How Divorce can Affect Your Long-Term Plans

A woman from New York drafted a will in 1996, years before she got divorced in 2007. In this will, she named her then-husband as the primary beneficiary and her father-in-law, the secondary beneficiary, of the $200,000 house that she inherited from her parents. This woman remarried and had kids with her new husband before she died in 2010. Due to the will that she left, however, her new family ended up in dispute with her former in-law, who stands to inherit her property.

Under the laws of the state of New York, her ex-husband is automatically cut out of her will (due to divorce); however, these same laws do not cut out the second beneficiary named in a will, which is the father-in-law. Thus, despite her new family’s claim that she made a new will after the divorce to change the beneficiaries, no one was able to locate this new will to be presented as evidence. Due to this, the court had no choice but to uphold the will that she wrote in 1996.

The law protects spouses against disinheritance only until they take steps to end their marriage. Divorce terminates all inheritance rights and so does a signed separation agreement. Unless the decedent specifically states in his will he wants his former spouse to inherit or execute his estate regardless of their divorce, a divorce decree overrides anything he leaves her in his will and she cannot act as executor of his estate. Divorce ends a spouse’s right to an elective share.

Estate planning is one important legal matter that many married couples attend to. Estate planning, which describes what will happen to a person’s assets and properties, should he/she pass away, includes wills and trusts. While the contents of an estate plan, specifically, a will, may be questioned by the beneficiaries mentioned or not mentioned, divorce, can render its contents canceled.

The properties and assets that are most often contained in a will are a person’s personal or private properties which may include: anything owned by a person prior to marriage; properties or assets a person inherits, whether before or during marriage; personal injury settlement paid him/her, whether in the form of cash or asset; and, assets given to a spouse as marriage gifts.

A will should clearly identify the properties and assets a person wants to leave behind; it should also clearly specify the names of the persons to whom he/she wishes to leave which specific property. In a will, it is but only natural to find the name of a spouse as primary heir and the names of the children as secondary heirs. In the event of divorce, however, the issue about spouses being heirs totally changes.

In some states, like Arizona, California and Texas, there is a law which says that ex-spouses are prohibited from collecting on a will that was written prior to divorce. However, in some other states, such as Pennsylvania, divorced spouses are allowed to make a claim or a legal share, but only if no new will (which will automatically revoke the old one) exists. It is necessary that this new will includes a revocation clause that specifically mentions the cancellation of the previously drafted will. Without this revocation clause, then the ex-spouse can legally challenge the relatives or the new family of his/her (now dead) former partner – a legal battle that can drag on for many months and which can cost both parties huge amounts of cash.

Divorce, according to BB Law Group PLLC, brings dramatic life changes for an estimated 1.3 million couples a year in America. One of the most challenging life changes includes the economic and financial implications and repercussions of divorce.

Minding family financial matters can be a very worrisome concern – but only because many are led to believe that making financial plans for their loved ones’ future (after they die) is only for the wealthy class. People tend to dismiss the thought that the things they have, no matter how ‘not so expensive’ these may be, are worth bequeathing to their spouse and/or child. A house, a car, an antique jewelry, an antique table or furniture, an insurance policy, retirement pay, an old painting, or a small business, maybe – these things are worth passing on to all who people care for.

According to the Arenson Law Group PC, while understandably not the most pleasant of tasks, planning for the future of your loved ones in the event that anything should happen to you can help to provide you and those closest to you with considerable peace of mind, knowing that everything is taken care of beforehand. Furthermore, effective estate planning can help to protect what is rightfully yours and to prevent the possibility of disputes and conflict among family members or other parties.

Unfortunately, due to complex tax and estate laws, making sure your family is taken care of can be frustrating and difficult. With the right legal guidance, though, you can rest assured that your property and affairs will be protected and handled just the way you want them to be handled.

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Expunction Information: Getting Juvenile Records Cleared in Texas

Minors shouldn’t be robbed of the opportunity to become productive members of their community. A juvenile offense doesn’t necessitate that someone can no longer be effective contributors once he or she reach adulthood. No one, especially minors, should be prevented from pursuing opportunities due to a mistake that they’ve properly paid their due for.

