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Family Feud: Avoiding Legal Inheritance Disputes

Posted by on 6:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Family Feud: Avoiding Legal Inheritance Disputes

When it comes to your last will and testament, doling out your personal possessions can be an emotional and difficult thing to do. Once you’ve gone, how can you be sure your children and other family members will get the correct items and benefits you’ve requested? Family inheritance disputes can get rather nasty and lead to long, drawn-out court battles. Fortunately, there are some things you can do in advance to ensure that these types of problems don’t occur after you’re gone. Talk It Out Before you see an attorney about your will, talk to your children about the things that mean the most to them. Have everyone sit down together and come up with an amicable agreement as to who will get what once you’ve passed. By having this conversation in advance, you’ll have a clearer picture of who truly wants that special piece of china or which necklace your daughter really has her heart set on. Get a list together of which items will be left to whom so you can have this specifically drafted on paper to keep it legal. This is a great way to avoid potential disputes later on since everyone will clearly state which things they’d truly like to inherit. Choose Your Executor With Care An executor is a person legally responsible for making sure that your final wishes per your last will and testament are carried out. Many people choose one of their children to be the executor, but if there are several siblings in your family, this can potentially become an issue. Instead, look for a professional who can remain objective after you pass and assign them as the official executor of your will. This person can be an attorney, a close family friend, or a private firm who can ensure that your wishes are carried out without getting emotionally involved.  Stay Updated As major events happen in your life such as buying a new home or getting new profits from investments, your will may need to be updated. It’s a good idea to update the paperwork every two to three years so you’re sure everything is included. When you come into new items like new vehicles or money from a 401(k), if it’s not mentioned in the will, it could become an item for contention after you pass. Meet with your lawyer every few years or so in order to add new items to the will to make sure it’s all legally written down to avoid any litigation in the future.  For more information, contact a firm such as The Law Offices of John G. McGill,...

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Don’t Wait: 3 Steps You Should Take If You’ve Been In A Car Accident

Posted by on 5:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Wait: 3 Steps You Should Take If You’ve Been In A Car Accident

Car accidents can turn your world upside down, especially if you’ve been injured or your car has been totaled. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you might not know what to do to recover from your injuries or loss of personal property. It’s important that you act fast to protect your rights – including your right to medical care, as well as any rights you may have to monetary compensation. If you’ve been in a car accident, here are three steps you should take. Obtain Medical Care If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to obtain medical care as soon as possible. This is important even if you aren’t feeling any physical symptoms. During a car accident, your body produces additional adrenaline, which may prevent you from feeling some symptoms immediately after the incident. It’s not uncommon to feel fine right after an accident, only to develop pain, dizziness and numbness days later. By seeking medical condition immediately following an accident, doctors have a better chance of diagnosing injuries you might not realize you have. Not only that, but it will be difficult to prove that your injuries are directly related to the accident if you wait days or weeks to visit the doctor. Keep Accurate Notes and Records In the days and weeks following your accident, you may experience physical symptoms, especially if you were injured. It’s important that you keep accurate notes and records relating to those injuries. Make copies of all the paperwork you receive from your doctors, including any prescriptions you receive. It’s also important for you to keep a journal about your injuries. Make notes about how your injuries are affecting your daily activities, including pain levels or incidences where your injuries prevent you from working or taking part in family activities. These records and notes will help you prove your case should you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Speak to an Attorney As soon as you’re able to, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney, even if you’re not sure whether you’ll seek legal action against the other driver. An attorney will be able to advise you about your rights as an accident victim. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you might have. When you sit down with the attorney, be sure you bring any documentation you might have regarding the accident. If you’ve been in an accident, use the suggestions provided above to ensure that your rights as an accident victim are...

