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When Laws and Emotions Mix

Personal Representative Duties Explained

Posted by on 3:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Personal Representative Duties Explained

If someone finds you responsible and trustworthy enough to handle their affairs after their death, you should be honored; not everyone is capable of fulfilling the duties of a personal representative (or executor). These people, chosen by the living owner of an estate, must be discreet, fair, honest, and organized. The primary tasks of a personal representative consist of seeing the estate through the probate process, administrating the estate during probate, and disbursing the estate to the named beneficiaries after the probate process is complete. To get a brief explanation of the main personal representative duties, read on. Accepting the appointment Though an honor, you should not accept the appointment without considering the challenges and time needed to get the job done. The duties vary depending on the size of the estate, but a consultation with the estate attorney might give you an idea of what you could be in for if you accept the job. You should understand that this position carries with it more than just responsibility, but a legal responsibility to manage the estate properly or face the potential for a lawsuit. Paperwork One of your first duties, upon the estate owner’s death, is to gather together needed documents: The will can often be located in a locked box, drawer, safe, or safe deposit box. If need be, the estate attorney can provide you with a copy. Life and burial insurance policies will be needed to pay for the burial and funeral expenses. One of the first duties of the personal representative is to ensure that there are funds available for these events. Bank account (saving and checking) information should be located as soon as possible, since you will be responsible for converting the accounts to estate-owned accounts. Investment and retirement account info will be needed as well. Deeds and titles to property. Tax returns Safe deposit boxes often hold important documents, as well as property that you will be responsible for distributing. It may take a few weeks for the death certificates to become available, but ensure that several copies of the certificates are ordered. You will be responsible for sending those to the Social Security Administration, the IRS, creditors, and more. Probate the will. As soon as possible, meet with the estate attorney and work with them to probate the will, a process that can take several months to complete. Duties during probate. While you wait for probate to be completed, stay on top of any bills that need to be paid and any maintenance needed on the property. An inventory of all assets will be needed, as well as a real estate appraisal. Distribute the property Once the will has cleared probate, you must allow the beneficiaries to claim their property. Speak with an estate planning attorney to learn more about the duties of a personal...

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3 Tips For Hiring Better Employees

Posted by on 5:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Hiring Better Employees

Hiring the wrong person is not just bad for your other employees’ morale, but it can also prove costly. The process to recruit, hire, and train the right candidate takes time and money. The best way to cut your employment expenses is to focus on hiring the right people from the start. Here are some ways that you can do just that.   Provide Clear Expectations for Job Responsibilities One of the reasons that potentially good employees turn into poor employees is that they are incapable of completing the job duties that are assigned to them. Sometimes, the responsibilities fall outside of the scope of their expertise and they end up making costly mistakes.   To avoid this, create a job listing that clearly defines that job duties and responsibilities for applicants. With the information clearly stated, better suited candidates are more likely to apply.   Conduct an Online Employment Screening Pre employment screening online is your chance to learn more about those candidates in which you are most interested. The screening can collect information about a candidate’s background that was potentially left off their resumes. It can also consist of questions to learn more about the candidate’s personality, skills, and attitudes.   You can conduct the screening at any time, but the best time would be before you conduct an in-person or phone interview. Armed with the results of the screening, you can choose to call only those applicants whose personalities and skills fit into the position you are filling.   Meet More Than Once It might be tempting to shorten the hiring process by meeting with each potential candidate just once, but meeting more than once with them can be beneficial. Most candidates will put their best foot forward on the first interview. The persona that a candidate presents to you in an interview might not be the one that he or she shows up to work with.   A second meeting will give you a clearer picture of who the person is. It will also give you a chance to narrow your focus down to only those who impressed you in the first interview. Your remaining choices will more than likely align with who you want as a good employee.   Finding the right employees can sometimes be challenging, but it is possible. Consider working with employment specialists to help develop other methods of locating and hiring only the right employees for your...

