After 34 years of practicing law, I wanted to let you know that I will be moving to the next chapter of my life – where I can focus on some of the non-law activities that I love.  I will be retiring on May 31st and selling my practice to a great colleague.

Wait until you meet my Replacement!!

While I’m pretty happy about retiring, I’m even more excited that attorney Beth Stubbs has agreed to take over my practice and take care of you with the same care and compassion that I’ve tried to provide over the years.

There are so many reasons that I’m excited about Beth. First, her office is in the same building as mine, so you can go to a familiar location.

Second, she has 25 years of experience in estate planning, probate and Medicaid planning so she can provide the services you need.  In fact, she offers a broader range of capabilities, because she also acts as a guardian, conservator, or personal representative for her clients. As a result, she is very understanding about what her clients go through when they are handling someone else’s affairs.

Third, Beth is easy to talk to and puts things in simple, straight-forward language for you (just like I have always tried to do).  No mumbo jumbo from her. She is thoughtful and compassionate. I have always referred my Medicaid clients to her and she has served them well, so I know she will provide the same great service to the rest of my valued clients.

I am confident that you clients will be in good hands with Beth, otherwise I would not be retiring.  Most importantly, I am sure you will be as comfortable working with Beth as you always were with me.

Info You’ll Need to Know:

After May 31, 2021:

My phone number will still be in operation, with calls being answered by Beth’s administrative assistant, Ashley.

My website and email address will still be active and Beth will be responding to the email.

Since she is in the same building, Beth will be handling all of my mail.

For continuity, your files will be transferred to the care of Beth and Ashley.

Keep this Handy:

Elizabeth Stubbs

45700 Village Blvd.

Shelby Townhsip, Michigan 48315

(586) 532-9100

[email protected]

Now for the Mushy Stuff

I cannot express how grateful I am to YOU:

The clients who trusted me with their most personal matters.

The strategic partners who helped me build my practice.

All of you who consistently referred your family and friends to me.

I owe all of this to you.  It’s only because of your loyalty and trust in me over the years that I am able to step away from my practice and open the next chapter in the book of my life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Join Terri North, Owner and Attorney for Legal Strategies, PC, for a free virtual financial planning workshop.  Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2021finance 

by February 10, 2021.  You will receive a zoom link the day of the workshop with instructions on how to log in.  The free seminar include:

Estate Planning for Disabled Children

Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 12 noon – 1 p.m.

There are so many questions to consider when trying to plan for your children’s future, this is especially true when you are caring for a disabled child.  Learn what is needed to best plan for the financial needs of your child.

Join Terri North, Owner and Attorney for Legal Strategies, PC, for two free virtual financial planning workshops.  Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2021finance 

by February 3, 2021.  You will receive a zoom link the day of the workshop with instructions on how to log in.  The two free seminars include:

Does Your Teenager Need an Estate Plan?

Thursday, February 4, 2021, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Why would a young adult need an estate plan?  Once they are 18 years old, they need to give authority to mom or dad to handle any of their legal, financial or medical affairs.  Learn what is needed to plan for your teenager.

Estate Planning for Disabled Children

Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 12 noon – 1 p.m.

There are so many questions to consider when trying to plan for your children’s future, this is especially true when you are caring for a disabled child.  Learn what is needed to best plan for the financial needs of your child.

Join Terri North, Owner and Attorney for Legal Strategies, PC, for a free virtual financial planning workshop.  Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2020lunchandlearn 

by November 2, 2020.  You will receive a zoom link the day of the workshop with instructions on how to log in.  The topic of the free workshop is:

Does Your Teenager Need an Estate Plan?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from 12 noon – 1 p.m.

Why would a young adult need an estate plan?  Once they are 18, they have to give written authority for a parent to handle their legal financial or medical affairs.  If they are away at school, or studying abroad, mom and dad may need to take care of their banking, their car, health insurance coverage, etc. without them being present. Learn more about what is needed to plan for your teenager.

Join Terri North, Owner and Attorney for Legal Strategies, PC, for two free virtual financial planning workshops.  Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2020lunchandlearn 

by October 19, 2020.  You will receive a zoom link the day of the workshop with instructions on how to log in.  The two free seminars include:

Legal Issues for Caregivers

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, from 12 noon – 1 p.m.

Being a caregiver for a family member comes with a lot of questions.  During this virtual financial workshop learn how to use a power of attorney for a disabled person.  What to check for to make sure the documents are “up-to-date” and will be accepted.  What exactly is Guardianship and when do you need it?  What is a Conservator and why would you need to be one?  How to freeze credit to protect a vulnerable person and so much more.

Does Your Teenager Need an Estate Plan?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from 12 noon – 1 p.m.

Why would a young adult need an estate plan?  Once they are 18, they have to give written authority for a parent to handle their legal financial or medical affairs.  If they are away at school, or studying abroad, mom and dad may need to take care of their banking, their car, health insurance coverage, etc. without them being present. Learn more about what is needed to plan for your teenager.

