How To Plan Your Estate When You Have Children

When you have children, there is a lot to think about. You need to plan for their education, start a savings for their future, and protect them. One way to protect them is by planning your estate. It may seem like something you should do later in life, but it can actually help your children now by starting early.

Here are some ways to plan your estate when you have young children:

Draft a Will

One of the most important aspects of planning your estate when you have children is to draft a will. Your will includes information about who will become your children’s guardian and where your assets will go. Even if you don’t think you have many assets, you will still include information about who is to get money in your bank accounts and who retains ownership of your home.

Not to mention the important task of selecting a guardian to take care of your children. You can have your property go to your children instead of your spouse if you prefer. This is something that must be in your will, otherwise it will go to your spouse.

Write a Living Will

The living will is not the same as the regular will, since it is more for your medical directive and power of attorney. With a living will, you are naming someone who will have control over your finances if you are unable to. For example, if you get a serious injury that puts you in a coma, you will not be physically or mentally capable of making medical decisions.

If you have a living will that names a power of attorney, that person makes medical and financial decisions for you. If you want palliative care but don’t want extreme measures to be taken, that is something you would also include in your living will.

Get Life Insurance

Part of your estate planning is preparing your finances for the future. This includes purchasing a life insurance policy. Life insurance is beneficial regardless of your age. Many people make the mistake of waiting until later in life to get life insurance, but everyone needs a policy.

What would happen if you were in a fatal car accident driving home from work? Does your family have financial protection? Also consider that the younger you are when buying a life insurance policy, the lower your premium will be. You can select a beneficiary when purchasing your policy, which is the person that will have control over the benefits after you pass.

With these three main directives, you will be able to start planning your estate to protect your children. You may need the help of an estates lawyer to make sure you are doing everything you need to do.

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3 Things You Should Know When A Tenant Trashes One Of Your Apartments

As a landlord, you probably realize that one of the most important parts of rental properties is selecting the right tenants. Bad tenants can cause a multitude of problems, and they can cost you money. If you are new to this job, you may wonder what your rights are when a tenant leaves a rental property trashed and damaged when he or she moves out. If you are not sure of your rights, here are three things you should know.

You can keep the deposit

When a tenant moves in, he or she will pay you a security deposit, which is refundable at the end of the lease, or when the person moves out. You should realize that if the tenant destroys your property, you do not have to give this deposit back. This does not include normal wear and tear on the property, though. It only includes damage that is above and beyond normal wear and tear.

You can also keep the person’s security deposit it the tenant:

  • Still owes you money for rent
  • Leaves trash in the rental property
  • Does not clean it after moving out

In many cases, the security deposit will be enough to cover the expenses of cleaning the unit, but there are times when the damage is much more severe.

You must send a letter

While it is your right to keep this money if the unit has issues after the tenant leaves, the tenant still has the right to know about this. Because of this, you must send a letter that explains why you are not returning the deposit. This letter must state the exact problems you discovered in the unit, as well as the costs you are charging for repairing the problems.

You can sue the person

The third thing you should know about this is that you also have the right to sue the tenant if the damage is extremely severe. For example, if you find holes in the walls or floors, cuts on the countertops, and stains on all the floors, it may cost thousands of dollars to repair the unit.

If this happens, you may want to talk to a real estate lawyer in Cambridge to find out how to sue this person to recover these damages. You should realize that suing someone will cost money out of your pocket, but it might be the only way to get the money to pay for the repairs.

For more information, contact Hilborn & Konduros Law Firm or a similar organization.

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Divorcing Later In Life? How Will Your Retirement Plans Be Impacted?

Whether you’ve been unhappy in your current marriage for years, or simply want a way out of a relationship that has become abusive or toxic, if you’re over age 60 you may be part of the demographic seeking what is often termed a “grey divorce.” Read on to learn more about how divorcing after a long marriage can affect your financial situation and your ability to retire:

How can a later-in-life divorce affect your ability to retire?

Although individuals going through a “grey divorce” will often avoid the mess of child support calculations and custody disputes, there can be even more costly battles to fight. 

The Divorce Act, which governs spousal support, can require you to pay support to your ex-spouse for a reasonable period of time following your divorce. This support is generally awarded in cases where there is a large disparity in earning power between spouses, and is meant to provide the lower-earning spouse with enough money to pay bills while he or she seeks the education or employment to become fully self-supporting. 

