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Estate Planning During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Estate Planning During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus has changed every aspect of society, and the pandemic has many people reviewing their current estate planning strategy. Contemplating the “what if” scenarios leads to people wanting to make sure their affairs are in order. Social distancing and stay home orders do not mean that you cannot update your estate plan.

Some law firms, including our own, are offering creative solutions to serve their clients during this unprecedented time. The legal field is embracing the remote work option and staying in touch with clients through phone calls, emails, and video-conferencing.

Many people have more time right now, as COVID-19 has hit the pause button on many of the things that once kept us all busy. That makes this an excellent time to think through any changes you might want to make to your estate plan. If you have not gone through the process of estate planning, now is the perfect time to tackle the issue.

Things to consider in estate planning

Estate planning is more than a will. Estate planning allows you …
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Dealing with Health Insurers on the Payment of Medical Bills

Given the high cost of medical insurance, it can be very frustrating to have to battle your health insurer to have them pay for medical testing, procedures, or medication. If you have an insurance claim because you were sick, needed a medical procedure, or experienced some type of accident or trauma, it can be overwhelming to battle your insurance company, in addition to coping with your own injury or illness.

You do have options if your insurance company refuses to pay a claim or does not pay their full portion of it. Staying patient and keeping proper records will help you and ultimately increase the chances of getting the claim paid.

Get pre-authorization if possible

If you need to have surgery or an elective procedure, make sure your doctor or hospital gets pre-authorization from your insurance company. Most doctors or hospitals will be happy to provide you with a copy of the pre-authorization.  If the insurance company issues a pre-authorization, they are more likely to pay.

Understand the benefits of your policy

Review your health insurance policy to …
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How to File For Unemployment in Wisconsin

Filing for unemployment in Wisconsin was once time-consuming, but online filing has simplified the process. Creating an online claim allows you to register for benefits, set-up an automatic deposit into your checking account, and answer questions regarding your application. The website is also your online connection to all of Wisconsin’s state work programs and assistance. To get started, a computer will make the process simpler, although it is possible to file from your mobile phone. If you don’t have online access, many libraries offer use of computers after acquiring a free membership card. (If you are unable to obtain on-line access, you can always file by telephone, by calling 608-266-3131.)

To get started:

  • On the internet, navigate to https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov/
  • Choose “File for Benefits Online”
  • Gather the information listed
  • Choose the “Apply for Benefits Here” button
  • Enter your information

You will be informed when your claim is being processed. If there is a problem or your situation is a special circumstance, you may be directed to call a claims specialist. If you work for an education employer, or there is confusion about the identity of …
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Beware: The Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident

A car accident can create an adrenaline surge that causes panic and fear.  Unfortunately, this can cause some drivers to make poor decisions such as fleeing the scene of the accident. Drivers may flee hoping to escape legal consequences for issues such as having an invalid license, no insurance, driving under the influence, or even warrants for their arrest. Based on crash scene data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or “NHSTA”, estimates that a hit and run accident occurs every 43 seconds in the US. (https://www.nhtsa.gov/) The American Automobile Association warns that the number of hit-and-run fatalities has been increasing at an average rate of 7.2 percent per year since 2009. (https://aaafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/18-0058_Hit-and-Run-Brief_FINALv2.pdf)

Whatever the reason, fleeing the scene almost always takes a bad situation and makes it much worse. The consequences for fleeing the scene of an accident vary depending on the type of accident and the state in which you live. You could be charged with anything from a traffic citation to a criminal charge, depending on the circumstances.

Even if the accident was caused by the …
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What You Need to Know if You are Bitten by a Dog

By statute, the owner, or in some situations, the “keeper”, of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog. The dog bite law is a “strict liability” law meaning that the claimant does not have to prove negligence on the part of the owner. Owners of dogs are liable for injuries and damages caused by their dogs to another person, domestic pet, or property.

A dog bite should be reported to local law enforcement. The most crucial first step is to make sure that the dog is not released or destroyed if they bite or attack. A ten-day quarantine can ensure the animal is free of rabies. Without a rabies vaccination and quarantine period, the bitten person may have to undergo a series of painful rabies shots.

State law requires that the dog owner provide proof of current vaccinations, and if the dog is not vaccinated, the dog must be quarantined at an isolation facility. An isolation facility can be a veterinarian’s office, a pound, a Humane Society shelter or the owner’s …
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