Monday, November 14, 2016

Improved Hearing that exceeded my Expectations

As an Audiologist, I have practiced for 34 years and treated thousands of patients.  I have a hearing loss myself and wear hearing instruments.  In the last few years, the hearing instrument technology has exceeded my expectations.  However, in June of this year, Dr. Lance Greer and I traveled to Florida for an international hearing conference which focused on the release of a completely new type of hearing instrument. 
This new hearing instrument called the OPN (Open) from Oticon out of Denmark, was developed by a team of 250 auditory scientists, auditory engineers, and technicians who worked for over six years to develop this new technology. 
Technological limitations of previous hearing instruments have led to use of directionality to make speech coming from the front clear, while suppressing the rest of the sound environment.  In complex listening environments where sound sources are many, previous hearing technology is too slow to keep up with fast and many sound changes.
When you cut out too many background sounds around you, it is like wearing hearing blinders and too many critical speech sounds cannot be captured for our brains.  Closing down too many sounds, under-stimulates the brain and deprives it of the context needed for understanding words.
The new Velox chip in the OPN (open) hearing instruments processes 50 times faster than before.  It is precise and fast enough to support our brain in making sense of sound and words.  This chip has 64 sound channels.  It analyzes the sounds around you more than 100 times per second.  It can handle more than 12 million operations per second. 
These new hearing instruments provide 30 percent improvement in speech understanding—even in the most noisy environments—compared to the previous state-of-the-art technology.  It provides 20 percent less listening effort in noise and provides 20 percent more capacity to remember.
We have fit these instruments of numerous patients and everyone has been overwhelmed with their ability to understand in the most noisy situations.  These instruments are truly in a league of their own!!
This amazing technology is fit on a 60 day trial period.  Call 688-8866 to wear these instruments home and experience hearing like you have never experienced before!!!
Kimball B. Forbes, MCD
Audiologist of the highest order of the Elks

Kimball B. Forbes, MCD, has enjoyed helping patients hear well again for 34 years, making him the longest-tenured Audiologist in southern Utah. He earned a Master’s of Communication Disorders in Audiology from Brigham Young University and went on to establish 11 hearing clinics in Utah and Nevada, all of which continue to thrive under his direction and leadership. Dr. Forbes specializes in hearing aid sales and service; counseling; earmolds and protective hearing devices; and diagnostic medical hearing assessments for adults and children. His own hearing loss makes him uniquely qualified to treat patients using the latest hearing technologies. He is married to wife Jonna; the couple are the proud parents of eight children and nine grandchildren.  He enjoys visiting his children and grandchildren as well as his parents. He and Jonna love serving in the LDS temple and teach in the church.  He also enjoys reading history and biographies and watching the Hallmark Channel.

Monday, November 7, 2016

September and October 2016 Students of the Month Honored by St. George Exchange Club

The September and October Student of the Month recipients were recently honored by the St. George Exchange Club.  The St. George Exchange Club sponsors the Student of the Month Program, which honors one student from the area high schools each month. This program recognizes the students’ accomplishments in academics, service and leadership in their respective schools. Dixie State University has partnered with the St. George Exchange Club and will provide a one-year, full-tuition scholarship to the Student of the Year from each high school at the end of the school year as selected by the St. George Exchange Club’s Student of the Month Committee. This selection process is based upon the Student of the Year applications received from the students recognized throughout the year as their school’s Student of the Month. The Exchange Club is honored to work with Dixie State University in recognizing and supporting the outstanding high school students of our community.

In addition, two students from the area high schools who have been honored as Student of the Year will have the opportunity to go on to the Rocky Mountain Exchange Club District competition where they could win a $1,000 scholarship; and then if they win district, they can go on to national competition and win a $10,000 scholarship. The 2013 Student of the Year, EmRee Moody from St. George, was selected as the National Student of the Month and received a $10,000 scholarship from the National Exchange Club.

The St. George Exchange Club meets Thursday mornings at 7:30AM at George’s in Ancestor Square. For more information about the St. George Exchange Club contact Dustin Schofield at 435-674-3601.  Congratulations to the St George Exchange Club 2016 September and October Students of the Month!