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Four Problems You May Face If You Abandon Your House

Posted by on 4:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Problems You May Face If You Abandon Your House

Legally speaking, abandoning a house isn’t a smart thing to do, even if you don’t have a current use for it. Gift it to someone, rent it out or sell it for a nominal price, but don’t treat it as if it doesn’t exist. Here are some of the consequences of abandoning a property: The Government May Take It One danger of abandoning your home is that the government may take it permanently. Some states have laws that allow the government to claim abandoned property without paying the owner. Usually, there is a specific period that must pass before the state can make its move. Therefore, don’t abandon your property if you have hopes of using it one day. You May Lose It to Squatters If you abandon your home for a long time, the government may not be the only party eyeing it. Through adverse possession laws, somebody may start using your abandoned property and later claim it legally as their own. This may happen, for example, if your adjacent neighbor starts using your abandoned house, and continues to do so for many years that trigger the adverse possession laws in your state. It May Bring Mortgage-Related Problems If the house you are abandoning has an outstanding mortgage, then you have lots or mortgage-related problems to deal with. Here are two specific problems this may raise: Damage to your credit score – Once you stop making the payments, the information starts showing up on your credit report and stays there for seven years. Tax consequences – This is possible because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats unpaid mortgage as income. Only a few homeowners get to enjoy tax breaks on unpaid mortgages; for example, you may qualify for a tax break if you took the mortgage between 2007 and 2012, and the house was your primary residence. Thus, you may find yourself spending money on a property that doesn’t benefit you in any way. It May Cause You Civil Liability Abandoning a house doesn’t release you from the liability of any damages or injuries it may cause. In the eyes of the government, you are still responsible for ensuring that other people don’t suffer damages due to the property. For example, if your abandoned house has a trampoline and a child gets injured while playing on it, you may be held responsible for the injury. If you are facing legal issues after abandoning a house, consult a lawyer, such as Steve Butcher Sr,  to help you sort them out. For example, a lawyer may help you prove that you qualify for a tax break for not paying your mortgage or help you prevent adverse possession of the land if you have future use for it....

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4 Steps To Take After Slipping And Falling In A Grocery Store

Posted by on 10:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps To Take After Slipping And Falling In A Grocery Store

When you head to the grocery store, you most likely expect to load your cart up with food and then go home. But if a grocery store is negligent in cleaning up spills or keeping their floor in good repair a simple shopping trip can result in a nasty slip and fall that can leave you with bad injuries. If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident at a grocery store, it is important to react in the correct manner. Take the following steps to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve after being hurt in a fall: Photograph the Area One of the best things that you can do after falling at a grocery store is take photos of the area with your cell phone. It is a good idea to take wide shots as well as close ups of a spill or area of flooring that needs to be repaired. This photographs will serve as important pieces of evidence when dealing with the grocery store’s insurance company. Alert the Supervisor on Duty After photographing the area of the fall, immediately alert the supervisor on duty about your accident. Make sure that he or she fills out an incident report that notes the details of what happened. Before leaving the store, get a copy of the incident report for your records. Go See a Doctor Slip and fall accidents can be very serious, and depending on how you fall you can cause damage to your pelvis, back, or extremities. It is in your best interest to see your doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident at a grocery store. Getting prompt medical care will help you recover faster, and your medical records may also be called upon when it the time comes to discuss a financial settlement. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Settling a slip and fall accident can be a challenge because negligence must be proven. If you are not an attorney, this will be difficult for you to do on your own. After a slip and fall accident in a grocery store, it is essential to contact a personal injury lawyer like Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd to represent you. Your lawyer will gather evidence from you and build your case to show that negligence by the grocery store caused your injury. A lawyer is also a very valuable resource in negotiating a settlement– there is a good chance that you will get a higher settlement if you have an experienced...

