Pages Navigation Menu

Treating Both Genders Equally When It Comes to Child Custody

Which Trust Can You Use To Protect A Financially Irresponsible Beneficiary?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Which Trust Can You Use To Protect A Financially Irresponsible Beneficiary?

If you concerned that a beneficiary will squander his or her inheritance, you can take action while estate planning to prevent this. There are two types of trust that are specifically designed to ensure that your beneficiary does not misuse his or her inheritance. To help ensure you select the trust that meets your needs, it is important to know the key aspects of each. Sprinkling Trust A sprinkling trust gives the trustee the power to determine how and when funds are distributed to the beneficiary. In most instances, the trustee issues funds based on the needs of the beneficiary. For instance, if the beneficiary needs $1,000 to pay for a medical procedure, the trustee could issue that amount to him or her.    A sprinkling trust is not just good for beneficiaries that are financially irresponsible. It can also be useful in ensuring that the needs of your beneficiaries are met. For instance, the trustee could be instructed to distribute funds based on varying needs, such as paying for college tuition or buying a home. The trust can have multiple beneficiaries. Instead of designating a certain sum of money to be distributed to each beneficiary, you could set up a trust with a pooled amount. Each beneficiary would then receive funds, as needed, from the pooled funds. It is important to note that when this is done, it is very likely that some beneficiaries might receive more in distributions than the others. Spendthrift Trust A spendthrift trust is different than the sprinkling trust because payments from it are made based on the stipulations outlined by you during the setup of the trust. Since you are concerned that your beneficiary will squander his or her inheritance, you can give the power to the trustee not to distribute funds if he or she feels that it will be wasted. Otherwise, the funds are distributed as you choose. A spendthrift trust is ideal if you also want to protect your beneficiary from creditors. Any funds that are in the trust cannot be touched by his or her creditors because they legally belong to the trust. You can authorize the trustee to purchase goods and services with the funds from the trust for even more protection from the creditors. Consult with an estate planning attorney, such as Edward G. Foster, to determine whether a sprinkling or spendthrift trust would be best for your estate. Your attorney can help you evaluate the trusts and your state’s laws to ensure that the decisions you make are legally...

read more

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney? 3 Troublesome Situations to Be Aware Of

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney? 3 Troublesome Situations to Be Aware Of

If you are suffering from an injury caused by another party’s negligence, you are likely hoping that the at-fault party’s insurance company will do the right thing and offer you a fair settlement. In some cases, you simply cannot rely on the other side’s insurance company to compensate you. If you are the victim of a more difficult-to-prove or complicated injury, you will likely require the services of a personal injury attorney to help you get fairly compensated. Read on to learn more about these types of injuries and why it’s important to take legal action as soon as possible. Catastrophic These life-altering injuries can result in conditions that will continue to affect you long after most injuries heal. Catastrophic injuries, such as amputations and back, spine, and head injuries, can require ongoing and astronomic medical expenses and result in a permanent disability. You may never be able to work again, and your family will often suffer right along side of you. Insurance companies are often ill-equipped to deal with injuries of this magnitude, and thus are not likely to offer you fair compensation for what may be a lifetime disability. Toxic Exposure These types of injuries are sometimes the result of a long-term exposure issue that did not become apparent until years after the initial exposure. Toxic exposure claims are often highly technical and complicated, requiring the expertise of a legal professional. This type of claim could involve a lawsuit against not only your employer but also the toxic substance manufacturer, which could mean going up against large companies with a team of highly-qualified lawyers. Medical Malpractice Like toxic substance lawsuits, medical malpractice suits can pit you against a team of seasoned lawyers who work for the medical malpractice insurance company. Additionally, the key piece of evidence needed to prove your case could be held by the very institution that you are suing, which can sometimes create a challenging situation. Medical malpractice in some states requires a specialized type of personal injury attorney. All three of these specific personal injury circumstances have in common the potential for extended medical care—sometimes a lifetime of care—as well as the need for pain and suffering compensation, both of which can be tricky to properly calculate. The greater the severity of your injury, the more difficult the compensation for pain and suffering is to calculate. It’s not easy to put a price on your future earning potential, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses, but a qualified personal injury attorney will help ensure that you are fairly compensated for these special types of injuries. Contact a representative from a firm like Hoffman, Hamer & Associates, PLLC for...

