Accidental Disinheritance

 

One of the issues that we see consistently is the issue of accidental disinheritance. Accidental disinheritance is the process where the natural children of a couple get disinherited due to changes late in life of a couple and when the “cheap and easy” estate planning solution was used instead of the proper planning. Let me explain.

Consider a couple called Bill and Barbara. Bill and Barbara have two children George and Sue. Bill and Barbara have been married for 40 years and have the typical assets – a house, two cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, as well as Bill’s coin collection and Barbara’s jewelry that she got from her grandmother. Bill has told George that George could have the coin collection and Barbara promised all the jewelry to Sue as her heirloom. Given that Bill and Barbara have been together for so long, they decided to title everything jointly, including their home, cars, etc. Upon Barbara’s death, it all automatically became Bill’s property. Bill told his children that nothing would change and, upon his death, they would get everything. After several years of living alone, Bill met a new woman named Amy and married her.

After 10 years of marriage, Bill finally passed away. Upon his death, George and Sue found out that he had titled everything with Amy jointly – just like with Barbara. Unfortunately, Amy did not agree that George and Sue should get everything from Bill’s estate. Instead, she thought that it should all pass to her children. Legally, Amy is correct. All the assets belong to her and she can make her children the heirs of the estate, including the jewelry that should have gone to Sue and the coin collection to George.

This scenario also occur when spouses divorce later in life, which we are seeing with more and more frequency.It is a regular occurrence that I get questions from the disinherited children about the assets and how to get them back into the “family.” George and Sue are obviously upset and are even willing to spend money to recover these assets that they believe are their rightful inheritance. Unfortunately, I have to tell them that, according to the law, the assets are no longer theirs and that Amy is correct legally. Further, I get questions from Amy regularly on how her spouse’s ungrateful children are trying to make her homeless and take all of her possessions.

There is a simple answer to this family conundrum, however. First, the title of the property should not be jointly titled. Instead, the property should be placed in a trust (or even a will). That way, the income from Bill’s assets can be used to take care of Amy while she is still living. Upon her death, then the assets will pass to George and Sue. We typically draft such that the home will be available to Amy during her lifetime. I even have clients that are willing to sell the home to take care of Amy, but want the heirlooms to pass to their children.

In sum, we see a lot of upset clients due to being accidentally disinherited. This accidental disinheritance can be easily avoided through proper planning, instead of just using the “cheap and easy” method. If you take the time and effort to plan properly, then these issues can be prevented and your family can be at ease. Consulting with an experienced attorney such as the Estate Planning Lawyer Leawood KS locals trust.

Thanks to our authors at Eastman LEastman Law Firm Estate Planning Attorneysaw firm for their insight into Estate and Probate Law.

Financially Planning for the Future Following an Injury Award

 

The value of your assets could be impacted following a personal injury award. It’s important to understand ways your estate may be impacted despite the immense benefit an award may be to an accident victim.

 

Gathering Financial Documentation

Financial loss is a given following a personal injury. A settlement following an injury can help to recoup some of those. If a victim has endured damaging injuries, a victim can receive a settlement in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, an individual’s assets and income can be impacted in a major way. Documents such as estate planning paperwork and wills may be necessary to update in the event of a personal injury settlement to reflect their current financial standing.

It is important to be thoughful about over reporting assets. Higher federal estate taxes could be incurred if expenses are not precisely recognized as the estate may be assessed at a higher value.

 

Estate Planning and Taxes

It is important that you have knowledge around the laws in your state. Some states do not have fixed taxes and some, charge no property tax at all. Depending on where you live, you could have to pay both federal and state taxes. It may be necessary to change estate plans to be in accordance with federal regulations following receipt of a settlement. While there is a set limit for tax exemptions, they can be applicable for some federal estate taxes.

 

Developing an Investment Plan

Investing your money in a safe fund may require the help of an expert after receiving a settlement. An expert can help to keep settlement money secured from fees and taxes that are unnecessary while ensuring that you are able to pay for your current expenses.

