Estate Planning Considerations

Many Americans, even American seniors, don’t have wills, which can cause legal headaches for their heirs because the state will determine where your assets go. Proper estate planning, even if you only have a few assets, can make this process much easier for your heirs. Local estate planning services, such as estate planning legal service in Lafayette CO, can help you with this process.

Power of Attorney

Consider writing a power of attorney document to assign someone you trust to make decisions if you are injured or otherwise unable to make them yourself. Your agent, someone you assign through this document, can then act on your behalf in financial and legal matters. An agent is typically a spouse, grown child or advisor. This document is revocable, so you can change your agent at will, if you don’t have an agent, the courts will make your decisions in the case of mental incompetence.

Guardianship

If you have minor children, you should write up guardianship designations. This information may be in your will or trust documents, but if not, be sure to create a separate document. Your guardian should be someone who shares your values and can handle the financial responsibility of raising children. Ask your prospective guardians whether they would be willing to raise your children prior to naming them. Without a guardianship designation, the courts will determine who your children live with, possibly a family member you may not have chosen.

Will or Trust

A will and trust should be drawn up even if you don’t have many assets. If you want your assets to go to specific people, a will is a must. In addition, the heirs’ tax burden can be significantly reduced through the use of trusts. Be aware of who your beneficiaries are on all your assets, including your life insurance policies, and don’t give the same asset to more than one person.

To protect you and your heirs, consider seeking estate planning services.

Why Hire an Attorney for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Case?

Suffering a work-related accident or illness can have devastating effects on your entire life. It may result in you being unable to work for a certain amount of time, or indefinitely. It can also result in massive medical debt and put a strain on your personal relationships.

What you may not realize is that if you are injured at work that you have the right to recover workers compensation Portland. However, this can be a challenging road, which is why hiring an attorney to help you is a smart move. Keep reading to learn why you should hire a legal professional.

Attorneys Understand the Law

One of the top reasons you should hire an attorney for help with your workers’ compensation case is because they understand the law. The attorney can use this understanding to protect your rights. Workers’ compensation law is complex, and it is always changing. If you make a mistake just because you do not know something, it may impact your ability to recover any compensation.

Help Navigating the Process

Acquiring workers’ compensation benefits is often challenging. This is especially true if your employer or their insurance company denies that workplace conditions caused the injury or illness. If this happens, a lawyer can work to gather the necessary evidence and documentation to support your claim. They will be your biggest ally as you fight for the compensation you deserve.

When you get ready to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, remember, they are not all created equal. It is a good idea to find someone who has worked on situations similar to yours in the past. This will help ensure you have the best possible representation and help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Being informed and knowing why you need an attorney is essential when dealing with a work-related injury.

Finding a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been injured at work and are unable to return to work or have difficulty getting medical treatment, consider consulting an attorney. However, don’t just search “workers compensation lawyer Portland OR.” Instead, use these tips to find a great attorney.

Practice Focus

As you speak with attorneys, ask them the percentage of their practice that is focused on workers’ compensation cases. No lawyer has to work on these cases all the time, but you want someone well-versed in these laws and how to win these cases. You want someone who is current with the new laws and has won their fair share of cases. Search for someone who has been in the industry for some time.

In addition, you want legal counsel that has knowledge of and experience in your field. Although field experience may not be absolutely necessary, someone with this knowledge will understand your circumstances, the reason for your injury and other parts of your case better than someone who has no experience in your industry.

Consultation

Ask for a meeting (consultation). Find an attorney that does not charge for your initial consultation. During these meetings, discuss your case with your prospective attorneys. Focus on the facts and bring your documentation, including medical records, the initial injury report, any follow-up reports on the injury, your claim’s status and your personnel file.

Ask questions about the process and the attorneys’ estimation of your case and your legal options. Then, ask when you should expect to receive updates and the firm’s preferred communication methods.

Observe

Be observant. Was the office orderly and clean, or run down and cluttered? Focus on how you are treated. Were you rushed through, or did the lawyer spend enough time with you to understand the nuances of your case, and were you treated with respect? Did the attorney appear confident about winning your case?

