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Category: Uncategorized

Legal Rights Between Relatives

Posted on February 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

Even though we don’t think about being legally involved with people we are related to, the law recognizes that these relationships are necessary. The two types of legal power of relatives that most people are familiar with are parental rights and marital rights. It’s assumed that a parent will be the automatic person to make legal decisions on behalf of their children – decisions dealing with money, property, healthcare, and other aspects of the child’s welfare. Although state specific rights vary, spouses are also granted certain automatic rights and privileges under the law for one another. (You can see the Human Rights Campaign website for additional information.) But what happens when the situation is not straightforward?

Rights for Children

A child may have a guardian appointed as a caretaker for a variety of reasons if the parents are unable to care for them. In Florida, guardians can be appointed for the child’s person or the child’s property, each with distinct rights to protect. A guardian for the child’s person will be able to make healthcare, schooling, housing, or other legal decisions relating to the child’s well-being; whereas a guardian for the child’s property would be appointed in the case they are beneficiaries of wrongful death suits, or if they are to receive large sums of money because of personal injury suits, inheritance, or insurance settlements. Often, the minor’s money in this kind of case will be set up in a trust, which is overseen by a trustee, and the trust might include a number of provisions for the child’s benefit and protection. For example, the minor may not be granted access to the funds until a certain date, or may only be allowed to access the money in specific circumstances, such as for college or travel expenses. The guardian of every minor in Florida must be represented by an attorney and proper documentation must be filed with the courts to establish that guardian’s responsibility to the child. The same person can hold both guardianships, but the responsibilities can also be divided. The guardian for the minor’s property and the trustee of their accounts also do not need to be the same person. However many adults are involved, legal assistance is extremely valuable to establish legal relationships for the child’s benefits.

When a child is legally adopted Florida law recognizes that once an adoption is formally completed, the birth parent’s legal rights to make decisions for the minor are officially terminated and the responsibility passes to the adoptive parents with full legal authority – just as if the child was biologically theirs. At the time of the adoption, members of the birth family (siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc) can petition the court to allow them to stay in contact with the adopted child. If the minor is old enough to choose and they want to keep this contact, they may be granted the right to communicate with biological family members by letters, phone calls, or visits. If the minor is not old enough, the court will decide based on all relevant factors, and may allow this communication if it does not see any disadvantage. The child’s adoptive parents may counter-petition the court at any time if they feel that it is in the child’s best interest to stop this communication with their biological family. Whether the child is communicating with biological family members or not, in case of an emergency, all legal decisions for the child are granted to the adoptive parents without additional legal proceedings or documents needed. See the Florida state statues for adoption here.

Rights for Adults

Guardianship and trusts aren’t just for minors – they can be very helpful and sometimes necessary in certain circumstances for adults as well. When thinking about our own futures, we don’t like to address the idea that there may be a situation where we might not be able to make our own decisions, but establishing who you want to take care of you in case that takes place is a sensible issue to think about ahead of time. If you appoint and designate your own caretakers before an emergency occurs, there will be less legal scrambling if it happens. In the case of a disabled or incapacitated adult, if the individual has not designated their own caretakers, one may be appointed by the court whether or not other family members can agree on a single person. One of the most common ways to assign who will make decisions for you is by granting someone with Durable Power of Attorney. Appointing someone to this position can give them power to make legal and/or financial decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to do so. Two other types of power of attorney, general and limited, will allow someone to make legal transactions on your behalf, but do not extend if you become incapacitated. It is up to you to decide how much power to give your power of attorney when you are filing their paperwork with the state court. You can access form DR835 for a “Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative” from the FL Department of Revenue here.

Often, people will file durable power of attorney with the decision-making powers of a living will at the same time. As medical technology has advanced to keep people alive longer after extreme injuries, there may be a situation where you need someone to make a decision in the case you are alive but cannot make those types of decisions for yourself. A living will gives your family your express wishes in writing, and tells who has the power to carry out those wishes. A Health Care Surrogate is another option as someone you can appoint and give the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, have access to your medical records, and negotiate with insurance companies for you. You can appoint the healthcare surrogate as the same person with durable power of attorney, or you can delegate that these people work together in your best interests, in case you are not able to speak for yourself. Ideally, everyone should have this paperwork with their wishes written out before any kind of emergency and have a copy kept with their medical records. Copies with lawyers, in safe deposit boxes, or otherwise “hidden away” may not be able to be reached in time to have your wishes carried out appropriately if there is an emergency situation. It is a good idea to give copies of this paperwork to each person you wish to grant some kind of legal authority, but having another copy in your medical file also keeps it in a centralized place and available in case there are any concerns or disagreements.

