Marion Crane

Marion Crane writes about Legal issues and trends when she is not skiing or baking bread. Crane is a member of The Sophia Group Super Writers Association.

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Estate Planning 101

Credit: JS Law

Estate planning is the process that ensures one’s property and assets are distributed precisely how one wishes. As a result, getting it wrong can cause tax consequences, legal implications, and other legal issues. That is precisely why one should be familiar with the estate planning before they embark on this journey. With documents like powers of attorney, trusts, wills, living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders, and more, one needs the assistance of a qualified elder law attorney to make sure everything is correct.

When many people think of estate planning, wills and trusts come to mind first. This is, of course, a major part of estate planning, though they are each more involved and complex than one might initially think.

Credit: Orlowsky and Wilson

Trusts are essential to helping one avoid probate, which is the court process by which a person’s assets and property are distributed. Probate requires mandatory court involvement to distribute the assets, which can be costly and time consuming. States like Florida impose statutory fees for administering estates through probate, which comes directly out of the estate and out of the hands of the beneficiaries. Trusts allow for the smooth and private handling of asset distribution, skipping the court involvement.

There are several types of trusts one might find useful. Revocable (or living) trusts are created during the grantor’s lifetime and can be amended or even revoked. However, they will not help the grantor qualify for Medicaid in the event they require long-term care in a nursing home. Irrevocable trusts, as the name implies, can not be revoked, altered, or terminated during the grantor’s lifetime. A special needs trust helps protect the grantor or a loved one in the event of disability. Age, health, and financial situations are all key factors in determining which trust is best for the grantor.

Credit: Strohschein Law Group

Wills do not protect one from the probate process, but they do clearly, straightforwardly list the grantor’s wishes upon death. The best way to avoid probate is to have a trust, and then have a “pour over will,” which acts as a catch-all to distribute assets outside the trust.

There isn’t one catch-all estate plan that works well for everyone. The best way to have one’s affairs in order is to work with a qualified professional. Estate planning attorneys in West Palm Beach work with some of the highest populations of seniors in the country, making them prepared to take on just about any case.

Shalloway & Shalloway is the top elder law firm in Palm Beach County. Firm president Mark Shalloway is among the charter class of elder law attorneys, and he has dedicated his entire career to supporting this community. Clients are often blown away by the support and care he provides, and his ability to speak about complex topics in “plain English.”

I have worked with Shalloway and Shalloway for many years,” one client says. “Mark and his team are fantastic with their clients. Working with Brooke and Jeremy has been a breathe of fresh air. I recommend their services for estate and medicaid planning as they are on top of all the latest changes.”

For more information on the firm and their services, call (561) 686-6200, fill out this form, or visit their offices.

1400 Centrepark Blvd Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Why are Trusts so Useful?

Credit: AZ Statewide Paralegal

The process of arranging a trust is something that is often not even considered until someone drafts a will with a qualified elder law attorney. In spite of that, they are a crucial aspect of estate planning. The development and execution of trusts is the backbone of planning one one’s financial future, or that of their family’s. Upon death and/or illness, where will one’s assets go? That’s part of what trusts help determine.

Credit: Rocket Lawyer

There tends to be some confusion about the difference between a will and trust. In simple terms, a will spells out how one wants their affairs distributed/taken care of after they die. A trust, on the other hand, is a  fiduciary arrangement that gives a trustee the right to hold and manage assets for the benefit of a specific purpose or person. Trusts may be utilized during the life or death of the creator, depending how it is arranged, and can often be created in conjunction with a will.

Trusts are key to avoiding probate. On paper, probate doesn’t seem that time consuming, as it is the process in which a person’s assets and property are distributed post-death or illness. When one is involved in probate, however, they realize how many problems it can cause. One of the main issues people have with probate is that it requires mandatory court involvement, which can be time consuming and expensive. These fees come directly out of the estate, which means less money for the beneficiaries.

