December 14, 2019

Elder Financial Abuse Litigation: Are You Looking For an Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Elder Financial Abuse Litigation.
Elder Financial Abuse.
Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness.


Are you looking for an Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness to address Elder Financial Abuse Litigation Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing issues related to elder financial abuse, including annuity and life insurance issues, estate planning and living trust mill issues, and insurance agent seminars directed at senior citizens.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
Elder Financial Abuse Concerns?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 11, 2019

Holiday Crime: Thieves Are Using Bluetooth Technology to Locate Electronic Devices Stored in Vehicles.

Holiday Crime.


My hometown Pleasant Hill Police Department recently reminded residents to not store electronic devices in cars at any time, including over this Holiday Season.  Scumbag Thieves are using ever more sophisticated methods for vehicle break ins, including bluetooth technology to locate electronic devices in parked vehicles.

Click on the PHPD post below for more information.  Stay safe this Holiday Season, Everyone!



Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 8, 2019

Sid and Lexi: Just Who is The Slipper Thief?

Sid the Dog.
Lexi the Dog.


And just which one of my Faithful Canine Companions was responsible for stealing my husband Jim's slipper and taking it outside?


Well, I witnessed part of the theft in progress.  It was Lexi!  The sly Princess Chow Chow mix.  Here are Sid and Lexi standing over the slipper on the back patio, looking toward the back door.  Patiently waiting for me to come out.

Every day is an adventure with our Faithful Canine Companions.  Plus Unconditional Love.

Unconditional Love is as close as your nearest Animal Shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 5, 2019

Food Safety: Don't Fall Victim to Food Poisoning. Here Are Tips For Storing Your Food Safely.

Food Safety.
Safe Food Handling.


I love to cook and bake.  And as my husband Jim will tell you, I am a stickler .... a BIG stickler ... about food safety and safe food handling.  After all, who wants to fall victim to food poisoning due to improper food handling?

Proper food handling is easy to incorporate in your home kitchen.  Use thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer to maintain proper temperature.  (I also use a thermometer to check my oven temp, but that's for proper baking temp, and not a food safety issue.)  Appliance thermometers are cheap, mine were $8 or less.  I tie a piece of colored shoelace around the refrigerator and freezer thermometers so I can easily locate them in the appliances.

And as far as proper food handling and storing temps?  The USDA recommends that all foods requiring refrigeration be maintained at 40*F or less, and that foods that must be maintained hot be held at a temperature of 140*F or higher.  The in between area - above 40*F and below 140*F - is known as the "Danger Zone" for foods that require either refrigeration or a hot temperature for safety.  In the Danger Zone, the amount of food bacteria - including food bacteria that can lead to food poisoning - can double in a mere 20 minutes!

So don't leave leftovers on the kitchen counter for hours at time.  And make sure your refrigerator consistently maintains a cold enough temperature.  Studies estimate more than half of home refrigerators are maintained at an unsafe, too high temperature.

As for my chest freezer, I maintain that at a temperature between 0*F and -10*F.  The USDA recommends a consistent freezer temperature of 0*F.

For more information, refer to this handy Basics for Handling Food Safety fact sheet from the USDA.

Happy ... and safe! ... baking and cooking everyone!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 2, 2019

Annuity Litigation: Are You Looking For an Annuity Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA.

Annuity Litigation.
Annuity Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse.
Annuity Expert Witness.


Are you looking for an Annuity Expert Witness to address Annuity Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing annuity concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Annuity Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Annuity Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters. 

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 29, 2019

Slow Roast Turkey: You'll Never Say No to Turkey Again!


Slow Roast Turkey


Slow Roast Turkey.  Turns out perfect every single time.  Easy and literally roasts itself in the oven with no intervention from you, the cook.

Try this recipe and you'll never make a failed, bone dry roast turkey again.  And you'll never say no to roast turkey, making it a year round menu item.

Slow Roast Turkey Recipe

1 14-18 lb turkey
1 stick butter, melted
Fresh sliced citrus, onion, celery
Herbs:  Fresh herbs of cook's choice plus whole allspice.  I recommend always including 1 bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro.  It imparts a delicious cardamon/cinnamon flavor while roasting.
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika
Vegetable broth or water to cover bottom of pan plus about 1/2 inch

Rinse turkey.  Season inside and out.  Use fruits, vegetable and herbs to "stuff" turkey cavities and to cover top of turkey.  Pour melted butter over top of turkey, pour vegetable broth or water into pan.  Cover with foil and bake at 300* F for about 30 minutes per pound until done.  Discard citrus/herbs/onion/celery, place in compost if you compost.  Plan on having it done about an hour before eating, in case it needs to roast a bit more, and for juices to set up.  No basting needed.  Best, most flavorful, and moistest turkey ever.  The au jus in the bottom of the pan makes for delicious gravy "as is".




