Gifts and Pledges

LaDonna October 2012In the season of giving many people donate to worthy causes to help the less fortunate so that they can participate more fully in holiday celebrations.  It is important to watch spending for personal holiday expenses, as well as practicing safety while shopping in stores, because theft increases during holiday time.  In addition to holding onto your cash by making purchases on a debit card, or putting bills and coins in a wallet that is close to your body, so that you can feel movement in crowds to protect yourself, as well as keeping a purse in front of your body with the opening towards you, you should also protect your keys.  Buying gifts can be a lot of fun if you have the money to spend and if it is done safely.

The holiday season also comes with various religious and charitable organizations who solicit for funds in order to buy holiday meals, clothing, toys, and toiletries, for the less fortunate.  Remember that if you choose to drop off items or cash then it is considered a gift or charitable donation that is sometimes tax deductible, but please check to make sure before you do it.  You should also remember that a promise to make a donation is called a pledge and many charitable, nonprofit organizations depend on these pledges to operate and continue their good works for your community for the rest of the year.

A gift is considered a feel like it kind of thing, and is always totally optional but a pledge is a binding promise that you will donate what you have stated that you would donate in the future usually by a specified time and date.  A pledge is not something that a person should do because they might get caught up in the excitement of the moment, feeling the generosity of those around them, and desiring to become a part of what it happening, also pledges their support.  Forgetting about these kinds of promises later on is not recommended, so if you haven’t thought it through about backing up your commitment to the organization, after the magic of the holiday season wears off, and the last of that cider is gone, then don’t make these kinds of promises.

The bigger the pledge, the more possibility of suit or litigation against the promisor to obtain it in some cases where it is more than $500 while an organization may not sue you for a small pledge that you do not honor after all, it still isn’t right to mess with their emotions like this, or the people that depend on the organization, just because you got caught up in the moment, at that time.  Besides this, welching is not tax deductible like many pledge donations can be, and all you can get it a lump of coal from Santa for it as well.

So enjoy yourself in the holiday season but keep it real.

 

Take care!

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The Many Benefits of Leaving a Will Despite Not Being Wealthy

There can be many possible benefits to leaving a will even if you do not have considerable assets to leave behind. A will basically, is a legal document that expresses the wishes of a deceased person to living persons regarding property-real and personal that they had and also funeral arrangements that they may wish. A will can be simple or complex but having one is usually better than not having one at all. Many people that I have met from working class and poor families, often have some horror stories regarding the death of a relative and the ensuing drama that unfolded upon their loss. Families like these have an attitude that they cannot afford legal services to create legal documents like wills, and besides that they don’t have anything of much value to leave anyone, never considering the emotional attachments close family may have to property in their possession as well, so they assume that their family and friends will work it all out among themselves.
Some of the stories that I have heard over the years about families that have “worked it out among themselves” include: hurt, hardship, jail time, broken communications, theft, and the expense of small claims court or lawsuits requiring litigation which can be costlier to the wronged party than the defendant in the long run. There is an attitude that insurance policies and named beneficiaries alone will take care of funeral needs and loved ones, and they do, to an extent but insurance policies completely leave out explicit information regarding what beneficiaries are requested to do with proceeds upon receipt of them and can create situations that may leave lasting bad memories on top of losing a loved one.
There have been stories in which a beneficiary collects funds who may not be an immediate family member and because they are not immediate family, they see the benefit as a cash windfall and feel no obligation to help with the costs of burial, because they are not a son, husband, wife, or daughter of the deceased. Prior to death, the deceased could have changed an assumed beneficiary of their policy, over anything from too many missed visiting opportunities, to a serious argument. This leaves the close relatives who are without burial insurance policies for the deceased, scrambling to raise money and in some cases can make burial cost another residual bill for years- with interest.
Sometimes there are verbal promises made regarding property that may be binding as long as the person is alive, but lose validity, even if there are several witnesses who heard the deceased state the promise on several occasions to that person, in case of dispute by other parties. So grandma’s prized gold, Cadillac Seville could go to another relative, who never expressed an interest in the car, and may come back later to sell you the car, but wouldn’t dream of giving it to you for nothing- even if they were present during the verbal bargain on more than one occasion.
There are cases where a deceased may live far away, from their survivors, and upon the arrival of the survivors to the residence, they find that the house or apartment has been stripped of property, including insurance information and other documents, by a close friend or opportunistic neighbor, who feels that they are owed the property by virtue of being closer to the deceased than family may have been. This can cause family members the added time and expense of compiling lists of missing items, filing police reports, becoming familiar with procedural laws in another state, in cases where property is recovered from the suspect after a warrant has been issued for their seizure, etc.
This all said, I wanted to let you know that anyone can afford identity theft protection, legal documents like wills, trusts, and living wills, without being a wealthy person and that they should have legal representation if they care about their families and friends who will be left behind. For just $24.95 per month, it is possible to have access to affordable, top notch, legal professionals-not paralegals, or law students, who can help you to create wills and any and every other legal need. They will be there to answer unlimited questions as well as actually do some legal work for the monthly fee, unlike some websites that charge $30 for each question alone like a scratch off lottery ticket or charge $100 or more for unlimited advice. It’s worth it to have it, its costly not to.
Take care!

LaDonna McCormick
Independent Associate
http://legalshield/go/lmccormick
Click-> view our legal plans by state/province
mccormick.ladonna@yahoo.com

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Protecting the Rights of Ex-Felons

John was a nice young man who was in his early thirties, but as a youth he had been involved in gang activity.  Also, like most young men who get caught up in this kind of insanity, he had done time in prison when he was fifteen.  After his release, John turned his life around, left the gang, and began to work at legitimate jobs to better himself and it was why he was driving for a livery cab company.

