Archive for January, 2010

What a Tax Attorney Can Do For You

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

February3

There can be a number of tax issues that occur between a tax payer and the state or federal government. Since tax laws are complex, you could end up getting stuck figuring out the rules and loopholes. That’s why you need a qualified tax attorney to handle your tax problems and represent you in tax court.

A tax attorney can help you in numerous ways. Even though you can represent yourself, a tax attorney can make sure your rights are protected. A tax attorney with experience in dealing with the IRS can also make sure they IRS only gets the information they asked for, without invading your privacy.

A tax attorney can help you when:

  • You have unpaid taxes
  • You want to negotiate lower payment(s) over time
  • You have unfiled tax returns
  • You are accused of tax fraud
  • You have a new business and need legal counsel regarding structure
  • You are under investigation by the IRS
  • You have audits
  • You have property and real estate taxes
  • You have garnished wages
  • You need to file an estate tax return
  • You want to bring a suit against the IRS
  • You are under investigation by the IRS
  • You have committed tax fraud and need protection

Tax attorneys can provide you with expert negotiations in and out of court. Hiring a tax attorney can strengthen your case and help you find a solution without letting the IRS stress you out. Attorney Search Network can help you find a tax attorney to help you with your tax issues. Contact Attorney Search Network today for a tax attorney lawyer referral.

Fulfill Your Last Wishes with a Living Will

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

February2As long as you are healthy and coherent, you have the right to make a decision regarding health care. In case you get ill, you could ultimately decide to refuse or accept medical treatment.  However, when you’re in a state of incoherence, the decision of medical treatment lies in the hands of your immediate family or health care providers.

If you face a permanent disability or a terminal illness, you could lose the right and ability to decide for your own medical treatment. If you haven’t prepared instructions, it will be impossible for anyone to know what you would have wanted to happen. To avoid having important decisions made on your behalf, and to make the situation easier for your family, having a living will is key.

Consider the case of Terri Schiavo. Terri’s wishes were interpreted and reinterpreted during the last 12 years of her life. The conflict centered on whether or not she would have wished to die and avoid being in a vegetative state, or, if she would have wished to fight for her chance of life. In retrospect, since Terri did not have a living will, it is impossible to know if she received the type of death she would have wanted.

The Schiavo case is a good example of the legal disputes that could take place with the absence of a living will. A living will is a legal binding document that allows you to communicate your wishes when it comes to medical treatment. It typically contains directives on how you would like to be taken care of in case you have a debilitating illness and are incapable of making your own decisions. A living will also allows you to appoint a guardian or health care surrogate.

Attorney Search Network can help you find a lawyer who handles living will matters. Will and estate planning lawyers can assist you with drafting a simple living will or change an existing living will to reflect your wishes.

Is your Insurance Company Giving You the Runaround?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

February1When you first purchase homeowners’ insurance, you establish an agreement with your insurance company. You agree to pay the insurance premiums and in return, your insurance company agrees to reimburse you for covered property damage, and defend you against third party claims.

If your policy includes coverage against water leaks that lead to a mold problem, your insurance company should cover the cost of the mold repairs. If someone is injured on your property and sues you, your insurance company should defend you. That is what you agreed on, wasn’t it? Yes, but what if your insurance company rejects your valid claim?

If your insurance company is denying your claim or is not compensating for damages, you could use legal remedies to get what you need. Under “Bad Faith Insurance Law,” the following instances constitute as acting in bad faith:

  • Delays by the insurance company in responding to your calls, letters, and other inquiries
  • Promising insurance coverage and refusing to pay later
  • Refusing to pay for property damage or loss that’s covered
  • Refusing to pay a portion of your claim
  • Refusing to pay for what is fair, such as giving you less than what it’s worth
  • Assigning multiple adjusters to the claim to result in delays and wrongful denial of coverage
  • Requiring a proof of loss or itemized receipts that are impossible to obtain

Bad faith insurance lawyers can effectively resolve delayed or denied insurance claims. Insurance lawyers can handle disputes with your insurance company and to help get you the compensation you are entitled to, along with possible punitive damages. If you are having bad faith issues with your insurance company, Attorney Search Network can refer you to a bad faith lawyer today.