When a personal injury award is involved, it can be helpful to not only you but your loved ones, to enlist the experience of a Sacramento estate planning lawyer.

Yee Law Group Sacramento Probate Attorneys and Estate PlanningThanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning after a personal injury award.

Major Benefits of Receiving Osteoarthritis Treatments

Osteoarthritis is a not so commonly known disease. It affects your flexible tissues that are located at the end of bones. Although there are no existing treatments that can cure this type of painful arthritis, a chiropractor can help greatly reduce your level of discomfort to a manageable level. This can help improve your quality of life. If the flexible tissues at the ends of your bones begin to die and stop working like they are supposed to, your joints will then stop functioning the way that they should.

This can make it very difficult for you to move without experiencing a large amount of pain. Osteoarthritis patients are usually advised by their physicians to seek chiropractic treatment because it is known to improve joint function. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you may want to try losing weight. Mobility issues come as a symptom to osteoarthritis, so living a sedentary life is not uncommon. If you try your best to stay active, you can help ease discomfort by losing weight. Also, if you are anxious and overwhelmed, chiropractic treatments are proven to help lower anxiety and stress load. Depression can come about when you are immobilized by pain, but exercises by a chiropractor can help you produce endorphins that make you feel more positive.

 

Pain Management

Osteoarthritis is a condition that is common among elderly individuals, but can pop up in individuals of all age groups. Moving your joints around without flexible tissue on the end of your bones can be excruciatingly painful, but going to a chiropractor can help you improve your joint function. You will obtain the ability to move around and exercise without as much pain, maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle and reduce your stress and depression levels. This can be done through massage therapy given by an experienced chiropractor such as the Chiropractor Rockville MD locals trust. Osteoarthritis can take the joy out of life; visiting a chiropractor will not let it continue to do so.

 

Contact an Attorney

Should you suspect an accident that may have caused an early onset of osteoarthritis or worsened your or a loved one’s osteoarthritis, it is definitely  in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you to assess and collect damages to pay for medical treatment and expenses, get coverage for lost wages, or receive compensation for your suffering and pain.

Pain & Arthritis Relief Center A personal thanks to our authors at Pain & Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into Chiropractic care.

Top 5 Most Common Car Accident Injuries

 

It is possible to get hurt in a car accident, no matter what type of vehicle you are in or how fast it was going. In fact, you could still get hurt even if you were wearing a seatbelt when the collision occurred. Let’s take a look at five injuries that most people experience in a car accident.

 

1) Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are forced to move in sudden and unnatural ways. It can result in stiffness to the neck and shoulders as well as back pain. You may find that it is difficult to move your head or that you experience concussion symptoms hours or days after the accident occurs. Common symptoms of concussions include headaches and sensitivity to light.

 

2) Knee Pain

If you are thrown against the seat in front of you, thrown into a dashboard or ejected from a vehicle, you could hit your knee especially hard. In such a situation, it may be necessary to see a doctor, like a knee pain doctor in PG County MD trusts, to keep it under control. Pain in that part of the body could also be caused by twisting or stretching of knee ligaments, or by a torn ACL.

 

3) Cuts and Lacerations

Glass from a windshield or a car door may shatter in a car crash, and this glass may ultimately land on your body. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to suffer cuts and lacerations on any skin that was exposed prior to impact. Your body may also be bruised if it makes impact with hard surfaces within the car or is ejected from the car completely.

 

4) Broken Bones

The force an impact between two vehicles may be enough to break or shatter almost any bone in the human body. Broken leg bones may make it harder to walk properly, which may put extra pressure on the knees and other parts of the body to compensate for this lack of stability. Broken bones in the head, neck or back may also make it harder to walk properly for weeks, months or years after an accident.

 

5) Internal Bleeding

One of the scariest injuries that a person could experience after a car crash is internal bleeding. This is because those who suffer from it may not even realize that it is happening for hours or days after the crash. If it is not recognized and stopped right away, it could lead to a coma or even death. In some cases, individuals are placed in a medically induced coma to ease swelling and make it easier for the body to heal.