What kind of time will the counselor spend on your case? Find out if you will have a team working with you or just a single attorney. Learn about the firms’ resources and whether they can handle your case.

Fees

Ask the attorney about their fees. Most attorneys will take a portion of your settlement as their payment, but this does not typically cover legal fees. Many attorneys don’t charge if they lose but ask your prospects before signing anything.  

Most workers’ compensation recipients receive much higher settlements when they hire an attorney. However, focus on hiring the right attorney. For example, choose an attorney with a strong reputation who has the resources to try your case properly and is easy to work with.

Will a Traffic Ticket Impact my CDL?

Driving is your job when you have a commercial driver’s license. This makes it incredibly important that you keep your CDL in good standing and avoid traffic tickets.

If you have too many tickets or you get a ticket for a serious offense, then you could lose your CDL privileges. It is essential that you are aware of the impact a ticket can have so that you can protect your CDL.

Serious Issues

The most impactful traffic tickets will be those for more severe charges. For example, tickets for reckless operation or a DUI will cause more serious consequences than tickets for minor speeding infractions.

Even more important to understand is that some offenses will result in a loss of your CDL for life, according to AllTrucking.com. These are the most serious offenses:

  • Commission of a felony using your commercial vehicle
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving with a BAC over a certain limit

Also, keep in mind that your tickets add up. One ticket for speeding isn’t usually a serious issue, but if you keep getting tickets and have multiple ones within a specific period, then that could be a problem. The court will likely issue more severe penalties, which could include suspending your CDL.

It is incredibly important to take a traffic ticket seriously regardless of what it is. You may want to consult with CDL traffic ticket lawyers to see what your options are and what your next move should be.

A Note of Caution

While getting a traffic ticket while driving a commercial vehicle can impact your CDL, you also should note that some traffic tickets you receive when driving your personal vehicle could also cause you trouble. You are still driving on your CDL even when you are not in a commercial vehicle, so you need to continue good driving habits no matter what vehicle you are in.

In some cases, though, tickets in your personal vehicle will not represent issues with your ability to drive a truck. NOLO explains laws may distinguish between them, and you may not face the same penalties as you would if you were in a commercial vehicle.  

Job Impact

Obviously, losing your license will impact your ability to drive for your job. Having a bad driving record can also make it difficult to get jobs in the future. This is why you should mount a case for every traffic ticket you get.

Fight Tickets

Your best bet when getting a traffic ticket is to take it seriously. You should never just admit guilt and pay a fine because the impact could be far-reaching. Take time to see how a ticket could impact your CDL and then decide how you will handle it.

3 Things You Always Forget To Protect

The strange thing about being human is that you might be one of the smartest animals on the planet, but despite all that you’re not always very good at protecting yourself. You are extremely good at protecting yourself from immediate dangers like the danger of burning yourself on a hot stove. Long term hurts and distant dangers are harder to react to, even when we recognize them. Habits you have right now can cause injury to yourself later. Here are just three things most people fail to protect in the short term that can cause long term damage.  

Hearing

Whether it’s by mowing the lawn without ear protection or listening to music way too loud, most people damage their hearing a little bit every day. It doesn’t feel like a big deal now, but as you get older, it will become more of a problem. So turn down the volume and invest in noise cancelling ear protection Lynchburg VA or your area. 

Lungs

Even if you don’t smoke, you might still be doing damage to your lungs. It’s important to wear a mask for many reasons, but especially to filter out particulates when you’re working in a closed space with a lot of dust or mold. Also, watch out what chemicals you’re breathing in when you clean your home.

Skin

Perhaps the most-ignored damage is to skin. Every time you go tanning or let yourself get a sunburn, you’re damaging the largest organ in your body: your skin. Wear sunscreen and don’t forget to moisturize to keep your skin healthy and wrinkle-free!

There are lots of small things you can do now to protect your body from future injury, it just takes a little forethought. It’s not easy; humans are good at seeing threats, but they’re not so good at reacting to anything that isn’t an immediate danger. 

