Tips For Starting A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Alaska

If you recently lost a loved one, then you probably have a lot on your mind. You might be dealing with a number of financial hardships, including a future without the wages of your loved one. To help ease your burden, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit, but you should be aware of all the facts before you proceed. Here are some of the relevant rules and laws that you will encounter when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuitt in Alaska:

The Statute of Limitations

Alaska requires that you file your lawsuit within two years of theddeath. If you are familiar with the statute of limitations in the related field of personal injury lawsuits, then you might also be familiar with some of the exceptions that can be used to extend the statute of limitations, including the idea of discovery.

Wrongful deaths are a little less lenient, and you may find it very difficult to extend your window of opportunity beyond the initial two years. If you do discover that the death was due to negligence on behalf of another party (medical malpractice and fraud can lead to this situation), and that you were misled about the nature of the death, then you can likely get an extension, allowing you to file long after the two years is up.

Parties That Can File

In order to actually file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to be the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, or a direct dependent, including spouses and children.

If you are not one of these parties and wish to file, you will likely to be unable to do so. However, exceptions do exist, so if you believe that you have a particularly strong case for whatever reason, then it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer. From there, you can decide whether you should proceed.

Damage Caps

The amount of money that you can win in your case is generally divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include financial costs, such as the price of a funeral and future lost wages. Economic damages are also rarely limited, meaning that you can ask for as much as you are owed.

Non-economic damages are restricted to $400,000 or $8,000 per year of remaining life expectancy, which basically means that the cap is $400,000 unless their life expectancy exceeded 50 years. This restriction applies to any sort of emotion suffering, including loss of consortium and general disfigurement.

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer like Henry C. Devening

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Can Bankruptcy Be Used To Get Rid Of Tax Debts?

Eliminating tax debts through bankruptcy is possible, but there are a lot of rules that govern whether or not you can in your specific situation. In some situations, even if you file for bankruptcy, you might still owe tax debts. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, here is what you need to know about filing and how it can impact tax debts.

What Are the Rules for Discharging Tax Debts?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to meet several requirements. If you fail to meet any of them, it is highly unlikely that the court allows a discharge. 

One of the first requirements is that the tax debt is actually an income tax debt. If the tax debt is something else, such as fraud penalties, they cannot be discharged. The debt also has to be three or more years older. Taxes later than that must be repaid. Other requirements include:

  • There was no fraud. If you attempted to commit fraud or evade taxes, a bankruptcy cannot help your situation. 
  • You have already filed a return. If you have not filed a return for the debt you want discharged two or more years ago, the debt cannot be discharged. 
  • The debt must be at least 240 days old. The debt must have been assessed by the Internal Revenue Service at least 240 days prior to your petition for bankruptcy.

If you do not meet these requirements, talk to your tax attorney about other ways you can handle your tax debt. 

What If You Are Filing Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 debts are viewed differently from Chapter 7 when dealing with tax debts. Since you are agreeing to repay your debts through the Chapter 13 filing, you also are agreeing to pay off your tax debts. 

When you file for bankruptcy, you must submit a bankruptcy repayment plan that also accounts for the tax debts. The court will review your plan and determine whether or not it is acceptable. If not, you will have to change your repayment plan.

At any point, if you are unable to continue your repayment plan, you can request a hardship discharge of your remaining debts. If your current situation meets the requirements for tax debts to be discharged, you might be able to eliminate some of the debts then. 

Before taking any action, review all of your options with your tax attorney. He or she can help determine if your debts meet the requirements for discharge and help you explore other options for handling them, if necessary. To learn more, visit a website like http://www.wflaw.net.

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Should You Use A Living Trust Instead Of A Will?

A living trust, also referred to as a revocable trust, is a popular tool that you can use when planning your estate. It will help prevent your property from going through probate court, which avoids a lot of hassle for your loved ones so they can inherit your property faster. If you are not sure if you should use a living trust instead of a will, here is what you should know about this form of estate planning.

What Are Living Trusts?

A living trust is a document that allows you to move your assets to a trust when you’re still living. It can include bonds, stocks, real estate, jewelry, art, vehicles, and all types of personal property. You’ll also name the trust’s beneficiaries, and what assets they will receive.

How Are Living Trusts Similar To Using Wills?