If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you should talk to a car accident lawyer right away. An attorney may help obtain compensation to pay medical bills and other costs related to the accident. You should also make it a point to seek medical treatment either at an emergency room or from your own doctor. If necessary, it may be possible to make an appointment to see a knee doctor or other medical specialists to help with your overall recovery process.

Pain & Arthritis Relief Center A special thanks to our authors at Pain and Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into joint pain after an accident.

Personal Injury – Warning Defects | Cannon Hadfield Stieben & Doutt Law

There are countless products consumed and utilized by consumers every day.  The fact of the matter is that while there are multiple uses for some items, most products have one very specific purpose.  Much like a lot of situation, it is the job of the manufacturer or designer to outline any possible injury that could come to the consumer.  There is a purpose for the warning listed on most gadgets, toys, and electronics, to protect us from ourselves.  Honestly speaking, there are countless items on the shelves at the store that no matter the design or the manufacturing, it is just a dangerous item.  Because manufacturers choose to do business with the general public, extra safety precautions must be taken to ensure that you have engaged in the due diligence necessary in consumer relations.  Simply put, the manufacturer must add instructions for usage to the item as well as the warning regarding misuse and other harmful possibilities.  A manufacturer has two related duties when creating warning labels and instructions:

  • First, the manufacturer is required to warn users of hidden dangers that may be present in a product.
  • Second, the manufacturer must instruct users how to use a product so that the users can avoid any dangers and use the product safely.

For example, it you purchase a toaster oven and it is hot to the touch on all sides during its use, it is the duty of the manufacture to advise the consumer of this to ensure their safety.  If you have experienced a situation where you harmed due to the absence of instructions or the lack of a warning label, you may be due compensation for any inconvenience you experienced.  You should consult an attorney, like a personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on, to find out your right.

The only way to be certain of the laws in your state and to quickly have the situation accessed, you must reach out to an attorney in your area who can better advise you on the matter.  An attorney will be able to better explain your rights.  The can possible be held accountable for injuries that were considered but not addressed.  If you or someone you know has recently experienced and injury due to the absence of a warning sign, an attorney with personal injury experience will be able to review the facts of the case and direct you on what will happen next.   Your attorney will be able pinpoint the issue, determine what your options are, and with your help, devise a course of action that will aid in getting you the compensation you deserve.

Andrew R. Lynch, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into warning defects and personal injury practice.

How Bankruptcy Can Help With Medical Bills

 

Medical bills are one of the biggest and most tragic causes of debt in America. As a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis TN knows well for helping with medical debt, I’ve seen how devastating this problem can be. Families that need to focus on recovery can’t do so because they have to worry about where the money will come from. People are afraid to choose the best treatments because of the cost. And sick people have to do their best to heal with ongoing stress weighing them down.

In addition, medical debt comes with a lot of the same problems as any other debt. People who are sick and can’t pay their bills still run the risk of foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishment. And they have less energy and time to deal with these problems. How can you expect someone suffering from cancer to find the best way to save their home at the same time?

So if you’re in trouble with medical debt you can’t pay, what options do you have?

Using Chapter 7 for Medical Debt

Through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can clear your debt all at once. It rids you of burdensome medical bills and is a helpful option for credit card bills as well. And it puts a stop to wage garnishment and any lawsuits over your debt. Chapter 7 works well for people who don’t need to hold on to certain assets, like their house or their car, or who aren’t at risk of foreclosure or repossession. It can give you a total fresh start – something a lot of people need as they recover from expensive and difficult medical procedures.

Using Chapter 13 for Medical Debt

Chapter 13 allows people with important assets to keep them. It stops foreclosure and repossession, and it also deals with your medical debt. Through Chapter 13, you set up a payment plan with the courts to help you pay off the debt at an amount that’s affordable to you. This is a great option for people who face astronomical medical debt and don’t want to move from the home they love as they recover.