Mary Rae Fouts

November 27, 2019

Governor Newsom: Sinks to a New Low by Shaming Blue Cheese. Shame on You, Gavin Newsom! Blue Cheese Rocks, You Idiot!


Governor Gavin Newsom

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese

Bay Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese Shaming


Yep.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has stooped to a new low by shaming blue cheese on a Twitter post:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."

What an Idiot!



The above is a screenshot of a post from the Facebook page of one of my favorite cheese producers, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, located 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  (Visit their website here.)  I ways have their cheese in my fridge.  Right now I have both their Toma Cheese and their award winning Bay Blue Cheese.


I can't believe the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, would post such an ignorant and crass statement on Twitter about Blue Cheese:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."  What an idiot, just shows you that being a restaurant and winery owner doesn't mean you know Jack Squat about food, including cheese.  Or perhaps Governor Newsom's brain has become moldy so that it no longer functions.

Regarding Cheese:  Go Blue or Go Home, Governor Newsom!  And SHAME ON YOU for shaming blue cheese.  

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 A prior year Thanksgiving Turkey ready to go into the oven to slow roast.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year.  I love making roast turkey.  We eat roast turkey year round, not just at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes a whole turkey, other times a bone-in turkey breast.

This Thanksgiving I'm once again preparing a 14-16 pound turkey.  It will slow roast at 300℉ for about 30 minutes a pound; will be fall-off-the bone tender.  I plan on having it done an hour before we eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to allow for the juices to settle.

My turkey is an all natural Willie Bird Turkey raised locally in Sonoma County.  Stuffed with a potpourri of fresh herbs (with the exception of the fresh cilantro, all from my gardens), onion, celery, sliced citrus, melted butter, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.   Vegetable broth to coat bottom of pan plus 1/4 inch or so; cover pan with foil.  The turkey's au jus will make wonderful gravy, no thickening or other adjustments needed.

Turkey Tips:

No bread stuffing in the turkey because of the low roasting temperature.  But no one in my family likes bread stuffing, anyway.

If you are slow roasting a turkey 14-16 pound turkey  allow about 30 minutes per pound, and 1/2 cup melted butter drizzled on turkey.  As mentioned above, plan on having the turkey done an hour before you plan to eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to let the juices settle.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and enjoy your day!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 25, 2019

Fascinating Story: Missing WWII U.S. Navy Submarine U.S.S. Greyback Located After Missing for 75 Years. The Key? One Incorrectly Translated Digit.

U.S.S. Greyback


The U.S.S. Greyback is a United States submarine sunk off the coast of Japan in World War II, with 80 seamen aboard.  The New York Times fittingly published a fascinating article on Veteran's Day about the recent discovery of the Greyback. Lost for 75 years, she was discovered due to a collaborative effort between an amateur Japanese WWII researcher and the privately-funded Lost 52 Project, whose mission is to find as many of the still-missing U.S. submarines as possible using technology only available in the last 10 to 15 years.

When the Lost 52 Project started, 52 submarines from World War II remained missing.   At that time, researchers thought that 47 had the possibility of being found.  The remaining 5 submarines were thought to have been either run aground or otherwise completely destroyed.

And as for the collaborative effort from the amateur WWII Japanese researcher Yutaka Iwasaki?   Well, upon reviewing Japanese war records from WW I and comparing them to United States war records, Mr. Iwasaki found that the U.S. Navy's 1949 records about the lost sub had one significant error.   The Navy had relied on a faulty translation of Japanese information, in which one digit ... one digit ... of the latitude and longitude of the sub's supposed sinking location was translated wrong. With Mr. Iwasaki's correct translation, the Lost 52 Project was able to find the U.S.S. Greyback.


I cannot begin to imagine the emotions brought onto the families and loved ones of the  seamen who perished in the Greyback upon learning that the lost submarine had been found.  Hopefully among the emotions are a sense of relief and closure.  Heartwarming to know that our fallen, lost heros are not forgotten.

And to all those who have served our country in the military, thank you for your service.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 22, 2019

Sid: Just the Right Amount of Sun for a Morning Nap!

Sid the Dog


A Husky-Malamute mix, former stray,  and a Faithful Canine Companion.  About 8 years young.  Bonded fur brother to his fur sister Lexi.