Gang association carries lifetime consequences even after time for an offense is served in society.  Although John has not returned to prison in over ten years, nor been involved in any recent gang related activity, his past activity makes him a prime target for suspect questioning every time there is criminal activity in an area where he happens to be living, and he fits a description of a suspect, or, he is picked up and taken in for lineup identification, or if he happens to get into a situation that is a minor infraction he can be taken in.  Problem situations which involve people who have never had gang affiliations usually result in being bonded out, and a trial date set by a judge, but those who have past gang ties can be incarcerated in city or county lockups without bond set and possibly  lose jobs and income.

If you have a history of past criminal conduct, it makes sense to protect your identity and your legal rights, so that you never have to become a victim of the disparities in our legal system that most often affect minorities who are poor, more so because of having a past record of criminal activity.  Once a person has improved his life for the better the stigma of past criminal activity should not be allowed to color any present legal decision if it is not a valid, factual, claim.  With standard plans that include identity theft protection at only $26.95 per month, and standard plans that include extended trial defense for only $35.95 per month, it is an excellent way to ensure that you receive the best legal representation from a top law firm that specializes in this area of law and will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected.

Take care!

 

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Ever Wished That You Could Have Asked an Attorney?

Ever Wished That You Could Have Asked an Attorney?.

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Legal Services Are Accessible and Affordable for Everyone

Contact: mechie44us@yahoo.com to find out how you can have quality legal services and support for just pennies per day.  Unlike some sites that may charge $25-$30, to ask a single legal question and then may charge $100 or more to have access to an attorney to answer questions, Legal Shield offers the actual services that you may need besides consultation, at an affordable price.  Contact me to find out how.

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Protecting Children From Theft

Gil Scott-Heron was one of my favorite recording and performing artists.  He once had a cut called the H20 Blues.  At the beginning of the rap/song, he explained how there were four cardinal colors, and from these four cardinal colors came all the other colors or secondary colors.  The color blue he goes on to tell us, has at least 500 shades and so on.  Even with five hundred shades, blue is still blue and the same scenario applies to theft.  All theft is considered criminal in our society, no matter what shade it happens to be.  Courts are booked for the next five years and beyond, in civil and criminal cases involving theft.

Identity theft is nothing new, but with the rise of internet use identity theft has become one of the more popular shades of theft and new procedures dealing with this type of crime had to be adopted in both federal and state courts.  It is common knowledge that the poor and elderly are more vulnerable to this type of crime.  Many people however, do not know that this type of crime can also affect children.   Back in the day, people did not have to have a social security number until they were old enough to work, but the laws changed, to prevent theft at the federal and state level on income tax returns.  Many people abused that particular loophole at year end, claiming children that in some cases did not exist, or claimed but not living with them for 12 months, or claimed by both parents, in order to get that dependents break on their taxes.  An old acquaintance of mine, used to claim her children and her sister, who was on public aid’s children as well, getting back a tidy sum each year.  I was childless and married so our returns were about $300, so imagine my momentary envy of the fact that my friend was getting $1000 returns in the late seventies.

The federal and state governments closed that payday when they started to make all infants parents get their babies a social security number.  Since then, children have been vulnerable to theft of their identities before they even know who they are in some cases.  At one time, I worked for a private contractor, who collected defaulted student loans for the Department of the Treasury.  It was amazing to me how many young people owed student loans, and they had been in third grade at the time that the loan was issued, or younger.  Some had lines of credit on homes, cars, cellphones, and in one case, had a criminal record when they were two years old.

Sadly, in quite a few cases, it was theft by someone who knew them.  Family members from the moms, dads, and grandparents, to the boyfriends, girlfriends, babysitters, and lounge pals, had acted unscrupulously enough to steal from a baby.  Over the years, I have heard reasoning for this type of crime ranging from:  “Well they aren’t going to check anyway,” to “So what can they do to him/her?”  Many years down the line the baby grows up to discover that they have bad credit, can’t get a student loan, can’t get a job, or can’t vote, because someone has used their identity for years without their knowledge.

This being said, it is a popular belief that parents are their children’s protectors and look out for their welfare, but this is not always the case.  Like the elderly, children are a vulnerable group when it comes to identity theft.  To ensure their future well-being, parents should get a free copy of their child’s credit report from time to time.  If they don’t have one, great, but check just the same periodically-especially at tax return check time.  This is the time of year when people come into extra cash, and may desire things that cost a little more than they got back, so they can and will borrow the difference from your baby to obtain credit  if they have that information.

Many of us do everything that we can to protect our children, and we must not only protect them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we must also protect their futures to ensure that they have the same chance at succeeding in life as those before them.  Accessible and affordable legal solutions are necessary to have in place for children as health insurance and college funding are.  Protecting children as well as yourself legally can make all of the difference in the life of a child.

 

Take care!

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Do You Dream of Becomming a CEO?

This is a link to an article by Karen Edwards in AARP magazine that offers advice for Boomers and everyone else in starting a business.  I liked the idea that joining incubators with a business plan could go a long way towards ensuring the success of a new business, where others may possibly fail.  Check out the link, and remember your legal health as well as your financial health must be considered as well-especially in a new business venture.

http://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-10-2012/dream-of-becoming-a-ceo.2.html

Take Care!

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