Signs Your Loved One Might Be the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

nursing home neglectEvery person wishes they were in the situation where they could care for their parent when it is needed, but the truth is that most people just don’t have the time or the resources to do so. Because of this there is a large industry that caters toward caring for elderly patients who need constant observation or have pressing medical needs. Wherever there is a large industry in a certain field there will be people who pop up to exploit it, not caring for their paying clients and working only to make a quick buck. If you’re not careful, you may accidentally leave your loved one in the care of somebody who will exploit, mistreat or physically injure them. But how can you tell if your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse? Here are some common symptoms.

Signs of Physical Abuse on an Elderly Patient

Anybody who has been around an elderly family member knows that sometimes they don’t want to be a bother, so they keep their lips shut about things they should discuss. This is true with nursing home abuse as well, especially when there is a lingering threat from the guilty party. Physical abuse can sometimes be easy to spot. Most symptoms will appear on the arms or legs, the areas where they will be grabbed or thrown from. Look for bruises, cuts, and scrapes, and keep an eye on whether or not they choose to wear long sleeved shirts whenever you visit. This can be a sign that they are trying to cover up the nursing home abuse. Even if you suspect there might be abuse, but do not have proof you can still ask for help confidentially.

Signs of Neglect to an Elderly Patient

What’s even worse than physical abuse is nursing home neglect. Elderly patients need constant care and even the tiniest of slip-ups could lead to a serious medical issue. Look for bedsores – they are signs that your loved one is spending too much time in their bed. Bedsores may indicate that nursing home staff members are not checking in on patients regularly. Dehydration and malnutrition are two major forms of nursing home neglect. If your loved one is always thirsty when you visit or seems very lethargic or pale then it may mean that they are not receiving proper meals.

Why is This Treatment Common in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home employees tend to be divided into two different categories of people: workers who have decided to dedicate their lives to this field and educated themselves, and uneducated people who needed any job they could get and took one at a nursing home. The former group tends to be higher paid and find work at more expensive nursing homes, while cheaper nursing homes in lower income areas don’t try as hard to find competent employees. This leads to a hiring process that is less than adequate, which is why it’s very important to do proper research before making the decision to put your loved one in a care facility or nursing home.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a very difficult subject to discuss with a loved one. Many elderly people become embarrassed because they can’t physically defend themselves. This feeling of hopelessness is one major reason these forms of attacks are not reported. Bring up the topic carefully but let them know to be honest with you. Nursing home abuse and neglect needs to be reported so that the guilty parties can be punished.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, report it immediately and seek the help of an experience legal professional.  Mariano Morales Law is composed of a team of nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers located in Yakima, Washington.  For more information about the abuse and neglect of elders, visit the website at www.MarianoMoralesLaw.com.

Organizing Your Finances after Divorce

divorce and finances The process, as well as finalizing a divorce can be extremely hard on a person mentally. Facing possible financial ruin definitely adds to the stress. In general, most people lack the knowledge they in order to recover and move on financially. Knowing what to expect and how to handle it, is the only way to get through a divorce with your assets still intact. Surviving financially is especially important if you have children and other dependents.

 

How Divorce Impacts Your Money

Getting a marriage license is less than $50 in most states, but dissolving that union is going to cost much more than that. Even if the couple kept their finances separate and agreed to take their own money & assets and part ways amicably, the filing alone can be costly. If for some reason a mediator is needed, fees can go into the thousands. The situation only gets more complicated from there. Married people generally see an increase in wealth through their union, while divorced people lose 77% of their net value on average, according to DailyFinance.com. When children are involved, one spouse may end up owing child support or alimony which can greatly reduce their money left for all of their other independent expenses. On the other hand, the spouse who is supposed to receive child support or alimony may have a hard time getting their former partner to pay up. Additionally, divorce means splitting your assets and income while doubling the bills.

 

Take Action Before You Even File for Divorce

This is a very important step that could save you loads of money and time when the proceedings start. Once your partner knows you have filed, they may make every effort to hide money, transfer funds from mutual accounts to their own, and put away assets. Even if the judge rules against these actions, it’s going to be very hard to recover them, and waiting for a judgment could take a very long time. Smart actions for you to take include: getting copies of all financial statements, acquiring credit reports, and setting aside money for living expenses.

 

Restructuring Once the Divorce is Final

Here is where the real work begins. Getting back to stability once the divorce is finalized will be challenging, but possible. If you are paying child support or alimony to your ex-partner, it may take a while to adjust. Having your support payments drafted automatically from your checking account is the best way to handle it. This way there won’t be risk of forgetting to make payments, and there will be an electronic record of paying. Keeping other financial obligations simple for a while is advisable; now is not the time to go out and purchase high ticket items. The divorced person needs to be very forward thinking for at least the first year after separation; make plans for tax returns, stocks, and savings ahead of time. A well mapped out plan for paying existing and new bills will get you through it. This will put you on the path to rebuilding your financial worth. MoneySmart.gov has additional information on adjusting to the change in income and additional expenses spawned from divorce.

