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How Long Must I Be Disabled to Quality for Social Security Disability Benefits?

There are specific time periods on how long you are to be disabled before you can collect Social Security disability benefits. You may become eligible if one of the three-time periods are met:

  1. You have a disability that has lasted a year;

 

  1. You have a disability that is expected to last a year; or

 

  1. You have a disability that will result in death.

If you have any questions as to whether you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you should consult and experienced Social Security disability attorney. Kent S. DeJean

Powers of Attorney: Always Read The Fine Print!

Powers of attorney are a lot like medical insurance. Many people don’t pay very close attention to the written document until we need to use the power of attorney or the insurance. It is when you begin have to use them that you discover what you don’t have. Then it may be too late.

When a power of attorney is executed, the agent automatically thinks that the agent can handle all affairs under the sun for the principal.  This is not always a good assumption to make.

First of all, here are different types of written powers of attorney. There are powers of attorney for making decision over the person such as health care decisions, housing, and therapy decisions. There are other powers of attorney for the agent to make financial decisions regarding the estate. An agent may have a financial power of attorney and not a healthcare power of attorney.

Secondly, powers of attorney should be written very general to include any and all possible decisions. However, many powers of attorney are not general. Some give very limited authority for the agent to act on behalf of the principal. This can be very problematic for an agent to find out that they possess the right to make certain decisions and not other necessary decisions.

The best time to read the fine print is long before the power of attorney is used so that corrective action can be taken. Otherwise, time, money and effort may be required to file an interdiction legal proceeding to allow the agent to make all decisions.

If you have any questions about powers of attorney, you should contact an experienced estate attorney. Kent S. DeJean

Free Senior Talk

There will be a Free Senior talk given at the Wyndham Garden Hotel 5600 Bluebonnet Blvd. Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 9:30am, 12:00 and 4:00pm.  Call 225-892-9702 to reserve your spot.

Do I Need An Attorney To Prepare My Will?

The legal answer is no. There is no law that requires that you hire an attorney to draft your will.

However, there are several bad things that can happen if you don’t.

Louisiana law requires that wills be in certain forms. If the will you write is not in proper form, the court will not recognize it.

The language you use in your self-prepared will may be imprecise. The language you use may be confusing or open to different interpretations. This may make your self-prepared will subject to being litigated or contested by your heirs and/or legatees.

What you are providing for in your will may not be allowed by state law or does not exist under state law. The court may be unable to comply with what you want to do in your will because it is prohibited.

Your will may not provide for contingencies (“What If’s”?). Without legal representation, you may not be aware of things that can happen that will change who you want to get your estate.

If you have any questions about wills, contact an experienced estate planning attorney. Kent S. DeJean

 

How Much Monthly Social Security Benefits Will I Get When I Retire Or Am Disabled?

There is a very good online article about how your monthly Social Security Benefits. The following is the article’s website:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how‑social‑security‑benefits‑are‑calculated‑173545005.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

The Social Security Administration has a website where you can calculate your own benefits yourself. The following is the Social Security Administration’s website:http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/

If you have any questions, concerning Social Security benefits, you should consult an experienced Social Security attorney. Kent S. DeJean

Online Social Security Services

The Social Security Administration’s official website is located online at http://www.ssa.gov/

On this website, you can create an account to change your address and manage your Social Security benefits. You can also use this website to estimate your monthly retirement or disability benefits.

You can also use this website to apply for Social Security benefits and appeal a decision. This website will also let you know what benefits you may be eligible receive and information on obtaining a new or revised Social Security card.

This website can be very useful to potential claimants by avoiding have to spend the time, money and effort to go to a local Social Security office.

If you have any questions concerning Social Security disability benefits, you should consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. Kent S. DeJean

My Application for Social Security Benefits Has Been Denied! What Do I Do?

Appeal as soon as possible! You should appeal your denial of benefits as soon as possible. For unfavorable decisions from the local office and the administrative law judge, you have only sixty (60) days to file an appeal.

If you don’t file an appeal within sixty (60) days, your decision will become final and you will not be able to appeal it. Your only other possible option will be to re-apply with the local office.

By not appealing, you could lose significant back payments for Social Security benefits.

You should also appeal right away because the appeal process already takes a long time before you will receive a decision. Every day, week and month that you delay is adding additional time to what is already a slow process.

Appeals sent by mail can be lost and misplaced. I recommend that clients hand deliver their appeal form to the Social Security office.  Make sure that the appeal form is stamped with a receipt date and make sure that you have them also stamp the receipt on your own copy. This way if the appeal is lost, you will have proof that you filed your appeal.

You do not have to have an attorney to appeal an unfavorable decision. However, I do recommend that should you obtain an unfavorable decision that you consult with an experienced Social Security attorney. Kent S. DeJean

 

Don’t Delay in Getting A Powers of Attorney!

It is very common for people to put off executing powers of attorney. In fact, recent studies show that 80% of adults do not have an executed power of attorney. Most people think that powers of attorneys are for people that are sick or old.

In the real world, none of us are guaranteed capacity even today. An accident or health issue can take our mental or physical capacity away from us quickly without prior warning. We would be unable to take care of our own person and property. No one can predict when a person will lose capacity.

The execution of a valid durable powers of attorney is relatively quick, easy and fast. When a person fails to plan in advance, that person is “playing with fire”. Many learn the lesson the hard way. They wait until it is too late.  The family may be unable to get the power of attorney executed because the person has lost capacity. The family may have the person sign a power of attorney where capacity is an issue. This can lead to family disputes and/or challenges to the document.

If you have any questions concerning powers of attorney, living wills and advanced medical directives, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

Kent S. DeJean

 

Powers of Attorney: Always Have A Plan B!

The decision on who should be your agent for your power of attorney is usually a fairly easy one. Most people will usually select their spouse or a close friend or family member. However, the more difficult question is who does a person want to serve as the successor agent in the event that the agent is unwilling or unable to serve.

It is strongly advised that you name a successor agent in the event that the agent is unwilling or unable to serve. Your agent may die, become incapacitated or simply not wish to serve for any reason. If your agent is unwilling or unable to serve, an interdiction proceeding will have to be filed to appoint you a guardian to administer your person and property if you failed to name a successor agent.

Therefore, always name a backup successor agent in your power of attorney. Never assume that an agent will be willing or able to serve as your agent when and if you lose capacity.

If you have any questions concerning powers of attorney, consult an experienced estate planning attorney.

Kent S. DeJean