Much like with a will, you’re allowed to make changes to your trust whenever you want. You can add additional assets, remove assets, change who the beneficiaries are, or even cancel the trust completely.

A trust also requires a trustee, who has responsibilities that are very similar to a will’s executor. The trustee is the person responsible for distributing assets after you pass away. They will also have the power to manage aspects of any financial affairs that you need taken care of if you are incapacitated, which include paying bills.

How Are Living Trusts Better?

The biggest difference between these documents is what happens after you pass away. A will needs to be officially filed with the probate court, then follow a legal procedure that could take a long time to finalize. All your beneficiaries are required to wait until this process is finished before they are allowed to receive assets. A will also becomes public record, and anyone can gain access to it to see what you left behind to your beneficiaries. This can make it difficult to maintain privacy with how assets are divided.

A living trust allows the trustee to start distributing assets immediately, without the need to go through the probate process. The distribution of assets in a living trust is private, with only the trustee knowing how assets are to be divided.

As you can see, a living trust is a valuable tool when planning your estate. If you need help setting up a living trust of your own, work with an estate planning attorney at a firm like Wright Law Offices, PLLC, in your area.

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What You Can Do To Make Sure Your Loved Ones Don’t Have To Go To Probate Court

It is not particularly enjoyable to realize that you are going to die one day. As you come to accept that truth, knowing that you can choose how to divide your estate and pass on different things to friends and family members can fill your heart with pride because you are able to give to the people you care about. That’s why it can be distressing to think about your loved ones having to head to probate court after you’re gone. If you want to ensure that doesn’t happen, use the following suggestions.

Take Steps to Settle Your Debts

You may be excited to give your oldest son your house in your will, but you may not realize that your creditors must be notified that you have passed on and may lay claim to that house. Your loved ones may have to head to probate court to settle the issue. 

Therefore, before you think of giving away expensive heirlooms or real estate, make sure you have settled as many of your debts as possible. That way, when you give someone something in your will, they can keep it without a problem. Consult a local accountant or a probate lawyer, like David R Webb Attorney, to make a list of the debts you need to take care of.

Take Your Estate Planning Documents Out Every Thanksgiving

Life events such as births of your grandchildren and your kid’s divorce happen throughout the year; you might not remember to add the names of the new twins to your will, take your son-in-law off off of the beneficiary list for your life insurance policy, or make many other changes that reflect your new wishes. As a result, when you pass away, your loved ones might end up in probate court arguing over what your wishes truly were.

For that reason, it is a good idea to have a regular time for updating and changing estate planning paperwork so that you make a habit of it. A great time for reviewing these documents is Thanksgiving or another major holiday when your loved ones are already in your thoughts.You might also mention to them that you are updating your estate planning materials and ensure that everyone knows where the materials are kept. When the papers are needed, everyone will know where to look for them.

Be sure to do everything possible to protect your loved ones after you pass away and help them to avoid having any problems related to the assets you leave them. Talk over your actions with a reputable probate lawyer who understands what you’d like to do and can assist you in helping your loved ones avoid probate proceedings.

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What You Need To Know About Hiring A Social Security Attorney

If you are unable to work and are considering applying for disability, you may consider hiring a social security attorney. A social security attorney understands how to get you the benefits that you need and can help to simplify the process. If you are new to this process, you might be wondering why you should hire an attorney and what it will entail. Here are a couple things you should know.

Why Hire A Social Security Attorney?

If you hire an attorney to help with your application you are more likely to get approved. An attorney knows the process better and can make sure that you give all the proper information so that you can get the help that you need. If you have been denied on your application, or have not received the benefits you have been promised, a social security attorney can help you to get what you deserve.

If you try to do it on your own you may still have success; some people are able to do it on their own. But as a general rule, having a professional helping you with your application will only improve your chances of getting approved and can simplify the process.

When Should You Hire The Attorney?

It is best if you can hire the attorney at the beginning if possible. The reason for this is that you will actually save time and money. If you can get the application approved right at the beginning then you will owe less in legal fees, and start to receive benefits quicker.

If you wait till you are denied, or until the process has become complicated, it could cost more in attorney fees and you risk the chance of not getting anything. This is why it is best to hire an attorney before you even start the process.

How Do You Pay A Social Security Attorney?