Credit: Ross Law Firm

Trusts skip the probate process. They allow for the smooth transition and private handling of all distribution and can even eliminate the need for court involvement entirely. There are a number of trusts that can be arranged based on the needs of the grantor– from revocable trusts to special needs trusts. Age, health, and financial situations are key indicators as to what type of trust one might require. The best way to determine what one needs is through the assistance of a wills & trusts layer.

While one will still likely need an executor for the trust, that trustee’s compensation is taken directly out of the trust and is far less expensive than the court fees that would follow probate.

Credit: Assisted Living Center

Trusts are one of the many aspects of estate planning that should not be left in the hands of an average person. In order to assure you (or a loved one) has their financial future properly secured, receives all the benefits they are entitled to, and sets things up well for their family in the event of their death, you should always work with an elder law attorney. Elder law attorneys have the skillset you require to ensure your estate plan is properly tailored to your life and needs so you can rest with ease.

How are Trustees of Special Needs Trusts Compensated?

Credit: Commonwealth Community Trust

Serving as a trustee to a special needs trust (really, to any kind of trust) is a difficult undertaking. The trustee must administer the trust so all involved parties receive everything they are entitled to. A misstep on that front can result in legal liability on the trustee’s part.

With such a difficult job before them, it’s clear trustees should be compensated– but how does that happen? Does it come straight out of the beneficiary’s pocket, or is the trustee compensated some other way?

Credit: Eldercounsel Blog

To help clear this up, West Palm Beach elder law firm, Shalloway & Shalloway, has outlined the process of trustee compensation on their latest post. With special needs trusts being one of the firm’s areas of practice, firm president Mark Shalloway is able to clearly and concisely describe the different types of trust management and how they are compensated.

  • Institutional Trustees: Trust companies and financial institutions have the experience and resources to keep track of a beneficiary’s money, how to follow trust documents, and how to follow the law. These companies usually charge a percentage or flat fee, depending on the size of the trust.
  • Private/Individual Trustees: Private/individual trustees bring a personal touch to trust management. The best options for this type of trustee are lawyers are accountants, as they understand finances and the law. These professionals usually charge an hourly fee that can change based on the size of the trust.
Credit: Legacy Enhancement Trust

Thankfully, both of these trustee options do not rely on out-of-pocket payments from the family. Compensation for these trustees comes out of the trust itself. This takes one concern off the beneficiary and their family’s shoulders.

Work with a knowledgeable, experienced elder law attorney to ensure that your loved one has properly planned for their future. This will help maximize their chances for qualifying their Medicaid, Social Security, or other needs-based governmental programs, allowing them to live out their life in comfort.

Don’t wait until crisis— work with the experienced, dedicated staff at Shalloway & Shalloway today. Call (561) 686-6200, fill out this contact form, or visit their offices.

1400 Centrepark Blvd., Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Shalloway & Shalloway Announces December Seminar Dates

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(West Palm Beach, Florida) December 7, 2021

Shalloway & Shalloway is pleased to announce the latest dates in their free, virtual seminar series. It is a common misconception that elder law is all wills and trusts, but that is far from the case. Elder law encompasses a diverse array of areas of practice, including Medicaid planning, asset protection, estate planning, and so much more. When clients approach these topics, they often find themselves overwhelmed by the confusing terminology and nuances. To help assuage these troubles, firm president Mark Shalloway hosts a series of three seminars on these topics every month.

There is still time to attend the December seminar dates. Join the firm on: Tuesday, December 7th from 2pm to 4pm, Wednesday, December 8th from 10am to 12pm, and Thursday, December 9th from 2pm to 4pm. Though completely free, audience members are encouraged to reserve their spots to get the most out of the experience. This can be done by calling (561) 686-6200, emailing seminars@shalloway.com, or filling out the form at the bottom of this page. First-time attendees are entitled to one free private virtual estate planning strategy Session by phone or video call.

Credit: Finance Digest

“The time you took out of your busy schedule was most appreciated,” one client says. “We all learned something new and valuable. Thank you for a very eye-opening session.”