Photo of September Students of the Month:
Back Row: Slade Andrus (MHS),  Ally Akins (SCHS), Evelyn Escobar (DHHS), Aaron Canales (PVHS), Sydney Benson (THS), St George Exchange Club President Dustin Schofield, Front Row: Gabriel Adams (DHS).

Photo of October Students of the Month:
Back Row: Brandon Pershall (MHS), St George Exchange Club President Dustin Schofield,
Front Row: Ria Kaddu (DHHS),  Mackenzie Heiner (THS),  Baylee Judd (PVHS)

Friday, October 28, 2016

I am the Trustee of a Trust or Personal Representative of an Estate – What Are My Responsibilities and Obligations?


            When someone becomes incapacitated or passes away, you may find yourself in charge of administering a trust, or the decedent’s estate.  You may have been nominated as successor trustee through a Trust, the personal representative (executor) through a Will, or the court may have appointed you to administer the estate.  Here are a few important things to remember:

            Personal Representative:  As the personal representative of an estate, you will be responsible to collect the property owned by the decedent, notify creditors and heirs or devisees, pay debts and taxes, finalize the decedent’s business affairs, file all documents required by the court and governmental agencies, transfer decedent’s property, and close the estate or probate when everything is complete. 

Once the court has appointed you as the Personal Representative, you can act on your own without the approval of the court; however, you will need to keep the court informed of progress by filing all required documents.  If an interested person thinks you are not doing a good job, that person can petition the court to remove you as the Personal Representative or ask the court to supervise your administration of the estate.  Supervised administration involves the highest level of court oversight and is usually granted only when there are serious concerns about your actions as Personal Representative.

Trustee:  As the Trustee of a Trust, you must keep trust assets separate from your own personal assets, treat beneficiaries equally unless the trust directs otherwise, keep accurate records, file tax returns, and report to beneficiaries as required by the trust and the law.  You must know the terms of the trust, where assets are held, and when distributions can be made.  Trust assets should be invested in a prudent manner that will effect reasonable growth with minimum risk.  It is important to remember the assets of the Trust are not your assets and you cannot use trust assets for your own benefit unless the trust authorizes you to do so. 

If you are the Trustee due to the Grantor (or Trustor’s) incapacity, you must also make sure the Grantor is provided for, understand insurance benefits and limitations, apply for disability benefits, notify banks and other financial institutions or advisors, pay bills, and keep accurate records and accounting. 

            Administering the terms of the trust and meeting obligations while maintaining proper reporting can be overwhelming.  You do not have to accomplish this on your own.  You should   retain an experienced attorney to help you through the administrative process.  An important thing to remember whether you are serving as Trustee or Personal Representative is that you have a duty to the creditors and beneficiaries.  If you breach your duty, you could be held personally accountable for the breach which is why it is important that you retain counsel to assist you with the administration process.
Robert Jensen and Thomas Bayles, Attorneys at Law
JensenBayles, LLP provides a broad spectrum of legal services.  Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George area for over 15 years. Please visit our web site or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles or Phillip G. Gubler. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hawkins Announces Retirement of Firm Partner Kevin L. Simister

October 17, 2016

Orem, UT -- Kevin Simister, trusted advisor, leader, mentor, and friend, is retiring from Hawkins Advisors after 42 tax seasons.  Kevin plans to travel, spend time with family, not work on April 15, and perfect his woodworking skills (which are already pretty much perfect!).

Kevin joined Hawkins in 1975.  He practiced in all areas of the firm including audit, accounting, and tax.  His expertise and focus for many years has been helping clients in business entity structuring, estate planning, tax reduction strategies, compensation agreements, negotiations, expert witness, and valuations.  He served as the managing partner for 10 years.  His leadership was instrumental in the growth of the firm during a time period of significant change.  Kevin was responsible for bringing desktop computers into the office, our first network, first website, and coined  He was instrumental in creating our Retirement Department.   Kevin has been a developer of people.  During his time at Hawkins, we have grown from 10 to more than 75 employees.  He has trained and mentored staff and clients, teaching them how to become trusted advisors, successful business people, and leaders in their business and community. He believes a leader must have genuine affection for each member of the team.