Divorced But Neither Wants the House: What to Do?

Divorce But Neither want the houseThe marital residence can prove to be one of the most controversial components of a modern divorce. While the majority of divorces in the past involved arguments regarding which party would be allowed to keep the house, that trend has begun to change as the unstable housing market continues to fluctuate in a consistently negative pattern. Now, with foreclosure looming on the horizon for many divorcing couples, the question of who gets the house has a different desired answer.

Why Wouldn’t You Want to Keep the House?

In many cases, according to The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, the amount of money owed on a house’s mortgage exceeds the actual value of the property, making it a liability instead of an asset. Unless the house holds specific emotional appeal or value, getting stuck with a payment on a residence that isn’t worth the money can be financially devastating for the party who receives it.

Many married couples decide to divorce due to a variety of irreconcilable differences and, therefore, find themselves in a position in which they are far less likely to come to an amicable solution for both ends. It is possible that vindictive or hurt feelings may fuel a desire to cause the other person inconvenience, emotional pain and financial hardship. In these cases, the inclusion of a qualified and experienced divorce attorney in early proceedings and division of assets is highly recommended. Your counselor will help mediate these periods of correspondence, ensuring that all steps of the process are completed accurately and fairly as according to your state’s laws and regulations.

It is in this type of case, in which neither party can foresee any type of cooperation in the future, that a foreclosure or short sale is selected as the best way to resolve the issue. If the house is sold at a loss as compared to its purchase value or current market value, the spouses are advised to share the costs of the loss and call the case closed. If an agreement such as this cannot be made, bankruptcy is an option and should be discussed in detail with an attorney with experience in the field.

Possible Solutions

If both members of the divorcing couple are adamant concerning the situation and neither one agrees to take on the financial responsibility of keeping the house, other agreements may be made that still count as advantages to both parties.

First, if both people involved in the divorce are willing to work with one another on reaching a positive and lucrative solution, they may consider renting the property to a third party and splitting the money that is paid for it. If the amount of monthly rent, utilities and other bills exceeds the amount needed to pay the house’s mortgage, the difference is split between the ex-spouses.

A second option involves one member of the divorcing couple to remain in the house while the other moves out. The person remaining in the house pays a predetermined amount each month to the spouse who has moved out to cover rent and any other bills associated with the property. In this case, both people tend to retain ownership of the house and are responsible for any paperwork required to sell it in the future, should the market improve.

Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP is a personal injury law firm located in New Jersey/New York. For more information, please visit us at www.Ginarte.com.

Talking finance – and inheritance: post from family lawyers

Guest post regarding finance and inheritance from family lawyers.

Financial conversations are important, but not easy. New research reveals not only the peace of mind created when parents and children discuss inheritance, care needs and retirement planning, but also the struggle to have the conversation in the first place.

According to an Intra- Family Generational Finance Study from Fidelity Investments, the fault lies on both sides. It reveals that while more than nine in 10 (94%) US adult children and their parents agree it is important to have frank conversations about wills and estate planning, care needs or covering retirement expenses, there are significant barriers to even starting these discussions within families.

Why people don’t talk

The top barrier, noted by 30% of parents, is they don’t want their adult children to overly rely on a potential inheritance. And for adult children, 40% say that the top barrier is that they feel it is none of their business to ask their parents about these topics.

The timing of these discussions is also a barrier, reveals the study. In fact, only one in three (34%) parents and their children agree on the best time. Parents are more likely to cite when they near or enter retirement (37%) as the right time, while children indicate that they’d like to have a conversation before their parents retire or have health issues (37%).

Financial miscommunication

Highlighting a vast disconnect between parents and children, the study reveals that 97% of parents and children disagree on whether a child will take care of his or her parents if they become ill.

Major miscommunication also exists when discussing inheritance and estate planning. In fact, children are underestimating the value of their parent’s estate by more than $100,000, on average. Additionally, neither side is effectively communicating about retirement readiness. As a result, one-quarter (24%) of children believe they will have to help their parents financially in retirement, while nearly all (97%) of parents say they will not need help.

The impact of the disconnect

The lack of discussion is having a big impact on families, according to Kathleen A. Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments.

“Given the economic pressures facing families today, it’s troubling that detailed conversations are not happening, especially among those in the sandwich generation who may be grappling with competing financial priorities ranging from planning for their own retirement and paying for a child’s college education to dealing with eldercare, estate planning and retirement challenges with their parents,” she said.

“Whether it’s a parent facing a shortfall in retirement income or an adult child weighing the tax implications of an inheritance, too often discussing these issues is considered taboo within families, but real emotional and financial consequences emerge when such conversations don’t happen or lack sufficient depth,” she warned.