However, in a grey divorce, you may find that the amount of time “reasonable” for your ex-spouse to find gainful employment can be significantly elongated (or even indefinite). When others your age are winding their careers down, it can be hard to get one started — and in many cases, the educational hurdles needed to enter a certain career field can be insurmountable. 

While a twenty- or thirty-something may be able to reinvent themselves in a new career, a sixty- or seventy-something may not be employable — which could necessitate the receipt of spousal support for the rest of his or her life.

If you’ve vested in a pension, you may also be required to split a portion of your pension with your ex-spouse — even if you don’t begin drawing the pension until years after your divorce. Fortunately, you’ll rarely be required to pay both spousal support and a portion of your pension at the same time.

Is there anything you can do to protect yourself? 

There are a few things you can do to minimize the financial impact of a later-in-life divorce.

First, you may wish to enlist the services of a mediator to help you and your ex-spouse decide how your assets should be divided. It’s nearly always better to agree on this step, rather than to have a judge make the decision for you — and can allow you and your ex-spouse to come to a result that works for both of you, rather than one that significantly handicaps one (or both) sets of future plans.

If your spouse is also employed, you may want to consider structuring your retirement dates to coincide. This generally makes it easier for the court to calculate the amount of any pension or other retirement income that should be paid as support to the other party — and if your income is reduced through retirement, it’s less likely that you’ll be assessed a spousal support figure that comprises most of your monthly income.

To learn more, contact a company like J. Leigh Daboll Law Office with any questions or concerns you have.

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Stay Informed And Protect Your Interests – Questions For Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding yourself in a situation where you need the services of a personal injury lawyer can be one of the most stressful and difficult times of your life. A large part of this stress comes from feeling overwhelmed by new information. Many times, you may even feel like you don’t know the right questions to ask to make sure you get the information you need.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some questions you should ask your personal injury lawyer. Having the answers to these questions will decrease a large amount of your stress, make you feel more confident about the potential outcomes, and guarantee that you feel like an active and involved participant in one of your life’s most pivotal moments.

Ask About Costs

Often times, a personal injury case is necessary if your ability to work and provide your family is at risk. This can create a large financial strain, and for many people, the threat of that strain will prevent them from seeking out the justice that they deserve.

Your attorney, however, will be able to walk you through a cost structure that will work for you. Many times, your lawyer will be willing to accept your case on a contingency basis, allowing he or she to be paid as a percentage of your settlement. This allows you to have cost certainty while also protecting your family’s future.

Ask About Outside Experts

While your lawyer will be experienced in navigating the legal issues surrounding your case, there will likely be other aspects that he or she requires assistance with. Personal injury settlements are based on medical conditions, and as such, an outside opinion can go a long way to finding the outcome you deserve.

Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of engaging potential outside experts. These individuals will be able to fully explain to the court the extent of your injuries, and their findings can also strongly increase the likelihood of a settlement.

Ask About Communication

When going through a personal injury lawsuit, it can feel like the world has stopped until your case reaches its conclusion. This can create frustration if you feel as though your attorney is insufficiently communicating with you or being responsive to your needs. As such, you should work out a consistent communication schedule. This will guarantee a smooth relationship for you and your lawyer while also providing for sufficient time for the wheels of the justice system to turn.

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3 Reasons To Not Buy, Sell, Or Lease Commerical Property Without A Real Estate Lawyer

Many people wonder when the appropriate time is to hire a real estate lawyer. In many cases you can buy residential property on your own, without consulting a lawyer, however talking to a lawyer is never a bad idea. However, whenever you purchase or lease commercial property you should talk to a real estate lawyer.

Here are 3 reasons why you should never buy, sell, or lease real estate properties without a lawyer.

1. Unique Contracts

Generally speaking there are no standard contracts for commercial property. Instead, when you negotiate commercial real estate you will talk to the other party and come up with your own agreements on the contract. This means that if you don’t understand all of the contract, but sign it anyway you could be in a great deal of trouble.

A lawyer can help you look through the entire contract to make sure that it is fair to you and that you are signing what is right for you. They can help to negotiate the terms so that you are not stuck with a problem that you cannot correct.

2. Binding Contracts

The courts are very strict about commercial property contracts. Once you sign a contract to buy, sell or lease a property you will be expected to follow through on that contract. With residential real estate there is some wiggle room, however with commercial real estate there is not as much forgiveness. This means once you sign that contract you are bound.