Kevin has always enjoyed serving and helping people.  As Captain of an Emergency Medical Team for Pleasant Grove City, he responded to over 1,500 medical emergencies during his 12 years of volunteer service.  He has served in many professional advisory board positions including the President of the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants(UACPA), Executive Board of the Provo Orem Chamber of Commerce, Governing Council of the American Institute of Public Accountants, Chaired the Utah Valley University Business Faculty Development Committee, and the Executive Board of the Purpose Investors Network.  He was recognized by the UACPA as the Outstanding CPA in Public Accounting in 2007.

During Kevin’s years of practice he has been a truly exceptional and respected advisor.  He has served his clients as a trusted advisor.  He protects them from unpleasant surprises through planning and implementation.  Kevin will say he doesn’t work with any businesses, just the people in the business.  His success has been through serving the people that are involved in the business and keeping it personal.  His secret sauce is his understanding and knowing the client, beyond the finances.  He can tell you the client’s family members, special medical or education needs, talents, and what they like to do for fun.  He will say he doesn’t have clients, but he sure has a lot of friends he works with.

We wish our friend, mentor, colleague, and soon to be retired partner many years of health and happiness in his retirement.

About Hawkins

Hawkins mission is to create the most client-centric accounting practice in the world and make outsourced accounting feel like an in-house function through integrity, service, knowledge, balance and showing appreciation for clients and associates.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Tammy Gnieting, Office Manager  801.224.1900

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cochlear Implant: When Hearing Aids Are No Longer Enough

As Doctors of Audiology we are always looking for ways to improve quality of life through better hearing; which may include: hearing instruments, implantable devices, and long term care and follow up.  While hearing instruments are the solution to treat most types of hearing loss, implantable devices such as cochlear implants may be an option for those patients who continue to struggle understanding conversations with traditional amplification.
 A cochlear implant is one type of an implantable device that replaces the function of the inner ear in order to provide sound signals to the brain. A person has a hearing test and hearing aid trial in order to determine candidacy for the cochlear implant. Many people with cochlear implants may report that they can focus better in noisy environments and hear sounds that they could not hear with their hearing aids. The cochlear implant is designed to help you hear better in all settings. Benefits of a cochlear implant vary from person to person. These differences of benefits are often due to: duration and severity of hearing loss, other medical conditions, and practice of listening with the cochlear implant. If you feel that you are still missing sounds even with your hearing instruments, then a cochlear implant may be a solution for you.
If you are interested in learning more about the cochlear implant, please join us for our Hearing Health Seminar to learn if a cochlear implant is right for you. The seminar will be held Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 5:00-7:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 1731 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George, UT 84790. You may register for the seminar at or by calling 1-877-432-7844. We look forward to seeing you at the seminar. 
 About Dr. Garcia
Dr. Brittany Garcia, Au.D, serves patients of all ages, speaks Spanish, and brings her in-depth experience working with pediatric patients and those with cochlear implants to the Advanced Hearing & Balance Specialists practice. Dr. Garcia earned her undergraduate and Doctorate of Audiology degrees from Utah State University. She completed her internship at Mercy Audiology and ENT in Springfield, Miss. While earning her doctorate degree, she participated in the Listening and Spoken Language program, which provided specialized training for children with hearing loss and language development disorders. Dr. Garcia grew up in Magna, Utah, and recently moved to St. George. She and her husband enjoy being outdoors and are excited to enjoy all that southern Utah has to offer. She looks forward to serving those in the St. George community and meeting her new patients.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Undue Influence: A Form of Elder Abuse

Mickey Rooney, who earned tens of millions of dollars during his life, was reported to have only $18,000.00 when he passed away in 2014.  Mr. Rooney appeared before the Senate Special Aging Committee in 2011 and testified he had been a victim of elder-abuse by his wife and stepchildren, stripped “of the ability to make even the most basic decisions about my life.”  This process began after Mr. Rooney confided to a Disney executive about the abuse while filming  The Muppets, which prompted his attorneys to file a Petition for a Conservator to protect him and recover his assets.

Undue influence is the exploitation of an individual often due to the individual’s age, health, failing mental capacity, or the overall tendency to trust others.  While the elderly are especially susceptible, anyone is vulnerable to undue influence, including the ill, stressed, lonely or frightened of any age.   It can come in many forms: family, neighbors, paid personal aides, church members, and many others. 