Homeowners’ Association Member Rights

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Homeowners' Association Member RightsWhen you purchase a home, common interest development, planned unit development, or co-op, you may automatically become a member of the Homeowners’ Association (HOA). This organization is made up of all the people who own property in the same development. The Homeowners’ Association can have authority regarding how your property can be used.

When deeds are transferred to houses in new developments, there are always certain limitations on how the property can be used and decisions are in the hands of the homeowners’ association. These limitations are called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).

It is important to make sure the CC&Rs are in sync with your lifestyle. Some CC&Rs can limit the color of paint you can use on your house, the visibility of curtains/blinds from the street, and even how you landscape your front yard. Some can even go to the extent of requiring that laundry be dried indoors instead of outdoors or restrict basketball hoops or parking oversized vehicles in the driveway.

Before you purchase a property, read and review the CC&Rs carefully. Once you own the property and move in, it is difficult to be relieved of CC&Rs. You will need to submit an application for a variance, get permission from neighbors, and attend a formal hearing. Making structural changes to your property, such as adding a room or building a fence, can be even more difficult. Not only will you need permission from the association, but you will need to comply with the city’s zoning rules.

Disputes between members and the Homeowners’ Association are rare but do occur. Sometimes, these disputes are easily settled with a strong letter by a lawyer. Other times, however, further mediation or arbitration may be required, including a lawsuit, when it comes to the following challenges:

  • Boundary issues
  • HOA refusal to disclose documents
  • Fines or rules set by the Association
  • Interpretation of CC&Rs
  • Discriminatory enforcement of CC&Rs
  • Defense against an alleged violation of the CC&Rs
  • Voting or recall of HOA Board members
  • Approvals for architectural or structural changes to property
  • Privacy violations

Homeowners’ Association lawyers provide legal representation to homeowners with disputes. They can help solve internal disputes, interpret government documents, insurance, liability and improvements. Lawyers can also assist homeowners in case of sidewalk, plumbing, construction defects, general disturbance or issues with a neighbor’s dog.

Homeowners’ Association law can be difficult to interpret. If you are experiencing a dispute and need a lawyer to help you with a Homeowners’ Association law contract, contact Attorney Search Network today. We can help you find a lawyer in your area that can make a difference in your case.

Your New Year’s Resolution – Updating Your Will or Trust

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Your New Year’s Resolution – Updating your Will or TrustA new year is upon us. It’s time to set new goals and make a new year’s resolutions you can stick to. For 2010, why not make updating your will or trust at the top of your resolution list?

When was the last time you updated your will or trust? Remember that once a will is written, it can’t just be ignored. Just as you would take your car for a regular maintenance to work effectively, or visit the doctor for checkups, you should also review your will. With time, your wishes and/or circumstances can change, along with the law.

There are many reasons why it is important to keep your wills and trusts updated. Below is a checklist you can use, so you can be sure your assets will be distributed as you intended.

____ Changes in your marital status

____ New child(ren) in your family

____ Child(ren) in your family who are no longer minors

____ Death of a family member or death of a beneficiary

____ Changes in Federal Estate Tax law or State Tax law

____ Changes in the value of your estate(s)

____ Changes in ownership of your property

____ Relocation to another state/country

____ Changes or removal of gifts to beneficiaries

____ New assets or debts

It is advised to update your will as frequently as every 3-5 years, or any time you encounter major life changes. If you need to make changes to an existing will or trust, making the changes on your own might invalidate the will. An estate planning attorney can create an amendment called a “codicil” to your will, subsequently making updates to the original document, printing a new copy, and asking you to sign it with a witness present.

