Tuesday, May 5, 2020
A DIY estate plan can lead to a false sense of security because it may not achieve what you think it does. If your DIY will is not valid, your property and money will go to heirs specified by state law—who may not be the people you would have chosen. An unfunded trust will be ineffective. Banks may not accept a generic power of attorney you found on the internet. Laws affecting your estate plan may change.
Posted by eswartz at 5/6/2020 12:22:00 AM
Monday, April 27, 2020
Many Americans spend a lot of time and effort in managing their finances. While most are worried about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact their income—whether that’s because they are temporarily furloughed, find themselves suddenly without a job, or watching their investment and retirement accounts dwindle—there is another way COVID-19 can wreak havoc on American’s finances: lack of incapacity planning.
As the coronavirus continues to expand across the country, thousands of Americans are unable to carry out normal financial responsibilities because they are too ill, or they are stuck abroad and unable to travel home, or from a lack of resources due to being isolated at home.
While feeling healthy, individuals should plan ahead now and ensure that someone will take care of their financial duties by setting up a Financial Power of Attorney. This important legal document will not only protect your finances should you fall ill from COVID-19 but also fro
Posted by eswartz at 4/27/2020 9:32:00 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Medical directives may be among the most important legal documents you prepare - especially in light of COVID-19. Picking a medical agent can be tricky and we can help you think through your choice. Our Boise, Idaho attorneys can also help with any other estate planning needs you may have—whether that’s setting up a financial power of attorney, last will and testament, or a trust. Please give us a call today to discuss how we can help you and your family be prepared.
Posted by eswartz at 4/22/2020 6:36:00 PM
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The new federal tax code that may have significant impacts on divorcing spouses in Idaho beginning in 2019. Under the old tax code, a spouse paying spousal support to the other spouse either while the divorce was pending or after the divorce, was able to deduct the payments on their taxes. Typically, that was a positive for the paying spouse. The spouse receiving the payments paid taxes on the payments, just like any other income they would receive. Typically, that was a negative for the receiving spouse.
Under the new tax law, and beginning January 1, 2019, and continuing until the new tax laws are changed, the paying spouse will no longer be able to deduct their payments to the other spouse on their taxes. That is likely a negative for the paying spouse. The spouse receiving alimony will not have to count the payments as income for tax purposes. That is likely a positive for the receiving spouse.
The new rules currently only apply&
Posted by eswartz at 2/21/2018 3:45:00 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Boise has had a large number of pedestrian accidents reported lately. Be careful out there. As a driver of a car or a pedestrian, refresh yourself on the rules of the road in Idaho. Generally speaking, Idaho first requires that drivers exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian:
… every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary. Every driver shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.
(Idaho Code § 49-615). Of course, pedestrian have to exercise reason care, too, and they have to follow the traffic signals and markings to keep a driver from claiming that the pedestrian is at fault. Stay in a cross walk to have the right-of-way. (Idaho Code § 49-702). And, mind the pedestrian lights. Technically a pedestrian can only enter a crosswalk managed by a light when facing a “Flashing or Steady "Walk" (Idaho Code § 49-803(1)). A pedestrian is not supposed to enter a crosswalk when seeing a “Flashing or Steady ‘Don't Walk’ or ‘Wait.’" (Idaho Code § 49-803(2)).
The situation where a pedestrian misses the “walk” light but sees the flashing, but not solid, “Don’t Walk” light and enters the crosswalk is all too common. Pedestrians who do this do not have the right-of-way and, if hit by a car, can be found negligent.
Any pedestrian who is hit by a car should contact a lawyer immediately. Pedestrian-automobile accidents require a firm understanding of Idaho’s rules of the road. But, best approach for pedestrians is to follow the rules so they are sure to have the right-of-way. Having the right-of-way is the best defense to a driver trying to blame a pedestrian for the injuries the driver caused.
Posted by eswartz at 4/14/2016 12:17:00 AM
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Sometimes, a problem involves the law, but that does not necessarily mean litigation. Sometimes problems just need creative legal solutions. That takes creative lawyers and parties to the problem who value a mutually agreeable resolution over being found to be “right” in a court of law. While Jones & Swartz lawyers base in Boise litigate cases when necessary, they also take pride in their ability to assist clients with finding a creative legal solution.
Imagine there was one orange, but two people who wanted it. Both parties are willing to go to court to get it. There are lawyers who will take the matter right to court. Jones & Swartz lawyers will, at least, inquire if taking it to court is the only and best option. After all, by the time the dispute makes its way through court, the orange is likely to be rotten and useless to both parties fighting over it, and they will both have paid a lot in attorney fees and costs for nothing.
The party who hired Jones & Swartz is already benefiting from creative legal solutions by hiring Jones & Swartz, but for the other party to benefit as well, their lawyer needs to be more concerned about their client’s wishes than running up lawyer fees. So, let’s say the other party hires a lawyer who is willing to at least talk through things to learn if litigation is the only option. The parties and lawyers learn that both parties want the orange and all of it. As such, splitting the orange in half will not work. The lawyers and parties cannot stop there. They need to learn why each party wants the orange and whether each party’s desire excludes the other party’s desire. This takes cooperation, persistence, good lawyers to help clients focus on goals, and, best of all, not as much in attorney fees as would be spent in litigation.
Turns out, one party needs the whole orange to make orange oil. The other party wants to make juice. Turns out that neither desire excludes the other and both parties can get what they want. Orange oil is made from the peel of the orange, both the fruit. Orange juice is made from the fruit, not the peel. Now, the lawyers get to work drafting a settlement agreement to memorialize the creative legal solution of transferring ownership of one part of the orange to one party and another part of the orange to another party.
Not every dispute is as simple of this example, but it is worth at least making the inquiry into whether it could be. Look for creative legal solutions before looking to litigation. Look to Jones & Swartz’s lawyers for both.
Posted by eswartz at 3/1/2015 7:19:00 PM