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Are You and a Neighbor Arguing Over Who Owns What? This Is What You Should Know about Adverse Possession

Posted by on 7:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You and a Neighbor Arguing Over Who Owns What? This Is What You Should Know about Adverse Possession

Property ownership is often seen as the key to wealth—which is why ownership disputes between neighbors can quickly become contentious. What happens if you’ve been using a piece of property for years without disturbance when a neighbor suddenly tells you that you’re on the wrong side of a boundary line? This is what you should know. You may have gained the right to the property through adverse possession. Adverse possession is sometimes known as “squatter’s rights,” and it’s a legal way of gaining ownership of a piece of property over a period time. In order to acquire ownership this way, you have to meet certain conditions: Your possession has to be hostile (without the consent of the true owner). You have to actually control the property in some way. You have to use the property openly. Your possession has to continue for a specific period of time, as prescribed by law, without interruption. The exact length of time that you have to possess a piece of property this way in order for it to change hands varies widely by state. In Pennsylvania, for example, you have to wait 21 years for adverse possession to take effect. In Rhode Island, however, you can gain ownership in as few as 10 years. There may be some additional requirements specific to your state. In addition to the basic requirements, some states have additional rules that control ownership through adverse possession. For example, in Oregon, adverse possession can result in a change of ownership if you honestly and reasonably believed that you were the actual owner of the property. For example, imagine that you wanted to build a shed in your backyard. You and your neighbor have always believed that a line of bushes marked the boundary between your properties. You build the shed and don’t think anything more of it until your neighbor sells his or her property twenty years later. Your new neighbor, however, has the property surveyed and informs you that your shed is three feet over the boundary line. The odds are high that a court would not force you to move the shed after all that time. In other states, you can gain adverse possession only if you meet all of the regular criteria plus pay the taxes. In states with this rule, the time limit required to obtain possession is often shortened. California, for example, will allow you to claim adverse possession under those circumstances in only 5 years. Adverse possession claims can involve a few inches or they can involve large patches of land and houses. If you find yourself in that situation, contact a real estate attorney today. To get legal help with adverse possession issues, go to websites like this one and contact a real estate...

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What To Do If You’re Far From Home And Too Drowsy To Drive

Posted by on 6:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do If You’re Far From Home And Too Drowsy To Drive

If you’ve ever had to stay awake for a long time and drive, you know how frightening it can be to suddenly realize you can’t remember the past few miles that you drove. Driving drowsy is dangerous (and illegal in states like New Jersey), and if you’ve had anything to drink beforehand — even a tiny bit — or taken something like cold medicine, you could actually find yourself charged with a DUI instead of just reckless driving if the police mistake your drowsy driving for drunk or drugged driving. Rather than risk a DWD or DUI charge, do what you can to find a place to sleep. Obvious but Not Always Possible If you can afford cab fare home or have the money to check into a motel to nap, do one of those, of course. However, sometimes people attending conventions in town reserve all the motel rooms, or you don’t have enough money or credit for a long cab ride home and then back the next day to get your car. Or maybe you’re in the middle of nowhere on a road trip. If you encounter these problems, you still have options. Home-Sharing Services With vacation rental services becoming more and more common, you can try looking up rooms in the area. There are bound to be a few open rooms in the area if you’re in a major city. These rooms are often cheaper than rooms at local motels, and you can often instantly book private rooms through some of these services. Couch Surfing Services Related to the home-sharing services are couch-sharing or crashing services. For an even cheaper fee, you get to crash on someone’s couch, which is obviously better than crashing your car. The drawback is that you won’t have privacy in a house full of strangers if you’re sleeping on the couch. Truck Stops Truck stops that have a gas station, restaurant, store, and shower facilities often have large parking lots holding not only trucks, but also RVs and cars. It’s best to be discreet; ensure you do not park near trucks lest it turn out you’re taking up a truck parking spot. You can grab a quick nap in your car in many of these lots. This is a great option if you’re near a smaller town or in the middle of a multistate drive as truck stops are located all over the country. Do listen to your gut. If you feel the truck stop is not safe, don’t stay there. But many are very busy and have good security. Pay the truck stop back by eating at the restaurant or buying something from the store. Campgrounds If you find yourself nodding off near camping facilities, try stopping there. A low fee can get you a campsite for the night, which is better than nothing. Park the car and go to sleep. Don’t assume that a cup of coffee will wake you up enough to drive. If you’ve started nodding off behind the wheel, you must stop driving. The local police and everyone around you will be grateful you did. Contact a DUI attorney, like Hart Law Offices, PC, if you do end up with a...

