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Lincolnton North Carolina Legal Blog

4 things to leave out of your will

When you create your estate plan, you need to ensure that you are only putting in things that belong here. There are some assets that you shouldn't include in the will because they are either covered by something else or because they don't have a place here.

Don't include anything that is included in trusts. These assets will be handled solely based on the terms of the trust. Including them in the will can lead to confusion and might even lengthen out the probate process for your loved one, which can cost them money.

The end of marriage usually starts slowly

The period that leads up to a divorce is often a very emotional time. Some spouses don't notice the toll that the situation is taking on each other until it is too late. There are quite a few common things that happen before a marriage ends that you can watch for in your marriage.

If you are having a rough time in your marriage, these are signs that you need to work on things. Failing to do so might lead to you heading toward divorce court.

  • You can't come to agreements on important matters. While you might disagree on small things, such as where to put the sugar bowl, disagreeing on larger things like what school the children should attend can signal a big problem. Being unwilling to try to work things out, which often leads to withdrawing, can lead to disaster.
  • You avoid conflict for fear of being single. You don't want to be alone so you conform to whatever your spouse wants. You lose your sense of self, which can't last forever. Once you realize what's happening, you will likely be ready to walk away.
  • You aren't willing to let your partner know your feelings. Communication is a big part of marital success. If you feel you can't let your spouse know how you feel, the situation might be hopeless. Some individuals might only show their anger or discontent to their partner, which is a sign that things are over.

Cellphone location data reports aren't always accurate

Some criminal cases drill down to being able to prove where you were at the time of the crime. Police officers sometimes rely on the location data from cellphones, but a fairly recent study shows that this data might not be an accurate representation of where you were.

When it comes to cell-site location information, which is the pings from cellphone towers, police officers don't have free range over the information like they once had. The Supreme Court ruled that they now need a warrant to obtain the reports. Even if they get them, you might be able to dispute the data in court.

Your home, your divorce and your financial future

The end of your marriage will mark the beginning of many new changes and transitions in your life. There will be financial changes and adjustments in how much time you spend with your kids. You may also have to find a new place to live or get used to living in your home without your spouse. This is a complex process, and choices you make during divorce will impact you for years to come. 

What happens to the family home is one of the most important and complex legal issues you will have to address during your divorce. While moving may not seem like a good choice, you may not be able to stay where you are. How can you make choices that will lay the foundation for a strong future and provide you and your children with stability for years to come?

Divorce over 50 significantly impacts the finances of women

Many people assume that once you have been married for decades that their marriage will last forever. More and more senior citizens are going through divorces, however, and this can lead to financial trauma for them. The impact of splitting finances is much more difficult to overcome for older individuals than it is for younger people.

Women who are going through a gray divorce are more likely to have financial difficulties, especially if they took time off work to stay at home with their children. They might not have the vast retirement accounts that their husband has. People who are facing divorce when they are over 50 do have some options for protecting their future.

Estate planning is crucial for new parents

Planning for your child's future is likely a priority. While you are getting things all set, make sure you plan for what will happen with them if you pass away. It isn't pleasant to think about this, but failing to plan can be devastating to your children.

You need to make several plans. First, set up powers of attorney for your finances and health care. This gives someone permission to make decisions in those two areas when you can't make them yourself because you are incapacitated. They can ensure that your children have what they need during this troublesome period.

Challenges come with custody plans for special needs children

When your child has special needs, you have unique considerations to think about when you are going through a divorce. You can't fall into the mode of thinking that traditional norms are going to work for you. Thinking about your child's needs, requirements and wishes might help you to determine what needs to be done.

For some special needs children, transportation is a huge consideration. During a divorce, you have to think about which parent has the vehicle that can transport the child. This is important if the vehicle has to be adapted for a special wheelchair. You might have to set up the vehicle so that it goes with whichever parent has the child at the time. This likely won't be an easy solution, but it might be better than having to purchase a second adaptive vehicle.

Know how easements can impact a property before purchase

When you are considering the purchase of a property, you need to make sure that you have all the information necessary to decide about the purchase. One thing that you do need to find out is whether there are any easements attached before you buy the property. While these don't take the property away from you, they can alter how you are able to use the property and could affect your feelings about the potential purchase.

In the simplest of terms, an easement is an agreement to allow someone else to use your property without having to hand over ownership. There are different forms of easements, so finding out the specifics of the one attached to the property is important.

Easements and your property rights in North Carolina

When you buy property in North Carolina, you probably have specific plans for how you want to use your land. Whether you want to build a home, construct a building for your company or preserve the land for future development, you will want to learn everything you can about your property. This includes finding out if there is an easement that could affect your property use.

If you buy property that has an easement on it, you will want to find out what that means and how it will affect your daily land use. An easement is a property right that another party has to use or access your land. This may seem preposterous or unfair, but easements are quite common. You will want to be diligent in learning about the ways this could impact you or if there is a way you can effectively challenge the easement.

Weigh the pros and cons of plea deals offered to you

If you are facing a criminal charge, you have a lot to consider. Once you make your initial plea, you may have the opportunity to mull taking a plea bargain. The primary factor that you must weigh is whether you actually did the crime for which you are charged. You shouldn't take a plea deal if you don't agree that you did the crime. This doesn't mean that you did it exactly how the prosecutor alleges or that you agree with all elements of the case, however.

For example, if you are charged with aggravated assault for hitting someone with a baseball bat, you should only accept a plea deal if, after consultation with your Lincolnton criminal defense attorney, you decide that it is in your best interests to accept the offer from the prosecutor.

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