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Jackson Missouri Legal Blog

Elder Law and the importance of proper Medicaid planning

Thanks to advancements in health care, Americans live longer than they did in past decades. According to Lorman Education Services, approximately 80% of U.S. residents now live beyond the age of 65. Like many of you, we are glad that people are able to live longer and enjoy their golden years. However, this increased longevity can come with financial hardships elders must overcome.

Paying for residential placement and elder care is a massive concern in the 21st century. While some elders have accumulated the means to pay for whatever they need in their aging years, it is safe to say that most elders in Jackson lack sufficient means.

Workers' compensation denials are more common than you may think

If you suffer an unfortunate injury while working, chance are you are counting on workers' compensation to see you through the incident. Successful claims provide Missouri workers with benefits such as income replacement and coverage of medical expenses. A notice indicating a claim denial can bring reality crashing down upon you. The following list contains several common reasons for claim denials.

Waiting to report the injury: It is important to report any unusual incident to your superiors immediately. Doing so paves the way for a successful workers' compensation claim if you discover that the incident caused you injury.

What is the difference between a legal separation and divorce?

If you and your spouse are struggling to maintain your marriage, you may be evaluating your options to improve the situation. Legal separation and divorce are two legal ways to begin leading your life independently. However, the two options are so similar that people are often confused about what exactly each action does.

Divorce and legal separation are similar

What are some criminal defense options for alleged drug crimes?

Many residents of Missouri think that drug charges do not require a serious approach to criminal defense. Perhaps the tolerance many states now exhibit regarding marijuana causes defendants to disregard a drug possession arrest. Whatever the reason, you need to understand that the penalties for a drug possession conviction are always serious enough to warrant your immediate attention.

You already know that a criminal defense attorney can help if the authorities arrest you for drug possession. However, you might not understand precisely how he or she can help. Working with you to create an effective strategy for defense is the primary goal of these legal professionals. Some options to consider include the following.

  • Medicinal use: In 2018, it became legal to possess specific amounts of marijuana for medicinal purposes if a doctor has recommended its use. FindLaw indicates that the allowable limit is up to four ounces per month at this time.
  • Unlawful search and seizure: It may be possible to establish this as a sound criminal defense strategy if the police broke the law to search your property.
  • Entrapment: Law enforcement personnel are extremely careful to avoid allegations of entrapment. However, it might be worth looking into depending upon the details of your arrest.
  • Not your drugs: In some cases, it may be possible for you and your attorney to prove that the drugs in question belonged to another party.

The right executor is a critical element of estate planning

Jackson, Missouri, residents interested in estate planning often wonder how to select an estate executor. As this is the individual responsible for carrying out your final wishes and your instructions, it is crucial to make the right choice.

Although picking an executor is an extremely personal task, there are several characteristics all good executors possess. Our estate planning attorneys want to share these characteristics with you in the hopes of making it easier for you to select the right person.

  • One of the most important qualities to look for is someone who takes responsibility quite seriously. The many tasks associated with executing an estate plan requires meticulous attention to detail.
  • Another important characteristic to consider is the honesty of the person you choose. When dealing with sensitive matters as well as estate assets, you need someone dedicated to acting in good faith on your behalf.
  • Patience is also an excellent quality good executors possess. The process of managing an estate can take some time, so it is wise to assign these tasks to someone with the patience to see it through.
  • You should also consider choosing someone with good organizational skills. This will ensure that a person who can barely keep their own affairs in order will not undermine your estate planning efforts.

Recognizing and easing children's stress amid divorce

No matter how hard divorcing parents work to focus on their children's well-being, kids will experience stress during and after the break-up. They're likely going to be dividing their time between two households. They may move -- which means changing schools and having to make new friends.

Even if they'll continue to spend the majority of their time in the home they know, no longer having both parents around can be a source of anxiety.

Are nursing homes liable when residents hurt each other?

When people make the difficult decision to move a loved one to a nursing home, they are often concerned -- and rightfully so -- about that loved one getting the medications, food, hydration and exercise they need. They want to feel secure that their parent or another family member won't suffer a fall or other injury because someone wasn't there to help them move. They may not consider the possibility that their loved one could be harmed by another resident.

Sadly, however, nursing home residents sometimes are the victims of violence by roommates or others in the nursing home. Some residents suffer from dementia and other conditions that can cause them to be violent. Others may be on medication that alters their behavior. Sometimes, residents simply don't get along, and disputes turn violent.

2 Missouri counties aren't prosecuting some marijuana offenses

While marijuana is still illegal for recreational use in Missouri, prosecutors in our state's urban areas are increasingly making it a policy not to prosecute people for possessing small amounts of the drug. In the past seven months, prosecutors here in Jackson County as well as St. Louis County have adopted this policy. These two counties encompass about a third of the state's population of just over 6 million.

Policies of not prosecuting "low-level" marijuana offenses are in place in large metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia and smaller urban areas as well. However, for a state where medical marijuana was just legalized by voters in last November's election, these decisions by county prosecutors may come as a surprise,

Is a revocable living trust right for me?

A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to determine how your assets will be managed while you are alive and after you die. If you set up this type of trust, you will transfer property, like your house or bank account, into the trust, and a trustee will manage that property on your behalf or the behalf of your beneficiaries.

This type of trust is referred to as a living trust because it is created while you are living. It is referred to as a revocable trust because you can alter or eliminate the trust while you are alive.

How parents with alcohol issues can emotionally harm children

If you're divorcing a co-parent who has an issue with alcohol abuse, you're likely conflicted about what kind of custody arrangement to seek. Assuming that you have no evidence that your spouse has been physically or verbally abusive to the kids, you may not want to (or believe that you can) limit their custody rights if they're seeking shared custody. However, mental health professionals note that parents who abuse alcohol can be detrimental to a child's mental health in a number of ways -- some of which can impact them well into adulthood.

Having an alcoholic parent can cause considerable stress for children. Much of that is due to the unpredictability that comes with substance abuse. Kids don't know when their parent is going to be happy, loving, angry or depressed.

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