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What To Do When You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer But Are Short On Cash

Posted by on 7:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do When You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer But Are Short On Cash

When you’ve been injured as a result of the negligence of another party, it’s important for you to get the monetary restitution that you need for medical bills and for your pain and suffering.  A good personal injury lawyer can help you get this compensation, but you may not have enough money to retain their services.  However, there are options available to you that can help cover the costs.  Use this information to learn more about what you can do to get legal representation when you’re low on cash. Seek Out Pro Bono Services There are a number of personal injury lawyers that work on a pro bono basis.  This means that they will take on your case for free, and you won’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket. Lawyers who offer pro bono services typically do this to help low-income individuals gain access to legal assistance that may be out of their monetary reach.  Some of these attorneys do not widely publicize these free services, so it’s important for you to be willing to call around to different firms until you find one who is staffed with a lawyer that will represent you free of charge. If you aren’t able to find a pro bono lawyer after calling local firms, you may want to use a website such as this one to find out if there is a pro bono lawyer available to you.   Consider Getting A Micro Loan Another option that you should consider when you need legal help is a micro loan.  These are loans extended to you for legal help that can be paid back over time.  They are very valuable in a pinch because the loan is typically not income restricted, and you should be able to get the funds in a relatively short period of time. You can check with your local legal aid society to get more information about the lenders in your community who extend legal micro loans to the public. You’ll be able to use the money to retain a lawyer and cover a significant portion of the legal fees. Although you will need to repay the loan, you can talk to your lender about a workable repayment plan that fits into your budget. Don’t miss out on the chance to get legal aid because you don’t have the money.  Use this information as a guide that can help you get the legal care that you deserve. For more information, look to Henry C. Devening or other personal injury lawyers in your...

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What To Know About Common Law Marriages

Posted by on 6:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Know About Common Law Marriages

Many people believe that two people living together for a certain length of time are automatically involved in a common law marriage. In fact, cohabitation is just one of several requirements that are used to determine the legality of a common law marriage. Read on to learn the full story about common law marriages. Common Law Marriage Guidelines Not every state recognizes common law marriage, and even in those that do you must meet the requirements. While the most important requirement is cohabitation, there are no guidelines about length of cohabitation. Other requirements, which can vary by state, are: If you are unable to fill the requirements to be legally married in your state, you cannot be common law married either. In short, you must not be: ~ Under minimum legal age. ~ Married to someone else already. ~ Be incapacitated or not of a sound mind. Additionally, both parties must be of the same mind and: 1. Have the intention and forethought to live as a married couple. 2. “Hold themselves out” to be a married couple. This means that both people consistently represent themselves to family, friends, the community, and their place of worship as married. Common Law Dissolution Couples who hold themselves to be in a common law marriage cannot simply move out when they decide to part ways. If you have true common law marriage, and you live in a state that recognizes that form of marriage, you must follow the same legal procedures to divorce that is required of traditionally married couples. There is actually no such thing as a common law divorce. Issues can arise when only one party in the common law marriage alleges the existence of the marriage. While this issue can arise due to misunderstandings, often one party doesn’t want to go through the trouble and expense of divorcing. Issues with debt and property division and the need for alimony (spousal support) can sometimes be another factor for one party desiring a quick ending to relationship without the need for a legally-binding divorce decree. If the issue of common law marriage has to be decided by a family court judge, he will ascertain the answers to the following questions: How long did the couple lived together? Did they share a common last name? Did they raise children together? Did they own property together? Did they file joint tax returns? It should be noted that the question of common law marriage is irrelevant to the child support issue, since there is no need to be legally married for child support orders to passed down in family court. If you are ending a relationship and need more information about common law marriages in your state, contact a divorce attorney (like those at LaCroix & Hand PC) to learn about your rights.  ...

