? Any (other) questions or comments? l Thanks – trust me, Im a …. (216)902-6010 Questions & Comments

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