read more

Making Best Use Of VA Claim Delay And Appeal Time

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Making Best Use Of VA Claim Delay And Appeal Time

Waiting for a response from the Veterans Affairs (VA) claim system can be a time-consuming and worrying ordeal. For many veterans, there isn’t a lot of useful information that comes back from the VA, which means many attempts at progress are halted. It’s hard to get safe and accurate information that the VA needs if you don’t know what they’re looking for, but an overview of VA expectations can give you a better idea of the kinds of statements and evidence you’ll need. The VA Only Has What Your Give One of the most common reasons for VA claim denial is a lack of relevant information. This isn’t necessarily because the VA claim requirements are hard to understand at a basic level, but because a lot of assumptions combined with missing information can lead to weaker claims. In some cases, difficult claims may be avoided. The VA does not scan and analyze your entire medical record. In fact, unless you submit specific parts of your medical record, the VA will not be reading much of your medical history from the military. Although it’s true that transferring through different military bases and medical centers usually results in a careful review of relevant information, you need to remember that the VA is not part of the military. There are both security and administrative reasons for the VA not having immediate access to your records, but the main thing to take away is that you’ll need to do the work of sifting through your medical record. Sound a bit daunting? It can be, especially if you have a long history of injury and a big medical record. That said, service-members with lots of medical information aren’t preparing their claims alone–or if they are, success isn’t very likely. It takes a representative to be effective when there’s a lot of information to look through. During your wait time, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to review what you’ve sent and to supplement the claim by sending more, professionally-prepared information. Enhancing A Claim’s Service-Connected Strength You need to prove that your claim is somehow related to military service. Since the VA only provides compensation for injuries and other conditions related to military service, your claim or appeal needs to pass a service-connection test. Service-connection details how your claim or appeal is related to the military. To dispel more assumptions, service connection is not combat connection–combat connection is a different issue that can have an impact on other claim details, but isn’t relevant at this point. It doesn’t matter if you were in or out of combat, or not related to combat at all; being in the military is all that matters. To prove your service-connection, you’ll need historical information showing that your condition was indeed part of your military service. A medical record entry is a good start, but not all veterans report the injuries to medical. Some injuries may not become noticeable until after you’ve had time to shift from a high-paced military career to the slower, less active pace of the military. If you don’t have documentation from military service, a personal injury attorney may be necessary. The attorney can not only research deeper parts of your military past and interview previous medical staff (or others from your past), but connect you with civilian medical...

read more

3 Things To Consider Before Hiring An Employement Attorney For Your Wrongful Termination Case

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Consider Before Hiring An Employement Attorney For Your Wrongful Termination Case

Securing employment can be a tough task for many individuals. It usually takes a series of interviews and phone calls to get a new position, which is why securing and keeping a job is of the utmost importance. However, wrongful termination does happen and it can be frustrating and stressful to deal with. The first step often involves finding an employment lawyer that will take your case. Your employment lawyer needs as much evidence as possible to prove wrongful termination in order to win your case. As a result, there are a few things to consider before hiring an employment attorney. Mutual Termination Agreement Some jobs come with an agreement that there is an expected end date. This end date can be anywhere from a few weeks from the day you start until decades later. A few forms of employment agreements include: Mandatory resignations are common for pilots in the aviation industry. These types of resignations are more for safety reasons. Forced resignations are sometimes used in place of outright firing the person. These resignations are common for people in positions of power. Employment contracts are common for internships and freelance contracts. If the termination falls under a mutual agreement, then you do not really have a wrongful termination case to present to an employment attorney. Proof of Discrimination One of the many reasons that cases of wrongful termination are brought against an employer is because the employee feels as though they were discriminated against. In this case, you will need to provide proof of discrimination in the workplace. For an example, you can provide evidence through the use of emails or a detailed log. It is generally difficult to provide concrete evidence of discrimination as very few people openly admit to discrimination. However, if you are able to provide an employment attorney with any type of proof you will have the upper hand. You may have a case of discrimination and wrongful termination if you fall into four categories: You are a member of a protected class You were qualified for the position  Your employer fired you Your position was replaced by someone not in a protected class Written or Implied Promises If you have a written or implied promise from your lawyer that promises permanent employment, then you may have a case. This can be difficult to prove because employers usually shy away from making these statements verbally and in writing. However, look through your original employment contract for statements that imply future job security. While most employment is at-will, there are a number of laws and rules are there to protect you from wrongful termination. Therefore, use this guide to make sure you have a case before hiring an employment...