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How to Get Federal Education Funding with a DUI on Your Record

Posted by on 4:24 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Get Federal Education Funding with a DUI on Your Record

A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can mess up your chances of getting financial aid for your education. Therefore, if you intend to apply for college financing, and you have been charged with DUI, you need to focus on minimizing the effect on your financial aid chances. Here are some helpful measures: Avoid Drug Charges A DUI isn’t a drug charge, but it’s usually accompanied by a drug charge. For example, if you are suspected of having a controlled substance at the time of your DUI stop, you will face both DUI and possession charges. Unfortunately, if you are already receiving federal student loans and aid grants, then a drug conviction makes you ineligible for more aids and grants. Therefore, your first defense should be to ensure you are not convicted of a drug charge alongside the DUI charge. All is not lost, however, even if you do get convicted of the drug charges. You may regain your eligibility by completing a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Talk to your lawyer to help you choose a suitable program. Get Your DUI Classified as a Misdemeanor A felony DUI conviction will bar you from many federal aid programs. Therefore, if you are facing a felony DUI, fight to have it downgraded to a misdemeanor. There are several ways in which you can do this; depending on your state laws you may need to prove that: Your blood alcohol level was barely above the legal minimum You did not hurt anyone It was your first offense You have a valid driving license Avoid Jail Time at All Costs Lastly, you also need to work hard to avoid getting incarcerated. Being in jail will bar you from getting many different forms of federal financial aids. For example, you can’t get Federal Pell Grant or federal student aids if you are incarcerated in a federal or state institution. Here are some of the measures that will help you avoid getting sent to jail even if you are convicted of a DUI: Plea bargain with the prosecution for reduced charges and sentence Register in rehabilitation program even before the court orders you to do it Hold yourself up as a useful member of the society by proving your clean criminal history and gainful employment Obviously, the smart thing to do is to avoid drinking and driving. If you do get charged with a DUI, however, hire an experienced attorney and tell them about your need for federal financial aid for college education.  The attorney will help you minimize the effect of your charges on your education. Check out for more...

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Need Help With a Divorce But Can’t Afford a Lawyer? 3 Options to Consider

Posted by on 5:12 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need Help With a Divorce But Can’t Afford a Lawyer? 3 Options to Consider

Going through a divorce is not only a stressful time, but can be expensive. While it is always best to hire an experienced divorce lawyer if one of you is contesting the initial divorce filing, sometimes there is just no money to do so. There are, however, a number of resources available to you that can help you get through the situation with no, or very little cost. Whether you are the one that does the initial filing, or you have been served with divorce papers, here are a few things you can do to help things move along. Lawyer Consultation Most lawyers will provide you with a free initial consultation. This should be your first step once a divorce is imminent. A lawyer can explain to you what will happen and how the proceedings will unfold. The lawyer may even give you the paperwork to get things started on your own. You can fill out the forms and then file them with the court for a small fee. Self-Help Centers Most court houses have a self-help center. They are often manned by law students. You can find all the paperwork for filing a divorce or the response to a divorce filing. If you need help filling something out, the attendants can help, but they cannot advise you what to do. Some centers offer a day or so when you can set up an appointment to talk with a lawyer for free. This person can give you advice and tell you what steps you should take to have the situation resolved. Legal Aide Classes Another option available through the court house might be classes. These classes can help you to understand more about the divorce. They can be especially helpful when children are involved. You will learn what to expect if the case goes to trial, or how to figure out things like child custody, support, and alimony. These classes may also point you to lawyers who are willing to do pro bono work to help you get through everything. Help is available to you when you need to end your marriage. Talk to sources like DeSanto and Kellogg Law Office LLC to find the resources to help you get through this tough time. Knowledge about the whole proceeding will give you the upper hand and help minimize your stress. You do not need to go through it all...

