Surprise Legal Issues Blog

Your health care agent must be selected very carefully

One of the most important decisions that you have to make about your estate plan doesn't have anything to do with your assets. You will need to select a health care agent. This designation requires a lot of trust and gives the person considerable responsibility. It is imperative that you think carefully about who you give this duty to.

Many people choose their spouse or an adult child to give this designation to. This has benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, there is a good chance that this person knows what decisions you'd make for yourself. On the negative side, the loved one will be forced to make difficult decisions at a very stressful time.

How to avoid and prevent contract disputes

Contract disputes are some of the most common legal conflicts that arise in doing business. Since contracts govern almost every aspect of a business exchange between two parties who agree to work together, it is essential that the contracts provide adequate protection for the parties in the event of a dispute.

Unfortunately, contracts are not always water-tight, and conflicts can sometimes stem directly from mistakes or oversights in the contracts themselves. Because contract disputes can be complex and cause significant losses to a business owner, it is important to try to avoid and prevent the disputes whenever possible.

When can child support get modified?

Child support orders are fairly robust after they get handed down, but they are not written in stone. With the right set of circumstances, it is possible for either parent -- the one paying support or the one receiving it -- to ask for a modification.

For instance, perhaps you have been paying out $1,000 every month to your ex, who has full custody of your child. You just have visitation rights. You can afford to payments for a year or two, but then your company downsizes and you lose your job. You get a part-time job -- or cannot find work at all -- and those payments become far too high. You may be able to get a modification if it's clear that your income is reduced for the long term.

How do criminal cases differ from civil ones?

There are some incidents that can result in more than one legal case. This surprises some people, but this isn't a violation of the double jeopardy law. It is possible to face a criminal charge and a civil charge in connection with one event. A person can also have one type of case and not the other.

These two types of cases are both handled in the court system, but there are some very specific points that differentiate them.

Options for a small business bankruptcy

Your small business may be your financial lifeline to earn money and survive in the world, but that doesn't mean it will always be successful. Just like people, small businesses can fail to pay their bills as well, and if a business falls into serious debt problems because of this, bankruptcy may be the best course of action.

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy for a small business, entrepreneurs will have the following three options:

Estate planning: Take inventory of these important assets

The first step in estate planning is simply to take inventory so that you know exactly what your estate contains. Some big-ticket items, like your home, are fairly obvious. Others are not. You absolutely do not want to forget anything.

To help, here is a list of some of the most common assets you may own:

  • Real estate other than your home, such as farm land, a vacation home or an adjacent lot.
  • Collectible items, such as trading cards, coins or antiques.
  • Vehicles, from your daily driver to a boat to a motorcycle.
  • Any expensive proper you own, such as jewelry.
  • Money that you hold in both savings accounts and checking accounts.
  • Any life insurance policies that you own; for some people, this policy is one of their biggest assets.
  • Financial assets in the form of mutual funds, bones and stocks.
  • An ownership percentage that you have in a business, even if you are just an investor and not the active owner who runs the company on a day-to-day basis.
  • Your retirement plan, whether it is an individual account or one sponsored by your employer.
  • Your pension.

Uber settles after deadly accident involving self-driving car

Uber was testing out its new self-driving vehicles in Arizona, with a human emergency driver still in the vehicle, when the car slammed into a woman pushing a bike across the street at night. Tragically, that woman was killed.

Uber and the woman's family have now agreed to a settlement. The company has not released any financial details to show how much was paid out.

Do you need a lawyer for your business dispute?

Disputes are an inevitable part of doing business, and as a business owner, you likely resolve conflicts on a near-daily basis. However, sometimes disputes rise to a level in which you no longer can handle them on your own, and you may need legal assistance.

Judging whether or not you need to bring a lawyer into the situation is not always clear-cut when it comes to business disputes. Sometimes the conflicts are so severe that the need for an attorney is apparent, but other times you may be undecided. Here is some information regarding the benefits of calling in an attorney to help you resolve your business dispute.

Arizona changes laws regarding frozen embryos

Arizona's governor signed into a law a bill that takes control of frozen embryos in that state when a couple splits.

Many divorcing couples who have embryos on ice end up in bitter custody battles when one spouse wants to keep them and one wants them destroyed. The spouse that wants to keep the embryos may put forth an emotional argument that the embryos represent his or her last hope for children due to disease or other issues.

How should you tweak a parenting plan for summer vacation?

Ah, summer -- it's already on it's way!

Unfortunately, for a lot of divorced parents, that also means the annual summer headache is about to roll around again as well. During the school year, co-parenting plans often go off without a hitch because everyone's schedule is set in stone. When summer vacation hits and you and your ex are both getting some much-needed vacation time, it can get more complicated to work a co-parenting plan without a fight.

  • MCBA | Maricopa County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • ABA | American bar Association | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Oregon State bar
  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, is located in Surprise and serves clients throughout the West Valley area. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, call 623-208-6098 or toll free at 877-827-9906. You can also contact us online.

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