Kyle Jones & Moneywise: A One-Stop Shop
I am fortunate to practice in Bakersfield where we have a host of local resources available to assist my clients. One such resource is Moneywise Wealth Management, with whom I have a professional relationship and the ability to tap into their expertise for a variety of matters.
Every weekday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, the Moneywise Guys host a radio program on Newstalk 1180 & The New 96.1 KERN. Using national and local news as a backdrop, the show discusses a variety of financial and legal issues facing Kern County residents. I appear on the show regularly to provide legal advice and information. My colleague John Duffield, CPA also appears regularly to provide tax-related information.
Located at 8700 Stockdale Highway, across from CSUB, Moneywise Wealth Management is a local firm with great talent. The Advisory Team of David Anderson, Sherod Waite, Garro Ellis, Kris Pelster and Justin Leland focus on financial advice and planning. I, Kyle Jones, provide assistance with the legal aspects of their work. It is a great partnership that provides my clients with access to key resources and advice — all under one roof.
Moneywise Wealth Management provides the following key services:
- Retirement & Financial Planning
- 401(k) and Pension Rollovers
- Education & Goal Funding
- Investment Advisory Services
- Asset Allocation
- Annuities & Insurance Services
One of the key aspects of the Moneywise approach is to understand that financial and legal issues are often intertwined. With expertise in a variety of areas, the Moneywise team provides a one-stop shop for a variety of issues. Call me today and see how I can help you, along with the Moneywise Guys, to make sure your financial and legal planning is done with care and expertise to protect your interests.
And remember to listen to the Moneywise Guys radio program every Monday through Friday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on Newstalk 1180 & The New 96.1 KERN and catch me regularly as I share advice from a legal standpoint that will help you with real life situations.
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Be Health Smart – The Importance of An Advance Medical Directive
According to HealthDay News, two thirds of American adults have not completed an advance medical directive. Meaning, they’re not telling their loved ones how to handle medical issues when the time comes for one’s final days.
An advance medical directive is a legal tool used to outline an individual’s wishes such as medical interventions and treatments. By designating an “agent”, you can ensure that your wishes are taken care of. An agent is someone who you trust will have your best interests at heart.
Unless you state otherwise on the advance medical directive form, your agent will generally have the right to:
- Consent or refuse consent to any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or otherwise affect a physical or mental condition.
- Select or discharge health care providers and institutions.
- Approve or disapprove diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, and programs of medication.
- Direct the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration and all other forms of health care, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Donate organs or tissues, authorize an autopsy, and direct disposition of remains.
Generally speaking, advance medical directives gall into three categories:
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Proxy
A Living Will is a written document that specifies what types of medical treatments are desired should the individual become incapacitated. Living wills can be general; such as a statement about the use of extraordinary measures to prolong life. Living wills can also be quite specific; such as what types of antibiotics to use.
A Power of Attorney provides a trusted agent with the ability to take over the affairs for an incapacitated individual (see my blog post on February 20, 2018 for more information on a Power of Attorney.
A Healthcare Proxy is a legal document that allows someone else to make healthcare decisions on behalf of an individual. This is applicable when rendered incapable of making healthcare decisions on their own.
Situations where an advance medical directive become important can include comas, brain injuries, strokes, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and other critical medical issues that render an individual incapable of making decisions on a limited or permanent basis.
My office will help you sort through the complexities of having the right advanced medical directive! Every adult should have one as we never know when an accident or medical condition may make us unable to make decisions on our own behalf.
I look forward to meeting with you and your loved ones. Together we can develop an advance medical directive that meets your needs and that outlines your wishes for care. The peace of mind that such a directive can have is well worth the effort and cost. An advanced medical directive is one of the most important legal documents to have on hand.
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Don’t Let That Spring In Your Step Result in A Slip & Fall Injury!
As the weather warms and people become more active, it is a good time to cover slip and fall injuries. Slip and fall injuries represent a significant portion of personal injury cases across the nation. Slip and fall injuries happen suddenly and can impact a person’s health and well-being temporarily or permanently.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one in four Americans over age 65 will suffer a fall. There after, falling once doubles the risk of falling again. In addition, less than half of those who do fall notify their doctor.
Common slip and fall injuries for older people include head injuries and hip fractures. 95% of all hip fractures are caused by falling. In 2015 (the latest year for which data is available), costs for falls alone to Medicare totaled over $31 billion.
While slip and fall injuries are more common in older people, anyone can suffer a slip and fall injury. Regardless of age, the consequences can be serious.
