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supporting veterans

Supporting Veterans During the Holidays

For so many of us, the holidays are a time of joy and magic and spending time with those we love. But for others, like some Veterans and their families, the holidays can be difficult. It can be a painful reminder of the past, and gathering together can feel stressful and daunting to someone with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Here are five ways you can support a Veteran, Active Duty servicemember, or their families.

1. Be aware of what they may be feeling. 

The holidays can trigger feelings of “survivor’s guilt” for people who have served and have lost friends and fellow soldiers. As mentioned before, the season of gathering can also trigger PTSD, worsen fatigue, and increase depression and anxiety. Being aware and understanding of these difficulties can go a long way to supporting Veterans during the holidays.

2. Communicate.

Make the Veteran in your life feel welcome and loved. Ask them how they’re doing, what their needs are, and how you can best support them. To make the holidays as comfortable as possible for them, communicate before any gatherings to see what you can do to make sure they feel safe and included.

3. Never shame or guilt-trip.

If a Veteran tells you they do not want to participate in a certain activity or they don’t feel comfortable attending an event, don’t shame them or add guilt to what they’re already feeling. Respond with love and understanding and know that they’re doing the best they can and it’s not personal.

4. Prepare other family members.

The holidays often bring extended family members who may not be aware of the struggles the Veteran in your life is facing. Letting family members know what to expect before gathering can help them be aware of what not to say, and it can also help spread awareness of what Veterans face. Let family members know how they can better support Veterans and their families and what questions are appropriate (and inappropriate) to ask. Be careful not to disclose any personal information that is not yours to share.

5. Find new traditions.

Since the holidays can be a painful reminder of the past and of things that used to bring joy, starting new traditions can be a great way to move forward and experience joy again. To better support a Veteran, Active Duty servicemember, or families of Veterans, make new traditions that take into account their struggles and fears. For example, instead of going shopping at a large store together, shop online and exchange gifts in smaller groups.

 

If you or a loved one needs help:

As always, the Veterans Crisis Line will be available throughout the winter holiday season including Christmas and New Year’s. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs, many of whom are Veterans themselves. Connect through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Add the number to your phone contacts because although you may not need to call them now, you may need to in the future for yourself or to help someone else.

holiday safety

Holiday Safety: 5 Tips from Gallian Welker & Beckstrom

The holiday season is approaching with all its fun and hustle and bustle, and friends and families will gather to celebrate and spend time together. However, the holiday season is also a time to be on alert as there are more distractions and, usually, more people out and about. To help you and your loved ones stay safe, follow these holiday safety tips.

1. Beware of Last-Minute Shoppers

Last-minute holiday shopping can be dangerous. People are trying to navigate crowded parking lots and find that perfect gift for their loved one. Exercise patience so you can have a calm, clear mind, and be aware of your surroundings at all times–especially while backing out of parking spots. Do not drive distracted, always wear a seatbelt, drive slow, and carefully watch for pedestrians.

2. Decorate Carefully

There are thousands of emergency room visits during the holidays due to accidents involving decorating. Make sure you use steady ladders when hanging lights (and use them correctly), and keep children out of the way of any ladders. Avoid using glass decorations if you have young children around. Any poisonous plants, such as mistletoe and poinsettias, should be kept far from reach from children and pets.

3. Be Careful When Cooking

Always be cautious when working with high heat and oil (fried turkey, anyone?). Severe burns can occur during cooking accidents. Do not wear loose clothing around open flames or high heat, and if there is a kitchen fire, smother it rather than use water.

4. Never Drive While Intoxicated

Many people enjoy alcohol as they gather with friends and family, but always be responsible and never drink and drive. Alcohol impairment is involved in a large number of holiday accidents and deaths, and it is completely preventable. Have a designated driver or use a rideshare service instead to get home.

5. Consider Toy Safety

When buying gifts for small children, consider the safety of the toy first. Are there small parts that can be swallowed or present a choking hazard? Button batteries are especially dangerous for young children, and they can prove fatal if ingested. Do your research before buying.