Why Expert Witnesses Are Important

The American trial system is brilliantly designed. Not only are defendants guaranteed a fair and speedy trial, but they are also entitled to legal representation that pledges to zealously defend their interests. One of the most important tools that both defense attorneys and prosecutors employ to make their cases is the use of expert witnesses.

Finding an Expert Witness

Essentially an expert witness is anyone who can provide litigation support Irvine CA by speaking about their profession with authority. For example, if a defendant maintains that weather played a part in an automobile accident, the prosecution may hire a meteorologist as an expert weather witness. They could talk about the weather conditions on the day in question, the likelihood of ice forming on roads, or visibility issues. Basically, if you are an accredited professional in your field, you qualify to be an expert witness.

Breaking Down Complicated Concepts

The most important service an expert witness provides is breaking down concepts that may be difficult to understand for jurors. They can explain in layman’s terms highly technical or specialized jargon. For example, if a defendant is charged with committing online identity theft, a computer programmer might be brought in to explain how they used code and programs to obtain the plaintiff’s information.

Answering Questions From Both Sides

While expert witnesses are hired and paid by either the defense or the prosecution, they are sworn to give objective testimony and answer questions honestly. This may mean that they must make statements that harm the case of the side that hired them, but this helps juries get an unbiased look at the case. Seasoned expert witnesses know to stick to the facts and let the lawyers provide the spin.

Expert witnesses are crucial to the integrity and efficacy of the American legal system. They come from all fields and all walks of life, providing insight into their professions.

Entity Health Checks

We need to go for routine checkups to ensure that our health is at an optimal level. The same way a global entity also needs a health check from time to time. Doing this eliminates any surprises and helps time to be on your side.

It is better to perform health checks and stay up-to-date rather than incurring a problem later that costs time and money. Here is everything you need to know about entity health checks.

What Is An Entity Health Check?

In simple terms, this is an audit. It is conducted by independent contractors that inspect if there is legal and accounting compliance within your entity. It investigates possible issues of compliance that may exist.

Performing an entity health check lets a company know if its activities comply with the rules set by government institutions. If they are not, then you can take steps to solve these issues.

Types Of Entity Health Checks

Before you begin with a health check, you need to understand which one your entity requires. Here are two types of entity health checks to choose from:

In-Depth Gap Analysis

This health check look takes a look into:

  • The finances
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • The company’s accounting practices
  • Transactions and financial statements of the entity

High-Level Corporate Health Check

This entity health check takes a look into three areas of legal compliance which include:

The best strategy is to combine both the legal and accounting health check to ensure your entity complies. Combining both these checks will provide much better and conclusive results about your entity’s compliance.

Importance Of Health Checks For Your Global Entity

Here are two reasons why you need entity health checks from time to time:

#1. Reduce Risk

The most serious cases of non-compliance can make you end up in jail. This is why you must pinpoint problems beforehand so you can ensure regular and proper compliance.

This will reduce the risk of problems within your entity and you can take steps to improve your compliance practices if need be. Perform health checks to reduce risk and wastage of time.

#2. Sets You Up For Success

Information is power. The more information you have about your company the better you can run it. Entity health checks provide a detailed report of what your compliance status is.

Through these reports, you will find out where you lack and you can these reports as a stepping stone to improving your practices. All successful businesses learn from their strengths and weaknesses to do better.

Final Words

Find professionals to conduct entity health checks for your company. They will ensure every detail is taken care of so your compliance practices can be bullet-proof.

This is a small price to pay for risk-free compliance. It is an investment that will save you legal fees, time, and many other resources in the future. So, set yourself up for success and perform entity health checks on your business.

 

Franchise Ownership Comes With Tradeoffs

Owning a franchise can be an incredibly positive and empowering move. If you are naturally inclined to entrepreneurship or have just become disenchanted with the corporate landscape, franchise ownership is a way to move forward with your own business without the startup costs and risk associated with developing your own business plan and success support system.

