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Brain Injuries and Auto Accidents

Brain injuries are not uncommon results of auto accidents. Brain injuries can occur as a result of forceful impact from a car accident which causes passengers to hit their heads on parts of the car such as the windshield or dashboard. Flying objects from a crash might also come into contact with a passengers head and cause a brain injury. Everyone responds differently to such injuries and the severity of the injury varies from each individual.

Those who suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries may experience confusion, dizziness, trouble concentrating, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision and fatigue. They may even have slight mood changes. Moderate to severe cases of traumatic brain injuries can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures, muscle weakness, sensory deficiencies, tingling in the arms and legs, severe headaches and loss of coordination. While moderate to severe cases of traumatic brain injuries are easier for a physician to diagnose through CT scans and MRI’s, mild cases are not. A study published in Neurology found that even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause serious cognitive disabilities in people affected by brain trauma.

Just fewer than 140 people die every day from traumatic brain injuries and car accidents are the third leading cause of such injuries in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are also the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths. Luckily customized treatment plans are available which can include occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Those who have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as a result of an auto accident should consider seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney. An attorney can be your guide through the legal process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

How to Leave Your Home to Your Kids

Many parents want to know the best way to leave a home to their children. Before you make a plan, you should first be sure that your children actually want the property. We have seen too many parents take on unnecessary financial hardship in order to keep a home as an inheritance their children do not truly want.

That said, here are some of the most common ways to leave your home to your kids:

Will. You can leave real estate to anyone in your will. Once the will has been probated, your children will receive title to the property.

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How to Ensure Your End-of-Life Wishes Are Respected

How do you want to die? Do you want lifesaving treatments to be administered even if all brain activity has ceased? Is your family aware of your wishes? And perhaps the more important question, is your doctor aware of your wishes?

Included in a complete estate plan is a living will (or Advance Health Care Directive) nominating a health care agent and stating your wishes for end of life decisions and treatment. This document is clear and comprehensive, yet many times healthcare professionals still have a difficult time withholding life-saving treatments, even if administering them goes expressly against a patient’s clear wishes to the contrary.

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The Conversation You Must Have About Your Healthcare

Every single adult needs to have an advance health care directive written, signed and in place. This includes your children, as soon as they turn 18.  This includes you. This includes your parents.

Without an advance health care directive in place, you would not be able to access your child’s medical records, if they are unable to communicate permission. You would not be able to ensure your health care decisions will be made the way you choose. And your parents lose the ability to communicate their wishes and remain in control as long as possible.

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What You Can Learn about Estate Planning from Three-time NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s Will

Three-time New York City Mayor Ed Koch died on Feb. 1, leaving an estate estimated between $10-$11 million.  And it’s a good thing that “Hizzoner” loved governing, because one-quarter of his estate will be going to the state and federal governments.

During his tenure as Mayor, Koch was famous for asking people on the street, “How’m I doin’?” He would have been better served to ask that same question to a Personal Family Lawyer® before he passed on.

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Striking a Balance Between Saving for Your Retirement and Your Child’s Education Final

Many parents perceive a conflict between funding a child’s college education and building their own retirement nest egg.  The conflict usually arises from the lack of financial resources to do both while funding daily living expenses, so parents become stuck between priorities and usually wind up doing nothing at all.

One of the things a Personal Family Lawyer® can help you do is sort out your priorities in a way that supports your family for the long-term.  With that in mind, here are some guidelines on striking a balance between saving for your retirement and your child’s education:

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PoorMans Estate Planning How to Pass on Property and Avoid Probate

The Risks of Poorman’s Estate Planning: How to Pass on Property & Avoid Probate the Right Way

They call it the “poor man’s estate planning.”  Put your child on the title to your deed and avoid probate.  Yet this “poor man’s” planning often ends up, well, poorly; and costing a lot more for the people you love. Here’s why and what you can do about it:

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Congratulations! It’s an Estate Plan! Protecting Your Newborn From Birth

In the process of becoming new parents, many couples become experts at planning – scheduling the birthing classes, planning the new nursery, even picking out a preschool. There is so much to think about before you welcome your new child.

Unfortunately, one of the most important things you can do to protect your child is often overlooked:  an estate plan.  Here are five important considerations you need to discuss with your Personal Family Lawyer® when setting up an estate plan once your new baby is born:

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Estate Planning Lessons from Downton Abbey

What We Can Learn From Downton Abbey About Estate Planning

Downton Abbey – the PBS drama about the fortunes and misfortunes of an aristocratic British family in the early 20th century that has taken American audiences by storm – gets most of its gripping plot twists as the result of a number of bad estate planning moves.  For example (Spoiler Alert: these include references to Season 3 that recently concluded):

Protect your inheritance.  The Earl of Grantham inherits Downton Abbey and marries a rich American to keep the estate solvent.  However, he squanders the family fortune on an unwise overseas investment that goes belly up.  The family turns to Lady Grantham’s rich American mother, but she is unable to help since her fortune is tied up in a trust.

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New Social Security Rules and Services for 2013

There have been a number of new rules and services implemented by the Social Security Administration for 2013 that affect a majority of American workers as well as retirees:

Expiration of the payroll tax cut.  Workers may have already noticed the hit their paychecks took this year due to the expiration of the payroll tax cut, which went from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent on earnings of less than $113,700 (increased from $110,100 in 2012).

Paper checks to stop.  On March 1, paper Social Security checks will no longer be sent to benefits recipients.  Instead, you will need to choose between two options: direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or a prepaid Direct Express Debit MasterCard.

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