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The Disability & Elder Law FirmAdditional Locations
Phone: (559) 625-4205 2332 W Whitendale Ave STE D, Visalia, CA 93277
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This business is not BBB accredited.
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Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for The Disability & Elder Law Firm include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
State Bar of California (Attorneys)
180 Howard St, San Francisco CA 94105
Phone Number: (415) 538-2000
The number is 038370.
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. John Miller III, Owner
Attorneys & Lawyers Attorneys & Lawyers - Estate Planning
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Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
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|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: Meet with **** ****** to discuss Estate Planning for my Mother, in Aug 2015. He stated first consult was free his price was $7500.00, justified by the cost of 1 month stay in long term care. He also stated that if I needed you use medi-cal to help pay for care that the way he could set up the deed to her property medi-cal would not put a lean on it. I paid him $2000.00 to start we meet 2 weeks later to sing paper for home deed , power of attorney, and DNR had to pay his assistant for her services as a Notary $60.00. Paid another $1500.00 in September 2015. I e-mailed them to set up a time to meet and receive papers - No response, left phone msg. no response months went by no response, sent certified letter stating I no longer needed/wanted their services and request a full refund I never received a response of any kind. I never received any legal documents, when I attained another attorney (who only charged me $500, for the same documents. I would like a full refund of $3500.00 because i never received any services. I fell these two lawyers are taking advantage of seniors when they need help the most, and taking their life savings when they have so little already
Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund Please make a complete refund to ************ of $3500.00
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 8, 2016/02/19) */ This will acknowledge receipt of your complaint. I immediately attempted to contact Ms. ******** to discuss the matter, but have been unable to make contact. I wrote a letter to Ms. ********, a copy of which is enclosed. I have received no answer from her, either verbal or written. My letter describes the Medi-Cal planning process which I discussed with Ms. Peck. She was told that the initial goal was to create Powers of Attorney documents to allow her to act for her mother if she becomes unable to act for herself. After our initial meeting, the Powers of Attorney documents were completed within five days. My secretary and If went to her home, which is about 5 blocks from my office, and discussed them with Ms. ******** and Mrs. ***** When we had satisfied ourselves that Mrs. ******** still had sufficient mental capacity to understand the nature of her acts, we witnessed her signatures and notarized the required documents. Those documents will allow Ms. ******** to act on her mother's behalf when her condition worsens and eventually requires care in a Skilled Nursing Facility, Following the initial meeting, Ms. ******** sent me a check for $1,500 on account of the fees still unpaid. I wrote her a letter acknowledging the payment and requesting she update me on her mother's condition. At no time did Ms. ******** tell me she was not going forward with the plan to protect her mother. I only learned of that decision when I received your complaint. The fact is that Ms. ******** also provided us with copies of bills and other documents which we routinely include when we submit our application for Medi-Cal benefits. We cannot submit the application until her mother has been admitted to a skilled nursing facility. We do, however, "pre-prepare" the application, gathering all of the documentation they require. I enclose copies of the documents we gave to Ms. ******** in this matter, requesting she sign and return them to us. At all times I honored the oral agreement we had made at our initial meeting and did not wait until the signed documents were returned to us. I trusted she was as good as her word. I still remain ready willing and able to proceed on the basis of our agreement when Mrs. **** requires nursing home care. If lack of funds are Ms. ********'s primary consideration, I would be willing to waive the upaid balance of my fee and still proceed with the Medi-Cal Plan when Mrs. Peck requires a skilled nursing facility. That seems to be a fair resolution of this matter to me. Yours truly, **** L ****** Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 10, 2016/02/24) */ This letter is in regards My Better Business Bureau Case Number ********* ******* ******** Mr. ****** I received your copy of the response to the BBB. I would like to explain my actions and attached other documents to show my reason for request I have made. I acknowledge that we met within 5 days of our initial meeting; this meeting was on August 5, 2015 at my mother's residence. Those in presence were Myself, My mother ******* ***** yourself and your assistant and Notary **** ********* My mother and I signed and notarized the following documents Power of Attorney documents, DNR document, and Homeowner Deed. Although we signed for these documents to be created we never received any of them, at this time I gave you a check for $2000.00 and an additional check in the amount of $30.00 for Ms. *********** notary services. I waited a few weeks and then I e-mailed and called Ms. ******** to get an updated status on these documents, she assured me that she was working on them and she would call me to set up a time to meet when she had them ready I also told her that I had gathered the documents you had requested and that they were ready. When she did not call, I e-mailed her, I did not receive a response. I sent another check in the amount of $1500.00 on September 15, 2015 in hopes this would expedite the process, I did not receive any confirmation of receipt of this check but, saw that it had been cashed , but still no response. I called your office and left multiple messages and had no response. On November 12, 2015 I went to the Tulare County Assurors office to get a copy of my mother's Home Deed and no changes had been made therefore your staff had not filed any papers on our behalf. On November 16, 2015 I mailed you a registered letter advising you that I no longer required your services, at this point I have lost all trust that my legal matters will be taken care for my mother with your firm. My mother has very little and she was trying to put her affairs in order before her illness takes that ability from her, If something had happened to her while we were waiting for you I would not have