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Warrenton Law Blog

Wills and trusts: The benefits of a revocable trust

Every Virginia resident needs an estate plan, regardless of age and income level. Discussing death can be difficult, but death is something that will happen to every person, so why not have a plan in place? Wills and trusts are estate planning tools that many families are familiar with. However, it can be confusing to find the plan that best fits the specific needs of an individual or family. Here are a few reasons why a revocable trust could be beneficial.

Revocable trusts, also know as living revocable trusts, are written documents that determine how assets will be handled in the event of death. Assets placed in the trust are then transferred to designated beneficiaries upon the death of the trustmaker. What sets a revocable trust apart from other trusts is that revocable trusts can be changed or cancelled at any time, hence the name "revocable."

Navigating a boundary dispute can be challenging

In the poem Mending Wall, the poet Robert Frost describes a man fixing a stone fence between his and his neighbor's fields and questioning the actual need for such a structure. His wise neighbor instead counsels him twice that "Good fences make good neighbors."

The takeaway from the poem is that clearly defined boundaries between adjacent properties promote the peaceful coexistence of the owners of those properties. Anyone who has ever gotten into an argument with a neighbor over property boundaries can likely attest to same.

Family law: Tips for those going through divorce

The end of a marriage can be one of the most stressful experiences in life. A sudden divorce is overwhelming and more than enough to psychologically paralyze a person. The following tips may help reduce the pain of a divorce. First off, those in Virginia who are considering divorce may want to consult a family law attorney early in the process. An experienced legal representative can help individuals gain an understanding of obligations and personal rights.

A common and challenging part of divorce is separating costs. Sometimes, lines get blurred when it comes to joint accounts and expenses. It is helpful to make sure each party's finances are clarified. Be sure to identify where there is overlap.

Why is gray divorce more common?

One of the changes in the divorce landscape over the years has been the rise in so-called "gray divorce" cases. These are cases that involve couples who are 50 years old and older. Many of them are at retirement age or rapidly getting closer to it.

In the last two decades, many couples of other ages have actually seen their own divorce rates drop. For those in this gray divorce demographic, though, the rate has only gone up.

Every year, thousands suffer personal injury due to negligence

In today's world, there are many uncertainties, but one certainty will always remain: accidents are going to happen. While it's true that accidents will happen regardless of preventive measures, the odds can be greatly reduced by taking basic safety precautions. In the state of Virginia, owners and operators of public establishments are legally obligated to keep their properties free of hazards and safe for all those who lawfully visit. Foreign objects left on the floor and other hazards can cause visitors to fall and suffer personal injury.

An elderly woman in another state filed a lawsuit after she allegedly tripped and fell over a rug. According to the lawsuit, the woman was visiting her sister at a rehabilitation facility when she encountered a rug curled up in a walkway. Allegedly, the rug caused the woman to fall and suffer severe injuries.

Why child-free couples need wills and trusts

Everyone knows that planning for the future is smart. Yet, many Virginia families often procrastinate when it comes to planning for the inevitable event of death. This is especially true for couples who have no children. However, even child-free families need to think about estate planning. Here's why child-free spouses should strongly consider creating wills and trusts.

All couples should have a will, especially those without kids. No children means there are no natural heirs to inherit assets upon death. Typically, assets would go to a spouse, but what if both spouses die? Without a will, probate courts would determine where assets end up. Childless spouses need to compile a will and make their wishes known.

Family law: How to get through a divorce

No couple ever gets married with the intention of separating. However, nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. It goes without saying that divorce can be a stressful and incredibly difficult thing to experience. In Virginia, any individual who is considering divorce may want to consider contacting an attorney who is knowledgeable in family law. The following tips could also be helpful for those going through a separation.

A common thing that some people do during this time is to compare their situation to other people who have gone through divorce. Some will actually read the about the experiences of others online and seek comparison. This should always be avoided. Every divorce is unique, and comparison often results in an individual seeking unrealistic expectations.

Challenges you might face in child custody situations

Trying to find your way during a divorce can be a challenging situation that becomes even more complex if you have children. You have to ensure that you're helping them so they can thrive.

One way that you can do this is to work closely with your co-parent. You'll probably need to make some changes to how you handle certain situations, but remaining part of a parenting team can be beneficial.

Driving mistakes can look like reckless driving to Virginia cops

Most times, when you break traffic laws and get caught, the worst consequence you face is the risk of a ticket, which could cost several hundred dollars and increase the premium you pay for your motor vehicle liability insurance. So long as you don't cause a crash, you probably don't worry too much about the consequences.

However, sometimes drivers seem to have done something particularly dangerous that concerns law enforcement officers and compels them to upgrade the offense from a mere traffic violation to a reckless driving offense. Unlike typical speeding offenses or other traffic violations, reckless driving is actually a crime in Virginia. That means that pleading guilty could result in a criminal record, as well as up to $2,500 in fines alone.

Lawsuit filed after sidewalk fall results in personal injury

In the state of Virginia, business and property owners must adhere to strict rules and regulations that were put in place for the protection of customers and visitors. In order to adhere to these laws, floors and walkways must be cleared of foreign objects and faulty infrastructure must be repaired. Also, if hazardous conditions exist, warnings must be provided alerting customers to the potential dangers. Neglecting these duties can result in personal injury to unsuspecting patrons.

In another state, a man filed a lawsuit against a store after he fell on a sidewalk and suffered injuries. The lawsuit said the man was shopping in the store and encountered a broken section of sidewalk as he was leaving the store. According to claims, the broken sidewalk caused the man to fall and be injured.

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