read more

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy: Get the Facts

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Foreclosure and Bankruptcy: Get the Facts

No one likes the possibility of having to file bankruptcy, but in some cases it might be a good option. For instance, if you are facing foreclosure due to financial difficulties, filing for bankruptcy might help you resolve the situation, depending on the specific circumstances. Automatic Stay  Filing for bankruptcy triggers a legal mechanism known as the automatic stay. This legal protection prevents creditors from making any attempts to collects on debts or enforce a lien during the bankruptcy process. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in many cases, an automatic stay will give you at least several months to try to improve your financial situation and deal with the foreclosure.  Lift Stay  The creditor who is behind the foreclosure on your home has the right to ask the court to lift the stay. If this happens, the legal protection you have against the foreclosure continuing during the bankruptcy process will disappear. As a general rule, however, lifting a stay is not especially common, as judges tend to support keeping the automatic stay in place in most circumstances and the burden of proof is on the creditor. Chapter 13  You have various options when you file for bankruptcy. For most individuals, the two main options are filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy code. If you file under Chapter 7, you will probably not be able to save your home, but the situation is different if you file under Chapter 13. This section of the bankruptcy code allows you set up a payment plan to pay off your debts and liens. A mortgage is a lien, so you might be able to pay any back mortgage payments you owe over a lengthy time period, such as five years. You must remain current on your monthly payments, however, during the repayment period.   Eligibility  Although filing for Chapter 13 is often a good way to save a home from foreclosure, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, you must have steady income so that you can fund your repayment plan. Also, you must not have excessive levels of either secured or unsecured debt.  Filing for bankruptcy can help you keep your home from being taken in a foreclosure, especially if you qualify for Chapter 13. The rules and regulations surrounding bankruptcy are quite complex, however, and it’s almost impossible for a lay person to negotiate this legal process themselves. For more information about bankruptcy and foreclosure, contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney like Wade Bettis, J.D., Ph.D.,...

read more

Have You Come Up With A Killer Invention? Here’s What To Expect During The Patenting Process

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You Come Up With A Killer Invention? Here’s What To Expect During The Patenting Process

Do you have an excellent idea for an invention that people will want to buy? As any inventor knows, you have to file for a patent if you want to keep your intellectual property safe while you develop your idea. If you’ve never applied for a provisional patent before, it’s vital to know how you can avoid mistakes that might cost you in the long run. Provisional Applications Can Hold Your Place In Line Even if you aren’t ready to file for a full patent yet, you don’t have to just sit and worry about your idea being taken. Instead, you can apply for a less expensive provisional patent, which also requires less detail. By getting a provisional patent for your idea now, you can ensure that your eventual full patent application is treated as though you applied on the date of your provisional patent. This essentially holds your spot in line and keeps competing patents filed after yours from being able to steal your thunder. An Incomplete Provisional Application May Be Used Against You Competing patents pose a threat to you if your application is lacking in sufficient detail. Provisional patents take less information than full-fledged ones, but they still require elements that show you have a well-defined concept. If your provisional application is lacking drawings, specifications, or other information to show you have a real invention, patent court may award the rights to your competitor, making all of your efforts for nothing. To avoid this, consult with a patent lawyer before filing your application. This may drive the cost up slightly, but an airtight provisional patent will ensure that your future full patent is safe. Maintaining A Patent Is Going To Cost You Even if you think your idea is perfect now, you might reconsider how much you want to invest in your invention when you look at the cost of a patent application. Even if you manage all of the work yourself and don’t seek professional assistance, it can still cost hundreds in application fees to even have your idea considered. With help from a patent lawyer to ensure your papers are properly completed, that figure rises by thousands of dollars. After your patent is granted, you’ll have to pay regular maintenance fees to keep your rights. Costs vary based on the size of your company and how long you’ve held the patent, but you should expect to pay a few hundred dollars every few years. Getting a patent for your idea can be daunting, but it’s still important. If you aren’t sure where to start, consult with a patent lawyer from a firm like Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law about your options. Most lawyers will talk to you the first time for free, so it’s a good way to get an idea of what you need before your application is...

read more

Who Can See Your Medical Records After You Die?