The Cost of Structure

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and the extensive benefit of ready-made corporate support for your franchise endeavor comes at the cost of substantive and sometimes non-negotiable rules and structure for your business. This unique relationship between franchisor and franchisee results in high levels of franchise litigation. Many franchise companies have uniform franchisee programs, and many agreements are unilateral in nature and written from the franchisor’s perspective. These agreements come with a litany of things a franchisee must do and sometimes an even longer list of what a franchisee cannot do.

Missed Expectations

Franchisees will go into these ventures with strong expectations of projected earnings as well as the type and amount of support they will get from their affiliated corporation. When earnings don’t meet expectations or support received is perceived as less than expected, these relationships start trending toward litigation. Typical litigated issues involve violations of covenants not to compete, encroachment violations or earnings. Covenants not to compete are often violated when franchisees perceive a lack of support to thrive and decide to continue on in their business without the franchisor’s trademark. Encroachment violations are typical when a franchisee thinks the franchisor has placed a competing unit in too close of proximity to their own business.

Franchise ownership has pros and cons, and whether or not it is a fit for you depends largely upon your unique situation and the amount of control you want over your business. Being aware of the major reasons you could end up in litigation, however, is a good first step to understanding the franchisee landscape.

Steps To Take When Collecting Bail for a Loved One

When a loved one has had an altercation with the law, the responsibility of handling the situation might fall on your shoulders. If you find yourself receiving a call about whether or not you can post bail, it might send you into a spin. Bail is costly and there is no guarantee that you will be able to get the funds back. To see your loved one out of this difficult scenario, take a moment to look over these steps you should take right away.

Get All the Details

You can’t take action until you have the full story. First, get as much information as you can about the crime that your relative or friend is being held for. The more you know, the easier it will be to handle any questions that come your way from legal professionals you might contact during the process. You also need to know how much money the bail is set at. In most cases, it will be a reasonable amount. However, serious crimes and irritated officers can lead to bail being set at extravagant amounts. Be prepared for anything.

Weigh Out Your Options

After you have all of the pertinent details, you need to create a plan for how the bail will be covered. If it is a low enough amount, you might be able to go down to the station right away with the cash you have on you. However, most cases will require additional support. Reaching out and learning more about First Arkansas bail bonds Arkansas, will provide you with the insight that you need to take out a bond or find a sensible path to cover the costs of the bail. 

Though it can be a jarring experience, helping a loved one get through a legal predicament requires focus. Take time to learn about the details, explore different ways you can pay the bail, and help a person who matters to you get out from a holding cell and back to his or her home. 

The Truth About Motorcycle Accidents

If you ride a motorcycle, you probably know that you are taking some amount of risk every time you are on the road. Even if you are the most cautious motorcycle driver, you are still at risk due to elements outside of your control. Despite the numerous risk, most motorcyclists love being on their motorcycle are willing to hit the open road. Before you go on your next trip, consider these things so that you will not need a Denver Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

It Is Dangerous

That is just a fact. No matter how careful you are and no matter how many precautions you take, it is dangerous. It can be up to 29 more times dangerous to ride on a motorcycle than in a car because you are 29 percent more likely to have a fatal accident while on a motorcycle. If you wear proper gear and protective clothing, you can help protect yourself. A helmet can protect you and your head during an accident. There are some states that do not have any type of helmet law. 

Age Matters

You may not like to read this, but the older you are, the more likely you are to be in an accident. Those over the age of 40 are more likely to have serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. As we age, our response time is slower and that can harm you while on a motorcycle. Your eyesight begins to decline as you age. Many older riders prefer larger bikes which tend to roll over more in an accident. 

 

Here is Some Good News

It is not all bad news, though. Here is a bit of good news for you. Bikes have an added safety feature of anti lock brakes. This can help you prevent an accident. You can help yourself by not having any alcohol when you know you are going to ride your motorcycle. Alcohol can slow down your reaction time. You can also choose to ride only in the daylight, when it is easier to see. Many motorcyclists like to drive fast but if you maintain the speed limit, you are less likely to be in a motorcycle crash. You can also choose to ride a bike that is considered safer. The super sport motorcycles are intended to go fast and encourage dangerous behavior. If you avoid these bikes, you will remain safer while you are riding. You cannot control everything, but you can control some things, so control what you can.