Lastly, many people wonder how much they will have to pay an attorney if they hire one. For most attorneys they will simply take a percentage of the amount that you are awarded from the back pay with a cap being at $6,000. In addition, you will only have to pay the attorney if you win the case. This means that the lawyer works on contingency so you don’t have to pay unless you win. Thus, you don’t have a lot to lose by hiring an attorney.

If you are applying for social security benefits you should consider talking to an attorney right away. For more information, contact a company like Ball & Ferrari.

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Under House Arrest? Learn More About Ankle Bracelets Here

If you have been placed on house arrest, you probably want to know how that cumbersome ankle bracelet works. Perhaps you have seen others with the devices around town. With jail overcrowding as a problem for municipalities across the nation, there is an increased need to place less dangerous offenders in at-home confinement.

Do not be confused, the authorities take this sentence seriously. Any violation of the rules will probably lead to a real jail cell. Thus, knowing more about the device that will track your whereabouts is the first stage in getting your life back on track.

Purpose of Ankle Bracelets and Home Confinement

House arrest reduces the cost of inmate placement. Authorities have become much more focused on alleviating taxpayer burdens. Non-violent offenders, especially those under less serious drug charges, are perfect candidates for at-home confinement. Their crimes do not make them an immediate threat to the community.

Others may find themselves required to wear an ankle bracelet. For example, someone under a temporary restraining order (TRO), perhaps for domestic violence, might have to wear a bracelet. The courts will want to know the location of the accused at all times to prevent breach of the injunction. Parolees required to remain within their jurisdiction are also likely candidates for an ankle bracelet.

Radio Transmitters

These ankle devices rely on traditional telephone lines to report the location of the person in question. A radio wave transmitter set up in the home alerts the police when the bracelet is out of a designated range. At that time, the court may issue an arrest warrant.

Global Positioning Systems

Technological innovation has reached law enforcement. Global Positioning System (GPS) ankle bracelets allow criminal defendants much more mobility than possible with radio wave transmitters. Users must carry a device, usually a mobile phone, that records their location at all times via GPS technology.

This advancement makes it more possible for non-violent convicted criminals to hold down jobs, attend religious ceremonies and visit family. However, some believe the GPS bracelets too costly for poor defendants to afford.

Consult a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is important for you to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, like those at Kalasnik Law Office, if the court places you under house arrest. This legal representative will be able to read through the terms of the confinement to ensure you can comply. The last thing you want to do is violate a house arrest sentence and wind up behind bars.

 

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Possible Areas Of Concentration During Divorce Trial Cross-Examination

Just like in other cases, cross-examination is also part of divorce hearings, which begins after you have testified to your side of the story. During cross-examination, your partner’s attorney will try to poke holes into your testimony and get you to agree to or support your spouse’s case. The lawyer will do this by focusing on different parts of your testimony such as these three:

Testimony Favorable To Your Spouse

Although divorcing couples tend to have opposing views on most things, you may find yourself agreeing with at least one aspect of your spouse’s stance. During cross-examination, expect your partner’s attorney to focus on any positive thing you may have said or agreed to during your testimony. The attorney will do this to paint your partner in a good light and emphasize that his or her client is a good person by showing that even you agree with him or her.

While you don’t want to pay glowing tributes to your partner, you also shouldn’t contradict your earlier testimony. Therefore, the best way to deal with such questions is to keep your answers brief.

Questionable Testimony

If you have made any questionable comment during your testimony, expect the opposing counsel to ask you questions on that too. That something is questionable doesn’t mean it’s not true. However, if the attorney senses that you can’t prove your statements, then he or she will ask difficult questions to prove to the court that your testimony is unreliable. Therefore, it’s always best to make statements you can prove. Hopefully, you will discuss such things with your lawyer before going to court.

Questions on Your Memory

The human memory isn’t perfect, and lawyers know this. If there are parts of your testimony that described past events, expect your partner’s lawyer to be fixated on those too. The lawyer’s aim will be to upstage you by showing your memory as unreliable. He or she may even do this by focusing on insignificant parts of your statement. After all, the goal here is not to correct you or get the correct information, but to create doubt on your testimony as a whole. This is why it’s important to prepare for your hearing and get your facts right from the beginning.

Your attorney will prepare you for cross-examination before the hearing. It’s important to follow his or her advice, so you don’t sabotage your case. Don’t forget that the divorce lawyer has handled similar issues in the past and knows his or her trade well.

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