Whatever option you need for your medical debt, find an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help. They will give you all of your options so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.

Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLCThanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy.

Collecting Child Support Payments | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

When children are involved, a divorce settlement often becomes even more complicated and stressful. This is especially true in custody battle cases requiring the payment of child support. When child support is heavily relied on, but inconsistent, the custodial parent must take action to ensure reliable payments from the non-custodial parent. It is highly advised to work with an experienced attorney such as the family lawyer phoenix AZ locals have been trusting for years.

The Importance of Child Support

It is vital that child support payments are being made properly, because often times the parent with custody relies on that money to provide proper care and essentials for the child. Supporting a child requires the provision of adequate shelter, food, clothing, school necessities and medical care. Combined with other necessities and common expenses related to extracurricular activities for the child, child care becomes extremely expensive.

Unfortunately, many parents do not fulfill adequate child support requirements ordered of them. Whether by making late and inconsistent payment, or not paying child support at all, this can cause complications and even create dangers for the child involved.

Options for Enforcing a Child Support Order

In the case that the noncustodial parent is unreliable in making child support payments, the custodial parent has numerous options for enforcing the child support order. The custodial parent may first need to go to court and begin an enforcement action by proving he or she is entitled to the payments and did not receive them. To enforce the compliance of the non-custodial parent with the existing child support order, as well as collect unpaid child support, the child support agency may subject them to a number of enforcement tactics, such as:

  • Wage Garnishment: The agency will work with the employer of the non-custodial parent to acquire the payment from his wage/paycheck.

 

  • Tax Benefit or Refund Interception: The agency may take payments owed to the non-custodial parent by the government: such as in the form of a tax refund or social security checks – and apply it to the child support.

 

  • Liens and Attachments: The agency can place a lien for unpaid child support on real estate and personal property. They may also seize assets, like bank accounts and funds.

 

  • Credit Bureau Reporting: Since child support obligations are considered judgements, the agency may report child support information of the non-custodial parent to consumer reporting agencies.

 

  • License Suspension and Passport Denial: The non-custodial parent may have their license suspended or restricted in the case that they have not paid child support. In some cases, non-custodial parents who fail to comply with child support orders may be submitted to the Department of State, which has the authority to deny or restrict the person’s U.S. passport.

 

  • Jail Time: If all measures have been taken and the non-custodial parent still refuses to pay child support, the court may order him or her to serve jail time.

If you have had trouble receiving child support payments from the non-custodial parent, contact a family lawyer as soon as possible.

Hildebrand Law A special thanks to our partners at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Family Law.

Events That May Require Will Creation or Revision | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

 Creating a will doesn’t have to mean you are nearing the end of your life. In fact, the best time to create a will is when you are still rather young, and in good health. Though it may seem stressful, by creating a will early on, you are actually alleviating future stress from yourself and your loved ones. Creating a will is a way in which you can provide order and ensure safety and security for the future of those in your life. It can offer you peace of mind you weren’t even aware you needed. Consulting with an experienced professional such as the Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale AZ locals have been trusting for years.

There are major landmarks that especially call for the creation or revision of a will. Because a will can be revised at any time during your life, it may be easier managed by creating one early on. This ensures that:

  • You become gradually familiarized with the process
  • You only need to worry about adding to or revising the will as necessary, rather than all at once
  • If something were to happen early on, your existing assets and wishes would be in order

In any case, an estate planning attorney can help make the process very straightforward. Typically, you should meet with an attorney every five years, as well as in the event of a major milestone that may spur revisions or the creation of the will. These are listed below:

Assets and Investments

As soon as you have established assets or investments of significant worth, you should:

  • Meet with an estate planning attorney and, if you haven’t already, write a detailed will.
  • Clearly state in your will who you would like to inherit your assets, investments and estate.
  • Provide a detailed plan for how you would like them to be handled, especially in the case of recent large investments.
  • Meet with an attorney to revise your will for every newly acquired asset or investment.