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Did Your Anti-Deoressent Medication Cause A Birth Defect? Get A Lawyer

Posted by on 8:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Did Your Anti-Deoressent Medication Cause A Birth Defect? Get A Lawyer

If you were on an anti-depression medication while trying to conceive and your obstetrician recommended that you didn’t stop taking it, and your child now has a learning disability, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer. There are many different potential causes of the learning disabilities, or physical abnormalities and many anti-depressant medications have been linked to speech, mental and physical development conditions. You want to take action quickly and meet with a personal injury lawyer to go over your malpractice suit. Here is the information you should have with you for your first consult. Diagnosis from the Pediatrician or Specialist Have your child’s pediatrician or medical specialist write a statement with the condition that your child has, and what type of lifelong problems it could cause. You should also have the physician include what type of therapy and treatment will be needed to help the child, what could have caused the problems, and if your child could be affected by the medication permanently. Proof of Medication Prescription You should be able to get your records from the pharmacy you use for proof of the medication you were taking, how much of it, and for how long. With the prescription information it shows the medical professional that prescribed it to you. If you were apprehensive about still taking it but your obstetrician thought it was best, you have the information to show they gave you the prescription to take the medication. Financial Statements How much has the medical treatments for your child’s condition cost you already? You’ll want to get all of the bills from specialists and appointments outside of wellness visits that were a direct result of the problem caused by taking the medication. You want to get reimbursed for the costs you’ve already had to pay, and also for the future expenses you will have because of taking the medication. When you are pregnant and your doctor tells you that it may be more harmful to your body to go off the medication being taken for depression, you trust your medical professional to make the right decision. If your child is now the one who paid the price, and they have a developmental problem because you took the medication, you need to hire a lawyer (such as Steven A. Crifase Ltd) and take action. You should get paid for not only your monetary stresses, but for the mental stress it has caused you, and the stress it will cause your child in the...

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Checking The Probate: Information You Might Find With A Probate Lawyer’s Help

Posted by on 10:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Checking The Probate: Information You Might Find With A Probate Lawyer’s Help

As an heir who stands to inherit something from your parents’ estate, you may be curious about what you will and will not receive. If your parents choose not to share that information with you while they are still alive, it may be possible to have a probate lawyer check the wills for you. Sometimes the lawyer cannot disclose the details of the will so long as the testator (i.e., the owner/creator of the will) is still alive. You may be able to ask your probate lawyer some less-invasive questions that he or she could answer with a simple “yes” or “no,” but until your parents pass away you may not know much else about your inheritance. Here are a few things you might be able to learn through your lawyer. Is the Will an Open Document on Record? An open document is one that allows just about anybody to read it. It is unlikely that anyone with substantial means, or at least enough means to bequeath it to their heirs, would have an open will on record. However, if your lawyer finds that the will is an open document, you may be able to view a copy of it. Have You Been Removed from the Will or Specifically Excluded/Disinherited? If your parents have threatened to disinherit you and remove you from their will, depending on the laws in your state and whether or not your parents would allow another lawyer to look at their wills, you may be able to find out if they have carried out their threats. Otherwise, your lawyer and your parents’ lawyer(s) cannot disclose if you are excluded or not, at least not until both of your parents have passed away and cannot contest your investigation into the terms of their wills. Can You Find out Ahead of Time How Your Parents Have Divided Their Property and Assets? Since most wills are set up so that final debts owed and funeral costs are paid via the remaining assets of the deceased, it would be nearly impossible to figure out “who gets what” ahead of time. Many parents may share with their adult children about who gets the house, the boat, etc., but financials are entirely different because of the length of life your parents may have and the final bills they leave behind. Additionally, it may not be possible to know how assets are divided since wills can be changed as often as your parents like or feel the need to do so.  If you’re looking for a probate attorney in your area, visit David R Webb...

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