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.”
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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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.
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.