Legal Insights

  • Preparing For and Recovering on a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

    Your home is likely your largest and most valuable asset, so it makes sense to want to protect it with homeowner’s insurance, but you also want to make sure you are getting the most for your homeowner’s insurance dollars—especially when it comes to making and recovering on a claim. Below are some basics on homeowner’s insurance and recovering on a homeowner’s insurance claim. What Kind of Coverage and How Much? The coverage on your home should be sufficient to allow you to rebu...
  • What Happens When A Beneficiary Can’t Manage Their Social Security Benefits?

    Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits help many senior citizens and persons with disabilities pay their bills and manage their own care. But if the person receiving those benefits (the “beneficiary”) is a minor, becomes incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to manage their own payments, the benefits can be disrupted. The Social Security Administration has strict rules about who can manage Social Security and SSI payments. Even a Durable Power of Attorney executed...
  • Residential Rentals: Who Must Maintain?

    Renting a home eliminates some of the headaches or home ownership, like property taxes, but it comes with its own challenges. For example, as a renter, you may be restricted in the changes that you can make to the home or apartment, including restrictions on changing paint colors or affixing things to the wall. And when something goes wrong or needs to be repaired or replaced, it can be confusing to figure out who is responsible for fixing it. Whose responsibility is it? The landlord is g...
  • Protect Your Small Business with Buy-Sell Agreements and Life Insurance

    Small business partners are often so focused on running their day to day operations and acquiring new business that they forget to plan for the future. But having a succession plan is the key to a healthy long-term future for any small business, and is invaluable in the event that one of the partners wants to leave the business, becomes incapacitated, or dies.  Two elements of a succession plan that can help protect the future of the business and the remaining partners are buy-sell agre...
  • Elements of a Negligence Case

    Many cases involving injuries are premised on a negligence theory, where the basis for holding another party responsible for an injury is that the party acted carelessly, resulting in the injury. In that regard, negligence is often defined as a failure to act with reasonable care under the circumstances. A person who is injured because of the negligence of another party may be able to sue for damages to compensate him or her for the injury. In such cases, the injured party filing suit is kno...
  • What are the Advantages of Mediation over Litigation?

    Mediation has become more and more common as a tool in divorce cases, but it is becoming more popular in other areas as well, including business or partnership disputes. What is Mediation? Mediation is known as a form of alternative dispute resolution, meaning it is a way for the parties to resolve their differences outside of the courtroom. In mediation, the parties agree on one or more mediators-typically retired judges, attorneys, or other experts-to help them resolve their dispute. T...
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Who is Responsible?

    When someone is injured as a result of a slip and fall accident-whether it happens on private property, such as a neighbor's home, or public property, such as a public park-the property owner may be legally responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Was the property owner negligent? Usually, slip and fall cases are determined based on a theory of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory which, broadly speaking, says that people are required to act with care. People who act carel...
  • Making A Citizen's Arrest

    Under certain circumstances and situations, private individuals have the power to make an arrest without a warrant. These types of arrests are known as "citizen's arrests" and occur when private citizens either detain criminals themselves or direct police officers to detain a criminal. Though legal, citizens are largely discouraged from making these types of arrests and to leave law enforcement to the professionals; therefore, laws in almost all states afford less protection to private citi...
  • Does Your Small Business Have a Succession Plan?

    You’ve worked hard to establish and build your small business. But what happens to your business if something happens to you? Who will take over if you become incapacitated or die? Don’t make the all-too-common mistake small business owners make by failing to plan for the succession of your business. Why You Need a Succession Plan If you want your business to continue on after you, you need to plan for the continuation of the business with a succession plan. Planning can help ensure t...
  • Driving Under the Influence: Chemical Tests and Officer Observations

    Every state has laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And while each state’s rules can vary in the amount of alcohol or other controlled substance in your system that qualifies as impaired and the penalties imposed, there are some basics that apply universally across all state borders.    Every state in the U.S. has what are known as “implied consent” laws. This means that by driving a vehicle, you automatically consent to a chemical test if the...
  • 7 Employee Handbook Mistakes to Avoid