If you suffer a slip and fall injury that you believe is the result of negligence by others, you need a qualified personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help ensure that you receive the compensation due to you as a result of the injury.
When determining liability for your personal injury, one or more of the following conditions should be relevant to your case:
- The property owner, or employee, must have caused the conditions which resulted in your fall (e.g. a torn piece of carpeting or a slippery floor surface). You also must prove that the owner of the property, or an employee of the property, caused the specific conditions that resulted in your accident;
- Property owner or employee knew about the unsafe conditions yet did nothing to remedy it;
- The property owner or employee should have known about the unsafe condition, and should have corrected it prior to your accident.
Negligence and proof of negligence must be secured to prove that your slip and fall injury has merit. It is also vital to distinguish between negligence on the part of property owner and one’s own carelessness.
Key questions to ask yourself prior to filing a claim include:
- Was there a valid reason for you to be in the unsafe area where the accident occurred?
- Would a reasonable / careful person have avoided slipping and falling and/or taken steps to mitigate the hazard?
- Did the property owner have warning signs and/or barriers indicating possible unsafe conditions?
- Were you occupied or distracted in some way that could have led to the accident?
Call my office if it is determined that you have a case against a property owner for your slip and fall injury. Statute of limitations and other complexities in proving negligence require the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer.
My office can help you file a claim for compensation for losses suffered as a result of your slip and fall injury. Generally speaking, there are two types of personal injury damages we can seek:
- Compensatory / Actual Damages: intended to cover all of the expenses caused by the accident such as lost wages, medical expenses, pain & suffering, property damages, etc.
- Punitive Damages: usually awarded to a victim in addition to actual damages when the defendant’s actions have been malicious or intentional.
Slip and fall prevention is important, especially for older adults. Generally speaking, slip and fall injuries are caused by three factors. These include biological risk factors such as poor health, behavioral risk factors such as inactivity, and environmental risk factors such as a cluttered room. Assessing your environment with those three factors in mind can help prevent some accidents.
I look forward to discussing your case. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where a slip and fall injury has caused you damages for which you believe you are eligible, contact my office.
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As a personal injury lawyer and someone who has passion for law, I appreciate the way our forefathers set up our judicial system, especially the ability to argue a case in front of a jury of peers. Which brings up the topic of this week’s blog – the importance of jury service and why you should serve.
Citizens are called to serve on a jury every so often for the Kern County Superior Court and Federal Court. The opportunity for jury service is as American as it gets — the ability to witness our system at work and to help decide the fate of a case based on the evidence presented.
Every day, over 1.5 million Americans perform their civic duty by swearing in as a member of a jury. According to Jury matters, a project of the NYU School of Law, there are six compelling reasons to respond to a jury summons:
- No one is above the law
- By serving, you can help improve jury duty
- Serving on a jury builds community
- Jury duty makes better citizens
- It’s something that is uniquely American
- Jury duty is fulfilling
As a Personal Injury lawyer, I rely on thoughtful citizens in front of which I can argue my clients’ cases. I rely on open-minded and fair citizens to hear the evidence I present. Then they can make their judgements based on what they see and hear. While some jury cases can last for a long time, especially criminal cases, jury service has a minimal effect on one’s life given the importance of service. The call-in period for jury service is one week and trials take place Monday – Friday. An average Limited Jurisdiction trial lasts four days while an average General Jurisdiction trial lasts three days, although trials can last from one day to several weeks.
There are a limited number of excuses for disqualifying oneself from service due to the importance that jury service plays in the legal system and those include:
- Dependent Care: If you care for someone (a child or dependent adult) and limited child care is available and/or affordable, are a nursing mother or foster parent.
- Deceased: The deceased cannot serve on a jury;
- Employed outside of the United States.
- Financial Hardship: Applies to an individual who is self-employed or not paid for jury service. If employed, you must obtain a letter from your employer stating that you are not paid for jury service.
- Active Military.
- No Vehicle / transportation available.
- Medical: Must obtain a note from a doctor stating that a permanent or temporary medical condition prevents jury service.
- Peace Officer status.
- Student: For students outside of Kern County who do not come home for breaks
Detailed information is available at the Kern County Jury Services page at https://www.kern.courts.ca.gov/divisions/jury_services
Next time you receive that jury summons, take a moment to appreciate the importance of that invitation to our American way of life. We never know when we might find ourselves arguing our case in front of our peers. Furthermore, participating as a juror will preserve our legal system and ensure that the rule of law continues to shape our nation.
Thank you for serving!
Should you need anything, contact my office and get the legal help you need today!
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