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Only a small percentage of American families may be enormously wealthy; however, this should not stop anyone from drafting a Will, as this legal contract will allow them to specifically state which asset or thing of value they intend to pass on to their spouse and/or children. A Will specifically states which asset or thing of value will go to the spouse and the children. Assets include anything that has value, or anything that a parent holds dear and precious. The failure or the refusal to draft a Will is one of the reasons why some of those who face death fail to make sure that the financial future of those they will leave behind is secure. An asset may be a piece of antique furniture, a vehicle, jewelry, bank account, life insurance, a pension plan, a small piece of land, a small business, a painting or anything to which value may be assigned. If a person has one or a number of these, but fails to express through a Will his or her intent of leaving a part or all of his/her properties to someone, then it shall be the court that shall decide who will inherit the properties left behind. The basis of this authority of the court is the Law of Intestacy; this law follows a predefined plan of distribution that is based on the laws of the state where the owner of the estate resides.

Thus, failure to draft a Will shall allow a court to make the following decisions on behalf of the owner of an estate, asset or anything that has value. If the owner is:

  • Single and without a child, then all properties and assets shall be given to the parents of the deceased. However, if the parents are already dead, his/her siblings will be named as heirs.
  • Single but has a child. All properties and assets go to the child; if there is more than one child, all the children will share everything evenly.
  • Married but without a child. In some states, a spouse would be named sole inheritor; in other states, however, only a third or half of the properties will be given to the spouse, while the remainder shall be given to the parents of the deceased. In case the parents predecease the owner, then to his/her living siblings.
  • Married and with child. Half or a third of the properties will be given by the court to the spouse, while the remainder shall be placed under the child’s name or equally distributed among the children if there is more than one child.
  • If an owner, before his/her death, was able to stipulate in his/her Will his/her intent to leave a bigger share of his/her estate to his/her child who has gotten married and also has children,then this shall be recognized and allowed by the court.

As explained by Tucson tax lawyers, Drafting a Will and Estate Planning are “remarkably important steps to take in order to ensure that your loved ones will be provided for in the event that anything unforeseen should happen to you. Done well, estate planning can be a powerful tool for providing security and stability to your loved ones as well as a way to minimize potential tax burdens.”

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Aside from the purpose of regulating maritime commerce between U.S. ports and in U.S. waters, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, was also adopted by the U.S. Congress to provide for the promotion and maintenance of the American seamen, by allowing them to make claims and collect from their employers or ship owners due to their (employer’s/ship owner’s’) acts of the negligence that result to injuries or death. (In case a seaman has had a fatal accident in international waters, resulting to wrongful death that is caused by his/her employer’s negligence or a vessel’s unseaworthiness, then his/her spouse, child or any dependent family member may recover of damages based on the Death on the High Seas Act or DOHSA, a United States admiralty law enacted by the U.S. Congress.)

The Jones Act is a federal legislation that protects American seamen, who get injured or become sick while performing their duties. To recover compensation, the Act allows injured seamen to bring legal action against employers or ship owners based on claims of negligence or unseaworthiness.

A 1995 United States Supreme Court case has laid down the benchmark which will help determine the status of any worker as a “Jones Act” seaman. For purposes of the of the Jones Act, a seaman refers to any person who spends at least 30 percent of his/her employment time, (whether as a crewmember or a captain) in the service of a “vessel in navigation,” such as a boat or a ship on navigable waters. A “vessel in navigation” is a vessel that is afloat, in operation, capable of moving, and on navigable waters. This definition excludes oil drilling platforms, floating casino barges and newly built vessels which, though out at sea, are still undergoing sea trials and not in commercial operation.

Under the Jones Act, any injured seaman can file for compensation for damages that include medical care expenses, Lost wages from missing work and Emotional trauma.

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Posted By on Nov 3, 2016

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA estimates that about 70 to 80 million dogs are owned in the United States. That’s approximately 37 to 47 percent of all households across the country. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Dogs make for fun, loyal, and loving pets, and plenty of people declare themselves dog lovers because of these very traits. Dogs are known to make excellent companions, provided that their owners take full responsibility of their pet’s care and discipline.

Responsible pet ownership is more than just giving your dog treats and taking them out to the park to play catch. Making sure that your pet does not become a threat to others is also among the many responsibilities that a pet owner must prioritize. Just as dogs can be extremely friendly, they can also be quite temperamental. Certain things can easily trigger dogs and cause them to become aggressive. When this happens, dogs could suddenly attack become a danger to yourself and the people around you.

According to Charleston personal injury attorneys at Clawson and Staubes, certain states like South Carolina have laws that hold pet owners responsible for any injures that a dog might inflict on another person. Because dog bites can lead to devastating consequences such as scarring, disfigurement, and costly medical expenses, it’s important that pet owners to their part in preventing such accidents from happening.

In their website, the ASPCA offers a number of suggestions that dog owners can take to make sure that their pets are well-socialized and well-trained, helping prevent any unwarranted attacks from happening. They emphasize the importance of socializing dogs at an early age, allowing them to feel accustomed to new environments. This prevents them from feeling scared or threatened. It’s also important that dogs are trained properly through reward-based exercises. Pet owners should know to reinforce positive behavior in dogs early on, preventing any bad or aggressive habits from further developing.