Texas law protects these minors in different ways. Certain records of juvenile offenses are already automatically sealed from public viewing. However, minors can also consider going through the process of expunction. Although the general public has restricted access to some juvenile criminal records, plenty of institutions and organizations may still get permission to view certain reports. Pursuing expunction can prevent college admission committees or future employers from doing this by effective clearing these records free of certain offenses.

Automatic restriction is a given for cases involving individuals that are at least 17 years old, and aren’t classified as repeat or violent offenders. For misdemeanor and felony cases, minors may have to ask the court to have their records cleared through expunction. As with an adult that’s petitioning to have their record cleared, minors would need to meet a certain criteria before they can begin with the process. Those with misdemeanor cases will need to wait out a period of at least two years without having been charged or convicted of any other crime.

Meanwhile, felony offenses may be expunged if the petitioner’s case doesn’t involve a violent crime that needed to be transferred to an adult criminal court. The petitioner must also be at least 19 years old, without any other convictions since they were 17.

It’s not easy to have criminal records cleared. If you think that going through this can help your current situation, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal record expunction attorney to learn more about your legal options.

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Even Office Employees are not Safe from Injuries

Many people assume that offices are among the safest places from accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, this is a very wrong assumption as records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor show that offices are places where accidents frequently occur.

In 2012 alone, nearly 3 million non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries were recorded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); these include those that occurred in industrial and construction sites. Though office employees may be safe from the more dangerous chemicals, heavy equipment and dangerous tools other workers are exposed to everyday, they too have their own share of hazards.

The most common injuries sustained by office workers are repetitive strain injuries, sprains and strains, neck, head and/or back injuries, and electrocution. These are usually caused one or a combination of any of the following:

  • Trips/slips or falls. Among all types of accidents in the workplace, slips or falls are the most common. In a number of cases, these even lead to disabling injuries. Tripping over an open desk drawer or loose carpeting, using a stack of boxes or a chair (rather than a ladder), bending while seated in a non-sturdy chair, inadequate lighting, and slipping on wet floor are just some of the reasons why these type of accidents occur.
  • Overexertion and strains. These are due to lifting of large and/or heavy objects,more so if these are lifted incorrectly.
  • Improper storing in the storage room or in working areas. These mistakes are committed by piling materials too high, placing very heavy objects on high shelves, disorderly piling which result to blocked doors, fire-fighting equipment or fire exits.
  • Indoor ventilation, air quality and proper lighting. Falling objects, tripping or slipping are not the only sources of dangers in office environments, quality of air, proper ventilation and proper illumination are also major factors that make working always conducive. These are elements so many employers oversee, though, despite their great important for all types of work.
  • Electrical wiring. Some employees never care about extension cords, computer wires or headphone wires running across hallways or which are untidily scattered in their working area – a clear source of risk not only to their co-employees but to them as well.
  • Noise. Noise is unwanted sound and it is often caused by human voices. Noise is a clear source of interference, annoyance and major distractions, especially to those engaged in mental activities, such as writing and/or researching. Noise can reduce performance, as well as increase errors, in activities that greatly require mental concentration. Affected individuals often resort to means that will minimize unwanted noise as much as possible, like using headphones for music that will help drown the unwanted noise. These means, however, are not always effective as these can lead to unnoticed dangers that the concerned individual may sustain injuries from.

According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm, employees, even in seemingly safe workplaces, such as offices, are always at risk of suffering a serious workplace injury. Some injuries, in fact, have left many employees in serious condition, unable to continue working, either for a period of time or in some instances, permanently. Employees who suffer these serious conditions need the best legal help they can get for a strong court representation which would help them claim the compensation they may deserve.