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Quick Relief: What to Know About Automatic Stays

Posted by on 4:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quick Relief: What to Know About Automatic Stays

It’s not just the overwhelming accumulation of debt that sends filers rushing to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy: the threat of losing property, harassment by bill collectors, and lack of a place to live can also figure heavily in that decision. A bankruptcy filing provides a unique method of putting an immediate stop to certain activities, which lends quick relief and peace. You should know however, that the relief of a bankruptcy filing, which employs something called the automatic stop, doesn’t extend to every single debt or issue. Read on to learn more about automatic stops and the powers they have and don’t have. You can count on the automatic stay to: 1. Stop nearly all garnishment activities. Garnishment is when a legal method of removing money from your wages is used to pay off a debt. An automatic stay will put an end to the garnishment, but it won’t necessarily do away with the debt that you owe. Being able to take home your full paycheck will bring you more income to deal with bills that you may not be able to get discharged with bankruptcy, such as secured debt. 2. Stop foreclosure measures, at least temporarily. Often, filers are allowed to keep their primary residence after a bankruptcy filing, depending on how much equity they have in it. If you are behind on your payments, however, you must get caught up since the automatic stay is not meant to allow you to cease making payments and stay in your home indefinitely. At best, you may be able to funnel some extra funds that were previously going to credit-card debt toward getting caught up on the mortgage or use the time to find alternate living arrangements. 3. Delay utility disconnections. With an automatic stay you can get a 20-day reprieve from the scary possibility of your electricity, water, gas, and telephone (land-line only) getting turned off. 4. Stop almost all bill-collection activities. You are likely very weary of the constant phone calls and threatening letters from your credit-card creditors. The good news is that once you file for your chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court, the creditors must cease that activity immediately. Any accidental communications from those creditors should prompt you to provide them with the case number and your attorney’s contact information. As a bonus, since most all credit-card debt is unsecured, you can cease making those large minimum payments and use the money for other obligations. The automatic stay may not help you if: 1. You owe money for child support. The best interest of the child edict demands that obligations to your minor child must continue unabated and that any associated wage-garnishment activity must continue. Additionally, in some states you must continue to honor any spousal support orders. 2. You owe money for taxes. The IRS cannot place a lien on your property once you file, but you must continue to comply with any installment agreements that were already in place. 3. You owe money to the courts (fees and fines) as a result of being found guilty of criminal acts. To learn more about the automatic stay, speak with a bankruptcy attorney such as Stuart R Whitehair...

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Have You And Your Dog Sustained Injuries In A Car Accident? How To Get The Compensation You Both Deserve

Posted by on 8:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You And Your Dog Sustained Injuries In A Car Accident? How To Get The Compensation You Both Deserve

If you have been involved in a car accident and your dog was riding with you, you may be wondering how to pay his or her vet bills for the injuries he or she sustained in the accident. If you were severely injured and are unable to work since the accident, you may not have the money to pay your dog’s vet. Learn more about how you can get the compensation you and your dog deserve after a serious car accident. Hiring An Attorney Is Your First Step You may wonder how you could possibly afford an attorney when you are not able to work and you have yours and your dog’s medical bills to pay. You should know that car accident attorneys get paid when you win your case against the other driver’s insurance company, so no money is required up front. As soon as you are able after a car accident, contact an attorney so he or she can begin gathering details about your case. Keep in mind that if the other driver’s insurance contacts you, never tell them any details aside from your contact information. Your attorney will do all the talking with the other driver’s insurance company and will also take care of the negotiations for any deserved monetary compensation. Having an attorney working as your advocate can help to reduce your levels of stress, allowing you time to heal and care for your injured canine companion. Why You Can Get Compensation For Your Dog’s Injuries Your dog is considered your property. If he or she is injured while in your car during an accident and another driver is at fault, that driver’s insurance company is responsible for the damage done to your property, the dog included. Your attorney can explain in greater detail about the kind of compensation he or she will try to win for you and how some it can be applied to the veterinarian care your dog may need for making a full recovery. How They Determine Your Compensation The severity of your injuries and the level of damage done to your property determine how much money you will be awarded as compensation. For example, if your injuries will include long-term issues that could keep you from working for a long time, you may be awarded more than if your injuries were forecast to heal over a period of a few months. Your dog’s injuries will be figured by how much the vet bill adds up to. A serious car accident can turn your world upside down. By having an attorney on your side, you can relax and know you are in good hands with appropriate legal representation. To discover more on compensation for your pet’s bills, contact local...