The holiday season is a fun and joyous time of year, and holiday safety can make it even more so. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident or suffers an injury (at the fault of someone else) during the holidays, we want to help. Give us a call at 435-628-1682 and we will discuss your options to get you the help you deserve. The legal team at Gallian Welker & Beckstrom wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season.

divorce attorney

7 Questions to Ask In Your First Meeting With a Divorce Attorney

Choosing a divorce attorney is one of the most important divorce-related decisions you will make. Many people choose an attorney based on personal recommendations from family and friends, but it’s still wise to do your research and ask the right questions when considering who to hire.

Family law is a complex specialty and you want to make sure you are working with someone who is qualified and has the experience needed to handle your case. We’ve put together 7 questions to ask in your first meeting with a divorce attorney so you can be sure that attorney is the right one for you and your case.

Questions to Ask In Your First Meeting With a Divorce Attorney:

1. How long have you been practicing family law, and what aspect of family law do you specialize in?

2. What do you need to know from me?

3. What can I expect the divorce process to be like?

4. What is your retainer up front? What will I be charged for and how much?

5. What can I do to keep the cost of my divorce down?

6. What is your strategy for my case, and how long do you expect it will take to resolve?

7. What should my next steps be after this meeting?

There’s no question that going through divorce is challenging and stressful and taxing. When it comes to finding a divorce attorney you can trust, coming prepared for the first meeting with your divorce attorney will help make the process go more smoothly.

How We Can Help

Are you considering separation or divorce? Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney who can help guide you through the process.

2021 Pro Bono Virtual Attorney of the Year

Our very own Travis Barrick was selected by Nevada Legal Services as the recipient of the 2021 Pro Bono Virtual Attorney of the Year. Travis consistently gives support and encouragement to his clients, especially in his work in Veterans Affairs. He is dedicated to helping and protecting those people in our community who may have been overlooked and making their lives better. Travis will be honored at a virtual event on August 23rd at the Champions of Justice Reception, hosted by Nevada Legal Services. All proceeds will go directly to helping Nevada residents access free legal services and representation.

If you would like to contribute by attending the event, please email frontdesk@utahcase.com and we will give you the event information.

independent contractor

Employee or Independent Contractor? Avoid the Costs of Misclassification

by Zachary C. Lindley, Esq.

One of the most important questions a business owner faces is how to properly classify its workforce.  Businesses are oftentimes able to choose between whether to classify a worker as an “employee” or “independent contractor.”  The determination, however, must not be reached lightly or without thorough consideration. 

Over the last few years, federal and state agencies (such as the IRS and Workforce Services) have increasingly begun to more closely scrutinize the classification of workforces.  This is because such government bodies, as well as the workforce in general, are being denied important protections, benefits, and revenues.  Oftentimes, businesses simply decide to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying into programs such as unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, worker’s compensation, or to avoid withholding other state and federal taxes.  However, in their efforts to avoid such costs, some businesses may be opening themselves up to more costs due to misclassification.  By improperly classifying its workforce as “independent contractors,” rather than “employees,” a business opens itself up to regulatory scrutiny, both federal and state, including imposition of fines and penalties.  The following represents a list of some of the possible liabilities that are associated with misclassification of workers:

  • Worker’s Compensation premiums
  • Unemployment Insurance premiums
  • Social Security and Medicare
  • State and Federal Taxes
  • Overtime and other work-related expenses and benefits

Each agency applies its own intricate test to determine whether a worker should be deemed an “independent contractor” or an “employee,” and a business must be compliant at all levels to avoid fines and penalties.

If you, as a business owner, have been notified by either a federal or state agency that your business is being audited for allegedly misclassifying your workforce, or if you have general questions as to how you should be classifying your workforce, reach out to us at Gallian Welker & Beckstrom, L.C.  Our attorneys have experience in helping various businesses come into compliance with applicable laws and avoid unnecessary expenses.