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Emergency Rooms Errors: Still Causing Thousands of Patients Undue Harm

When a person suddenly suffers health complications or when an accident occurs, the first move is to rush him or her to an emergency department or emergency room (ER) of the nearest hospital. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2003, an estimated 113.9 million Americans were rushed to emergency departments due to life-threatening situations. Sadly, a decade after this, instead of the number declining, it jumped to 133.6 million.

Emergency departments are fast-paced environments where a medical team, composed of doctors, nurses and other ER staff, must provide the immediate attention required by all those who are brought there. Though medical needs differ from one patient to another, treatment must be fast, but with caution and accuracy, so as to prevent patients’ conditions from worsening. However, many of these fast-paced and over-crowded environments are understaffed, resulting to frequently overworked team members.

The rigorous years of study and training undergone by doctors and nurses are enough for people needing medical attention to respect their capabilities and trust them. Although, one must not forget that even the most respected and experienced doctors, when overworked, do not spend enough time to properly diagnose a patient, or fail to require a patient to undergo a necessary laboratory test which may help determine his or her real health problem, can commit mistakes. Medical teams in emergency departments are no different.

Diagnostic error is the most common type of medical mistake committed by doctors and nurses in emergency departments. This type of mistake includes wrongful diagnosis and delayed diagnosis, both of which may actually be due to misjudgment of symptoms. Diagnostic error can lead to an injury that is more serious; in certain cases, it can lead death.

Specific cases of diagnostic errors committed in emergency departments include:

  • A young man suffering from severe headache and nausea was rushed to a hospital’s emergency department twice, his headache much worse than when he was first rushed there. In both instances, though, he was simply diagnosed as suffering from viral infection, so he was sent home. Two days after, he died due to massive brain hemorrhage.
  • A 42-year-old woman suffers a heart attack two hours after she was discharged from the emergency department. She was diagnosed as simply suffering from chest pains.
  • An 18-year-old dies due to blood infection, a condition called sepsis. Suffering from fever and chills, he was sent home from the emergency room after being given Tylenol.

As explained in the website of the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg law firm, though emergency departments are, to some degree, chaotic environments, these are expected to have a medical team that is prepared and trained to provide quick and accurate diagnosis that will help stabilize the health of patients. Mistakes that lead to more patient harm can, therefore, result to team members being held accountable for any avoidable mistakes that may be committed. Thus, if patients or their families feel that they have suffered a more severe injury due to an emergency room error, then it may be best that they contact a personal injury lawyer immediately for whatever possible legal action they may be able to pursue.

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Personal Injuries: Mental Harm

It is important not to forget that individual damage is not always only physical harm. There are a number of people who are so psychologically or mentally traumatized by a meeting that they’re not able to function normally even with their physical injuries have long fixed.

Some may also guess that these non-physical results are mostly imaginary and that it is simply an effort to boost compensation in a civil lawsuit. The reality is emotional and psychological harm are not easier to handle and cure than physical harms.

The debilitating effects of emotional and psychological misery regularly translate to a loss of livelihood for both injury casualties and children of wrongful death. As the website of the Hankey Law Office highlights, sudden agonizing events have long-term effects on the victims and their families which will just be overcome eventually and regularly demands financial support in the meantime. This is on top of any physical incapacity which could additionally result, therefore, hospital, medical, and relevant prices must be considered.

Individuals who suffer harm in the negligent actions of others possess a right to sue for lost wages, medical debts, in addition to losses that are some other resultant to a traumatic occasion for compensation. A busted arm from a vehicle crash cures much faster than overcoming the fear of getting from recurrent nightmares about the big event into an automobile, or loss of sleep. Many people suffer deep depression from the loss of a family member due to an accident and are unable to work normally for an extended amount of time.

Upheaval characterizes private injury. Sufferers are left feeling weak since the occasion was due to a third party that they may be not strong to prevent’s careless or negligent actions. There is not anything more traumatic than the loss of control. If you or a close member of the family has suffered death or harm as a result of negligence, it’s time to take-back handle. Consult with a personal injury attorney in the area to get complete compensation for each of the harm, physical or else, that is done and to defend the rights of the victims. Being a victim of a personal injury is a traumatic event.

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