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Johnine Clark, P.A. Law Blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Protecting Your Legacy from a Beneficiary’s Lead Foot

You have worked hard your whole life and are proud to be able to leave a significant legacy to your beneficiaries. But imagine this: The $250,000 brokerage account you diligently built up over decades and then left to your child vanishes as a result of a split-second decision your child made to hit the gas when a traffic light turned yellow.

Unfortunately, your child ended up running a red light and hitting a family in a minivan turning left. Your child is sued, and the amount awarded to the family exceeds your child’s automobile policy liability limits, so the family’s attorney is looking at your child’s other assets (including the $250,000 brokerage account you left to them) to make up the difference. Fortunately, you can avoid a situation such as this by taking the following steps:

 


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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

How a Traffic Ticket Can Impact Your Estate

Getting a traffic ticket is never fun, but usually the irritation of it is relatively short-lived if it is taken care of promptly. If you have recently received a ticket, you may have the following questions about it.

What does it mean?

When you receive and sign a traffic ticket, you are agreeing to either pay the ticket or appear in court. In most cases, you will simply pay the ticket and, if available, attend traffic school to remove any points on your driving record. The traffic ticket may also raise your automobile insurance rates.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Things to Remember When Pulled Over by a Police Officer

 Your heart sinks as you catch a glimpse of flashing lights in your rearview mirror. A little rattled, your mind begins racing as you wonder, “Oh no, what should I do now?” Your experience of being pulled over will be a little less stressful if you remember and follow these tips.

  • ●  Pull over. The first thing you should do as soon as you notice those flashing lights is pull over to the right side of the road as quickly as it is safe to do so. Turn off the car and open the window partway. If it is nighttime, turn on the internal light.



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Sunday, August 14, 2022

(Grand)Parenting 2.0


According to the National Census Bureau, grandparent-headed homes are among the fastest growing household types in the United States. Grandparent-headed homes are defined as living arrangements where the primary financial and caregiving responsibilities are held by one or more grandparents rather than a parent. Though the reasons that lead to this type of arrangement vary, many speculate that a difficult job market and bleak economy has led to an increase in the past few years.

At the height of the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal published an article describing the financial strain placed on grandparent-headed households. For grandparents who have already retired, finding a job at an advanced age can be next to impossible.
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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Important Steps to Plan for the Future of a Special Needs Child


#1 Establish a Comprehensive Plan

Most estate planning attorneys will say that no person should use a “do-it-yourself” will kit to establish their estate plan.  If you have a child with special needs, it is extremely important to seek competent legal counsel from an estate planning lawyer with special needs planning experience before and during the process of writing your will.

In your estate plan, make sure that any bequests to your child are left to his or her trust (see #2, below) instead of to the child directly.  Your will should also name the person or persons you want to serve as guardian of your child (see #3, below).

Once your estate plan is complete you should give copies to all the guardians and executors named in the will.
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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Trial tips for your family law case

If your family law case doesn't settle, you will be headed to court. Being in front of a judge can be intimidating, but there are some practical tips you can take before and during trial to make it go more smoothly.

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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Estate Planning Don'ts

Preparing for the future is an uncertain business, but there are steps you can take during your lifetime to simplify matters for your loved ones after you pass, and to ensure your final wishes are carried out. Planning for what happens to your property, or who cares for your family members, upon your death can be a complicated process. To simplify things, the following list can help you avoid some of the pitfalls you may encounter before, or even long after, you create your estate plan.


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Sunday, June 19, 2022

No Longer Spouses, But Still Partners

Workplace romances are never advisable, but sometimes co-workers and business partners fall in love and get married.

Unfortunately, they also sometimes fall out of love and get divorced. What happens next?For some couples, the end of the marriage parallels the end of their working relationship—and possibly the end of the business itself. There are a number of options in such cases. The couple can sell the business and split the proceeds as part of the divorce settlement, or one partner can buy out the interest of the ex-spouse.


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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Remarried? Protect Your Children With Proper Planning

If you are married for the first time and are working on your estate plan, the decisions about where the assets go are usually easy. Most parents in that situation want their entire estate to go to the surviving spouse, and upon the death of the surviving spouse, equally to their children. There may be difficult decisions about who will serve as guardians of the children or trustees over the children’s property, but typically it’s easy to decide where the property will go.

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

What Happens to Debt in Divorce?

With all the focus on division of property in divorce, an important aspect often gets looked over. Where does the marital debt go? Marital debt will be subject to division just like the assets. From mortgages to credit card debt, someone will be responsible for taking on the repayment of these debts assumed during marriage.

If you cannot agree to who will assume debt that has accrued during the marriage, the trial court will do so for you. Factors to consider during this process will vary between states, but often, the court will consider:

 


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Sunday, May 15, 2022

People. The Essential Component of Your Estate Plan’s Success

Properly drafted estate planning documents are integral to the success of your legacy and end-of-life wishes.  Iron-clad estate planning documents, written by a knowledgeable attorney can make the difference between the success and failure of having your wishes carried out.  However, there’s more to estate planning than paperwork.  For your wishes to have the best chance of being honored, it is important to carefully choose the people who will carry them out.

 


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