For over 30 years, Mark Shalloway and his staff have served the elder community of South Florida on all of their legal needs. Clients are floored by the staff’s dedication to the details and ability to lay things out in “plain English.” When clients work with Shalloway & Shalloway, they work with respectful professionals who want to make a positive impact on their clients’ lives.

For more information on the firm, call (561) 686-6200, fill out this contact form, or visit their offices.

1400 Centrepark Blvd., Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Anderson Reporting Announces Page on Future of Remote Depositions

Credit: Prevail Legal

(Columbus, Ohio) November 16, 2021

Anderson Reporting is pleased to announce their page on the future of remote depositions. Over the past nearly two years, remote depositions have grown to be an essential aspect of every legal professional’s work. But with many legal professionals returning to their offices, a major questions arises: are remote depositions here to stay? On this page, Anderson Reporting explores that topic. Learn more about the future of remote depositions, and how its use may change, by reading the page.

Since its inception, Anderson Reporting has been a leader in the world of litigation support technology. Firm president Gayle Anderson founded the firm upon realizing most court reporting firms could not live up to the needs attorneys had. To combat that, she developed a firm that prioritized client needs, constantly evolving to meet that new standard.

“Unbelievable handling of a last-minute video deposition,” one satisfied client says. “The great team at Anderson Reporting pulled a videographer and reporter out their hats and were on the record in just over an hour after our emergency call. Very impressive service!”

Credit: Cap and Share

Now, over 30 years later, Anderson Reporting has developed a reputation for itself as one of the fastest, most accurate, and most reliable reporting firm in the business. Their Columbus court reporters are dedicated to finding a solution to even the tiniest problems. The devil is in the details, as they say, and attorneys never have to worry about those details being forgotten about when they work with Anderson Reporting.

For more information on Anderson Reporting, call (614) 326-0177, email ganderson@andersonreporting.com, or visit their offices.

3040 Riverside Drive, Suite 125, Columbus, Ohio, 43221

Mark Shalloway Attends Alzheimer Community Care Session with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh

(West Palm Beach, Florida) July 21, 2021

Mark Shalloway, president of West Palm Beach elder law firm Shalloway and Shalloway, is pleased to announce his attendance at the Alzheimer Community Care Panel featuring U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh. Along with Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Walsh participated in a discussion on home health care for both patients and working families. Health care workers explained their frustration with hardly being able to make ends meet doing the difficult job they are passionate about. With the average aid only making $10 an hour, many can’t afford their own health care and are forced to take on second jobs.

Mark Shalloway with U.S. Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh and Rep. Lois Frankel

“It’s a real joy,” one woman said. “I love what I do. I don’t think we should be working so hard and getting paid so little.”

The price to care for an elderly loved one in need is difficult onh the families as well. According to SeniorLiving.org, adult daycare costs an average of $74, home healthcare aids cost $150 a day, assisted living facilities cost $141 a day, and semi-private rooms cost $255. No matter which option, that is tends of thousands of dollars a year. This leads many to not get the help they need and shoulder the burden of caring for their loved one themselves.

Mark Shalloway at the panel

“Most of us in middle class cannot afford that,” President Mark Shalloway says. “Elder care lawyers look into these problems to find ways to benefit others. That is the heart and soul of elder law.”

The panel ended on an optimistic note. After hearing all that caretakers and family-members had to say about caring for an elder in need, especially one with Alzheimer’s, the labor secretary insisted it “reaffirms what needs to be said in legislation.”

Credit: Strohschein Law Group

Mark Shalloway and his staff at Shalloway and Shalloway work diligently to ensure each and every one of their clients get the support they need. Whether a client needs assistance with Medicaid Planning, asset protection, guardianship, or any of the other areas of practice that fall under elder law, this West Palm Beach elder law firm can help. There are a dozen of topics the firm can assist its clients with.

