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While in Transition

The Law Office of Alicia Porter is currently not taking any more patent clients temporarily. The Law Office would respectfully suggest to potential clients that have ideas that they would like to have patented to go to the web page and to look up the list of registered patent attorneys and agents in Alaska. Fit between an attorney/agent and a client is important, so it is worth your time to see if the person whom you’d like to retain is a good fit for you, and to interview more than one candidate to see how they can best meet your intellectual property needs.

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Moved again

After careful consideration (and one too many brutal winters in Fairbanks), the Law Office of Alicia Porter has relocated to Anchorage Alaska. The new mailing address is P O Box 241741 Anchorage, AK 99524. The new office will be opening shortly.

The Law Office of Alicia Porter has retained the same Fairbanks phone number for easy client use (907) 388-6038 and will be updating the web page shortly with an Anchorage phone number as well for client ease.

As a solo practitioner, I am fortunate and blessed to have such wonderful clients, and professionals come into my life through my solo practice. I wish to thank all of you for your kindness and consideration while I am going through this moving process. I am committed to continuing to provide timely and professional services to my Fairbanks clientele, and will be making monthly visits up to Fairbanks to continue to provide services.

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The Length of Probate

Frequently, I am asked how often it takes to open, to and do the work and to finalize probate on an estate.

The lawyer’s answer? It depends.

On average, the person who is coming to my office, who is in a terrible state of shock and grieving their loved one, doesn’t realize that the average probate is estimated in Alaska to run around 400 days. They just aren’t thinking on that big of a scale, and understandably so – there is the grief of losing someone that you loved, there is the funeral, the relatives coming from out of state, the immediate bills – it can all be extremely overwhelming.

What contributes to this average is the delays. It may take up to a month or more to get the death certificate. The probate case can’t be opened without the death certificate. And then there’s the paperwork that needs to be prepared. The registrar, (the local magistrate) needs to sign off on opening the case, and letters testamentary (if the decedent had a will) or letters of administration (if the decedent did not have a will) must be issued. The court must determine if a bond is required. If there is more than one possible choice for personal representative, (such as when someone passes without a will) waivers must be signed and notarized. All this effort goes into opening the case.

Then there are the issues in the case – each one is unique. The preliminaries for all cases, however are notification of heirs and devisees, notification of creditors, preservation of the decedent’s personal information to make sure that it is not stolen, an inventory of the assets and the debts, the negotiations with the creditors, the placement of the children (if the decedent left any). These tasks can take months to get sorted out.

There is the waiting period after the notice of the opened estate is published. This is a four month time period that by law the creditors must submit their claims, or be forever barred by the Personal Representative.

After the time for the creditor claims have expired, there’s the preparation of the final inventory, the drafting of the new deeds, and the approval by the court at the closure hearing. The court has the option of keeping the case open, as per the Alaska statutes, for a full year after the Personal Representative has completed all of the tasks affiliated with the estate. In short, there are no fast and hard answers on how long an estate can take – each one is unique.

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Elder Care Nursing Home Violations

I saw this article earlier today on a list serve. A lot of people worry about the care that they may receive if they have to live in a nursing home. Others worry about friends and family who are already in nursing homes. Having been to multiple nursing homes over the years, I can certainly respect and appreciate that concern, as there as a vast spectrum out there in terms of quality of care. The attached article by Kaiser Health News addresses the disturbing trend of administration of psychotropic medications that are unnecessary on patients in nursing homes in Illinois. Click HERE for the link.

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