Uncertainty in life is a certainty. Our lives are in a constant state of flux, which requires planning in order to be in a position to address the unforeseen. Estate Planning and Asset Protection applies to almost everyone, regardless of age. As a person ages, they may be concerned about planning for the cost of their care while continuing to maintain their lifestyle, and about transferring their wealth to their children with minimal tax consequences.
This month, Corey J. Hogan and the personal injury team at HoganWillig obtained a significant settlement on behalf of our clients who lost four family members in a 2003 aviation accident in Florida. While this settlement cannot replace the lives of their loved ones, we hope that they can now begin to find peace and enjoy greater financial security. As stated by our client, “It has been a long road, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is important that we never gave up that we would be able to obtain justice. Without the team at HoganWillig, these results would not have been possible.”
Airplane crashes cause a substantial amount of pain and suffering for all those involved—families, friends and the surrounding community. Dealing with that pain and suffering can at times be unbearable, especially given the suddenness of a loved one being taken away. At the beginning, it is hard to imagine how one will press on and be able to continue supporting (financially and emotionally) the survivors of the victim. It is a rare occurrence when family or friends don’t question “why did this happen” and wonder if the accident was fate or if it could have been prevented.
Over 100 Million American adults have not designated an agent to make medical decisions or documented the type of care they desire. Although it can be a difficult issue to tackle, it is important for all adults to think about who would make certain medical decisions for them in the event they were too sick to convey their wishes personally. In some cases, the individuals assume that their spouses or children can step in and take over the medical decision-making. However, New York is one of a few states that do not automatically authorize families to make critical medical decisions for loved ones who lack the capacity to decide for themselves. Unfortunately, this fact is often not discovered until it is too late. As a result of the failure to specifically designate an agent to carry out your wishes, your family members and doctors could face bitter, lengthy legal battles in an effort to determine what treatments you would want.
Did you know that your educational degree or professional license can be considered marital property within the meaning of the Domestic Relations Law of New York State?
Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Warren Buffett have at least one characteristic in common besides their fame and fortune. All three of these men were among the best in their respective professions at anticipating what was about to happen, rather than reacting to conditions or circumstances. This is the same approach everyone should take when evaluating their insurance needs. After one sustains a loss or damage from storm damage, a collision or a liability claim, it is then too late to obtain sufficient coverage to ease the financial blow.
Your customer list is the very heart and soul of your business. Should it fall into the hands of a competitor, your business could suffer a loss of some or its entire customer base. This can jeopardize the success if not the very survival of your business. However, there are specific steps that businesses can take to help prevent the disclosure of its customer list.
Given the current state of the world economy and recent local events, many of our clients have expressed a desire get their financial and household business matters in order. There are three basic estate planning documents that all individuals should consider when planning and organizing a life plan strategy, although the specific content of those documents will differ by personal circumstances.
It is becoming very common for contracts to contain a clause stating that “Any and all disputes arising under this contract will be settled by arbitration.” Arbitration is simply an agreement between parties that their disputes will be settled through arbitration rather than in court. Arbitration is favored by federal and state courts as a form of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) and is one of the fastest growing means of settling disputes. The dispute is submitted to a private, non-judicial person who often has practical knowledge of the matter in dispute.
You might be surprised to find out that despite your level of income or assets, you may need a prenuptial agreement.
Many people fail to consider signing a prenuptial agreement because they mistakenly assume that such agreements are only appropriate or necessary for especially wealthy individuals or couples. Others overlook the option of executing such an agreement simply because the topic is a difficult one to broach and they do not want to risk offending their future spouse. In reality, people of all income levels can benefit from a prenuptial agreement and it can be executed in an amicable way with the cooperation and education of both parties.
A prenuptial agreement should not be seen as an anticipation of divorce or separation, but simply as a means of planning for the future and protecting the parties in a worst-case-scenario. It is no secret that the divorce rate in this country is relatively high, usually reported at a rate of around 50%. Therefore, it is no surprise that more couples are choosing to protect themselves with prenuptial agreements today than ever before.