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Bucks County Legal Blog

The importance of a will

A will is an important safeguard to ensure the wishes of an estate planner are honored which is why it is helpful to understand the components of a will and how to ensure a will is valid. A validly executed will is a key component of an estate plan so estate planners should understand what it involves.

There are several requirements that need to be met to ensure a will is valid. To begin with, the estate planner must be of sound mind and understand what they are doing in executing their will. Additionally, though writing requirements can vary by jurisdiction, it is a good idea for the will be written. There are also witness requirements and signature requirements that must be satisfied. It is essential for estate planners to be familiar with these requirements.

Does failing a breath test mean a conviction is inevitable?

Anyone accused of a crime in the United States has a legal presumption of innocence. Basically, the general public, as well as the courts, should treat anyone facing criminal charges as though they are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

Unfortunately, the presumption of innocence doesn't seem to apply to all offenses. Many individuals may mistakenly assume someone is guilty simply because they face certain kinds of criminal charges. Common myths, such as the infallibility of law enforcement and chemical testing, lead people to consider those accused of impaired driving to be guilty.

When should an estate plan be updated?

If you already have an estate plan in place, you may feel that you have everything ready for your loved ones and the legacy that you intend to leave. However, it is important to remember that in an ideal scenario, an estate plan should be regularly updated and tweaked to reflect changing life circumstances.

If you are considering whether to take action to update your estate plan in Pennsylvania, it is important that you consider how your circumstances have changed and what you hope to achieve. You should never be complacent, but, instead, review your plan regularly to assess whether it still reflects the current reality. The following are some of the most common reasons why a person should update their estate plan.

Are elderly drivers making the roads less safe?

In general, most older drivers avoid talking about a failing ability to drive. They do not alert their doctors or family members to diminishing eyesight, slower reaction times or other factors that could be affecting their driving. Part of the reason for this is that people fear the loss of their freedom as they enter their later years. Many of the elderly view losing their driving privileges as the beginning of the end in terms of being able to take care of themselves.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there needs to be a change in this area. Furthermore, it is often up to family members to begin the conversation about what will happen when a loved one can no longer safely drive. Usually, the earlier family members begin this conversation, the easier it will go on all parties involved.

Are you thinking about divorcing for one of these reasons?

Most people get married for the same reason: They are in love. However, when it comes to divorce, the reasons are often just as unique and varied as the individuals themselves. But, there are some reasons for divorce that seem to come up more often than others. Furthermore, it might surprise you that infidelity is rather low on the list for reasons to end a marriage.

If you are thinking about divorce, one (or more than one) of these common reasons might resonate with you. Here is a list of the most typical reasons people have given for divorce.

What are the defenses to drunk driving?

It is important for people who have been accused of drunk driving to know that they have the right to a defense, and to be familiar with the defense strategies that are available. Drunk driving charges can result in criminal penalties and administration consequences which is why accused individuals should always be familiar with DUI defenses.

Drunk driving defenses can fall into two different categories including affirmative defenses and defense options that attack the circumstances of the arrest or facts as alleged by police. Affirmative defenses include necessity; duress; entrapment; mistake of fact; and involuntary intoxication. It is important for accused individuals to be familiar with these defenses and to determine if one of them may be a good option for the accused individual's situation.

Estate planning documents and the importance of an estate plan

It is important for estate planners to have general sense of what should be included in their estate plan. Estate planning can seem complex but if estate planners have a general understanding of the estate planning tools available to them, they will discover the benefits of estate planning and to not put it off.

Estate planning includes a variety of tools and documents that estate planners should be familiar with. Most estate planners are familiar with wills which are a valuable estate planning tool but not the only tool to consider. Another possible estate planning tool to consider is a trust. A trust has many valuable uses to be aware of and both a validly-executed will and a trust can transfer assets according to the estate planner's wishes.

Divorce may impact business owners especially hard

Divorce is a difficult, detailed process, and if it is not approached carefully, it may seriously harm the long-term interests of both spouses. Even if two spouses have good intentions heading into their divorce, it is rarely a simple or entirely civil process. Business owners facing divorce must deal with extra layers of complication that other divorcing spouses may never consider.

When a spouse owns a business and then gets divorced, the business may qualify as divisible property in the divorce, much like real estate, stocks and other assets. Of course, many businesses are more complex than other assets, so divorce may pose a serious threat to the life of the business as well as the marriage.

What are potential DUI penalties?

Drunk driving charges are serious criminal charges that can carry potential serious penalties and consequences that can have a lifetime impact on accused individuals. What are these potential penalties and consequences and what can accused individuals do when they are facing them? It is important for accused individuals to have answers to their questions.

Individuals accused of a DUI may face a combination of different penalties including fines; incarceration; suspension or revocation of a driver's license; a drug and alcohol abuse course requirement; probation; and a criminal record. In addition, the accused individual could be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. These penalties can be personally and financially costly when an accused individual is facing potentially life-altering drunk driving charges.

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