Sid recently found just the Right Amount of Sun to enjoy a morning nap following our morning walk.  Good Boy Sid!


Unconditional love is a close as your nearest animal shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 19, 2019

Life Insurance Litigation: Are you Looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Life Insurance Litigation.
Life Insurance Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse
Life Insurance Expert Witness.


Are you looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness to address Life Insurance Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing insurance concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Life Insurance Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Life Insurance Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 16, 2019

Access to Your Medical Records: You are Entitled to Receive a Copy of Your Medical Records. It’s the Law.

Patient Access to Medical Records
HIPPA


Access to your medical records:  Know your rights!

So this autumn, I’ve had a mind numbing, time wasting, stressful, and beyond frustrating experience dealing with a new specialist doctor.  A doctor who, as I learned after immediately experiencing insurance billing and many other problems with the doctor’s practice, is not a member of John Muir Medical Group.  John Muir otherwise provides all of our primary, other specialty, urgent, emergency, and hospitalization care.

I’ll just say one thing:  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, don’t ever … ever … EVER … get care from any physician or facility associated with Hills Physicians Medical Group in San Ramon, California.  Which brings me to the topic of this blog post, one of likely several I’ll have from my dealings with this organization:  A Patient’s Access to His or Her Medical Records.

The doctor we were referred to, a Gastroenterologist located in Pleasant Hill, CA, and Brentwood, CA, has an office with procedures that do not comply with HIPPA.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, is a federal health care law originally signed into law on August 21, 1996 and revised a number of times since then.  It is a positive and much needed law for the health care consumer.  Among other things, HIPPA strengthened privacy laws related to patient health records, and provided that a patient has a legal right to his or her medical records.

Anyhoo, dealing with this new physician, we were able to quickly get an appointment for an initial consultation, followed by one of two tests/procedures that were required.  The initial consultation went fine.  And then, well, everything else went downhill faster than an Alpine skier on an icy course.  Or maybe a turd rolling downhill.

Shortly after the initial consultation, a test was performed in the physician’s office.  We waited for a few days to get a phone call with the test results.  Nothing.  I checked our very handy and thorough electronic chart on the John Muir Health Care website.  Nothing.  That’s when I learned that the physician was not affiliated with John Muir, but rather Hills Physicians Medical Group.  A Medical Group so outdated in technology that it does not have a website enabling patients to create an account and have access to all medical records, test results,  appointment notes/information, appointment reminders, as well as a secure email-like system for communication with any doctors and their staff.  John Muir has all of this, and it works great!

So, after a couple of weeks went by, growing ever anxious, we contacted the new physician’s office, and requested a copy of the test results.  We also requested the results via email.  What were we told?  Well, we were told that we had to make an appointment with the doctor so that he could go over the test results, that otherwise nothing would be released to us.  In other words, just another appointment so the doctor can bill.  When we informed the staff person that patient records were required by law to be released to the patient, the staff person told us “it is not our policy” to do that.

When we informed the staff person that their “policy” was in violation of HIPPA rules, her response was that she would send a message to the doctor.  The doctor did call us back and informed us that the test results were negative.  But we’ve never received the written copy of the test results we requested multiple times.  And for a medical test completed and paid for.

So here’s the deal:  Patients, and a patient’ authorized representative, are entitled by law to receive a copy of their medical records.  (With one exception to the health care records:  a mental health care professional may withhold his or her notes if the professional feels providing the notes to the patient or the patient’s designated representative,  would be harmful to the patient.)  As previously mentioned, this federal law has been on the books since HIPPA was signed into law back in 1996, some 23 years ago.  The law further states that the physician cannot charge a ‘handling’ or ‘processing’ fee for providing the records, only ‘reasonable’ copy charges.  A patient also has a right to review his/her original medical file.  This review is usually done at the location the records are stored, such as the doctor’s office.

Simply put, it is beyond sad that a board certified physician's office is out of compliance with a 23 year old law.

Timeframe?  The physician must release a copy of medical records, or permit review of original medical records, within 30 days.  If longer than 30 days is needed, the physician must provide the patient with the reason for the delay, and the records must be released/review permitted within 60 days.

Any consequences for refusal to release patient medical records?  You betchya.  And the minimum fine for willful violations of HIPPA rules is $50,000.

So know your rights when it comes to your medical records and HIPPA.  Don’t be denied what is legally yours simply because of a doctor’s office illegal “policy”.

Health Insurance Concerns?
Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts