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Time To Make Plans? 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Estate

Posted by on 3:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Time To Make Plans? 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Estate

Estate planning can be confusing. You want to make sure that everything is taken care of before you pass away, but it’s not always easy to know how to put those plans into action. If you’re not sure how to plan your estate, here are three tips that will help get you started. You Need a Trust If you have a will, you might want to consider switching to a trust. Wills are designed to designate how your assets are divided, which is fine if you only have a few simple assets. However, if your estate is more complex, you need a trust. This is particularly true if you want to avoid probate. There are several problems involved with the probate process. One problem is that your entire estate will be tied up in court until the probate judge releases your will. That means your loved ones will have to wait for an undetermined amount of time to access funds that they might desperately need. Another problem with the probate process is that your privacy is not protected. Because court proceedings are a matter of public record, once your will enters probate, everything in the document will open for public disclosure. Even Adults Need Guardians If your health is declining, or you’re entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s, you’re going to need a guardian to look over your estate. Sadly, research shows that more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. You need to make sure that someone will be available to make choices for you when you’re no longer able to do so for yourself. You Might Need a Third Party Designee When you’re planning your estate, choosing an administrator for your estate is one of the most difficult decisions you can make. This is particularly true if you’re trying to designate one of your children to be the administrator. You don’t want to alienate your children, or create the appearance of favoritism. The best way to prevent animosity is to choose a third-party designee. A third-party designee will have no family ties to you, which means that their choices will be unbiased. Now that it’s time to start making your end-of-life decisions, you need to make sure that your estate is in order. The information that’s provided here will help you avoid problems when it comes time to settle your estate. For questions and concerns about your estate planning, be sure to speak to an attorney like one from Spillman and Partners....

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A Guide To Meeting Your Bail Amount

Posted by on 4:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Guide To Meeting Your Bail Amount

Putting together a satisfying bail collateral package can be challenging, especially when you don’t have very many assets. Here is a step by step guide to meeting your bail amount. Gather As Much Cash as You Can The first step is to consider how much cash you can reasonably put towards your bail amounts. Note that this isn’t a payment as much as it’s a guarantee; if you cooperate in court, you will get back most of the cash minus administrative fees. You may wish to consult friends and family to see if they can loan you some money to put towards your bail amount.  Putting cash towards your bail amount is a good idea because it reduces the amount that a bail bonds company has to be responsible for your bail. If you are able to go to a bail bondsman with a reduced bail amount, you can benefit in terms of interest rates and the amount of collateral you have to put up.  Gather Small Assets Once you’ve exhausted your cash funds, small assets are the next place to turn. This means anything that is not essential to your livelihood, such as jewelry, electronics, and other luxury goods. You should try to put up enough collateral using these smaller items, since involving your car or house can be a bigger risk if you are unable to complete your court obligations.  House or Car A last resort is to put up your own house or car as collateral. If you need to do this, be sure that you read the bail contract carefully to see what’s at stake. Make sure that you have chosen a bail company that is reasonable about how they prosecute people for violating their bail terms; you wouldn’t want to sign a contract with someone who will foreclose on your house over minor issues.  Revisit Whether the Bail Amount is Fair Finally, if you aren’t able to meet your bail obligations despite working hard to put together enough collateral, it may be that your bail amount is legitimately too much. The judge should set your bail amount based on how much of a flight risk you are in the trial, while also considering how much is a reasonable amount for you to put up as bail given your financial circumstances. You may be able to appeal the judge’s initial decision and try to get your bail set lower if you can show that you’ve made an effort to meet the current bail amount.  To learn more, contact a company like Ron’s Bonds...

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Traveling This Summer? 5 Tips To Prevent Legal Problems If You’re Stopped For A DUI

Posted by on 2:34 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Traveling This Summer? 5 Tips To Prevent Legal Problems If You’re Stopped For A DUI

During the summer months, police are out in force trying to prevent drunk driving accidents. It’s not uncommon to encounter DUI check-points, especially over holiday weekends. If you’re caught in a check-point or pulled over for a traffic violation, you can reduce your chances of getting arrested by following five simple tips. These tips will help you avoid an unwanted confrontation with law enforcement officials. Protect Your Privacy When you’re driving this summer, make sure that your privacy is protected at all times. That means that you should keep your private things well-hidden in your car. When you’re stopped by a police officer, they can do a cursory eyes-only search of your car when they approach you. If they see something illegal in your car, they don’t need a search warrant to confiscate the item if it’s in plain view. Be Courteous Whenever you’re approached by police officers, you should do your best to remain courteous. Acting hostile or belligerent will only serve to invite a confrontation between you and the officer. Be sure to politely provide any paperwork and documentation the officer requests – such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Decline Requests for Searches If a police officer asks your permission to search your vehicle, you should decline. In most cases, police officers will ask permission when they believe that you’re hiding something but they don’t have the evidence they need to facilitate a warrant-less search. If the officer searches you or your vehicle after you refuse, be sure to tell your attorney. Ask if You Can Leave If you’re not sure whether you’re being detained or not, ask the officer if you can leave. If they tell you that you can, leave immediately. However, if the officer says no, or changes the subject, you should assume that you’re being detained. Continue to follow their instructions but be prepared to be placed under arrest. Request an Attorney Once you believe that you’re about to be arrested, it’s important that you request and attorney and then remain silent. Don’t make any further statements or comments to the police officers. Once you’ve contacted an attorney, they’ll let you know what to do next. If you’re going to be traveling this summer, be sure to follow all traffic laws. If you’re stopped at a check-point or stopped for a DUI, follow the instructions provided here to help keep you out of trouble. If you are arrested, contact an attorney like one from Law Office Of  Lori Crystal, LLC as soon as...

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Understanding How A Medical Creditor Can Legally Enforce Judgments Against You As A Debtor

Posted by on 10:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding How A Medical Creditor Can Legally Enforce Judgments Against You As A Debtor

After an illness or injury, you may be left with thousands of dollars in medical bills that you cannot afford to pay. Unfortunately, if you don’t take initiative to pay your medical bills, you may end up with a judgement against you. This means that a creditor has taken legal action through the court system to enforce you to pay what is owed, and it can definitely be a scary situation. If you have learned that you have a judgment against you because of owed medical bills, your first steps should be to get in touch with a lawyer and find out all of the ways that the creditor may try to collect.  The creditor may be able to obtain a property lien.  Once a creditor receives a judgement against you for medical bills, they may have the option of working with the county to obtain a property lien. A property lien basically means that you must pay the creditor what is owed or they are entitled to at least a portion of your property. For example, if you have a home that is valued at $100,000 and you owe $10,000 in medical bills, you will not be able to sell your home until the balance owed is paid and the lien is removed.  You could be facing wage garnishment.  Wage garnishment is perhaps the most common way creditors will go after a debtor after obtaining a judgement because of owed medical bills. Wage garnishment laws can vary from state to state when it comes to how much a creditor is allowed to obtain from your paychecks. For example, in the state of Kentucky, a creditor is only allowed to take 25 percent of your disposable earnings, which is the earnings available after taxes and other deductions. Or they can take the amount your disposable earnings go beyond 30 times minimum wage, depending on which is less.  A creditor may be able to obtain court-appointed installment payments.  If the creditor presents a case to a judge, the judge may implement a payment schedule that is then handled by the court system. You will be sent notice of the required payment arrangements and if you do not make a payment, you will then have to go to court. Because this arrangement is ruled on by the judge and goes through the court system, if you miss a court date because of a missed payment, you could be held in contempt of court and a warrant will be issued. While not all states have a designated debtors jail, in these situations you could easily be facing jail time if you don’t follow the judges orders and make your payments. For help from an attorney, contact a lawyer such as Sinsheimer, Stuart...

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Air Conditioning Tips For Better Air Quality

Posted by on 10:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioning Tips For Better Air Quality

Air conditioners usually do more than just cool a home. They also play a significant role when it comes to improving the quality of air that enters the home. They do this by removing not only any dust and mold particles from the air that they pull through air registers, but also any excess moisture in the air. The following are air conditioning tips that will go a long way towards ensuring that your air conditioner does its improving-air-quality role as well as it should. Air filters An air conditioner’s air filters usually form the first defensive barrier against air impurities. They play the important role of trapping any dust and mold particles in incoming air. As a result, they not only ensure that the air conditioning system is protected from dust particle accumulation, but also that the air that the system dumps into your home is free of both mold spores and dust particles. The problem is that air conditioner filters usually deteriorate with time. This is something that reduces their ability to trap air impurities, making it easier for them to find a way into your home. To eliminate the risks of this happening, regularly changing your air filters is advisable. Changing them after every 1-3 months, even when there are no visible tears on the filters, is advisable if you want a guaranteed flow of good air quality in your home. Air handler The air handler is the part of the air conditioner that not only draws in warm air from your home, but also pushes it through the system. It therefore plays a significant role in ensuring that there is sufficient airflow in the system. This is important when it comes to ensuring good air quality maintenance because it enables the air conditioner to remove excess moisture from the air as effectively as it should. When air passes over the evaporator coils, its temperature is usually lowered to a level that makes the condensation of any moisture in the air possible. This is what allows air conditioning systems to be effective humidifiers. However, if there is insufficient airflow over the coils, the resulting temperature drop will cause icing of the coils. The formed ice will then create a heat transfer barrier – because ice is a poor conductor of heat – that will then limit the ability of the refrigerant to absorb heat from the passing air. This reduced cooling effectiveness will also reduce the dehumidifying capacity of the air conditioner. Making sure that the air handler is functioning as well as it should is therefore a must if you don’t want damp air in your home. Regularly cleaning the blades of the air handler’s fan, lubricating its moving parts, and replacing its motor when it starts to malfunction, will go a long way towards ensuring that the air that your loved ones breathe doesn’t have excess humidity. For HVAC contractors, contact a company such as Tailor Made Maintenance...

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3 Things You Should Do After Being Injured At Work

Posted by on 8:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Do After Being Injured At Work

There are many types of personal injuries such as car accident injuries, injuries that take place in a playground setting, slip-and-fall injuries that occur in a retail establishment, and injuries that happen in the workplace. When you are injured in a work environment, there are certain things that you should do. Here are a few measures you should take after being injured at work: Notify your supervisor. If your injury is not a medical emergency, don’t wait to notify your supervisor. A delay in notification can make your injury seem minor or contrived. However, if the injury involves an emergency situation, such as where you have difficulty breathing, you are rendered unconscious, or you have severe physical trauma, it is best to obtain emergency medical care before doing anything else. When your supervisor is notified concerning the injury, he or she may ask you to complete information concerning the injury in writing. The supervisor knows that the proper information must be obtained in order to file a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, if you wait too long to report the incident, you may be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Get medical help. If your situation is a medical emergency, you may be transported to a nearby hospital for prompt medical care. However, if the injury is not a true emergency, your supervisor should be able to provide you with the name and address of the physician that is associated with the workers’ compensation benefits. Even if your physical state is not an emergency, it is best to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to explain to the physician exactly how the injury occurred. These details may be included in your medical records and can help substantiate your workers’ compensation claim. In addition to receiving care from a specific doctor or doctors, it may be necessary to obtain any diagnostic tests or laboratory work from a provider who also participates in the network associated with your employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Contact a personal injury lawyer. It is also important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible following your injury. Although the workers’ compensation insurance may cover the cost of your medical care, the insurer will not pay if the case is disputed and rendered ineligible. If you have been injured on the job, schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in your area like Law Offices of Burton J....

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So, You Slip And Fell Or Suffered An Injury At Someone Else’s Pool – Now What?

Posted by on 8:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on So, You Slip And Fell Or Suffered An Injury At Someone Else’s Pool – Now What?

School is almost out, and summertime is just around the corner. What does all of that mean? It means a lot of sunbathing and pool parties. Unfortunately, it also means there is a potential risk of swimming pool injuries – even injuries that aren’t your fault. For example, you could drown because a lifeguard is too busy texting on his or her phone. You could even suffer a serious skin burn due to a dangerous imbalance of pool chemicals. Alternatively, you could slip and fell because the floor was slippery and slick and suffered a lifelong back injury. When something like this happens and you are injured at someone else’s pool, do you have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner of the swimming pool? Is it even worth your time to do so?  Proving the Owner’s Liability in a Slip-and-Fall or Personal Injury Case In order to sue an owner for damages, you must be able to prove four basic elements. These are broken down below. Duty This particular element essentially holds the owner accountable for any injuries that potentially occur on his or her property. For business owners, they have an obligation to ensure that consumers are safe from harm when they step foot onto their property. For residential property owners, which would be the case in this instance, they are obligated to inform invitees and guests of any known potential hazards and to do what they can to protect them from those dangers. Breach This element brings up a lot of questions. Did the owner of the property breach his or her aforementioned duty in keeping the pool safe for guests? Did the pool owner add to many chemicals in the pool or put inadequate chemicals in? Did the pool owner fail to properly place non-slip mats on slippery surfaces to keep falls from occurring? Did the property owner fail to have a gated/locked fence installed around the swimming pool to keep small children out of the pool area? Although more could be added, these questions are just a started to what could be suggestive of a duty breach. Causation If the owner did breach his or her duty, did it cause your pool-related injury? For example, if your slip and fall on a wet floor because of no non-slip mats in place and you broke subsequently broke a hip, then there is the potential that the court will find that the injury was caused by the pool owner. On the other hand, if a “No Diving” was secured to the wall or the fence and you chose to dive into the pool head-first anyway and then sustained a head injury, there is a good chance the court will find that you are actually liable for your own head injury. Damages Last but not least, you need to ask yourself whether the damages related to your injury are worth your time to pursue. In order to be awarded damages, you must prove you are owed money. As a general rule, this includes lost wages, medical bills, etc. If your ego was bruised, you likely aren’t going to be awarded damages. However, if you spent several weeks recovering in the hospital due to your swimming pool injury and had to miss a month of work, chances...

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Small Business Tax Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on 2:21 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Small Business Tax Mistakes To Avoid

Being a new, small business owner comes along with a lot of responsibilities. While day-to-day operations might be overwhelming, don’t get so overwhelmed that you end up overlooking important factors like tax preparation mistakes in this area can be costly. There are a number of tax issues that can easily be avoided. Taking Too Many Deductions To any small business owner, deductions are a lifesaver that help you reduce your tax liability by claiming many of the operational costs that come along with running a business. Use deductions wisely. Don’t get carried away. As a general rule of thumb, you are only allowed to claim deductions that are considered necessary and ordinary expenses. Claiming a family vacation simply because you sent a few business emails while on the trip does not make the trip a business trip. Which ultimately means you shouldn’t be claiming it. Taking too many deductions will only raise red flags and potentially lead to an audit.   Overlooking Estimated Tax Payments When it comes to estimated tax payments, some small business owners with low income levels assume estimated tax payments don’t pertain to them. The IRS states that any partner, S corporation shareholder, self-employed person or sole proprietor that will owe more than $1,000 in tax payments should be making estimated tax payments each quarter. Failing to do so may result in penalties. Make sure you are working with a tax professional to get an accurate assessment of your potential tax penalty to see if you need to be making these payments. Failing To Keep Good Records Make sure record keeping remains a priority for your business. Particularly when it comes to new businesses, record keeping isn’t always a priority as owners are often swamped with daily operational tasks. However, keeping adequate records can ensure your taxes are accurate, saving you stress and money in the long run. Important records to keep include payroll data, inventory cost sheets, utility payment receipts, operational business receipts and any other financial details. When it becomes time to prepare your taxes, providing the preparer this information will simplify the process. Sort all of these documents by month and type to keep retrieval easier. Small business tax preparation should begin well before it’s time to file your small business taxes. Make sure you are working with a tax preparation professional as early as possible to help you prepare and ensure your information is accurate. Contact an accounting firm, such as Groskreutz, Schmidt, Abraham, Eshleman & Gerretse CPA, for more...