If you do try to dispute the contract it could be very expensive. You will have to hire an attorney and you could potentially pay a great deal in litigation fees. That is why it is so much better to consult an attorney before you buy, sell or lease, commercial real estate.

3. A Lawyer Can Help To Act As A Broker

Although you might use a real estate agent to help find the property, they cannot offer legal advice. The lawyer can help to broker the deal so that you are getting exactly what you want and are sure that your money in protected. A real estate lawyer will have experience in brokering large commercial property deals and should be able to get you the best deal possible.

If you are thinking of buying, selling, or leasing any commercial property you need to talk to a real estate lawyer. If you don’t you will very likely regret it down the road.  

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Is It Time To Get Out Of Your Marriage? Know The Signs Of Abuse

Are you in an abusive relationship? If you are, you need to get help. Divorce can be difficult, but if you’re being abused, you shouldn’t try to save your marriage. You should save yourself, instead. If you aren’t sure whether you’re in an abusive relationship, here are some warning signs. If any of these signs relate to you, it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible.

Intimidation

Does your spouse use intimidation to control you or your actions? For instance, if you’re in public do you know what facial expressions mean that you’ve done something wrong? Intimidation can take on many different forms, including specific words, or body language designed to make you fear retaliation.

Isolation

Have you had to distance yourself from all of your friends and family? Does your spouse decide who you’re allowed to spend time with? If you’re kept away from your friends and family, or you’re only allowed to associate with your spouse’s friends, you need to get help. Abusers often isolate their victims out of fear that they will be found out.

Verbal Attacks

Does your spouse call you names or attack you verbally? Do the verbal attacks leave you feeling battered? Just because the verbal attacks don’t include physical attacks against you, doesn’t mean that it isn’t abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse involves the use of words and other emotional attacks designed to make you feel isolated and alone.

Threats Of Violence

Has your spouse threatened harm to either you or your family members? Has your spouse threatened suicide or other forms of self-harm if you try to leave? These threats of violence may be used to prevent you from getting the help you need. If you’re being threatened with acts of violence, you need to leave.

Reversal Of Blame

Are you being blamed for the abuse? Perhaps you’ve been told that it’s your fault your spouse got angry. You might have even been told that you wouldn’t be abused if you didn’t do things to irritate your spouse. Don’t let your spouse blame you for the abuse that you’re enduring.

If any of the previous signs are familiar, you need to get help. Don’t wait until you can afford to leave, or hope that your spouse will change. Help is available to you. Contact a family law attorney, such as Dunsmuir Ridler, as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to help you get the protection you need, including restraining orders.

     

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3 Things You Should Do If You Have Been A Victim Of Domestic Violence

If you are in a domestically violent relationship it is important that you take steps to protect yourself. Unfortunately, both men and women can be victims of domestic violence. Even though it may seem impossible, you can get help and relief from a domestically violent relationship. Here are a couple things that you should do if you are in a violent situation.

1. Seek Medical Attention After The Incident

If you choose to press charges at some point, having a medical record of the abusive episode will be very important. If possible, you should get to a hospital or doctor as soon as possible after the incident. This is the case for both physical and sexual assault. The doctor should be able to tell by the nature of the wound if you were assaulted. The record that they keep of the visit will be one of the best things to prove in court that you are in danger.

It is important to recognize that your medical records and your conversation with your doctor is privileged information. This means that it is all private, unless you choose to use it to help your case. So don’t be afraid to talk to the doctor or to seek medical treatment.

2. Confide In Someone You Trust

Unfortunately one of the most common tactics that abusers use is isolation. They will try to keep their victim from talking to others, or having relationships with other people. However, it is important that you confide in someone that you trust about your situation for two reasons. First, this person can help you to get in a safe situation. And second, this person can be called upon in court, if you choose to press charges. It will help to have another person to testify that you are in danger.

3. File A Restraining Order

After an abusive incident you can file a restraining order. This means that you abuser cannot come near you, or else they will be punished by the law. Depending on the nature of the restraining order, the person could even go to jail for violating the order.

This restraining order will be what keeps you safe while the police investigate the person, and while you wait for sentencing. This means that you don’t have to wait until the person has been found guilty. If you feel unsafe, you can file for a restraining order right away.

If at any time you feel unsafe or in danger, talk to the police, or a safe house. They can get you the help you need. In order to find out more about getting the law on your side, you should also contact a lawyer who can help navigate your case in court. 

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