    Employee Handbooks can be useful tools for employers and employees alike (see our article, Do You Need an Employee Handbook?), but if not prepared properly, an employee handbook sometimes do more harm than good, since poorly drafted handbooks can create additional, unintended obligations on the part of the employer that the employer doesn’t know it needs to satisfy.  Not Customizing  Your employee handbook should reflect your company’s unique culture, circumstances, and work...
  • The Basics of Reverse Mortgage

    In recent years there has been an influx of online and television commercials advertising reverse mortgages. These advertisements are generally geared towards senior citizens. A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner who is at least 62 years old to use the equity in their home to obtain a loan that does not have to be repaid until the homeowner moves, sells their home, or dies. Reverse mortgages may be a good option for seniors when selling the home may not be profitable or there is a need for ...
  • What To Do If You Miss A Mortgage Payment

    Tough financial times can happen to anyone, anytime. Even during financially difficult times, one of the last things you want to do is miss a mortgage payment. While not the end of the world, especially if you quickly become current on your payments, missing mortgage payments can have long-term impacts on your credit, homeownership, and your overall financial health. Before you miss a mortgage payment, here are some things to keep in mind.  Loan Modification A mortgage loan modific...
  • What to Do if Your Credit Card or Personal Information is Compromised

    Extra pounds and large credit card bills aren’t the only post-holiday headaches you may experience this year. The volume of holiday transactions and the popularity of online purchasing often leads to a rise in credit card and other personal information theft. If your personal information has been compromised, take steps to protect your information and your legal rights. Cancel Cards and Report Unauthorized Charges Federal laws, including the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Truth in Lend...
  • I’m Being Kept from My Grandchildren: What Are My Legal Rights?

    When families break apart, whether through death, divorce, or other factors, such as substance abuse, it can be painful for everyone involved. As a grandparent, you may feel that you have been left standing on the sidelines, with little control over what happens, including the ability to spend time with your grandchildren. But if you are being prevented from seeing your grandchildren, you may have some legal recourse through the court system. What Are “Grandparents’ Rights?” Just as...
  • The Basics of Estate Administration

    When a person dies, all of the decedent’s possessions, including real estate, cars, money, stocks, personal belongings, etc. (the “estate”) must be collected, managed, and distributed. Estate administration is the process of managing the estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs of the estate. Below are the basics on estate administration, including what it means to be an executor of an estate, and how a person’s assets are distributed...
  • What Is Included in a Residential Lease Agreement

    Whether you are renting a small apartment or a single family home, it is a good idea to ensure that you have a written lease agreement in place to memorialize the obligations and responsibilities of both you and your landlord. Sometimes, such as when renting in an apartment complex or from a large commercial landlord, the terms of the lease agreement will be non-negotiable. If you want to rent the apartment, you will be stuck with the lease the way the landlord has prepared it. But other tim...
  • Proving Causation and Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

    To prove a case of medical malpractice against a doctor or medical facility, first, you will have to prove that the medical provider was negligent (see our related post, Establishing Medical Malpractice). But you will also have to show that the malpractice caused your illness or injury and that you suffered harm (damages) as a result. This post explores these last two elements. Malpractice causation Just because a doctor or medical facility was negligent does not necessarily mean that you ...
  • Living Wills & Advance Health Care Directives

    With advances in modern medicine and science, people today are living longer than ever. Despite these advances, the likelihood of experiencing health-related challenges increase with age, and many people are not able to express their wishes for their own care as they approach the end of their lives. In those cases, someone must make medical-related decisions for the incapacitated person. Living wills and advance health care directives allow you to express your medical-related wishes in the ...
  • How to Generate New Business with Webcasts

    Whether you are going out on your own or have an established practice, it’s always important to concentrate efforts on finding and developing new business. From content marketing to social media to email, there are many different ways to reach potential new clients, each varying in effort, cost, and value. Today, we would like to share a high-effort, high-value marketing tactic to consider for your legal marketing playbook: webcasts.  Why Webcast? While it’s likely you’ve attende...