Not all home-based businesses need business insurance. However, if you have a home-based business, consider seeing a personal injury attorney to ensure you are not vulnerable to lawsuits. While your insurance agent might be knowledgeable about coverage, you might not get the best answer about potential lawsuits unless you speak to a legal professional.
An independent graphic designer who only conducts business over the phone is unlikely to be sued with personal injury claim.
Don’t count on your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover an accident that occurs at your home if you are conducting business while the accident happens. While you might be able to include a home-based business clause for a small premium increase, most basic policies won’t cover such accidents. If your client falls while visiting you at your home, you may be fully responsible for all medical costs and lost wages.
A significant number of network marketing businesses (Avon, Partylite) conduct business both at the business owner’s home and at the client’s’ home. Once the Avon make-over party gets started at the client’s house, it becomes a place of business. One slip of an eyeliner pencil could mean an expensive lawsuit for you.
The same is true for driving while on a business errand. If an insurance company can prove that you were on the way home from a business meeting when a car accident occurred, your auto insurance policy will likely not pay out for any damages.
The best defense is a strong offense. If you meet with clients at home, drive as part of your business, or conduct sales on site, you are vulnerable to lawsuits. Contact a personal injury lawyer to help you determine the exact kind of coverage you need to avoid costly lawsuits.Read More
Either intentionally or unintentionally, your will can change meaning with an act of independent significance. Generally, this means that your will has a statement or clause that is vague and can change meaning based on circumstances.
For example, if you are part owner of a business, you can state that you want your shares in the business to be distributed to “the other legal owners.” You’ve avoiding listing the names of the other owners knowing it’s possible that list will change over time. This is also helpful when indicating what you want to go to your “children” or “grandchildren” in case the family grows after you complete the will.
Another independent change can be in the contents of a house, bank account, safe, etc. You can simply state that the assets for distribution are the “contents of my house.” Between the writing of your will and your death, the contents of your house will likely change. Therefore, the recipients get the contents that are in your home at the time of your death.
In addition, you can state in your will that you will write further instructions for distribution. So if you know how much money you want to go to charity, but you haven’t selected the charity, you can choose the recipient at later time.
A good estate lawyer will help you construct a will using acts of independent significance to ensure your assets are distributed exactly as you intend.Read More
The most basic of health care directives is the DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. This can be easily placed in your medical record by your physician. Simply said, if your heart stops or if you stop breathing, no one will perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
However, if you don’t wish to be resuscitated, you need to share that information. It’s probably best to have a medical bracelet stating your DNR order. In addition, you should share this information with your family and with any doctor you see in a critical or urgent situation.
Most people with a simple DNR are already elderly or critically ill. Typically, the DNR helps the patient avoid a long death or a brain dead state.
A living will is generally more thorough than the DNR. A living will should be completed with your estate planner. Generally, a living will includes a long list of medical conditions and medical treatments with instructions by you as to how to proceed with each.
Lastly, you can turn over any other decisions to a medical POA (power of attorney). Your doctors will seek direction from your medical POA if your DNR or living will does not address the details of your medical state. Your medical POA will bear the burden of making end-of-life decisions on your behalf.
Because medical treatments are continuously finding ways to extend our lives, even without comfort or consciousness, it’s important to make end-of-life decisions now. In addition, our litigious society is making physicians nervous to make the best decisions for us. Work with an estate lawyer to make those medical and legal decisions now while you can.Read More
Generally, insurance companies don’t want you to call a lawyer if there has been a car accident or personal injury accident. Insurance companies are constantly trying to find ways to avoid paying out large settlements. To them, lawyers mean expensive settlements.
Some insurance companies will go as far as to send you a letter explaining how a lawyer will make the settlement process longer and more expensive. In fact, some insurance companies will imply that by contacting a lawyer, you are responsible for the high price of insurance premiums in general.
At the same time, insurance companies are encouraging customers to opt for higher deductibles as this drives down the number of small claims. In other words, insurance companies don’t want to be bothered with your small problems and don’t want you to question how they handle the big problems.
If you are confused or conflicted about contacting a lawyer about a recent car accident or personal injury, take comfort — it won’t cost you a dime for a consultation. In fact, most law firms will take your case on contingency — so they only get paid when you do.
Gathering information is logical first step when confronted with the complex and highly litigious world of accidents and injuries. You are really only at risk of losing out on valuable information.Read More
If you created your will when you lived in another state, you will need to update your will when you legally change (or add) your residence to a new state. As baby boomers are retiring, they are buying second homes and moving to warmer climates. Generally speaking, estate laws are similar from state to state, but there are sufficient difference to warrant a visit to a lawyer in the state where you have retired.
The most successful way to contest a will is to challenge the conditions under which it was signed. (How many witnesses? Was it notarized?) Unfortunately, the laws that govern the conditions that make the will valid are the laws that vary the most from state to state. Without a review, your will could be considered invalid because of how it was signed in a different state.
In addition, there are differences in the laws that govern how your estate moves through probate. Bank accounts, business ownership, and real estate titles could all be compromised because they were created or documented in ways that don’t conform to the estate laws of your new state.
If you have moved as part of your retirement, take the time to visit a lawyer who knows the estate laws in your new home state. Small changes now could mean saving additional heartache and frustration after your passing.Read More
If you are the beneficiary of a will that is being contested, the laws are generally on your side. While it may be difficult for the excluded relatives to contest a will, it will be worth your while to hire a lawyer to put a quick end to their fruitless fight.
Your best defense is a good offense. While the burden of proof to prove the will is invalid is on those who are contesting the will, you are better off consulting with your own attorney and preparing a case to show there were no problems with the will. The faster you can put together a solid case, the quicker the other side will drop their case and you can get what is rightfully yours.