Benefits of talking about the future

According to Fidelity, conversations about estate planning have an overwhelmingly positive impact. The study found that the peace of mind of parents jumps from 61% to 91% when comparing those parents who have not had detailed conversations with their adult children versus those who have.

On top of this, parents who have had detailed conversations with their adult children feel significantly more at ease about their children’s financial future – 68% compared to only 30% among those who have not had detailed conversations.

This guest post is courtesy of Gibson Kerr Family Law Solicitors in Edinburgh: http://www.gibsonkerr.co.uk/. Contact Fiona Rasmusen and their other solicitors for expert family law and estate planning advice.

Product Liability Laws and Your Family

Product liability involves holding a manufacturer or seller liable because a defective product was sold to a consumer. Sellers are responsible for a defective product because they distribute the item, and others who may be involved include the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer selling the defective product.

What you should know

Generally speaking, the law states that any product should meet the consumer’s reasonable expectations of safety, and when a product has a hidden defect, it falls below that standard. Under the law, any party that is part of the distribution chain could be held liable for a defective product, along with whoever installs or assembles it.

In a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that a product caused an injury because it was defective to such an extent that it was “’unreasonably dangerous.” These defects fall into three categories:

● design defects that make the product inherently unsafe,

● manufacturing defects that occur during the product’s production or assembly, and

● marketing defects due to inadequate safety warnings, incomplete instructions and incorrect labeling.

For their part, consumers must follow a product’s instructions carefully, heed the safety warnings, and read the fine print as well.

Protecting children

In the United States, many families are adversely affected by injuries that are the result of using a defective product every year, and children are often harmed because a manufacturer failed to take the necessary safety precautions. For example, the most common defective children’s products include playpens, cribs, high chairs, strollers, walkers, car seats, toys and carriers.

Establishing who is liable

With product liability cases, the defense often maintains that the plaintiff has failed in identifying the supplier of the item that is alleged to be the cause of the injury. Consequently, the plaintiff must provide a direct link between the product and those who were involved in producing or supplying it. Note that an exception to the rule may be applied in a case involving a defective medication. If a plaintiff is unable to identify which pharmaceutical company supplied the drug he or she consumed, all manufactures will be held liable, based on the amount of sales for the medication in the plaintiff’s locale.

As part of their defense, a manufacturer or distributor may claim that the plaintiff significantly altered the item after purchasing it, and that taking this step was the sole cause of the injury. It may also be argued that the article was used in an “unforeseeable way” as opposed to its intended purpose, and that this error is the source of the plaintiff’s injury.

Getting the help you need

Product liability cases can be very complicated, and proving liability may require the advice and testimony of experts in the field. There are several legal precedents under which a plaintiff’s attorney could file a claim, and several legal arguments that could cause them to be unsuccessful as well. In addition, each state has its own set of specific statutes and laws that have a direct bearing on product liability lawsuits. Because of this, it is essential to consult with an experienced product liability attorney if you feel that you or some one close to you has been injured by a defective product.

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Child Support Basics

(US family law and generally) Raising a child is very tiring and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. The needs of a child can often cost thousands of dollars which is why child support is often given to a mother in need. Child support is a policy that can help a sole parent be financially stable when raising a child. Here are some basic FAQs about child support:

When should child support be paid?

When a parent of a child ends a marriage or a relationship, he or she should make periodic payments to the other parent who is the primary child caretaker.

How long does child support last?

Child support typically lasts until a child legally turns into an adult, at age 18. However, it can vary between each state. The two parents can agree to extend the child support payment into the child’s college years. The agreement has to be enforced by the Family Law Court.

When is child support arranged?

During divorce, a separation of a relationship, or dissolution of a civil union or marriage, child support may be an issue discussed. A father or mother who has the higher income will usually make a monthly payment to the custodial parent.

How is child support determined?

During a relationship separation, the parents’ wages, commission, bonuses, rent, benefits, and much more are taken into account.  These guidelines will help determine the amount of time each child gets with a parent. However, more circumstances are taken into account. Looking up each state’s child support guidelines will help determine the child support amount.

What should a parent do if the other parent does not pay child support?

Notify the court about the whereabouts, the income, and place of employment of the parent not paying child support. Once it is determined that the parent is indeed not paying child support, then the court can find the parent in contempt.

What happens when child support is not paid?

Since the court determines the amount of money pays for child support, the parent refusing to pay child support is defying court orders. The consequences of this action can include jail. However, if you are unable to pay child support, as in the case of unemployment, it is your responsibility to get the child support amount modified.

It is important to hire an attorney to help you in matters concerning family law. A lawyer will make sure that the proper compensation and payment is acquired. Child support is vital in raising a financial steady environment for a child.

 

Written by Robert Koenig, a personal injury attorney for The Accident Attorneys’ Group.