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Four Of The Most Common Threats To A Nursing License

Posted by on 10:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Of The Most Common Threats To A Nursing License

Just as with any other professional license, a nursing license can be taken away. But there are more ways to lose your nursing license than you might think. Not all of them are directly involved with your professional conduct or how you work. A professional license attorney can give more direction if you are concerned. 1. Drug Addiction Drug addiction can be considered both a psychological and physical illness. Because of this, nurses who have a drug addiction but are in a management program will not lose their license. But nurses who are not in a management program for their addiction and have not revealed their addiction to their employer may be considered a risk. An attorney can help a nurse in disclosing their illness and procuring help.  2. Opening Mail At-home nursing staff often assist with daily tasks. One of the most common mistakes a nurse can make is opening the mail of the person they are currently taking care of. It’s important that they not do this because interfering with mail is a federal crime. If an individual is not healthy enough to open their mail, there is generally another relative who has power of attorney and should be capable of doing this task. 3. Getting Too Close to Patients It’s easy for nurses to have some level of familiarity with their patients. Nevertheless, they need to be very cautious when establishing personal relationships. In particular, nursing staff should generally not accept gifts or money from their clients. In many cases, this can be considered elderly abuse or abuse of the disabled; financial abuse is considered a legal type of abuse. Further, nurses should avoid seeking out contact with their patients outside of a medical environment. 4. Getting Arrested Getting arrested will not necessarily threaten a nursing license, but it can if there are certain ethical boundaries that have been crossed. In particular, many licenses have ethical guidelines depending on the state, and the severity of the arrest may affect a nurse’s ability to keep a license. For example, a nurse who has a drug arrest — even if the drugs were not procured from a clinical environment — may have their license taken away. Professional license attorneys are specialists in helping nurses maintain their licensing and even appeal if their licensing is taken away. Even if you have already had your license restricted, you may be able to reverse the decision if you appeal in time.  Talk to legal experts like those at Lord & Associates Law Office if you need...

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Moving On With Your Life Begins With A Great Divorce Party!

Posted by on 2:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving On With Your Life Begins With A Great Divorce Party!

Divorces can be a long, painful process that leaves many feeling sad and disappointed. Don’t let your divorce define you or derail your future; throw yourself a great divorce party! These are becoming a popular way to move past the heartbreak of divorce and get a fresh start. Some tips for throwing a great divorce party and moving past your break-up include the following. Wait until the dust settles. The underlying reason for a divorce party is to celebrate the end of the often-painful process of divorce, so don’t plan it too early. When you get your final decree from your attorney, then it is time to begin planning your divorce party. You may even want to make this the time to burn your marriage license, as a symbolic gesture, during the festivities. Give the guest list some thought. Think carefully about who to invite to your divorce party and use some basic etiquette when it comes to the guest list. Don’t invite the current beau, or your ex, or everyone on your original wedding guest list. Not everyone will understand the symbolic nature and good fun of a divorce party, so keep it to your closest friends and family members that will keep it lighthearted and help celebrate your new beginning. You definitely deserve a drink. Create a signature drink for your divorce party with a clever name to commemorate the occasion. Choose a concoction that you enjoy and that you can easily whip-up in pitchers or batches, so you aren’t tending bar all night for your guests. Give it a quirky name, like ‘the pre-nup’ or ‘no-more-mother-in-law’, and post your signature drink on a chalkboard or sign for friends to get a laugh while they whet their whistle. Don’t forget the cake. A cake is the perfect, fun detail that you should have as a centerpiece at your divorce party. There are some really clever and creative divorce cakes found online that you can use for inspiration. Another great idea is to skip the carbs and use your final divorce papers (or a copy of them) to create an origami-style centerpiece to get a laugh out of everyone in attendance! Go ahead and throw yourself a great divorce party! Why not celebrate the closing of this chapter as you begin a new one in your life? Use these tips to help pull-off a fun and lighthearted celebration as you move on after your...

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Can First-Time Offenders Avoid Having a Criminal Record?

Posted by on 7:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can First-Time Offenders Avoid Having a Criminal Record?