Remember that dog bites and other animal attacks can cause serious injury. Pet owners should do their part in helping to keep their communities safe from such devastating incidents.

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Common Costs After A Car Accident


Posted By on Apr 20, 2016

Getting involved in a car accident entails a lot of medical expenses on your end. When it comes to payment of bills, you have to bear in mind that there are certain rules that you need to follow. The general rule is that you have to pay for the medical bills as you incur them. Depending on the kind of accident you got involved in, you are not entirely responsible for paying the bill. Here we will look at the common costs you will pay after an accident.

The sad part about car accidents is that the highest cost we have to pay is human life. Whether it’s injury or death, no amount of money will pay for the potential loss of income and livelihood that is associated with car accidents. In the case of deaths, the amount of money that will be paid will not bring back the life of victim of the car accident. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that US motor vehicle crashes in 2010 cost almost $1 trillion due to loss of productivity and loss of life.

Payment of your medical expenses will depend on which state the accident happened. If it occurred in a “no fault” state, there will be a limit on the amount you will pay. This may vary from one state to another but will generally be less than $10,000. When your expenses are more than the state’s “no fault” limit, you will have to shoulder your medical costs. If you have health insurance, your HMO will cover yout medical bills. If you are enrolled with Medicare or other state run health insurance programs. Here now are your expected medical costs after a car accdient.

1. Injury-Related Expenses

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, severe injuries may entail ambulance costs, X-rays, CT scans, overnight stays, medication costs, physical therapy, and others.

If the plaintiff is required to undergo testing or treatment, the defendant will will be responsible for paying your medical expenses. It can become expensive especially when the accident caused permanent disability and will require adaptive services and nursing care.

It is worth noting that you need to turn over some or all of your money to your health provider if they have been paying the medical costs before the settlement or damage award.

2. Pain and suffering

Juries tend to award huge damage costs for pain and suffering. For this reason, insurance companies are inclined to settle a case. Most insurance providers will use a “pain multiplier” to come up with a fair and reasonable cost for pain and suffering damages.

3. Emotional distress

Accidents or injuries are usually associated with emotional stress. This should be accompanied by psychiatric records and diagnosis. This could increase the amount of damages that will be awarded to you for emotional distress.

4. Wrongful death

By law, spouses are allowed to file a wrongful death action in every state. For minor children, parents can claim liability and damages. The rules may vary on the ability of parents to sue for wrongful death.

5. Emergency room costs

Sometimes car accidents will entail frequent trips to the emergency rooms and the judge will usually award rides and tips to the emergency section of hospitals.

Car accidents can put the lives and future of individuals at risk. As such, it is just right for them to provide damages to the “at-fault” driver.

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Swimming pools might be a fantastic source of enjoyment for a lot of families across America. What could be more satisfactory than a soothing swim in the water through the blistering summer months? Whether it is within their very own backyard or in a resort that is beautiful, pools will be an ideal means for households enjoy each other’s business and to cool-off. Nonetheless, even this favorite leisurely energetic may pose some significant risk of harm, particularly for young children.

Sadly, swimming pool injuries are a standard event. Particularly, the CPSC report discovered that an average of 390 drowning-related fatalities happened yearly between the years 2009 and 2007 for youngsters aged 14 and younger.

In these cases, the most typical injuries comprise evisceration, disembowelment, and additional near-sinking injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are also frequent in pool-related mishaps. This usually happens when the child slips on the water outside the pool and drops to the floor, or when the child dives to the pool and hits their head on the bottom of the pool.

These accidents are clearly quite alarming, especially when we think about the fact that swimming is likely to be a pleasurable activity. Can there be a method to stop such disasters from occurring in the foreseeable future? Will there be a way to control these amounts that are alarming?

Depending on which state you live, you will find many procedures the government has imposed to make sure pools are not dangerous for use. Typically, these policies apply for the grade of gear employed by the manufacturer and contractors of the pool. The landowner can also be held accountable of keeping the safety of the pool. According to the website of Williams Kherkher Law Firm, these landowners can be held accountable for their premises. Casualties might possess the option to seek just payment out whenever they can be proven to possess not been diligent in making sure that their swimming pool is secure.

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Having your car vandalized can undoubtedly cause a very big problem. Vandalism can come in many forms, including broken windows and mirrors, busted lights, graffiti or keyed in scratches, and slashed tired. It’s important to know that necessary steps to take in order to mitigate the issues caused by someone else’s intentional damage to your property. However, filing a car insurance claim for vandalism can be quite tedious. Keep in mind the following tips to ensure that the process can be as convenient for you as possible.

First, contact the police upon seeing your car vandalized. Most car insurance companies will require that a police report go with the claim you file. The earlier you report to officials, the sooner you can get the necessary documents to pursue your car insurance claim. If you see any damage to your car, call a police officer immediately and report the incident without hesitation. In some cases, your prompt reporting can also help police officers catch the perpetrator sooner.