These assets and investments may include real estate, cars and other belongings of great value. Without taking the proper measures, these assets could become a huge legal burden for your loved ones.

Marriage

Marriage is another milestone that will require a will or revisions to an existing will, as you may gain assets or want to add your spouse to the will. In the event of an additional marriage, many states may require you to revise an existing will. Otherwise, your previous spouse(s) may be allowed to inherit your estate as if you never even had a will. The exceptions to this law are:

  • Your spouse is listed in the will along with exactly how much they will inherit.
  • You state in your will that your spouse is prohibited from inheriting your assets/investments.
  • Another arrangement is specified in a premarital agreement.

Children

One of the most important milestones in life and specifically to the will process is ensuring your heirs and/or children receive your estate or assets, and are properly cared for.  Here are important steps you should take as a parent writing a will:

  • With an estate planning attorney, include your children in your will and specify what you intend each child to inherit.
  • If they are minors, they cannot legally own property, so you should set up a trust fund where your large assets would remain until your children reach the appropriate age to receive them.
  • Appoint, very carefully and with proper consideration, whom you would like to care for your children in the event that alternative guardianship is needed.

Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their insight into Estate and Probate Law.

Bill Doutt Joins Cannon Hadfield Stieben, LLC

Sam, Gordon, and Sara are pleased to announce that experienced Fort Collins personal injury lawyer Bill Doutt has joined the firm. New name, photos, and logo will be unveiled shortly, but we were too excited to wait. Bill can be reached at the office number (970) 689-3037 or at bill@cannonlaw.com. Or just stop by the office if you want to say hi.

What is Comprehensive Insurance? | Cannon Hadfield Stieben Law

There are several forms of auto insurance coverage available, as a car accident lawyer Harrisonburg VA trusts can explain,  but the three basic types of coverage are liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability coverage is typically required by law and it covers damage to another person’s property or injuries you cause in an accident. Collision coverage, meanwhile, pays the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle if it’s damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive insurance is an optional form of coverage that protects you against incidents other than collisions. This type of coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle and it comes with a deductible you need to pay when you make a claim, just like with collision coverage.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive insurance offers broad protection against damage that doesn’t result from a collision, including coverage against:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Storms
  • Flooding
  • Falling objects
  • Glass damage
  • Damage from striking an animal

This does not mean comprehensive coverage will cover everything, however. Towing, rental, and personal property protection are usually excluded from coverage.

Despite not covering absolutely everything outside of collisions, comprehensive coverage is valuable for many auto owners. Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports there are more than 1.5 million vehicle collisions with deer that cause over $1 billion annually in property damage. There are also around 700,000 reported cases of car theft per year. Comprehensive coverage can offer financial protection against these and other types of incidents.

Other Forms of Car Insurance Coverage

In addition to liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage (which are collectively referred to as “full coverage”), there are other forms of optional coverage you can add to your car insurance policy for additional protection. The following forms of coverage are can protect you if you are involved in an accident, especially those involving uninsured or underinsured motorists who are at fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UI/UIM)

About one in eight drivers have no insurance and nearly 30% lack sufficient coverage to pay for damages in an accident. This is why it’s important to have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to protect you. UM/UIM coverage offers liability coverage if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault uninsured or underinsured motorist. In the case of an underinsured motorist, your policy will pay for your damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limit.

Medical Payments Coverage

If you or someone else is injured in an accident involving your vehicle, Medical Payments coverage pays for medical expenses. Even if you have excellent health insurance coverage, this type of optional coverage can help passengers. Medical Payments coverage can also help if you do not have health insurance, your insurance does not pay for accidents, or your plan has low limits or high co-pays and deductibles.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Finally, PIP coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages if you are involved in an accident. This type of coverage pays out claims regardless of fault and it is often called “no-fault” coverage. PIP can pay up to 80% of your medical and other expenses in a covered accident and it can be especially beneficial if you do not have health insurance or you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

MartinWren, P.C.Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into comprehensive insurance.