Shalloway has spearheaded major elder law associations from National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) to the Board of Directors of Alzheimer’s Community Care, proving his passion for his work. He doesn’t stop advocating for the people once he gets his paycheck– he pushes on to ensure everyone receives the education about elder law that they need. Clients can educate themselves a number of ways with Shalloway and Shalloway. Whether reading the newsletter and blog posts, or joining Shalloway’s free, monthly virtual seminars, clients can enter the world of elder law fully prepared.

“We get involved in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s communities to gain insight in order to better serve them,” Mark Shalloway says. “We learn and listen to what they go through, and teach what they need so we can advocate better for legislatures and congresses.”

To learn more about the firm and its services, call 561-686-6200, or fill out this contact form.

1400 Centrepark Blvd. Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Hanna & Hanna Reporting Announces Guide to Houston

Credit: Opendoor

(Houston, Texas) May 19, 2021

Hanna & Hanna Reporting is pleased to announce their guide to Houston. As one of the largest cities in the United States, finding the information one needs on the city can be overwhelming. Here, readers can garner both information on the Houston legal scene, as well as on the top restaurants and hotels in the bustling city of Houston. The page serves as a great resource not only for attorneys visiting the area on work, but those in the area who want a concise list to return to.

Hanna & Hanna’s dedicated Houston court reporters always provide their clients the latest and greatest in legal resources. The firm’s website is filled with a number of legal resources for attorneys and other professionals to turn to and widen their knowledge. If one wishes to learn more about the court reporting profession, they are welcome to the court reporter FAQ. If they are curious about video synchronization or preparing for a remote deposition, they can find out more by reading the easy-to-follow pages on the topic. There is always something new for clients to learn about

Credit: Denver BVFLS

Whatever clients need within the world of litigation support, they can turn to Hanna & Hanna Reporting. As a full-service litigation support firm, Hanna & Hanna has their clients’ backs. Whether they require assistance with a remote deposition, legal video support, or any other service, these Houston litigation support professionals can deliver. Their commitment to their clients is what has kept them in business for over 30 years.

For more information, email info@hannareporting.com, call (713)840-8484, or visit their office.

8582 Katy Freeway, Suite 105, Houston, Texas 77024

The Importance of Customer Focus

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Finding a court reporting firm an attorney can rely on for each and every one of their cases is an invaluable discovery. The firm begins to anticipate attorneys needs before they even arise, making for a partnership that garners the best results. A loyal client base is what makes the greatest difference in the success of a company.

“Clientele loyalty is crucial to the life of a court reporting firm,” Leo Snetsinger, an expert from Big Lake, Minnesota, says. “When attorneys find a court reporting firm that they mesh with, it makes all the difference.”

Credit: Skynews

That is part of the reason how the Miami court reporters at Laws Reporting have managed to find success in The Magic City for 45 years. The firm has established themselves as a leader in the business with their dedication to their craft as well as the needs of their clients. This has resulted in cultivating strong bonds with attorneys that last years.

Laws Reporting made an effort to keep their clients’ needs at the forefront of their mind throughout the global pandemic. When many businesses shut down, Laws turned their focus on services such as remote depositions and videoconferencing. This allowed attorneys to keep with the course of law without putting their clients, their families, or themselves at risk. Remote depositions in Miami have now become a standard of business that Laws Reporting will continue to implement.

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“Laws Reporting is our primary court reporting company,” one client says. “Our hearings, depositions, and trials are carefully handled by professional court reporters and transcripts timely delivered. We find Laws’ staff accommodating and friendly. Our IT requests to conduct virtual proceedings are efficiently addressed by Laws Reporting. We value their services and our relationship with them.”

But what happens when an attorney leaves the Miami-Dade area? Do they really have to go back into the trenches in search of a firm that delivers the high standards they now expect? With some court reporting firms, this would unfortunately be the case. With Laws Reporting, it isn’t. Laws Reporting has satellite offices across South Florida, giving attorneys the convenience of meeting with their favorite litigation support professionals as far south as Key West, and as far west as Naples.