Sometimes people who exercise undue influence start off as a caretaker, who genuinely seems to care for the individual.  As time progresses, however, they are able to convince the person no one else cares for them, resulting in the individual becoming totally dependent on the caretaker.  As in the example with Mickey Rooney, his wife and stepchildren drained his estate of millions of dollars during his lifetime.  I am aware of a case in which a younger, attractive caregiver convinced her elderly patient she cared for him emotionally, and then convinced him to add her to his deed for his personal residence.  She also received numerous financial gifts.  Unfortunately, the money was much more important to her than caring for the individual she was hired to help.  She moved on once the money was  gone, leaving the elderly individual and the family to try and pick up the pieces. 

So what can you do?  An elderly person’s family, friends and neighbors should make efforts to insure the person is receiving good nutrition, help them stay socially involved, and be observant for signs someone is attempting to control that person for their own gain.  If you suspect an elderly person is a victim of undue influence, put all details of the transaction, including names, dates and facts in writing.  You can contact Adult Protective Services in your area which will begin an investigation.  This may prevent the elderly person from losing any more money and help him regain his dignity.

A proactive approach in this situation is to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to guide the individual through the estate planning process which may help avoid some of the pitfalls of undue influence that can arise from caregivers, friends, family and others.

The Mickey Rooney matter continues.  His estate was awarded millions from the stepfamily but whether that will be collected remains to be seen. 
Robert Jensen and Thomas J. Bayles, attorneys at law
JensenBayles, LLP provides a broad spectrum of legal services.  Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George market for over 18 years. Please visit our web site or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles.  The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Who Will Take Care of My Remains When I Die?

Who Will Take Care of My Remains When I Die?

            It is a well-established fact that none of us will not get out of this life alive.  Many of our clients wonder, “Who will take care of my remains when I die?”  Some clients want to be buried in a specific cemetery, some want to be cremated and have creative ideas about the disposition of their ashes. We have clients who want to donate their body to medical research while others do not want to make a decision and trust the family will do “what is right.”

If you have an option about disposition of your remains, i.e., cremation, specific funeral service or even a certain mortuary, it is important you provide written directions regarding the disposition of your body.  This can be included in your Last Will and Testament or another written directive acknowledged before a Notary Public or executed in the same manner required by a Will. 

If you specify your funeral wishes in your Will, you can change your mind without revoking or changing your Will.  You must provide specific written notice to your Personal Representative and to the mortuary, if you previously specified a particular mortuary.  This notice must be acknowledged as mentioned above.

Sadly, there are cases in which a decedent’s wishes were not honored by the family and costly litigation ensued.  In one case, a parent buried a child knowing the child had written a request to be cremated.  The child’s estranged spouse later tried to disinter the remains for cremation.  The courts became involved and the grief related to the loss of a loved one was compounded by the time and cost of the litigation.  Ultimately, the court determined the estranged spouse agreed to the burial which negated her ability to later argue the decedent’s wishes were to be cremated. 

Another case involved Gary Coleman from the TV program “Diff’rent Strokes” who died in Provo, Utah in 2010.  Mr. Coleman’s ex-wife and his parents both claimed the right to make funeral plans, and were in the process of doing so, when his manager Dion Mial was able to provide written documentation which directed Mr. Mial to oversee the Coleman estate and funeral arrangements.  In that case, the parents stopped their efforts after they reviewed the estate planning documents and determined they would honor their son’s wishes.

If you do not specify your wishes in writing, Utah law provides that the surviving spouse will have the authority to determine your disposition.  If there is no surviving spouse, Utah law provides a list of alternates and a method of priority.  By outlining your wishes with a written directive, the family will be able to honor you without additional stress.

JensenBayles, llp  provides a broad spectrum of legal services.  Thomas J. Bayles has been actively providing advice in the areas of trusts, wills, probate and tax planning in the St. George market for over 15 years. Please visit our web site or call 435-674-9718 and ask for Thomas J. Bayles or Phillip G. Gubler. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

Phillip G. Gubler and Thomas J. Bayles, Attorneys at Law