Attorney Search Network can refer you to an estate planning attorney in your area that can help you update your will to reflect your personal needs and give you peace of mind that your will is up to date and valid.

Drunk Driving During the Holidays

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Drunk Driving During the HolidaysThe holiday season is one of the most critical times of the year for alcohol-related accidents. An increased number of special events and parties lead to increased alcohol consumption, which makes drunk driving more prevalent. Each year, over a hundred thousand drinking and driving arrests take place in California. In 2008, more than 400 arrests were made on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, in Los Angeles County alone.
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you driving under the influence, he/she may ask you to take a field sobriety test. Depending on their assessment of your level of intoxication, you could be arrested for driving under the influence. The financial costs of a DUI arrest can be substantial and not what you imagined for your holiday season.

As a criminal offense, you may face serious penalties such as:

  • $100-$300 fine
  • Up to 60 hours of community service
  • License revoked for up to 6 months
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Mandatory $500 highway assessment fee
  • Required DUI course

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are serious. If you are charged with a DUI, it is advised to seek the help of a DUI lawyer. Your insurance rates may increase and your conviction may show up and stay on your criminal record, which could impact your future employment opportunities. A DUI lawyer focuses on your case and makes a difference in the outcome of your charge.

A DUI lawyer can also work with you to help you get a restricted driver’s license after your DUI case. A restricted driver’s license, also known as a work license, hardship license, or Cinderella license, is a limited use license. As permitted by court, it allows you to drive under limited conditions and restrictions, depending on the discretion of the judge. A restricted driver’s license may allow you to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from medical appointments, or to and from alcohol education counseling sessions.

If you or someone you know have been charged with a DUI, it is important to choose a defense lawyer who is dedicated to defending the case justly. DUI lawyers know the consequences of drunk driving and can help you save your drivers’ license and even dismiss your DUI charge. Attorney Search Network can help you find an experienced lawyer today.

ConducciÓn en Estado de Ebriedad Durante los DÍas Festivos

Friday, January 1st, 2010
ConducciÓn en Estado de Ebriedad Durante los DÍas Festivos

ConducciÓn en Estado de Ebriedad Durante los DÍas Festivos

La temporada de días festivos es una de las fechas más críticas del año por los accidentes relacionados con el alcohol. Un aumento en el número de eventos especiales y fiestas ocasiona un aumento en el consumo de alcohol, lo cual hace que la conducción en estado de ebriedad sea más prevalente. Cada año se realizan más de cien mil arrestos en California por tomar y manejar con los efectos del alcohol. En el 2008, se hicieron más de 400 arrestos en la Noche de Año Nuevo y el Día de Año Nuevo solamente en el Condado de Los Ángeles.

Si un policía tiene motivos razonables para creer que Ud. está manejando bajo los efectos del alcohol, él/ella puede pedirle que tome una prueba de sobriedad. Dependiendo de la evaluación que él/ella haga de su nivel de intoxicación, Ud. podría ser arrestado(a) por manejar bajo la influencia del alcohol. Los costos económicos de un arresto de DUI pueden ser considerables y no lo que Ud. se imaginó para su temporada de días festivos.

A consecuencia de una ofensa criminal, Ud. se podría enfrentar a multas graves tales como:

  • Una multa de $100 a $300
  • Hasta 60 horas de servicio comunitario
  • Suspensión de la licencia por hasta 6 meses
  • Hasta un año en la cárcel
  • Una cuota obligatoria de evaluación de carreteras de $500
  • Un curso requerido de DUI

Los cargos de Manejar Bajo la Influencia (DUI) son graves. Si Ud. es acusado(a) de DUI, se recomienda que solicite la ayuda de un abogado de DUI. Las tarifas de su seguro pueden aumentar y su condena puede aparecer y permanecer en sus antecedentes criminales, lo cual puede impactar sus oportunidades futuras de empleo. Un abogado de DUI se enfoca en su caso y marca la diferencia en el resultado de su acusación.

