MORE HELP FOR VETERANS

MORE HELP FOR VETERANS!!!!!

The Veterans Administration has developed what is being called the “Veterans Justice Outreach Initiative”.  According a Department of Veterans Affairs, April 30, 2009, Under Secretary for Health’s Information Letter, “The purpose of the initiative is to avoid the unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans by ensuring that eligible Veterans in contact with the criminal justice system have access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health and substantive services.”

In Arkansas, the initiative is being administered through the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.  The initiative is one of many programs that is being offered.

Although the initiative does not prevent or preclude a veteran from having to face the consequences of his or her actions, it does allow a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney an additional avenue to better serve the client.

The VJO Initiative website can be accessed at http://www1.va.gov/HOMELESS/VJO.asp.

If you would like to learn more about Veterans Treatment Courts, please see the  Justice for Vets site.

Are You a Victim of Identity Theft?

Are You a Victim of Identity Theft?

idenity3Approximately 15 million United States residents are victims of identity theft. Their identities are used fraudulently with financial losses each year totaling upwards of $50 billion.*

On a case-by-case basis, that means approximately 7% of all adults have their identities misused with each instance resulting in approximately $3,500 in losses.

According to the Federal Trade Commission Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. The number of identity theft incidents has reached 9.9 million a year.  Every minute about 19 people fall victim to identity theft.

And according to Wikipedia the Free online Encyclopedia, identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, usually as a method to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name.

The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator’s actions.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes such as when someone uses your personal information and Social Security number to set up new accounts that they can control and use to make purchases, or to even get a tax refund.

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, you may need to take several steps to recover from it. The federal government has a one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft at www.identitytheft.gov

The site provides step-by-step advice and helpful resources like checklists and sample letters to use in your recovery process.

Warning Signs of Identity Theft

Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

Some warnings signs of Identity Theft are:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are to help protect yourself from identity theft.

See the checklist at https://www.identitytheft.gov/

Do I Need A Will

DO I NEED A WILL?

If you wish to designate how your estate is disbursed upon your death, you probably need a will. Your estate is generally considered to be your money, property and other possessions.

The laws vary considerably from state to state and if you die without a will, the state may decide who gets what, without regard to your wishes or your heirs’ needs.

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property upon your death.  Wills are also the best way to transfer guardianship of minors. A will can also be used to inform people about any other special wishes you would like carried out upon your death.

Also, in your will, you can name your executor, the person who you are designating to make sure that your wishes are carried out as outlined in your will.

You need for a will depends upon your specific circumstances. If you are a young person with no minor children and no assets, a will may not be beneficial to you. If you have minor children and extensive assets, a will may be beneficial to you and also your beneficiaries when you pass away.

If you have a small family with very few assets and you want to leave everything to them, creating a will is to meet your needs is fairly simple. If your situation is more complicated you’ll need to plan more carefully. A will can help make sure that what you leave behind passes to the people you intended.

To maximize the likelihood that your wishes are carried out, you want a will that is set forth in writing, and signed by you and your witnesses with your executor named.

As the laws do vary state by state, you may want to use an attorney to prepare your will to make sure it is legally valid and meets all the requirements set forth by the laws of your state.

 

Gary McDonald Attorney at Law

Gary McDonald is a general practitioner who actively began practicing law in 1979.

 

gary-mcdonald-el-dorado-ar

His practice has included a multitude of subject areas which has resulted in a broad range of experience. He can proudly proclaim a good working knowledge of many areas of the law.

Mr. McDonald is no stranger to the courtroom, having successfully tried cases in the District, Circuit, Appeals and Supreme Courts of Arkansas as well as the U.S. District Courts of
Arkansas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.

Mr. McDonald strives to provide high quality services in a timely manner. He works both on an hourly and contingent fee basis as is allowed by state rule. Mr. McDonald’s regular practice includes the areas of Civil, Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, and Planning For Life, Last Illness & Death.

 

 

Education:
Southern State College, Bachelor of Science, 1975;
University of Arkansas, Juris Doctor, 1978;
Southern Methodist University, Master of Laws., 1979.

Admitted:
1979, Arkansas and U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas; 1984.

Memberships:
Union County, Arkansas and American Bar Associations.
American Association of Justice (Formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association)

Martindell Hubbell Peer Rating: Excellent

Mr. McDonald does not charge for an initial fifteen minute consultation.
This consultation will be used to determine if his office can be of service and the best way to proceed.

Mr. McDonald’s goal is to provide the highest quality of legal services in a timely manner.
He welcomes the opportunity to discuss how his office may be of service.

Offices Located in Simmons First Bank Plaza
100 West Grove Suite 308 El Dorado AR
PHONE (870) 862-1498 FAX (870) 862-4071
E-Mail: gary@garymcdonald.net