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The problems with disinheritance

A sentiment especially true for siblings, most families prefer to think that all those years of heated disputes have long been forgotten in the past. After all, the majority of sibling wars end eventually. One stage of life that can reignite contention, however, involves the will of a loved one. What can Kentucky residents do when family members do not see eye to eye? Perhaps even more stressful, what can residents do when a family member becomes disinherited? 

One New York Times piece reflects on this potentially tricky situation that can leave families disjointed and lost in a sea of emotions. Highlighting the story of one college student who was dismayed to find that her grandmother's will left her disinherited, The Times goes on to state that the young woman traced the root of the problem to her aunts, who had coordinated a deathbed disinheritance. Her grandmother had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and the family members had taken advantage of her diminished capacity. While rare in most countries, a disinheritance is a serious move that can come with equally serious repercussions; as for the specific situation on which The Times focuses, the college student and her siblings worked through a legal battle for 18 months. 

The dangers of “blowing off” a traffic ticket

If you are like many Kentucky residents, you are not particularly distressed if and when you receive a traffic ticket. In fact, you may attach so little importance to it that you forget to pay the fine and/or show up in court for your hearing. This forgetfulness, however, can get you into far more trouble than the ticket itself

When you fail to appear in court at the time of your scheduled hearing, the judge issues a bench warrant; i.e., a warrant (s)he issues from the judicial bench where (s)he presides. This bench warrant authorizes law enforcement officials to arrest you whenever and wherever they come into contact with you. In addition, failure to appear is a “crime” itself, so you now have two charges to deal with instead of only one.

Talk to your children about illegal Internet pranks

Many teenagers, young adults and people well into adulthood spend a large amount of time playing online games or participating in social media. While there is nothing wrong with connecting with others on the internet, sometimes an online activity can result in criminal penalties. At the law offices of Lonneman & McMahan PLLC, we are prepared to answer the questions Kentucky residents have regarding online crime. It is important for you and your children to understand the potential consequences of certain activities that may be mistaken as harmless, but can in fact have serious repercussions.

One such activity is a prank called “swatting.” Vox explains that swatting involves a person making a false call to authorities to lure law enforcement or swat teams to an unsuspecting target’s home. A well-publicized swatting incident, which you may be familiar with, resulted in the death of an innocent man in Kansas, when police officers thought he was reaching for a weapon and shot him. Reportedly, a man from Los Angeles, California, posed as the victim and told authorities that he had shot a family member and was holding other relatives hostage. The incident stemmed from an online gaming dispute, which the victim was not a part of. The caller is facing manslaughter charges.

Which type of bankruptcy fits you best?

When residents in Kentucky look into bankruptcy to get out of a deep financial rut, it can be overwhelming. What option do you go with? What's the difference between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Which is best for you? Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC, will help you make these crucial decisions and get back on your feet after financial disaster.

There are many different bankruptcy options available. However, the two most common are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 13 will generally be better for you if you still have the ability to pay off your debts after they're reorganized. This option allows you to work with creditors to make a payment plan that you can stick to, allowing you to pay back your debt over a set period of time.

Understanding how and why scammers target the elderly

It can be difficult coming to terms with the fact that your parents are not as sharp as they used to be. Whether it is hard to keep up with quickly changing technology and trends, or they are in the early stages of a cognitive disorder, your parents may be vulnerable to a range of common scams that unscrupulous people aim at senior citizens. At the law offices of Lonneman & McMahan PLLC, we can answer the questions Kentucky residents have about protecting their parents' estate from scammers.

Sadly, financial abuse is not uncommon among elderly Americans, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. About one out of every 20 senior citizens is targeted by someone out to exploit them. Your parents might be approached by someone who offers to fix their roof or cut their lawn at a good price, only to take a deposit and never return. They might get harassing phone calls from fraudulent IRS or utility company representatives, threatening to send them to jail or turn off their power if they do not pay immediately. They could receive an email from someone posing as a relative who is in dire trouble and needs money right away, or a hacker who locks up their laptop and demands a fee to "fix" the virus (and often ruins their computer further after taking payment).

Is joint custody the right option?

When parents in Kentucky decide that divorcing is the right thing to do, you still have to deal with matters regarding child custody, support, and how to make the transition as smooth as possible for your child. Lonneman & McMahan, PLLC, can aid you in this difficult period of your life.

There are different types of custody that you and your ex-partner can choose from. However, most judges these days will advocate for joint custody. They prefer it for many reasons, including the fact that numerous studies have shown children develop better if they have the influence of both parents in their lives. The balance between two parents jointly raising a child is important for their growth and stability.

What are some essentials to know if I am considering bankruptcy?

You have not yet decided for sure to file for bankruptcy, but it is something you are giving a decent bit of thought to. What are some key things you need to know?

One is to avoid new debt on your credit card. In fact, a bankruptcy might not wipe out recent charges.

What is the safest way to escape domestic violence?

For victims of spousal abuse, their relationships can seem like impenetrable spiderwebs from which they are unable to escape. With every step they take toward freedom, their abusers find another way to keep them dependent or make them afraid to leave. You and other Kentucky residents who are being abused are not in a hopeless situation, however. There are steps you can take and people you can turn to that may make it possible to escape a volatile relationship.

Having an escape plan is essential to leaving an abusive spouse, explains the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You might enact the following plan if your spouse has a short temper and has physically harmed you before:

  • Save up emergency cash and put it in a place your spouse does not know about, such as at your parents’ house.
  • Keep photos, screenshots of text messages, emergency room records and other evidence of abuse in a safe place, so you can show them in court if needed.
  • Learn the phone numbers and locations of abuse shelters, crisis counselors and police stations.
  • Gradually gather clothing, items you do not want destroyed and important documents that you will need when you are on your own and store them in your safe place.
  • Reach out to trusted friends, family members, law enforcement and counselors about your situation and enlist their help.
  • Do not feel as if you must wait until everything on your list is completed before leaving; if you are in immediate danger, call the police.

The pros and cons of plea negotiation

Kentucky residents who have been accused of commiting a crime may have the opportunity to submit a plea negotiation. But is this a good option for all situations, or can it sometimes do more harm than good?

According to the Legal Dictionary, a plea negotiation occurs when both parties in a case negotiate over whether the defendant will plead no contest or guilty to certain charges. In return, the defendant usually has their most severe charges dropped. If they were facing multiple charges, it might also be pared down so they're only facing one.

Recognizing signs that you may need to file for bankruptcy

You may have suffered financial setbacks for months or years and considered a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for a fresh start, but well-meaning friends and family members have told you that bankruptcy should be avoided at all costs. However, our team at the law offices of Lonneman & McMahan PLLC, understand that in many cases, bankruptcy can help Kentucky residents get back on their feet and remove the stressful burden from their shoulders.

First, you may wonder when the best time is to file for bankruptcy. Do you do so at the first sign of financial trouble, or should you wait until you can barely keep your head above water? According to Smartasset.com, several signs might point to bankruptcy being a good option. They may include the following:

  • You have difficulty making ends meet each month or cannot pay all your bills. Juggling your monthly expenses is a sure sign that you need outside help.
  • Your wages are being garnished or you have received notices that they are about to be garnished. Having part of your paycheck taken out to pay your creditors may worsen your financial burden.
  • You are being harassed by collection agencies and told that they are about to take legal action against you.