Posted by on Aug 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Who Can See Your Medical Records After You Die?

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted to protect a patient’s medical privacy. For anyone to get access to your medical records, there are forms to be filled out stating who the nurse or doctor can speak to in regards to your health issues. However, what happens when you die? Does anyone have access to your medical records or do the medical files get sealed and put away? HIPAA After Death HIPAA does not only protect patients while they are alive. It also protect them after death. According to the Journal of Ahima, HIPAA will protect a patient’s medical records for 50 years after their death. After that, medical records can be accessed by family members, mostly for genealogy purposes. However, state laws may prohibit this, so you would need to contact the state in which the medical records are held to see if you can access them. Who Can Access Your Medical Records If you have appointed a personal representative to your estate, they will have legal access to your medical records after your death. If you have not appointed anyone to handle your estate, then the state where you reside will determine who best fits that role. Typically, it is a spouse, grown child or sibling, and they will get access to the medical records. Also, if you have signed a HIPAA form that gives the nurses and doctors permission to speak to certain named individuals about your health, those named individuals will also have access. For example, you have given the nurse and doctor permission to speak to your sibling about your medical treatment, but your spouse is the personal representative to your estate. After your death, your sibling will have access to your medical files, just like your spouse will. Limiting Who Has Access to Your Records Before you die, you can make provision on who cannot access the medical records after your death, even if you had given them permission while you were alive. The personal representative will legally get access no matter what. However, if you wish to not share your records with anyone you have given HIPAA permission to, you can state that desire. If you do not want certain people to access your medical records after you die, then you should carefully pick the person that will be handling your estate upon your death and those you give the access to while you are living. If you wish to keep your medical records private, then you should seek a lawyer’s counsel to make sure that your desires will be legally held up after your death. Contact a professional like Robert J Willis, Attorney at Law for more...

read more

4 Ways To Get In Legal Trouble When You’re Homeless

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Get In Legal Trouble When You’re Homeless

If being homeless isn’t hard enough, there are at least four ways you can run into legal problems just trying to do activities of daily living  or to rustle up some money for food and other necessities. 1. Loitering In Public Places Many urban areas across the U.S. have criminalized loitering, sleeping in public on benches, on the ground in parks sleeping in vehicles sitting in certain areas, and camping (by setting up a tent or living out of a camper/RV in an unauthorized spot). Just the fact that you are homeless and/or jobless can result in a vagrancy charge, which is called a “status crime” because it is more about your condition than what you are doing.  2. Begging Begging is also against the law in many places and can result in a misdemeanor charge. Some police have even gone undercover to catch people at it. 3. Busking Of course, many buskers (public street performers who accept contributions)  are not homeless, but some homeless people do busk to earn some money. Throughout the U.S. judges have agreed that busking is a form of speech that is protected by the First Amendment. In a (2009) case brought by the ACLU in the 9th Circuit Court, it was decided that making buskers get permits is a form of censorship, so some places like St. Louis have repealed the requirement for permits. It is possible for a busker get charged with causing a public disturbance, or for not having a permit if the locality requires one. Some buskers favor getting a permit with mild restrictions and a small fee, so they wouldn’t be in danger of being other crimes like loitering or disturbing the peace. 4. Selling Things Some people living in vehicles may be able to make crafts to sell in public areas. To stay out of trouble, you may need to apply and pay a small fee for a permit. Getting the proper permits may be a problem when you don’t have a permanent address. You may be able to overcome this by renting a post office box, or by using a commercial business service that has post office boxes and would let you use their street address for a small monthly fee. Your state may require you to collect sales tax on your business, and if you are caught not doing that, you can be in trouble with your state’s department of revenue. When looking for a place to set up, you will need to find places with high traffic but also where commerce can carried on legally or face the fines or other penalties. Other charges homeless persons frequently receive are: public intoxication, prostitution, disorderly conduct, and being a public nuisance. If you are being charged with a homelessness crime, you need to consult an attorney. At times various aspects of anti-homelessness laws and their constitutionality can be called into question because they violate your right to exist and they may violate your reasonable expectation of liberty. Misdemeanor charges can also give you a police record that can harm your employability and worsen your circumstances. An attorney will look at your case to find the best ways to fight unjust enforcement of the laws regarding your situation. Contact a local attorney, such as through Some attorneys are willing to take...