Un abogado de DUI también puede colaborar con Ud. para ayudarle a conseguir una licencia de manejo limitada después de su caso de DUI. Una licencia de manejo limitada, también conocida como una licencia de trabajo, licencia de situación difícil, o licencia de Cenicienta, es un uso limitado de la licencia. Conforme lo permita el tribunal, Ud. puede manejar bajo condiciones y restricciones limitadas, dependiendo del criterio del juez. Una licencia de manejo limitada le puede permitir que Ud. maneje de ida y vuelta al trabajo, de ida y vuelta a la escuela, de ida y vuelta a citas, o de ida y vuelta a sesiones de asesoramiento y enseñanza del alcohol.

Si Ud. o alguien que Ud. conoce ha sido acusado(a) de una DUI, es importante que escoja a un abogado defensor que esté dedicado a defender el caso justamente. Los abogados de DUI conocen las consecuencias de manejar bajo la influencia y le pueden ayudar a salvar su licencia de manejo en inclusive descartar su acusación de DUI. Attorney Search Network le puede ayudar a encontrar un abogado experimentado hoy.

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contact us

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Sus Buenos PropÓsitos de AÑo Nuevo – Poner al DÍa Su Testamento o Fideicomiso

Friday, January 1st, 2010
Sus Buenos PropÓsitos de AÑo Nuevo – Poner al DÍa Su Testamento o Fideicomiso

Sus Buenos PropÓsitos de AÑo Nuevo – Poner al DÍa Su Testamento o Fideicomiso

Se viene otro año nuevo. Es fecha de fijar nuevas metas y hacer buenos propósitos de año nuevo que Ud. pueda cumplir. Para el 2010, ¿Porqué no hacer que la actualización de su testamento o fideicomiso encabece su lista de buenos propósitos?

¿Cuándo fue la última vez que Ud. puso al día su testamento o fideicomiso? Recuerde que una vez que se escribe un testamento, no se puede simplemente ignorar. Así como Ud. llevaría su carro a mantenimientos frecuentes para que funcione efectivamente, o visitaría al doctor para chequeos médicos, Ud. debería también revisar su testamento. Con el paso del tiempo, sus deseos y/o circunstancias pueden cambiar, junto con las leyes.

Hay varias razones por las cuales es importante mantener sus testamentos y fideicomisos al día. Abajo aparece una lista de verificación que Ud. puede utilizar, para asegurarse de que sus bienes serán distribuidos como Ud. lo tiene pensado.

____ Cambios en su estado civil

____ Hijo(s) nuevo(s) en su familia

____ Hijo(s) en su familia que ya no son menores de edad

____ La muerte de un familiar o la muerte de un beneficiario

____ Cambios en las leyes Federales de Impuestos de Patrimonios o leyes Estatales

____ Cambios en el valor de su(s) propiedad(es)

____ Cambios de posesión de su(s) propiedad(es)

____ Reubicación a otro estado/condado

____ Cambios o retiro de beneficiarios

____ Nuevos bienes o deudas

Se recomienda que Ud. ponga al día su testamento con una frecuencia de 3 a 5 años, o en cualquier fecha en que se le presenten cambios importantes en su vida. Si necesita hacer cambios a un testamento o fideicomiso existentes, y Ud. mismo(a) hace los cambios, esto podría invalidar el testamento. Un abogado de planificación testamentaria puede crear una enmienda a su testamento llamada “codicilo”, y subsecuentemente hacer actualizaciones al documento original, imprimir una copia nueva, y pedirle a Ud. que la firme con un testigo presente.

