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T Jeff Stein Probate Attorney Blog | T Jeff Stein Probate Attorney

BP Claims-Vessels of Opportunity

The BP Settlement has established a Seafood Compensation Program, which covers the sustained individual or business economic loss.

These claims can be filed by:

  • Vessels of Opportunity (VoO) Boat Captains
  • Vessels of Opportunity (VoO) crew members

Participants may make a claim regardless of whether you were actually dispatched or asked to perform work under the program. Participants may make a claim regardless of whether you were actually dispatched or asked to perform work under the program.

Who may file a claim:

  • Natural Persons or Entities who registered their vessels to participate in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity (“VoO”) program
  • Signed the VoO Master Vessel Charter Agreement
  • Completed the VoO training program
  • Deckhands with pay stubs (or employer letters indicated you were on an employee on board a VoO vessel)

Important:
Settlement compensation is based on the amount you worked. BP Settlement VOO claims will be awarded a percentage (the more a VOO operator worked, the less that operator will get paid).

Note:
VOO operators and/or deckhands that were on a waiting list will be eligible receive an award. If you happen to be a class member in the BP Settlement VOO claims, you may also file for a BP Settlement economic loss claims.

 

Do you meet any of the requirements listed above?  Contact us now for a no fee determination of  your eligibility.

(251) 433-7272

BP Claims-Owner Lessee of Coastal Real Property

The BP Settlement has established a Seafood Compensation Program, which covers the sustained individual or business economic loss.

These claims can be filed by:

• Owners of Coastal Real Property

• Owners of a Deeded Boat Slip-”Loss of Use”

These claimants include:

• Owner or Lessee of leased coastal real property

• Owner or Lessee of boat slips located within the Coastal Real Property Claim Zone at any time from April 20, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

The BP Settlement states that the property is categorized based on official reports as to the category or type of property and if oil was detected on the property. Depending upon the official category, the compensation is based upon a factor applied to the appraised value of the property. Additionally, owners of real or personal property may be eligible for a property damage claim if they suffered physical damage in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident response clean-up operations.

Do you know the category or type of your property? If no, contact us today to find out.

 Map of Claims Areas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you meet any of the requirements listed above?

Contact us now for a no fee determination of your eligibility.

(251) 433-7272

Giving Back (Part 2)

          Kiwanis Club is another wonderful organization that I have been a part of for the past twenty-five years.  Kiwanis is dedicated to serving the needs of children worldwide.  Kiwanis helps shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged and care for the sick. Kiwanis volunteers help develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research and much more.  The local branch of the Kiwanis Club holds an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club.  Once a date for the tournament has been set, I will post the details so that you can make plans to join us there and support the children of our community.

Giving Back (Part 1)

            One of the more rewarding aspects of my practice is the pro bono work I do for the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program.  I have been a member of Volunteer Lawyers for fifteen years.  The South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program is a charitable organization dedicated to providing pro bono legal services in certain civil matters to low income individuals in Mobile, Baldwin, Clark and Washington counties.  Anyone can donate to the Program which serves an important role in the local community.  The VLP also participates in the Wills for Heroes program which provides free basic estate planning services to police, firefighters, and emergency personnel.

Intestate Succession

        If a person dies without a will, the laws of intestate succession will dictate how that person’s assets will be distributed.  Sections 43-8-40 through 43-8-58 of the Code of Alabama set forth who will inherit from the decedent’s estate and how much.  For example, the surviving spouse will inherit a portion of the deceased’s property depending on the other heirs to the estate.  If there are no surviving children or parents of the deceased, then the spouse inherits the entire intestate estate.  If there are no surviving children but the decedent is survived by a parent or parents, the spouse will receive the first $100,000.00 in value, plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate.  If there are surviving children all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse also, the first $50,000.00 in value, plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate will pass to the spouse.  If there are surviving children, one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, the spouse will receive one-half of the intestate estate.  The Code sections attempt to account for every possible permutation of heirs.  Developing an estate plan with an attorney will help you disburse your assets according to your wishes and provide both you and our family with certainty and peace of mind.

Disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.  Please contact our office for an estate planning consultation to speak with a qualified attorney. 

Revocable Trust

            A revocable trust is an alternative to a last will and testament when developing your estate plan.  Like a will, a revocable trust provides for the orderly disposition of a person’s (settlor’s) property.  A revocable trust also names a person(trustee) to carry out the settlor’s wishes and lists the powers the trustee may use to implement those wishes.  A revocable trust can be revoked or changed by the settlor at any time without the consent of the trustee.  One of the advantages of a revocable trust is that it may help avoid the necessity for formal administration of a person’s estate in the probate court.  Like a will, a revocable trust eliminates the need for the trustee to file a bond, inventory or accounting to the probate court and can  also be help facilitate tax savings.

Disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.  Please contact our office for an estate planning consultation to speak with a qualified attorney. 

What is a guardianship and a conservatorship?

     As discussed in one of my previous posts, the appointment of an agent such as through a durable power of attorney can eliminate the need for a formal guardianship/conservatorship proceeding if the person becomes incapacitated.  If, however, a person fails to plan for the possibility of incapacity, it can have significant consequences.  For those individuals who are truly incapacitated and have not appointed an agent or attorney-in-fact to make decisions for them, the only option is to file a petition for appointment of a guardian and/or conservator in the probate court of the county where the incapacitated individual lives.   A guardianship is a relationship where the guardian has sole responsibility for making decisions regarding all aspects of the incapacitated person’s life (living arrangements, health, safety and medical care, for example).   Alternatively, a conservatorship is a court-appointed relationship wherein the conservator makes all financial decisions for the incapacitated person.  A conservator bears the primary responsibility for managing an incapacitated person’s estate which includes paying bills, selling or purchasing property,the  investment or reinvestments of assets. Often times, it is imperative that actions regarding an incapacitated person’s care or financial situation be taken immediately but a guardianship/conservatorship petition can take time to be approved by the probate court.  The pre-emptive step of executing a durable power of attorney can eliminate the need and expense of a formal court proceeding. 

Disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.  Please contact our office for an estate planning consultation to speak with a qualified attorney. 

 

I have executed a Will, a Living Will or a Durable Power of Attorney…what happens next?

     Once you have taken the monumental step of completing these important planning documents, what should you do next?  A living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare are only effective if your doctors and hospital have a copy.  Your agent or proxy should have a copy of these documents as well in the event a medical provider requests one.  You should keep your Last Will and Testament in a safe location and notify your executor where to locate it upon your death.    It is important that these legal documents are both safe and accessible.   A fire proof box or safety deposit box are two possible options.  If for any reason you change your mind about these documents, you can contact your attorney for assistance in amending these documents so long as you are competent.  Do not attempt to make changes to the documents by writing on the face of the documents as this could void the documents.  If you decide that you don’t want these documents or that they no longer reflect your wishes, you can destroy them before a witness over 19 years old after indicating your intent to revoke the documents.  You can also revoke these documents in writing.  Make sure you notify your attorney in either event so that he can destroy his copies of these documents as well. 

Disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.  Please contact our office for an estate planning consultation to speak with a qualified attorney. 

Durable Power of Attorney

  A durable power of attorney is another useful tool in any estate plan.  It is a document in which a person known as the “principal” appoints an agent to handle their affairs.  A durable power of attorney can grant the agent general powers or be more limited in scope, making it a very flexible instrument.   A common use for a durable power of attorney is to make healthcare decisions in the event that the principal is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions related to his healthcare.  Often, a court supervised guardianship and/or protective placement proceeding can be avoided if a durable power of attorney has been properly prepared and executed.  A durable power of attorney may end by termination, revocation, resignation, removal or death.  Most durable powers of attorney terminate on the occurrence of some event specified in the document.  A principal may also revoke a durable power of attorney in writing.  However, to be effective, the revocation must be provided to the agent and the third parties the agent deals with regularly in that capacity.  Courthouses, hospitals, nursing homes and the Alabama Medicaid Agency may have a form durable power of attorney available for your use.  However, an attorney can individualize a durable power of attorney to suit your specific needs.

Living Wills

     While a will directs the distribution of your assets upon your death, a living will is a document that describes the type of life-sustaining treatment you would want only if you had a terminal condition or were in a state of permanent unconsciousness.  The living will directs your physician whether to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment or feeding tube if you are not able to speak for yourself.  Many people choose to execute a living will before major surgery.  A living will is very specific in nature and does not grant authority to make all healthcare decisions on your behalf.  If you do not have a living will and become too sick or hurt to talk or make decisions, certain members of your family will have to decide on your care.  In a living will, you may also appoint a proxy to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapable of making your wishes known. The Alabama State Bar in conjunction with the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and the Alabama Hospital Association has developed a consumer guide to help individuals plan for their future health needs and it is available on their website.  The guide contains general information on living wills, durable powers of attorney and advanced directives.    

Disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.  Please contact our office for an estate planning consultation to speak with a qualified attorney. 

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