been able to direct medical staff on her wishes or make any decisions on her behalf. I have already attained different council and have the documents that I require. For these reasons I request a full refund of $3500.00 I did not receive any of the services promised. I will be sending copies of these documents to the Better Business Bureau as well. We started this process on August 8, 2015, I ended this process on November16, 2015 that was four months time and none of my requests were completed. I hired new council in January 2016 all documents were completed within two weeks time. Respectfully, ******* ******** Final Consumer Response /* (4200, 14, 2016/03/11) */ Ms.Carmona No, I have not had any further contact with Mr. ****** other than the letter he sent to me and you. I responded to that letter with a letter of my own, which I also sent you a copy. I still would like a full refund . I have explained that I never received any services promised. I have already hired and recieved all the legal services from another firm for a fraction of the cost, so his offer to continue for no further cost is of no use to me, he had four months to accommodate me and never responded, so I have no reason to belive he would have followed through. Thank you for your help, ******* ******** Final Business Response /* (4000, 16, 2016/03/14) */ The reply of Ms. ********, dated 2/24/16 appears to be merely a rehash of her initial complaint in which she provides no additional information in response to my reply to you dated 02/19/16. 1. She claims she "never received documents". As I stated previously, and to which she agreed in her reply, we acted on her case virtually immediately; I wrote to her (copy sent to you previously) and described the "Medi-Cal" process, to which she had verbally agreed in my office at her first appointment. I never received a reply from her, even though a copy was to be signed by her and returned to me, thereby formalizing our agreement). Despite her failure in this regard, we proceeded to prepare documents including a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, a deed to safeguard title to her mother's home (as a part of our Medi-Cal planning), a Financial Power of Attorney, and a Living Will, and went to her home where the documents were reviewed, signed by her mother and her mother's signatures notarized. I had to set aside other client files on which I was working at the time. I would not have done this if I did not believe that we had an agreement on the work to be accomplished. These documents were given top priority in my office to protect against her mother taking a turn for the worse and being unable to sign them. The result of that would have been the need to file a Conservatorship proceeding with the Tulare County Superior Court, a procedure which would have increased the scope of our work AND OUR FEES by at least double what she agreed to initially and has partially paid. IF her mother had suffered a setback which rendered her incapable of signing the "Medi-Cal documents", on which we were then working, Ms. ******** would have been able to sign for her mother as her "Agent", which, again, would simplify the complicated Conservatorship proceedings which usually involve creating over 20 custom-crafted documents to be submitted to the Court to give Ms. ******** the same authority to act for her mother in applying for Medi-Cal benefits as we were going to do, pursuant to our contract. Since we put aside the other cases on which we were working and gave Mrs. ******* case a priority, we immediately changed the whole future course of this engagementfor the better! We also cut Ms. ******** some slack in payment of the fee which usually must be paid in full before we even begin the work. I trusted Ms. ******** to pay the unpaid balance of the fees because of my former contacts with Ms. ********'s brother, whom I trusted would see that the agreement was carried out to the benefit of all concerned. The point is that the documents which we had signed were crucial to Ms. ******** and her mother being spared the complications of a Court ordered Conservatorship proceeding. At no time thereafter did Ms. ******** make any attempt to contact us, or to pay the balance of the fee. I have lived in the same small town as Ms. ******** for 30 years. Her home is only a few blocks from my office. Despite her assertions to the contrary, we never received a telephone call or letter or any other contact with her until bringing the BBB into the picture. Her assertions to the contrary are ludicrous. My personal belief is that she "shopped my offer" with other attorneys who may have offered to do the work for a smaller fee. In the trade they are known as "cut-throats". In the law, as with most other fields, you "get what you pay for". To her claim that "She never received documents": my reply is that she never requested them. The preparation of those documents is merely preparatory to the creation of the Medi-Cal documents, including a 23 page application, which cannot even be submitted to Medi-Cal until Mrs. Peck Is admitted to a Long Term Care Facility. We have handled several THOUSAND cases of this type over the last 20 years. We have NEVER BEEN TURNED DOWN FOR MEDI-CAL when the clients followed our advice We have an excellent track record and had no reason at all to treat Ms. ******** any differently than we did our other clients. IF she had made contact with us after we created her mother's documents, we would have provided them to her immediately. No such request was ever made. 3. At any given time we are handling a number of cases similar to Mrs. Peck's. As stated previously, we cannot complete our application and submit it until Mrs. Peck is a resident on a doctor's orders of a Long Term Care Facility. Until that happens, we are on "standby" awaiting that event. 4. Our contract with Ms. ******** was to prepare a Medi-Cal plan to provide benefits to pay the cost of long term care, should it ever be required. The fee is not dependent on her admission to the LTC facility. I was hired to protect Mrs. Peck from having to pay the costs of admission to a Long Term Care facility, which are routinely over $8,000 per month. Without creating a Medi-Cal plan to deal with those costs her home and other assets would have to be liquidated and the proceeds paid to the LTC facility. My fee amounts to less than ONE MONTH of care in a Long Term Care home. Since the average stay in such a facility is over 2 years at a cost of about $200,000, there is no reasonable explanation for Ms. ********'s actions other than she objects to the cost. I am prepared to live with the agreement which I made and which has been partially performed. The only reason it has not been completely performed are the unjustified actions of Ms. ******** in not performing her obligations with regard to it. The complaint is unjustified and should be summarily dismissed. If anything further is required to enable your proper evaluation of this matter, please let me know.