Prepaid Legal – Business Opportunity Review

Posted on January 31, 2019 in Uncategorized

Prepaid Legal Services is a company that has been offering legal service and a business opportunity to North American families for many years. Legal counsel and advice from qualified lawyers is available to all and every member with just a call to their toll-free number. Many people find Prepaid Legal services a preventive solution to an unforeseen legal affair. However, there are those that consider the company simply because of the potential profit. In this review we will be focusing only on the business opportunity and compensation plan.

Prepaid Legal is considered to be one of the biggest network marketing companies ever. Their business opportunity is a multilevel marketing design, also viewed as a pyramid structure. It is a tiered compensation plan where distributors can build a downline to earn residual income. As a member you can also make commission from direct sales, plus ongoing compensation for all active members enrolled by you. Override commissions are also given when others in your organization sign up new members. Prepaid Legal believes their business opportunity is designed so that anyone with an honest desire for success can do it, regardless of background or experience.

Prepaid Legal has been around for quite some time and still teaches the same method of approach to reach success. Their business opportunity encourages distributors to grow using their so-called warm market method by sharing the membership with those that you relate with every day such as family, friends and work colleagues. They also teach their members to use the 3 foot rule, which means they are supposed to talk to anyone and everyone within 3 feet around them about prepaid legal services and their business opportunity.

I believe one should take advantage and even take risks when it comes to a business opportunity. However, taking risks does not mean doing the same thing over and over and expect the same result when times have changed. One has to adjust with change to be able to achieve success in today’s market. The fact is that anyone and everyone could certainly make a lot of money and be very successful marketing prepaid legal services, all with the right knowledge and skills to advertise and promote in today’s market.

Website Legal Documents – FTC Cracks Down On Toolbars For Collecting Personal Information

Posted on January 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent settlement against an online college savings program that used toolbars to collect personal information focused on what its members were actually giving away unwittingly – their personal information and data security – rather than on what they might be saving for college expenses.

The settlement in this case highlights the FTC’s continuous efforts to crack down on privacy and data security violations regarding the collection, use, and security of personal information. This time the focus was on the use of toolbars as a collection vehicle, and the related takeaways are in the form of important new rules for the use of toolbars or similar software for collecting personal information.

The Toolbar

The defendant online service provides a membership program that permits its members to contribute to a savings account for college expenses. The contributions to the savings account are in the form of rebates and discounts from products and services purchased by members from participating merchant partners.

As part of its service to members, the service offers a software toolbar that is supposed to assist members in finding participating merchants based on online searches. Downloading and installing the toolbar is a default setting for members because in some instances the user is required to uncheck the toolbar option in order to opt out of the toolbar download.

Members using the toolbar are offered an “Enable Personalized Offers Option” for their browsers that enables the collection of information about the websites they visit for purposes of identifying participating merchants that provide eligible offers and discounts.

This toolbar and the privacy promises accompanying it are the basis of the FTC’s lawsuit against the membership service.

Privacy Policy Statements

The membership program’s privacy policy stated that that the toolbar might “infrequently” collect some personal information. In addition, the privacy policy stated that a filter would remove personal information prior to transmission.

Significant to the FTC were additional statements in the privacy policy apparently intended to create trust from members including:

* [We are] “committed to earning and keeping your trust”;

* “We understand the need for… personal information to remain secure”;

* “We have implemented policies and procedures designed to safeguard your information”; and

* “We protect your data by… SSL, Data, and Password protection technology….”

The FTC’s Allegations

The FTC alleges that the membership service engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices by:

* using a toolbar for the collection of personal information that exceeded the frequency and scope of the data collection promises by collecting extensive information including the names of all websites visited, all links clicked by the user and information that users entered into certain web pages, such as usernames, passwords, search terms, credit card information, expiration dates, security codes and social security numbers,

* transmitting data in clear text and thereby allowing third parties to easily intercept and steal data transmitted over the Internet,

* failing to disclose material facts to consumers regarding data collection and transfer practices, and

* failing to provide reasonable and appropriate security for the consumer information collected.

Conclusion – Important Settlement Takeaways

The settlement takeaways in this case are important for all Internet marketers that distribute toolbars or similar software (referred to by the FTC as “Targeting Tools”) for the collection of personal information.

Two settlement takeaways are noteworthy in terms of the FTC’s requirements for clear and prominent disclosures:

* timing – the disclosures must be before the installation of the toolbar or other similar software, and

* context – the disclosures must appear separately from any end user license agreement, privacy policy, terms of use page, or similar document; traditional disclosures in these documents are no longer sufficient standing alone.

Although the settlement does not mention “Privacy By Design” per se, the settlement takeaways listed above are consistent with the FTC’s commitment to this new approach to privacy first announced in the FTC’s Preliminary Staff Report issued in December, 2010.

This article is provided for educational and informative purposes only. This information does not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as such.