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Bucks County Legal Blog

Prenuptial agreements can benefit anyone

Prenuptial agreements offer a variety of different benefits couples about to enter a marriage may not always be familiar with but should be aware of.

Prenuptial agreements are sometimes thought of as a legal resource for only the wealthy to protect one spouse from the other in the event of a divorce but the truth is prenuptial agreements can provide a variety of benefits for any couple entering a marriage.

Estate plan components can help loved ones before your death

Your estate plan is a guide for your loved ones after you pass away, but there is a part that can go into effect before your death. This aspect has to do with appointing someone to handle your finances and your medical care. To make this possible, you must set up the powers of attorney for health care and the powers of attorney for finances.

Together, these can help to ensure that your loved ones follow your wishes in your final days. It can also benefit your loved ones since they won't have to worry about these two aspects of life.

How to plan your estate around your "black sheep" child

Many families have adult children who have not taken the usual and typical trajectories in life. They may have gotten derailed at some point due to substance abuse, mental illness or problems with the law.

Regardless of their perceived transgressions and irregular lifestyles, most parents still love their errant adult children and don't want to exclude them from a future inheritance. Yet, they also don't want to contribute to their children's undoing by giving them access to funds they could use to cause harm — to either themselves or to others.

How trusts can help with the estate planning process

This blog has previously discussed the different components of a comprehensive estate plan and a trust is an estate planning tool that can be used on its own or to supplement a will as part of an estate plan.

It is useful for estate planners to be familiar with how trusts work and how a trust can help them accomplish their goals for their estate plan.

Alcohol abuse leads to legal and health woes

Nobody ever sets out to become an alcoholic. But the fact is that all who drink run the risk of becoming an alcoholic. Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction but for many others, the disease creeps up on them.

You might start out having a few beers with the guys after work. But over time, you might start to notice that you've begun adding shots of whiskey and chasing it with beer. You may continue the party well into the evening hours or keep on drinking once you arrive home. Either way, you are drinking far more than you used to.

What are the penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania?

DUI charges are taken seriously and can result in stiff penalties and hefty fines. Accused individuals face time in jail, significant fines and the potential loss of their driver's license when facing DUI charges. In addition, there can be many negative impacts on the accused individual's life related to DUI charges including increased insurance rates and other personal and professional consequences. As a result, it is helpful to be familiar with DUI charges in Pennsylvania and how to defend against them when facing them.

The potential DUI penalties the accused individual faces increase with the number of DUI offenses they have. For a first DUI offense in Pennsylvania, the accused individual faces probation for six months, a $300 fine and may be required to complete traffic safety school. Penalties increase as the accused individual faces more DUI charges. As an example, for a third DUI offense the accused individual may face up to 2 years in prison.

An overview of the divorce process

The divorce process can be difficult on everyone involved including the couple, children and family members. Understanding what to expect from the divorce process can be helpful as divorcing couples navigate through the process.

It is important to be familiar with the different fault and no-fault divorce options in Pennsylvania and to also understand how legal separation fits into the overall divorce process picture. The divorce process can help divorcing couples resolve divorce-related concerns including property division; alimony or spousal support; child support and child custody and visitation; prenuptial or postnuptial agreements; issues impacting same-sex couples; and other family law concerns that come up.

Estate planning must be done carefully

There are several myths surrounding estate planning that you should never listen to. A primary one is that only the wealthy need to have an estate plan. All adults, whether they have living family members or not, should have a complete estate plan that outlines several points.

There are three primary things that your estate plan should accomplish: outline what assets go where when you pass away; set a plan for your medical care in your final days; and give someone you trust the ability to handle your finances and health care decisions. Adults who have minor children also need to have a fourth component, a guardianship designation.

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