read more

Protect Yourself in Chapter 7 by Including Every Potential Debt You May Have

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Yourself in Chapter 7 by Including Every Potential Debt You May Have

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all unsecured debts will be discharged if the bankruptcy is approved. If you forget to include debts on your paperwork, there is still a chance that they will be considered “discharged,” however, you may have to go through legal procedures if a creditor fights you for the money. This is why it is important to include every debt you have on your bankruptcy forms when you file. What debts should you list? When you sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to file for Chapter 7, you will need to bring a copy of all debts you owe. This includes the company or person you owe, the address, and any other contact information, such as the account number. Your attorney will list every debt you bring, but the attorney will probably pull your credit report too. Your credit report will list a lot of debts you owe, and the attorney will list all of these too. The only types of debts you should not list are Car loans if you plan on keeping the cars Home loan if you plan on keeping your house Child support, spousal support, or alimony Court-ordered payments you owe Back taxes owed Student loan payments These debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7, but any other debt you have should be listed on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. After the forms are filed, each creditor listed will receive a notification about your bankruptcy, and this will give them the opportunity to fight the bankruptcy, if desired. Are there other debts to include? In addition to the normal debts you may have, there are several other types of debts to consider including on your bankruptcy that you may not think of. For example, if you owed a landlord rent money and haven’t heard from him in years, you should add his name to the bankruptcy. While this person may never come after you for the money, it’s better to include his name just in case. Another example is if you had been involved in a car accident years ago. If you did not have insurance and are afraid the person could end up suing you, it might be wise to add this person’s name too. You should add any debt you have and any debt you could potentially owe to anyone or any company. Doing this will protect you against any of these possible debts. If you happen to forget to add a normal type of debt to your bankruptcy, the courts may still consider it discharged. The problem with forgetting debts is that the creditors you owe could come after you for the money. The result of this is that you may have to fight them in court to get the debts dropped. Filing for bankruptcy is a great way to start over with your finances, and you should spend time gathering as much information as possible before you file. To learn more about which debts to include, talk to a bankruptcy attorney like...

read more

2 Big Problems You Can Prevent By Creating A Will For Your Family

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Big Problems You Can Prevent By Creating A Will For Your Family

According to the American Bar Association, approximately 55% of people in the U.S. die without having a will. If this happens to you, do you realize the problems this situation can create? If you want to eliminate the problems this can create for the loved ones you leave behind, you should consider meeting with an estate planning attorney so you can create a will. Here are two problems your loved ones will not have to deal with if you create a will. Division of assets Without a will, the state you live in will get to decide who gets your assets. If you are married, your assets will automatically go to your spouse, but this can create issues in some situations. For example, if you are currently separated from your spouse, he or she will still get 100% of your things. If you are not married, the state will most likely transfer all your assets to your children, but this too can create issues. What if you have not spoken to one of your children in 50 years? Should this child get the same amount of assets as your child that took care of you each day during your last years? With a will, you will get to state who gets your things, and no one will be able to fight about it. You will get to divide everything you own in the way you choose. Lengthy process One of the other main benefits of having a will is that your estate will be settled much faster. When there is a will in place, an attorney can review it and begin working on settling the matters. Because of this, the beneficiaries will be able to receive their assets faster. Without a will, the estate will most likely have to go through probate court. At probate court, a judge will review everything and make the necessary decisions. This process can take a very long time, which means that the beneficiaries may not receive their rightful assets for a long time. In addition to this taking time, it can also be more costly. When a court must handle the affairs of an estate, they are entitled to keeping a portion of the estate. If you want to make sure that your loved ones receive the things that you want them to have when you pass away, you must have a will. To learn more about wills and estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney...

read more