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Even if a client leaves the state, they don’t have to go without Laws Reporting’s superior service. Laws Reporting is a proud partner of the National Network Reporting Company (NNRC), an international court reporting company that connects clients with firms across the world. These firms undergo a strict vetting process that assesses their quality of speed, accuracy, and customer service, allowing attorneys to book any NNRC partner with the utmost confidence.  If a Florida attorney must practice in another location for some time, Laws Reporting’s NNRC partnership gives them the ability to connect clients to quality court reporting firms anywhere.

No matter where in the world a client is or what service they require, they can count on Laws Reporting to provide litigation support attorneys have relied on for years. For more information on Laws Reporting, call (954) 581-4010 or email laws@lawsreporting.com.

7805 S.W. 6th Court Suite 51, Plantation, FL 33324

Shalloway & Shalloway Attends Social Worker Appreciation Luncheon

(West Palm Beach, Florida) May 11, 2021

Shalloway & Shalloway is pleased to announce the firm’s attendance at the Social Worker/Case Manager Appreciation Luncheons. Social workers and case managers are professionals who work what many call a thankless job. Put on by Eventing, Senior Living Guide and Mom’s Meals, the event was designed to spoil these hard workers for the day while others showed their appreciation. The event was not limited to those in the West Palm area. Social workers and case managers across the nation were, and continued to be, honored, from late April to early June.

Honoring the Social Workers and Case Managers

Social workers and case managers often work closely with many of Shalloway & Shalloway’s clientele. It is simply within the nature of the many areas of practice elder law covers– from special needs trusts, to asset protection, and so much more. As a result, the firm felt it prudent to show their appreciation for the work these professionals do.

In South Florida, Shalloway & Shalloway has carved its place as one of the leading elder law firms. The firm has garnered a reputation of honesty and care that comforts clients in what is often one of the most difficult parts of their lives. With these legal professionals, the clients’ needs always come first.

“We highly recommend the law firm of Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A. for any of your Medicaid Planning,” a satisfied client says. “We are fortunate enough to work with them for both of our parent’s needs. Our team at Shalloway & Shalloway has gone above and beyond more than once! Their client service is impeccable. We have found them to be extremely knowledgeable, especially when it comes to elder care.”

For more information on Shalloway & Shalloway, call 561-686-6200, or fill out this contact form.

1400 Centrepark Blvd. Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Shalloway & Shalloway Announces April Seminar Dates

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(West Palm Beach, Florida) April 4, 2021

Top Palm Beach County elder law firm, Shalloway & Shalloway, is pleased to announce the latest dates in their free, virtual seminar series. President Mark Shalloway is a firm believer that education is one of the most important parts of making a decision for one’s future, or the future of a loved one. Inspired by this, he hosts monthly seminars to inform the public on a variety of topics that surround elder law. At these two-hour seminars, attendees can learn about anything from avoiding probate, to protecting one’s assets, to applying for Medicaid.

The upcoming dates for the month of April are as followed: Tuesday, April 6 (2-4PM), Wednesday, April 7 (10AM-12PM), and Thursday, April 8 (2-4PM). Though totally free, audience members are encouraged to reserve their spots to get the most out of the seminar. This can be done by calling (561) 686-6200 during office hours, emailing semianrs@shalloway.com, or filling out this form. Attendees are entitled to one free, private estate planning session, so reserving one’s spot is essential.

Credit: The Washington Post

“We highly recommend the law firm of Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A. for any of your Medicaid Planning,” one client says. “We are fortunate enough to work with them for both of our parent’s needs. Our team at Shalloway & Shalloway has gone above and beyond more than once! Their client service is impeccable. We have found them to be extremely knowledgeable, especially when it comes to elder care.”

Shalloway & Shalloway has been the go-to elder law firm in Palm Beach County for the past thirty years. Shalloway and his staff are praised for speaking to their clients in a straightforward, plain-English fashion. Clients never have to guess what to expect– with Shalloway’s staff, they know they are getting the best of the best.

For more information on the West Palm Beach elder law firm and their services, call 561-686-6200, or fill out this contact form.

1400 Centrepark Blvd. Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401