Author Archives: Valerie Powers

3 Questions To Immediately Answer If You Have To Take Your Case to Probate

When building cases, there are many things to take into consideration. There are many factors which could make the case either very simple or extremely complicated. 

The Probate Attorney 

As Palm Springs probate attorneys, we work on cases where a person is deceased and there are then others involved that we must discuss the distributions of assets with. As such, we must get to the bottom of each case and figure out the best solution.

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Things To Know About A Durable Financial Power Of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney is a person who is able to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own behalf. The power is given by producing a legalized document that shows you allow another person to make financial decisions on your behalf. The person you chose to act on your behalf is considered your agent or attorney-in-fact. 

Can I Set Limitations? 

You can set limits for your agent. The thing to consider is what needs to be handled while you’re unable to act on your own. These things can include your personal expenses – monthly and annually, real estate, investments, asset management, benefit collections, insurance, and hiring legal representation. 

If you have a separate medical agent for medical decisions, keep in mind that the financial agent needs to be updated by the medical agent to make decisions smoother.

How Is The Agent Created? 

It is recommended to use the simple form for the state you’re in, or you could schedule a consultation with our Palm Springs trust and estate law firm. We can assist in the entire process, including having the document notarized with appropriate signatures. If real estate is involved, the state may require the agent to place a record on file with the local land and records office. It is also advised to let your bank know who your financial agent is. 

When Does It Start? 

The first thing is to decide is whether or not the power will be durable. If the power of attorney is not durable, and you become incapacitated, then when you can recover, this power is lost and a new agent document would need to be issued.

The document goes into effect as soon as it is signed. If you only want it to go into effect when you are incapacitated then you need a “springing” agent. In this case, you must be certified as incapacitated by a doctor. You can make this type of power of attorney durable also. 

Financial decisions can only be made for you if you are incapacitated. If you want someone to make decisions for you after death, you will need to name them as executor in your will. There are several other ways the financial power of attorney can end, such as divorce, not being able to reach the agent, the court invalidates the document, or you can revoke it personally. It is best to also name alternate agents in the event something happens to an agent.

Part 1: 2018 New Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

From the Public Agency Law Department: Part One of a Four Part Series:
2018 Newly Introduced California Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

The following is an overview of newly introduced and pending legislation that will impact California cities, counties, special districts, and water districts, if passed and/or approved by the electorate. To read more about a particular bills or propositions, follow the links below and contact SBEMP for further information or assistance.

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Part 2: 2018 New Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

From the Public Agency Law Department: Part 2 Of a Four-Part Series:
2018 Newly Introduced California Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

The following is a summary of newly introduced and pending Legislation that will impact California cities, counties, special districts, and water districts, if passed, and/or accepted by the electorate. To read more about bills or propositions, follow the links below and contact SBEMP for assistance or more details.

Continue reading

3 Reasons You Need a Probate Attorney

The probate court process is how an estate handles the settlement of the distribution of property. The process can be hard to handle on your own. When you don’t have a probate attorney or expert, it can be completely impossible. The entire estate can get tied up in the courts. If you’re asking the question of when to get a probate attorney, the answer is as soon as your loved one passes. If you can, it’s best to have it all arranged prior to your loved one’s passing.

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What to Do If Unknowingly Removed as a Beneficiary

Learn What to Do If You Were Unknowingly Removed as a Beneficiary on Your Husband’s Will

When someone serves in the military, they are entitled to a life insurance policy. Within the policy, the member must designate a person to be the beneficiary of the policy when they die.  The beneficiary can be changed at any time if the military member decides that he or she wants to change it. 

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Estate Case Update From The NJ State Bar Association

Case update from the NJ State Bar Association: 

In the Matter of the Estate of Mary Jane Lynch, N.J. Super. App. Div. (Suter, J.A.D.) (19 pp.)

Decedent executed a will and declaration of trust wherein her personal property was to be equally distributed to her two children, appellant-daughter and appellee-son. The residuary estate was left to the family trust and the assets there were divided equally between the siblings. Continue reading

The Importance Of A Disability Attorney For A Special Needs Child

 Financial Aid For Special Needs Children

Parenting is a challenge, but when the child has emotional, developmental, or physical disabilities, the difficulty level increases. Parents of children with special needs have to arrange special education, healthcare services, and pay the bills. Financial help is available with programs through the federal government. Your child may be eligible for benefits, including Supplemental Security Income Disability. This would entitle your child to receive a check each month until they turn 18. Continue reading

The Importance of Having a Special Needs Trust for Your Loved Ones With a Disability

What is a Special Needs Trust?

When doing your estate planning, consider discussing with your Palm Springs disability attorney the benefits of having a special needs trust. This kind of trust allows loved ones to provide for family members with a disability, but ensures that they will still continue to receive government healthcare benefits such as Medicaid or Medicare and financial support such as SSI. The total sum of money that you allot to them is kept in a special fund, which distributes a set monthly amount to them that is within the government guidelines of what they are allowed to receive and still keep their benefits.

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Frequent Questions to a Coachella Valley Disability Attorney

What Are The Requirements To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must prove that you have a physical or mental health problem that keeps you from working for 12 consecutive months. This proof must come in the form of medical evidence that shows the physical or mental health problem is so severe that you cannot work for at least a year. Continue reading

Income and Resource Limits for Disability and SSI Payments

A large number of parents are confused and concerned about SSI Disability Payments for special needs kids. Coachella Valley healthcare and insurance and Coachella Valley disability attorneys are good sources for current information on this very subject. It is important to understand that the government sets down certain rules that are required for the child to be eligible for SSI. Often, this is a very complicated and frustrating process that requires clarification. Continue reading

Why Same Sex Couples Need to Plan Their Estate

Things are changing for same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is seeing growing acceptance, both socially and legally on a federal and state level. Same-sex couples aren’t the only “alternative” families. There are a growing number of people choosing to have children without waiting to get married first. Just because the law permits these “alternative” families doesn’t mean that laws affecting them are up-to-date. Continue reading

What a Special Needs Lawyer Helps with Estate Planning for Persons with Special Needs

Having the government interfere with your estate is one of the biggest problems your loved ones have to handle. This problem becomes even bigger if the person who receives part of the estate happens to have special needs. It can also greatly increase the chances of the government taking an exceptionally active role in the management of the estate. The best way to avoid this is by having a Palm Springs special needs lawyer manage the estate. Continue reading


Hoping you can attend our 5th annual Haute4Help fashion charity event
benefiting, this year, Desert AIDS Project.  The event will be held on
Friday, 3/7/14, at 7pm, at Mission Hills Country Club.  We have an amazing
line-up of designers and retailers; so, don¹t miss out.

For tickets and more information, visit
Thanks in advance for your support!!