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Westminster Law Blog

Car accidents involving semitrailers: Why do they happen?

Each California driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes while behind the wheel. This includes truck drivers who operate large and heavy semitrailers. These vehicles are capable of causing significant damage when involved in a crash, and even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries or a fatalities. Many serious car accidents involving commercial trucks are completely avoidable.

Humans make mistakes when driving, and simple errors can have grave consequences when operating a truck. These vehicles are heavy, making it difficult to stop quickly. This is why speeding trucks are so dangerous, as are trucks operated by a driver who is reckless or distracted. In the trucking industry, drivers have to work long hours on the road, which makes it more likely a driver could be dangerously fatigued, increasing the chance of a crash.

Aggressive driving can cause serious, fatal accidents

Drivers of various skill levels and experience fill the roadways in California and across the country. You have undoubtedly seen your fair share of interesting maneuvers from other drivers while traveling yourself. While you may shake your head at someone who does something incorrectly but ultimately harmless, you may feel unsafe around drivers who act aggressively.

Unfortunately, many travelers carry out aggressive actions while behind the wheel, and some may not even realize that what they do is aggressive or even reckless. Some people get into the bad habit of speeding or not using a turn signal, but these actions and others could have devastating results.

Estate planning considerations for parents of young children

The needs and well-being of minor children should be a primary consideration for California parents when making an estate plan. Many overlook the importance of updating existing plans after the birth of a child or as a child ages, but it is necessary to plan for the care and support of any minor kids. These considerations should be a critical part of any estate planning efforts.

This means doing more than simply naming kids as beneficiaries for certain assets. Through an estate plan, a parent can actually name someone to act as guardian in the event he or she unexpectedly passes away. This allows a parent to have some control over who raises his or her children. This requires thinking about the age of the guardian, his or her physical abilities, financial capabilities and a willingness to care for the kids long-term. 

Estate planning is important for adults of all ages

California adults who are relatively young, healthy and not exceptionally wealthy may overlook the importance of thinking about the future. In reality, estate planning is a beneficial for every adult in every stage of life. Starting at the age of 18, there are steps that can allow an individual to have a say in medical care, care for family and address what will happen to personal property.

Young adults can benefit from having a health care power of attorney, living will and advanced directives. These documents let loved ones know what medical treatments are preferred or refused in case that individual cannot speak for himself or herself. They can outline health care preferences, name someone to make decisions and appoint someone to handle finances in the event of incapacitation.

The future financial impact of a gray divorce

When an older California couple decides to end their marriage, they understand this decision will impact their future financial security. No matter how wealthy the two spouses may be or how amicably they plan to settle their divorce, the reality is that a gray divorce will have a ripple effect on retirement and long-term plans. Thankfully there are steps that can help preserve and protect long-term interests.

One thing a spouse can do when heading for divorce is to gather important documents and take a financial inventory. This should include making a list of assets that will likely be divided, as well as accounts and all types of long-term savings. It may be helpful to get an appraisal of all valuable assets subject to division. Preparation can help a spouse understand what to expect financially from divorce, as well as help prevent confusion or complex disputes over marital property.

Smart choices lead to a strong future after divorce

When a California couple makes the choice to end their marriage, they understand they are facing significant financial changes. One of the most common concerns expressed by those who are going through a divorce is how this process will affect their long-term financial health. There are steps a spouse can take now and during the divorce process to shield personal interests and avoid additional complications in the future.

One important step for anyone who is considering divorce is to prepare for what is ahead. This means taking an inventory of valuable assets that may be subject to division between the spouses. Making a list can be helpful in the event the other spouse attempts to hide assets or keep an unfair portion of marital assets. It may also prove beneficial to make a list of accounts to address, including retirement accounts and long-term savings.

Business partners can face various issues

If running a successful business were easy, most people would do it. Who wouldn't want to be his or her own boss and pursue a passion as a career? You started your company knowing that the road would be difficult, and you may have brought on a business partner in hopes of lightening your own load. Of course, partnerships do not always go smoothly.

You may have chosen your partner for various reasons. Maybe he or she has business experience or a particular skill set you need. Your partner could also have a drive for success that you believed could benefit your company. Whatever the reasons for choosing your partner, you did so because you believed he or she would help your company grow.

Carrying a burden of debt after a divorce is final

One of the most difficult aspects of ending a marriage is making choices and securing terms that will allow an individual to have a strong financial future. Most adults in California facing divorce likely have concerns about how this process will affect their income and savings, but most would be wise to give careful thought about the debt they may carry with them. A burden of debt can make it difficult to financially recover from a divorce.

Spouses may have very different ideas regarding how they will divide marital debt. Like marital assets, debt accumulated over the course of the marriage is subject to division in the event of a divorce. This can include personal loans, credit card balances and mortgages. If during the marriage one party signs for a loan and the other doesn't, the one who signed is legally responsible for any remaining balance. 

High-impact collisions can occur due to a variety of reasons

Car accidents are frightening events. Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can leave any California resident feeling shaken. Unfortunately, numerous accidents are far from minor. High-impact collisions can lead to serious injuries for those involved, and you certainly do not want to cause an accident yourself.

Of course, any number of issues could cause a driver to be less than safe while behind the wheel. As a result, even though you do your best to make sure you do not do anything to put yourself, your loved ones or others at risk, you cannot control the actions of other drivers on the road.

All adults should consider the benefits of estate planning

There are many reasons why California adults put off thinking about and making plans for the future. Some may think they are too young, while others think they don't have enough money or valuable assets to necessitate estate planning. In reality, drafting certain documents and having plans in place is a prudent step for every adult, regardless of age, wealth and current health status.

Life is unpredictable, and having an estate plan can keep loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on behalf of someone who cannot speak or make choices regarding health care. An adult who has a plan will have the ability to express wishes regarding health care and finances in case of a debilitating illness or incapacitating injury. An estate plan can also let someone choose another trusted individual to make medical and financial decisions on his or her behalf in case of an emergency.

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