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Atlantic County Personal Injury Law Blog

Should a life estate be part of your estate plan?

As you consider how to best provide for your loved ones after your death, you may run into a snag. You own a home that you and your current spouse occupy, but you don't want it to become part of your surviving spouse's estate upon his or her death. Instead, you want to be sure that it passes to your child from a prior relationship upon your spouse's death.

You may leave the home to your child in your will, or even put the home into a trust, but that could risk your spouse not having a home upon your death. You may love your child, and he or she may verbally agree to allow your spouse to live in the home after your death, but why take the risk that a falling out could occur that leaves your spouse without a home when you are no longer around?

What does it take to form a corporation?

As New Jersey continues to recover from all of its economic hardships, you may consider starting a new business. After weighing all of the pros and cons of each type of legal entity, you settled on a corporation. You more than likely chose this type of entity, at least in part, due to the significant protections for owners and shareholders when it comes to liability.

This protection also comes with the ability to purchase property, borrow and loan money and enter into contracts, among other things. On the other hand, it comes with taxation of the corporation itself and any dividends paid to shareholders, but you probably felt the pros outweighed the cons. Since forming this type of entity involves the most paperwork and regulation, it may help to have some idea of what you face. 

Cleaning up your act to prevent groundwater contamination

Running a business in New Jersey has its challenges, so if yours is successful, you may have beaten the odds. While you are willing to work within rigid laws and high taxes, you may not be thrilled about more policies that pressure you to make adjustments for environmental protection.

Nevertheless, you understand the importance of clean drinking water. After all, your children and grandchildren drink, bathe in and swim in water, and you would not like to think that your business contributes to the contamination that results in illness or other consequences. On a practical level, if chemicals or other pollutants from your business end up in the groundwater, you may face legal issues, especially if residents near your business blame you for contamination that makes them sick.

The benefits of a franchise business

If you have always wanted to own your own business, you have likely done your homework. Your decision to be a business owner may have taken many turns during your investigation, and you may not be certain you are ready to take on the responsibilities of starting a company from scratch. There is a great deal to consider, not the least of which are the time and expense.

However, if you are looking for a business that offers you the benefits of business ownership, but you desire a support system and more security than a brand-new startup can offer, you may want to consider looking at a franchise. Buying into a franchise offers benefits you may not realize.

HOAs and the CC&Rs that govern them

When you are ready to buy a home, you want it to be perfect. Your home will likely be the single biggest purchase you will make, and aside from it being a warm place to welcome friends and raise a family, it is also an investment.

Like many homebuyers, you may have driven through neighborhoods looking for the right place. Perhaps you saw things in those neighborhoods that made you decide it was worth the extra money to purchase a home in a planned community with a homeowner association. However, understanding the complex laws that govern these communities is important before you make your purchase.

Is the home you rented making you sick?

When you walked through the freshly painted and carpeted home that you ultimately rented, you may not have thought to ask whether it had suffered any water damage. After all, it looks beautiful, and you had no reason to suspect that a danger to your health could be lurking in the walls.

After spending weeks or months in the home, you may not have yet realized that your rental home could be causing your allergies or even the flu that you attributed to the time of year. In some cases, the health issues are much more serious, and could even lead to life-threatening, if not life-altering, health conditions.

Planning for your own care in the future

It is impossible to plan for the future, but New Jersey residents know that there are certain things that they can do to be better prepared for what happens in the years ahead. One of the ways to do this is to have a thoughtful estate plan in place. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, and the tools you need depend largely upon your individual situation and legal objectives.

One of the ways that you can protect your interests is by having certain protections in place to ensure you get the care you want in case of your incapacitation due to illness or injury. Either though a living will, health care power of attorney or both, you can better control what will happen to you.

Steps to take toward justice after a pedestrian accident

Walking along a sidewalk or through a crosswalk in New Jersey is not supposed to be a life-threatening situation. Sadly, however, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports, you and your loved ones are at great risk for injury any time you take to the roads as pedestrians. In fact, the NHTSA has determined that at least 5,000 fatalities occur each year in incidents where motorists run into pedestrians; this doesn't even take into account the many other ways pedestrians may be injured.

Hopefully, whenever you choose walking as your mode of transportation to reach a particular destination, you remain as alert, aware and cautious as possible, regularly scanning your surroundings, on the lookout for possible dangers. However, even if you're careful, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid injury if someone nearby is negligent.

What do you know about your parents' estate plan?

Have you talked to your parents about their plans for the future? Most likely, they have eagerly shared their retirement goals, their vacation agenda and perhaps even their ideas for downsizing. However, do you know if they have made their final arrangements? Do they have a will? Do you know what their wishes are if they should become incapacitated?

If you can't answer these questions, it may be time for a frank discussion with your folks. On the other hand, according to a recent survey, your parents may believe they have already discussed this with you.

Could a business contract protect your information?

Business arrangements can be complicated affairs. As a business owner, you undoubtedly want to minimize the risks in which you put your company when it comes to bringing new workers or partners into the fold. You likely already know that one of the best ways to ensure that certain aspects of your business remain safe begins with creating an appropriate contract.

Business contracts can serve many purposes, ranging from protecting trade secrets to ensuring that new employees understand the nature of the business relationship. Therefore, you may want to assess your needs, determine what type of contract could prove most useful and how to go about creating that contract.

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Fitzgerald & McGroarty PA
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Linwood, NJ 08221

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