Home of Record - Military WomanHere’s an interesting story ripped from the files of the O’Sullivan Law Firm. We learned a lot about this issue as we researched a case for our client and it is important information for all parents (and their older dependent children) to note regarding home of record.

Here’s the case: Our client was riding his motorcycle when another driver ran a stop sign and hit him, nearly severing his leg. His medical bills are already $400,000 with more surgeries required in the future. But the driver who hit our client only had $25,000 in insurance, the minimum required in Colorado. Our client had $50,000 in coverage, which was helpful, but we were starting to think that we might only be able to get this poor guy $75,000.

Home of Record: What it Means

However, we started asking him questions about his other relatives and his parents. We discovered that he had enlisted in the Army when he was still living with his parents in North Carolina and he had kept that home as his “home of record” with the military.

Parents of college students: take note. This applies to you, too!

Because he was still listed as a resident in his parents’ home, we were able to access their insurance policy to help cover his medical expenses. They had $250,000 in coverage!  That, plus the $75,000 meant that we were able to get him $325,000.

On top of that, we negotiated with his health insurance company and got his medical bills reduced so that he walked away with $130,000. He will desperately need that money to pay the rent while he recuperates and to figure out the next step in his life.

Now, this process wasn’t easy. The insurance company tried to fight us when we claimed that he was still a resident of his parents’ home. A key to winning the case is that our client never changed his home of record with the military and thus his parents’ home was considered his true home.

We also argued that military personnel are not in charge of where they live. They can be shipped to Afghanistan or sent to a base in Guam. Their home of record is the only way they can maintain a semblance of a life in the United States.

What You can Use

Here’s my advice: if you have a son or daughter enlisting in the military or moving out to attend college, make sure you have good insurance yourself. And make absolutely certain you have UIM coverage! Then, also tell your child to make it clear to anyone asking that their home is with you and that they intend to return home when they are done with school or their service.

If he or she is ever pulled over by the police or is in an accident, they should say, “I am stationed at ___________ but my home of record is with my parents.” Or, “I am attending college at ___________ but I intend to return to my parents’ home upon completion of my degree.”

Finally, many states require you to get a new driver’s license when you reside in the state for more than a year. This means a trip to the DMV, which is always a joy, but more importantly, it can form the basis for an insurance company to claim that you now reside in that state. However, if you are living in the state while going to school and if you intend to return to your home state once your studies are completed, you should not have to change your license.

(Note: If your child causes an accident, your premiums may go up. However, if your child is an adult, you would not be personally liable for his/her actions unless you knew that he/she was a dangerous driver – i.e. someone with multiple speeding tickets, DUIs or accidents. In that case, you may be liable for “negligent entrustment.” If you have questions, call us.)

“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

~Muhammed Ali, Rest in Peace

Tiger at The Wild Animal SanctuaryDenver Area Nonprofits: The Wild Animal Sanctuary

For this month’s newsletter, I want to tell you about an organization that my marketing director, Chere Martin, loves. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the oldest and largest nonprofit animal sanctuary in the world dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores. Many residents don’t even know this amazing place exists.

Established in 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary sits on 720 acres near Keenesburg, CO and shelters more than 430 lions, tigers, bears, leopards, mountain lions, wolves and other large carnivores. Almost all of these beautiful animals have survived terrible neglect or abuse. Now, they live in large acreage habitats that offer unprecedented freedom and more natural living spaces than they have ever experienced.

The Sanctuary’s Mile into the Wild Walkway is a unique system of elevated walks and observation platforms which allows visitors to view the animals roaming freely within their habitats which removes humans as a perceived threat to the animals’ territory. 

Since January, 1980, TWAS  has responded to nearly 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the United States and around the world. Active supporters of the organization are allowed to visit as often as they’d like. Those who are not active supporters may take an “evaluation visit” of the facility for a fee. Visit the nonprofit’s website to learn more.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary
1946 County Road 53 • Keenesburg, CO 80643
303-536-0118 • www.wildanimalsanctuary.org

Learning to Trust Your Emotions

IntuitionWe all are born with a certain amount of intuition. The problem is, from a very young age we are often told to ignore our feelings or that our feelings are wrong. The more we have been taught to push down our feelings, the more likely we are not to trust our emotions. Here are some cues our body gives us when our intuition is working.

  • You get a feeling in your gut that something is wrong
  • The hairs on the back of your neck stand up
  • You feel a tug to help someone
  • You feel pulled to do something different
  • You feel confident in your abilities (don’t ignore the good feelings, either!)

What can you do to better feel and trust your own emotions?

  • Make your environment comfortable
  • Acknowledge the different emotions you experience
  • Try to name the emotions others are having
  • Write down your feelings
  • Test your judgment accuracy and go for it

As you learn to trust your emotions by practicing actually feeling them, you’ll get better at discerning what is right and wrong.