Attorney Search Network le puede recomendar un abogado de planificación testamentaria en su área que le pueda ayudar a poner su testamento al día para que refleje sus necesidades personales y le proporcione la tranquilidad mental de que su testamento está al día y es válido.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please
contact us

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Derechos de los Miembros de la AsociaciÓn de Propietarios de Vivienda

Friday, January 1st, 2010
Derechos de los Miembros de la AsociaciÓn de Propietarios de Vivienda

Derechos de los Miembros de la AsociaciÓn de Propietarios de Vivienda

Cuando Ud. compra una casa, edificación de interés común, desarrollo de unidades planificadas, o cooperativa, puede automáticamente hacerse miembro(a) de la Asociación de Propietarios de Vivienda (HOA). Esta organización está formada por toda la gente que tiene propiedades en la misma urbanización. La Asociación de Propietarios de Vivienda puede tener autoridad con respecto a cómo se puede utilizar la propiedad de Ud.

Cuando las escrituras se transfieren a casas en urbanizaciones nuevas, siempre hay ciertas limitaciones con respecto a cómo se puede utilizar la propiedad y las decisiones están en manos de la asociación de propietarios. Estas limitaciones se llaman convenios, condiciones y restricciones (CC&Rs).

Es importante asegurarse que las CC&Rs estén coordinadas con el estilo de vida de Ud. Algunas CC&Rs pueden limitar el color de pintura que Ud. puede utilizar en su casa, la visibilidad de las cortinas/persianas desde la calle, e inclusive la forma en que Ud. arregla su jardín en la parte de enfrente. Algunas inclusive pueden llegar al grado de requerir que la ropa se seque adentro en lugar de afuera y restringir aros para basquetbol o estacionar vehículos demasiado grandes en la entrada para coches.

Andes de comprar una propiedad, lea y revise las CC&Rs cuidadosamente. Una vez que Ud. sea dueño(a) de la propiedad y se traslade, es difícil quedar exento(a) de las CC&Rs. Ud. necesitará presentar una solicitud para una variación, pedir permiso a los vecinos, y asistir a una audiencia formal. El hacer cambios estructurales a su propiedad, tales como añadir un cuarto o construir una cerca, puede ser aún más difícil. No solamente necesitará Ud. permiso de la asociación, sino que también necesitará cumplir con las reglas de planificación urbana de la cuidad.

Las disputas entre los miembros y la Asociación de Propietarios de Vivienda son raras pero ocurren. Algunas veces, estas disputas se resuelven fácilmente con una carta enérgica de un abogado. Sin embargo, en otras ocasiones tal vez sea necesario una mediación o arbitraje adicional, incluyendo una demanda, cuando se presentan las dificultades siguientes:

  • Asuntos de límites
  • Rechazo de la HOA a revelar documentos
  • Multas o reglas establecidas por la Asociación
  • Interpretación de las CC&Rs
  • Aplicación discriminatoria de las CC&Rs
  • Defensa en contra de una supuesta violación de las CC&Rs
  • Votación o retirada de miembros de los Miembros Directivos de la HOA
  • Aprobaciones de cambios arquitectónicos o estructurales a la propiedad
  • Violaciones de privacidad
      Los abogados de la Asociación de Propietarios proporcionan representación legal a los propietarios de viviendas con respecto a las disputas. Ellos pueden resolver disputas internas, interpretar documentos del gobierno, seguro, responsabilidad legal, y mejoras. Los abogados también pueden ayudar a los propietarios de viviendas en caso de disturbios generales de banquetas, plomería, defectos de construcción, o asuntos relacionados con el perro de un vecino.

      Las leyes de Asociación de Propietarios de Vivienda pueden ser difíciles de interpretar. Si Ud. está experimentando una disputa y necesita que un abogado le ayude con un contrato de la Asociación de Propietarios de Vivienda, comuníquese con Attorney Search Network hoy. Nosotros podemos ayudarle a encontrar un abogado en su área que puede marcar la diferencia en su caso.

      If you have any questions about the information provided above, please
      contact us

      Call us or click here to get a referral to an Attorney Search Network panel lawyer or law firm.