In fact, if you have the time to review the will before the testator passes away, you can avoid many of these issues altogether. Demanding to see the will, however, is typically not easy. Because the most successful way to contest a will is to challenge the witnesses and conditions of the signing, you can use your own estate planning process as a way to bring up the testator’s will and how he or she signed it.
Regardless of how many beneficiaries there are in the will and how many of them are willing to pay for an attorney to defend the will, you should take an offensive stance and hire a lawyer to prove the will is valid. If those who are challenging the will are going to move forward, it might be years before they are proven wrong. Hire a lawyer and end the conflict now.Read More
Contesting a will is difficult. While each state has different laws that dictate the exact ways a will can be found invalid, there are four basic rules that all states follow. Contesting a will, either successfully or unsuccessfully, will impose serious financial and emotional strain on your family. Even if your lawyer tells you that have a case, the money you make may not be worth the cost.
The most common (and the most successful) way contest a way is to prove that the will was not signed in accordance with state laws. There are very specific instructions that make the signing of a will valid. The number of witnesses, who the witnesses are, and where the will was signed are just a few of the variables that have to be properly documented to keep the signing procedure in accordance with state laws.
Mental capacity is the second way to contest a will. State laws, however, give a wide berth to the definition of “mental capacity” or “testamentary capacity.” Forgetfulness or early signs of dementia are typically not sufficient to prove mental incapacity. You will also need the recent testimony from a physician to prove your case.
Undue influence is the third way to contest a will. You will have to prove extreme duress and pressure to show that the testator (he or she signing the will) was manipulated or forced to sign the will. Again, this is difficult to prove unless the testator has been isolated from friends and family for an extended period prior to singing the will.
Lastly, fraud is the fourth way to contest a will. Typically, this means the testator did not know he or she was signing a will. This is usually include an analysis of the first method mentioned above. Was the will signed in accordance with state laws? As those state laws are in place to unsure the testator is aware of the document, a fraud case will closely examine the conditions under which the will was signed.
If you want to contest a will, time is limited. Contact a lawyer and carefully consider the likeliness of your success.Read More
If you’ve been in a car accident that was no fault of your own, you have a limited amount of time to pursue legal action for recovering the money you’ve lost due to subsequent medical problems or property damage. The statute of limitations (the time frame for initiating a lawsuit) is based on why you are suing, and is generally only within a few years of the incident.
You have less time to pursue a lawsuit if you are suffering from medical problems arising from the accident. You only have two years from the date of injury. That time frame can be adjusted if your medical problem did not emerge immediately. As soon as you notice a medical problem, it’s critical that you have a doctor document the problem. Then, call a lawyer.
You have up to three years to initiate a lawsuit for property damage. Unlike medical problems, there is generally no additional allowance if you claim the problem took time to emerge. Just as with a medical problem, you need to have a professional (such as a mechanic or a home inspector) document the problem. And then, call a lawyer.
Your lawyer will guide you through the complicated process of a personal injury claim or a personal property claim — especially if the claim falls outside of the immediate aftermath of the incident. If there has been a delay, even within the statute of limitations, you may have to answer some difficult questions from the defendant as to why you waited to make your claim.
Personal injury claims take time and patience to process. If you feel that an accident in your past is causing problems for you today, call a lawyer and find out if financial recovery is still possible.Read More
If a friend or neighbor has been injured on your property, you have just crossed into some tricky waters. If it was a child that was injured on your property, you should prepare yourself for some conflict. Sometimes, an injury in your home can be easily resolved, however, it is not safe to assume so.
There are three simple steps:
- Don’t accept blame. “I’m so sorry.”
- Don’t assign blame. “You should have walked around the ice on my driveway.”
- Call a lawyer.
Calling a lawyer does not mean you are starting a fight. You are just getting prepared if the injured party suddenly decides to pursue their legal rights. Sometimes, the nicest neighbor can decide to sue because something as simple as healthcare coverage. If your neighbor doesn’t have a good healthcare plan, suing you in order to gain access to your insurance policy, might mean saving thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Generally, your children select their own friends, and you have little to no knowledge about the friends’ parents. There are plenty of people who are happy to use our litigation system to help them augment their income. And an accident prone child is just another avenue to do so.
A lawyer will help you document any incident in such a way as to avoid conflicting stories in the future. Your lawyer will give you advice as to what you should and should not say to the injured party. Lastly, just one preliminary meeting with the lawyer will help you sleep at night when those “what if” questions start to arise.
A personal injury lawsuit against you can create havoc with your personal finances and peace of mind. If someone has been injured in your home or on your property, simply meet with a lawyer sooner than later.Read More
With the cost of higher education on the rise, many people are looking at carrying student loan debts until they retire. Because student loans can rise above the $100,000 mark, especially for those who pursue advanced degrees in law or medicine, you have to consider how those debts impact your estate planning. A good estate lawyer will help sort through those debts and protect your family from being burdened by your loans as much as possible.
Laws regarding how debts are processed through probate change from state to state. In addition, some student loan debts (but not all) are cancelled upon the death of the borrower. However, in some scenarios, if you die before you pay off your loans, your spouse or next-of-kin could be forced to sell a family home in order to pay off your school loans from 20 years ago.
The best way to proceed is to contact an estate attorney who will protect your current assets, help you avoid undue taxation or lengthy probate proceedings, and ensure your family will not suffer from your heavy debts. Your lawyer will help you write a will that is clear and comprehensive, buy the right life insurance to cover your debts, and create one or more trusts to protect your estate.
If you own a home, carry student loan debt, and have a family that depends on you, contact a lawyer to ensure the right people get your assets when you die.Read More