In most cases, legal forms of punishment like a jail sentence or probation are not intended to be permanent. However, even minor crime convictions come with one very permanent effect: a criminal record. Your criminal record follows you for the rest of your life, and it can prevent you from getting jobs, renting apartments, being accepted to universities, and other things that can seriously impact your ability to succeed in life. It’s always best to avoid having a criminal record if you can, which is why it may be a bad idea to plead guilty or no-contest even if you think that the evidence is against you. Take a look at some ways that first-time offenders can avoid a criminal record. Mediation Most people think of mediation as a way to avoid a lawsuit. But in some jurisdictions, mediation can be used to avoid criminal charges as well. Private mediation can sometimes be an option for defendants who are accused of committing a minor crime, like trespassing or vandalism. In order for mediation to be an option, the person pressing the charges has to agree to it. For example, if your neighbor accuses you of vandalizing their property, your attorney could ask the court to refer you to a private mediator. If the court and the neighbor both agree, you and your neighbor would sit down with a mediator and come to an agreement. You might agree to pay for the damages, for instance. If you and your neighbor come to an agreement, the court could dismiss the charge against you, and you wouldn’t have a criminal record. Diversion Pre-trial diversion is a strategy used for a number of minor charges, like shoplifting, writing a bad check, or even a first-time DUI. The way pre-trial diversion usually works is that the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the charges, and the judge withholds adjudication of the conviction. When a judge withholds adjudication, it means that you have not been formally convicted of the crime. The judge will usually give the defendant some requirements to meet. You may be placed on probation, required to complete community service, or ordered to pay fines or restitution. If you fulfill the requirements within the time frame specified by the court and don’t get into any further legal trouble in the meantime, the court will dismiss the charge, and the conviction won’t stay on your record. Treatment Treatment may be an option if the crime was drug or alcohol related. Courts are starting to realize that drug and alcohol addictions are often beyond the addict’s ability to control and that many addicts can benefit more from treatment for the addiction than from punishment for the crime. Treatment may also be an option if the person who committed the crime is mentally ill or developmentally disabled. The state of Ohio has a program called Intervention in Lieu of Conviction (IILC) that is a good example. Eligible offenders are assessed by a social worker, addiction counselor, or mental health professional, who will provide a treatment plan to the court. If the court agrees, the offender enters a treatment program without being convicted. If the offender participates in the treatment program, submits to drug testing, and complies with any other requirements set by the court for...

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2 Ways To Help Your Child Custody Case

Posted by on 2:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways To Help Your Child Custody Case

If you are a divorced parent who is worried that your ex-spouse may be neglecting or abusing your child, you may want to start seeking full custody of your child and limit the amount of visitation that they get. However, you can’t just arbitrarily make the decision to take custody or stop visitation. If you don’t send your child to their other parent when they are supposed to go, then you can end up in trouble. But, you can go to a lawyer and get them to file for custody for you. There are some things that you can do to help your lawyer with your case. Document Everything One of the most important things you can do is document every single thing that happens. Get yourself a notebook and a pen and start writing down times and dates of phone calls as well as a summary of what was said. Save all emails– in fact, if you have your lawyer’s email address, you can BCC them on all emails between you and your former spouse so that they will have a copy as well. Save all text messages. If your child is old enough, give them a pen and notebook and have them write down what happened while they were with the other parent. You should keep the notebook at your home because the other parent may take the notebook.  Take Pictures You should take pictures of your child before they see their other parent as well as when they get back. You should especially photograph any bruises or injuries that your child may suffer. Having photographic proof of what happened is going to make your case much stronger when it comes to court. That’s because your former spouse will have a harder time saying that something didn’t happen. Have your child hold up a current paper when you take their picture. It may seem cheesy, but doing that will show what date it is. It’s harder to dispute what happened on what day if there is proof of the date. If you have a girl and you need to take pictures of an injury under her shirt, think about having her wear a swimming suit top so that she is still covered but the injury is uncovered. It may make her feel more comfortable about the process.  Being a parent is hard. Being divorced and co-parenting is even harder, especially if you are worried that your child is being neglected or hurt. Your child custody lawyer can help you get custody, and you can help strengthen their...

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