Another important tip to keep in mind is to document the damage done to your vehicle. Take pictures of how your car was vandalized so you can submit them alongside your car insurance claim. If you have fairly recent pictures of your car before the vandalism incident, you can also include that to provide your insurance provider with a point of reference.

Finally, do not forget to contact your insurance company as soon as you’re done reporting the vandalism to the police. With a comprehensive coverage, you can rest assured that your vehicle’s repairs will be properly covered without any issue. To officially file your claim, you will need to provide your insurance provider with pertinent information. This may include details such as where your vehicle was located before and after the vandalism and a full description of your vehicle’s model, upgrades, and even recent repairs.

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Reasons Elderly Abuse May Occur


Posted By on Apr 11, 2015

Nursing home abuse is on the rise; according to reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half a million of the elderly population suffer from neglect, abuse, or any other form of injury. Elder abuse can take on various forms, and according to the CDC there are generally six types of maltreatment, often experienced by elder aged 60 years and older: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

It is very important to know who can be held liable for elder abuse and neglect in order to have a legally valid and strong personal injury lawyer. If you have the time to consult a Tennessee personal injury attorney, all the better. Generally, when it comes to elder abuse the facility is the one who can be held accountable, provided that you can present evidence of the abuse. A health care or nursing home facility can be held liable for abuse some factors stated below led to any abuse, endangerment, or injury to the elder:

  1. Understaffing
  2. Medication or medical errors
  3. Negligent hiring
  4. Poor or inadequate training
  5. Breach of statutory or regulatory responsibility

Any act or practices that an employee of the nursing facility does which lead to harm or injury of the elder or resident can make the nursing facility “vicariously liable”, especially when these acts where done during working hours or during the course and scope of the employee’s work responsibilities. Third-party contractors that the nursing facility hires to perform several particular tasks can also be liable for neglect and abuse claims.

It is highly advised to immediately contact the police or the Adult Protective Services upon seeing or noticing the first signs of elder abuse. Each state may have their own numbers that you can report your concerns to. Remember that symptoms of elder abuse are not always apparent, therefore being vigilant and attentive to the elder resident is important in getting immediate help.

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Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means it is almost time to put away the beer and scotch and bring out the “romantic” alcoholic beverages. Although a simple bottle of wine or champagne will suffice, if you want to mix it up, here are some suggestions.

If you are looking for a cocktail to sip on at brunch, try the Raspberry Bellini. For each glass, you will need two ounces of cachaca, six raspberries, a dash of lime juice, two teaspoons of sugar, and your choice of champagne. These only take a few minutes to make, so there is no excuse for you not to enjoy this with some eggs, toast, and your loved one.

For a compliment for or supplement to your dessert, there is the Dessert Fizz. Each serving size requires one and a half ounces of chocolate vodka, one large, chopped strawberry, a handful of mint leaves, one teaspoon of agave nectar, one fourth of an ounce of fresh lemon juice, three ounces of sparkling wine, and a strawberry slice as a garnish. This drink will have you wondering why anyone ever bothered serving chocolate covered strawberries without alcohol.

Finally, Kir and Kir Royale is a simple enough drink to be served with dinner, but still sets the night apart from the rest. All that is needed is one fourth of an ounce of crème de cassis and two and one fourth ounces of dry white wine.

Valentine’s Day is a day for indulgence, but make sure you and your partner are drinking responsibly. Crowe Mulvey says on its website that if a person is serving alcohol, they could be in legal trouble if the person they were serving got into a drunk driving accident. That being said, have fun and stay safe this weekend!

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Penalties for Driving while High


Posted By on Nov 4, 2014

Marijuana is considered illegal in the state of Texas (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. § 481.002.) and is identified as a schedule 1 substance, having a high possibility of abuse and is regarded as having no recognizable medical use. As such, it is considered to be a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana, and penalties dictated by DUI violations would apply to those caught driving under the influence of marijuana, although charges of marijuana possession against the driver or passengers still apply.

According to the Texas Stat. and Code Ann. § 49.01., if a person is caught driving under the influence of marijuana on any amount (as determine through blood or urine samples), it will be enough to establish that the crime has been committed. The penalties can depend on the whether the charge is the first offense or a repeat, and the penalties increase when there is a minor inside the vehicle (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. § 49.04.).

For first convictions, penalties involve fines reaching $2,000, imprisonment of between 72 hours and 180 days, or both. It also includes community service of between 24 and 100 hours, and up to a year of suspension of driver’s license. Penalties for second convictions include fines of up to $4,000 and between 72 hours and 180 days of jail time, or both; with between 80 and 200 hours of community service and license suspension of up to 180 days to 2 years. For third and ensuing convictions, the fine can reach up to $10,000 with between 2 and 10 years of imprisonment, or both; community service of between 160 and 600 hours and license suspension of between 180 days and 2 years.

Being charged and convicted with marijuana-related DUI can be hard as it can affect the various areas of your life. Being charge would mean you need to find good Dallas criminal defense lawyers to help lessen or lower your penalties. Because state laws vary, especially when it comes to DUI charges, it helps to find a criminal defenses lawyer who understands how these court proceedings are handled in your state by prosecutors and judges.

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