Do you know an experienced paralegal who is familiar with the administrative paperwork and probate court processes?  As Legal Strategies continues to grow, we are looking to add an experienced paralegal to support our probate and trust administration practice.  Because you know us, we are reaching out to you first to let you know about the opening.  You know we care deeply about our clients, and that we want to add a team member that shares that commitment.  If you know a qualified candidate who would like to join our team, please let us know.  All the details about the job opening can be found at:

https://www.indeedjobs.com/legal-strategies-pc/_hl/en_US?cpref=JXWAtnzf3XWjLOi4YeVNLqF8RN6a-Vzu3FZRpu2XytQ

Thanks for your help! We really appreciate you. 

High school graduations (if you can call them that this year) are a time to think about the future of your children.  And some high school graduates may actually be heading off to a college campus, away from home, this fall.

It may be hard to believe that your 18-year-old is now, legally, an adult. While you may be used to doing his banking for him, calling his school to discuss his grade, or handling her doctor’s appointments, you can no longer do that without written permission from your child. That is why it is important for your young adults to have the following documents:

Power of Attorney. This document allows your child to appoint you to handle legal and financial issues.  If your child is out of the area, it might be much easier if your conduct business for him.  This may also allow you to talk to her college about any issues that arise there, including grades.

HIPAA Authorization. This document allows you to get medical records and discuss treatment with your child’s health care providers or insurance companies.  No parent wants to think about what could happen if a child is rushed to the hospital from the college campus and the hospital will not release information over the phone without written consent from the patient.  This document allows access to patient information, protected by the patient privacy laws, even if your child is not disabled or unavailable.

Patient Advocate. This document takes affect if your child is unable to participate in his own medical decisions, as determined by a doctor’s signature.  This allows the parent to make all treatment decisions.

Will.  If someone dies without a will, the state law determines how assets are disbursed.  Many young adults own things that are meaningful to them (like their pets, musical instruments, or maybe their first car). They may want to decide who should inherit those things. They may also want to leave money to charities that are important to them, to their church or to siblings. This won’t just automatically happen without a Will.

Rather than making the estate plan discussion with your child focus on death, the conversation can be about the first steps towards adulthood.  It can help a young person understand some of the responsibilities of adulthood and to plan accordingly.

(Image:  Google/familytraveller.com)

Many people still believe that a trust is only for the very wealthy.  On the contrary, a trust allows someone, of even modest means, to ensure that his money is distributed as he wishes after his death. The top three benefits of a trust are:

MORE CONTROL. A trust can set rules or conditions about when and how money is released.  For example, you can establish a trust that sets a specific age or a milestone, such as graduation from college, as a condition for an inheritance to be paid.

PROTECTION.  A trust can make sure that your children, or their children, will receive their inheritance even if you divorce or remarry.  It can also help shield assets if your heirs divorce or are in a high-risk profession.

INVESTMENT GUIDANCE. A trust allows you to appoint a professional trustee to handle a family business or investment properties, so that your heirs are protected from making expensive mistakes due to their inexperience.  The trustee can stay in place for younger heirs until they reach an age that you feel is mature enough to let them manage their own money.

Please contact us for more information or to schedule a free estate planning consultation!

(Image:  Google/thebalance.com)

Relevar Home Care recently published a very helpful article for caregivers.    The article noted that nearly three-quarters of all seniors are diagnosed with at least two chronic diseases, and are seeing an average of different four medical specialists.

So, if you are the advocate for an aging parent, you need the be the “quarterback” that is coordinating the care.  Relevar listed four great questions you could use to start the conversations:

  • Are all of these medications necessary?  You should keep a detailed list of all prescriptions and review them with both the doctor(s) and the pharmacist.  You want reassurance that there isn’t duplication or negative interactions between the meds.  And don’t assume that all of the doctors have a complete list of all the medicines your loved one takes. You may need to provide that list to them.
  • What are the side effects of any new medication? It is difficult to weigh the benefits of a new medication if you don’t know the risks.  Even if the doctor says that “most patients don’t experience any problems”, you should dig deeper to see if your loved one fits the category of patients who DO experience side effects.
  • What’s the best way to reduce pain and discomfort?  Naturally, you want to be cautious that pain killers don’t become a problem or an addiction. But unaddressed pain can slow down healing and cause significant emotional stress for the patient.
  • If this were your mom or dad, what would you do? Asking the physician to step into your shoes can often lead to suggestions for less invasive or aggressive means to manage a problem, and you may want to try those first. 

(Image:  Google/123RF.com)

Legal Strategies, P.C. 

Terri North is the Macomb County, Michigan attorney who heads up the Legal Strategies practice. Legal Strategies assists clients in the areas of estate planning, probate and real estate. 
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