Volume 7 Issue 15_Sun Bay Paper

Dear Doctor: My wife does calligraphy, but she’s having trouble because her hands have started shaking. She’s worried it’s Parkinson’s disease. What else could be the cause? Dear Reader: Uncontrolled shaking, trembling or quivering, which is known as a tremor, occurs as the result of sustained and involuntary muscle contractions in the affected area. A tremor can range from something so slight that the person barely notices, to more pronounced movement that interferes with daily activities. Although tremors mostly involve the hands, they can affect virtually any muscle in the body, including those in the head and neck, vocal cords, legs, feet, arms and torso. The movement may occur at irregular intervals with periods of stillness in between episodes, or it can be constant. And while the condition becomes more common as people enter their later years, it can occur at any age. There are two major types of tremor -- resting and action. In resting tremor, which most often involves the hands and fingers, the affected body part shakes or trembles when the muscles are relaxed and at rest. An action tremor occurs when the muscles are engaged. This can happen during general movement, like when you pat a dog or pass a plate; while bracing a body part, such as holding out an arm; when engaging in a fine motor task, such as writing; or while zeroing in on a specific target, such as touching the tip of one’s nose. Tremors can occur without a discernible cause; may be a symptom of a physical, medical or neurological condition; or can result from medical treatment. Many of us have experienced the shaky hands that can accompany fear, anxiety, anger, anticipation and exhaustion. Substances like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can contribute to tremors. So can a range of drugs, both legal and illicit. Medications that may cause tremor include those used to manage asthma, certain antidepressants, some types of blood pressure drugs, thyroid medications, weightloss medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and antivirals. It’s true that tremor can be a symptom of a neurological disorder, including Parkinson’s disease. In your wife’s case, it is likely an action tremor because it occurs while she is writing. Parkinsonian tremor falls into the category of the resting tremor: A person with Parkinson’s disease will notice that their fingers or hands tremble while at rest, and that as soon as the muscles are engaged in activity, the tremor disappears. However, since any type of tremor can be a symptom of an underlying condition, it’s a good idea for your wife to speak about it with her family doctor. Diagnosis entails a comprehensive physical and neurological exam, a detailed medical history, performance tests and certain laboratory tests. Imaging tests such as CT scans or MRI don’t diagnose tremor, but may be used to rule out other conditions. There is no cure for tremor at this time, but with medication and, in some cases, surgery, the condition often can be successfully managed. Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, and Elizabeth Ko, M.D. Many of us are at our most vulnerable in the days following a family member's death. Unfortunately, some debt collectors try to prey upon this grief by contacting these same family members in an attempt to obtain the money they are owed. In some cases, these collectors may try and convince family members that they can be held personally responsible for the debt. But that is not the law. To the contrary, unless a family member is a co-signer on the debt in question, such as a loan or credit card, they are in no way obligated to satisfy their relative's debts. A debt collector may contact a relative to obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the decedent's spouse or personal representative, but that is all. In fact, it is the personal representative of the estate who is responsible for paying any valid debts owed by the decedent. Note that the personal representative is only required to pay these debts from the assets of the estate itself. The personal representative is not personally liable for such debts. Additionally, the personal representative can tell a third-party debt collector to cease contacting them directly about a debt. This does not mean, however, that the debt collector cannot take legal action. The collector may file a creditor claim against the probate estate or file a lawsuit when appropriate. Understanding the Priority of Estate Debts Another thing to consider: Even though you are not responsible for paying a family member's debts, their creditors will get priority over the estate. In other words, even if you are a named beneficiary of your relative's will, the personal representative is always required to pay the decedent's debts first. Florida law actually specifies the order in which a personal representative must pay an estate's expenses and obligations. The costs of administering the estate itself always take top priority. Debts then have priority over distributions to beneficiaries. But not all debts are treated the same. Some debts take priority over others. For instance, tax debts usually outrank all other debts, followed by medical bills, back child support, debts related to the decedent's business, and finally any unsecured debts such as credit cards or civil judgments. If there is not enough money to satisfy all of the debts, then some creditors may simply walk away empty handed. When there are two or more competing debts with the same level of priority, the personal representative may need to apportion the remaining estate assets accordingly. That is to say, each creditor may end up walking away with less than the full amount owed to them. Again, the critical thing to remember is that just because you were related to someone who died– or even a person named in their will – that does not make you responsible for paying off their debts. If you have further questions or concerns and would like to speak with an experienced Fort Myers estate planning attorney, contact the Kuhn Law Firm, P.A., today at 239-333-4529. Family Member’s Debt ASK THE DOCTORS Not All Tremors Point to Parkinson’s Disease Sun Bay Paper Available Do you like this News Paper? Interested in having your own Franchise in your hometown or in taking over this one? Call Bobby at: 239-267-4000 Low Tide High Tide Fri, Jan 21 Tide Set One 02:13 AM 2.36 ft 09:50 AM -0.52 ft Tide Set Two 04:12 PM 1.44 ft 09:10 PM 0.72 ft Sat, Jan 22 Tide Set One 03:02 AM 2.13 ft 10:21 AM -0.30 ft Tide Set Two 04:36 PM 1.61 ft 10:16 PM 0.56 ft Sun, Jan 23 Tide Set One 04:00 AM 1.84 ft 10:52 AM -0.03 ft Tide Set Two 05:05 PM 1.77 ft 11:30 PM 0.36 ft Mon, Jan 24 Tide Set One 05:12 AM 1.51 ft 11:24 AM 0.30 ft Tide Set Two 05:37 PM 1.97 ft -0---- --- Tue, Jan 25 Tide Set One 06:51 AM 1.18 ft 12:51 AM 0.10 ft Tide Set Two 06:15 PM 2.17 ft 11:55 AM 0.66 ft Wed, Jan 26 Tide Set One 09:17 AM 1.05 ft 02:16 AM -0.20 ft Tide Set Two 07:01 PM 2.33 ft 12:19 PM 0.95 ft Thu, Jan 27 Tide Set One 07:56 PM 2.49 ft 03:37 AM -0.52 ft Tide Set Two ----- --- ----- --- Tide Chart