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Looking At The Benefits Of Working With An Estate Planning Team

Posted by on 11:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking At The Benefits Of Working With An Estate Planning Team

If you are like many other people, you may be procrastinating about writing a will or about making plans for your funeral. Planning your estate is an essential aspect of ensuring your loved ones receive your property after you die. If you have other plans in mind for your property, you will need a will saying so or your property could divided and given to people in your family you would not like to have it. Worse still, your property could be sold on auction and you will never know who ended up with it, an especially detrimental action if you have loved ones that deserve it. Learn more about how you can benefit from hiring a team for getting your estate planning done once and for all. The First Member Of Your Team Is An Estate Planning Attorney Most people do not have any idea where to start when writing a will that is legal. For this reason, hiring an attorney for helping you write your will is vital. Many legal issues can come up during the course of writing a will that you may have questions about and your attorney can answer them for you. For example, if you have children and would like to leave them a sum of money for college, you will need to have a trust for each child. A trust will prevent the money being spent on anything but college tuition. Your attorney can ensure a trust is opened properly and designed in such a way your kids can only spend it how you want them to. To learn more, contact a law firm like McFarland & Masters LLC.  The Second Member Of Your Team Is An Expert Tax Consultant After you are gone, the last thing you want for your beneficiaries is a huge tax bill on the money you leave them. By including an experienced tax professional on your estate planning team, you will have the benefit of your money being placed in ways that will keep future taxes low or so there will be no tax at all. For example, the money you put into a trust for your kids in not taxable by the federal government. By working with a financial professional, you can rest easier knowing your kids will not be burdened with heavy tax bills on the money you leave for them. The Third Member Of Your Team Is A Financial Professional When making plans about your estate, you might also consider the importance of your retirement as well. Hiring a financial professional for your estate team will be helpful for knowing which investments are the best for you to put towards your retirement portfolio. If you do not currently have life insurance, a financial professional can help choose the amount most suitable for the assets you have. Also, a financial expert can offer you help with the rules associated with retirement accounts. No one likes to think about death and what will happen to their property and money after they are gone. However, life can be a lot more enjoyable when you know your loved ones are going to be taken care of when you die. If you have not started planning for your will and estate, doing so as soon possible is a good idea....

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Getting Divorced? What You Need To Know About Paying Alimony

Posted by on 11:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Divorced? What You Need To Know About Paying Alimony

When you are going through divorce proceedings with your spouse, one issue that might concern you is alimony payments. Alimony is essentially a form of spousal support, which requires that a specific amount of money is paid to a spouse after the divorce is finalized. Alimony payments can be required for many different reasons, and once a judge decides that alimony payments are required, these payments will continue until specific life events happen. Here is the essential information you should know about paying alimony. When Alimony Won’t Need To Be A Paid Paying alimony should not be assumed during a divorce, since the court won’t approve alimony in some situations. The first one is when the marriage was very short. Every state has their own standards for the minimum length of a marriage before alimony payments can be approved by the court. If both spouses had similarly paying jobs, it is also possible that alimony will not be required. Who Requests Alimony It’s important to know that alimony will not be automatically suggested by the court during divorce proceedings. If a spouse makes considerably less money than the other, or one spouse was unemployed during the marriage, they can make a request to receive alimony. If your spouse doesn’t want to receive alimony, the court will not award it to them. Expect to see alimony granted if it was a long marriage and your spouse became accustomed to a specific type of lifestyle due to a difference in income. How Long Will Alimony Payments Will Last Alimony payments are not indefinite, since certain life events can trigger the stoppage of payments. The most common situation is if your spouse remarries, since they will now have an additional income source to provide them with financial support. Your spouse getting a better paying job can also stop the need for receiving alimony. A judge also has an option to set a time limit on the maximum length that alimony payments will be made. How Much Will Alimony Will Be A judge will make a decision about how much alimony payments will be, which is typically based on your income for the year before getting divorced. If your income decreases because of a new job, you will still be liable for making those large alimony payments unless you go back to court and request to make smaller payments that are based on the smaller salary. Still have questions about alimony? Speak to a family lawyer and request a...

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