Monday, May 18, 2020
Having an updated last will and testament is more important than ever, especially now. However, a will that is poorly created or not frequently updated can be vulnerable to contestation. What is contestation? It is the formal objection to a will’s (or trust’s) validity because it either: a) doesn’t reflect the wishes of the person who created the will, or b) because the will does not meet legal standards.
Will contests should be avoided at all costs. Not only can a contest derail your final wishes, but it can also rapidly deplete your estate and wreak emotional havoc on the family members left behind. Fear not. With proper planning, you can prevent that from happening.
Posted by eswartz at 5/19/2020 2:43:00 AM
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
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Injuries from car accidents may not be limited to the car accident itself. Certain vehicle designs or malfunctions may make injuries worse. Injuries caused by a seat belt failure, air bag failure, seat-back collapse, roof collapse, or other defects or failures may be the cause of catastrophic injuries that otherwise would not have been suffered in a car accident had the failures of defects not occurred.
If you are in a car accident, do not overlook the possibility that the person who causes the accident is not the only one who is at fault. Careful consideration should be given to whether a car manufacturer is to blame for some or all of the injuries.
Jones & Swartz PLLC not only handles car accident injuries, but also handles injuries sustained from car defects. Contact an attorney who understands the signs of car defects.
If you are in a car accident contact Jones & Swartz PLLC without delay. In addition to assisting you with your car accident claims against a liable third party, we can assist you with evaluating whether you have a claim against a car manufacturer, and if so, assist you with preserving your car – the evidence of you need to further explore and possibly pursue a car defect claim.
Posted by eswartz at 4/13/2015 1:07:00 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
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Proper exercise of law enforcement power is respectful, and appreciated. Improper use of law enforcement power is terrifying.
Law enforcement officers in our country are vested with great power. Used correctly, this power can keep our communities safe. When used incorrectly, however, our civil liberties are lost.
Civil liberties are what allow us to be who we want to be. Freely speak, freely choose our own religion or none at all, freely move state to state, among other rights. These rights should be respected and the loss of these rights should be feared.
Exercising civil rights and raising civil rights violations should be applauded, not punished. Equally so, law enforcement who recognize, protect, and refuse to violate civil rights should be applauded.
Civil rights belong to each of us – including those who serve as law enforcement officers. We have to work together to preserve our civil rights. That includes law enforcement having the courage to admit when civil rights are violated and putting measures into place to ensure that civil rights are not violated again. Protecting our civil rights also includes having the courage to speak out in support of civil rights and having the courage to raise civil rights violations so that, hopefully, the violations will not happen again. For law enforcement and citizens alike, civil rights are worth fighting for – they give each one of us freedom of choice and the right to be free from persecution because of such choice.
Recently, Idaho gained national attention when its legislature voted to allow guns on college campuses. Whether you own a gun or not, and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with guns on campus, the national attention that the guns on campus bill received has branded you, as an Idahoan, as carrying a gun. Now, how would you like to be pulled over while traveling in another state just because you have an Idaho license plate on your car and the officer is convinced that you are carrying a firearm illegally through their state? Is the civil right to travel state to state without being harassed because an officer associates your license plate with something illegal a right worth fighting for? Darien Roseen thinks so.
Mr. Roseen is a seventy year old retiree. He was traveling through Idaho following his daughter’s baby shower in Washington. Upon crossing from Oregon to Idaho his Colorado license plate was spotted and he was immediately pursued by an Idaho State Trooper. Mr. Roseen was stopped, detained, was deprived of his property, and was extensively searched because the Idaho trooper who stopped Mr. Roseen was certain that Mr. Roseen’s Colorado license plate meant he was in possession of marijuana. He was not. But, he was, and still is in possession of the courage to fight for civil rights and has filed a lawsuit to do that very thing.
I no more wish to be stopped by law enforcement outside of Idaho because an officer believes my Idaho license plate believes I am in possession of a firearm, than I wish Idaho police to stop interstate travelers based on a perceived profile associated with their license plate. License plate profiling is not worth fighting for. The civil rights that such profiling violates are, however, and Jones & Swartz PLLC is honored to be fighting for the same.
Posted by eswartz at 3/29/2014 9:38:00 PM
Sunday, March 2, 2014
You want what yours and you want it now. We all do.
When it comes to real property, you may be getting more, or less than you bargained for - depending on what sellers and buyers agreed upon. In Idaho, it is important to have a property lines surveyed to ascertain the correct boundary lines before undertaking any project involving boundaries of real property. Assuming to know where the boundaries lie could result in one party losing some property and another gaining some property. In Idaho, if two adjacent landowners agree on the boundary line between their property, that may become the permanent boundary - even if it is not the actual property line. Even if the landowners do not know where the actual property line is located, and guess, it may constitute a binding agreement for the actual property boundary.
The mutually agreed boundary may become the permanent for all future purchasers. A simple survey could easily ensure that the boundary line is correct.
If you are buying property, hire a surveyor, first. If you have a dispute about your property lines, hire an attorney, first, and a surveyor, maybe, next.
Posted by eswartz at 3/3/2014 12:24:00 AM
Friday, February 21, 2014
Deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit involves more than answering “yes” to whether you have been wronged. Many other factors must be considered before you pull the litigation-trigger. For starters, how much money are your really out because of someone's wrongful action? How much money do you have that you are willing to put into fighting a legal battle? How much time and energy do you really have available to commit to litigation? How much time and energy does your family have available to commit? What are your goals? What are the risks? Is there a solution other than litigation that could meet your goal?
It is natural that you would be really angry shortly after being wronged. But, jumping head-first into lawsuit may not be the best option. Your frustrations caused by someone else doing you wrong will not go away just because your find an attorney willing to file a lawsuit. It may be that such an attorney wants your more than they want to help you resolve your situation.
Litigation is intrusive, time consuming, expensive, and unpredictable. And, it may not be the answer you are really looking for.
Get help deciding whether pursuing a lawsuit is the best thing for you. There are other options. Contact the attorneys at Jones & Swartz PLLC today to discuss what options may be the most productive for your end goals.
Posted by eswartz at 2/21/2014 11:49:00 PM
Friday, January 10, 2014
Tough times are sometimes made worse by the loss of your job or your partner’s job. One public benefit available to many folks who have lost their job is unemployment compensation. It is the public policy of the state of Idaho that:
Economic insecurity due to unemployment is a serious threat to the well-being of our people. Unemployment is a subject of national and state concern. [Idaho Code Title 72, Chapter 13] addresses this problem by encouraging employers to offer stable employment and by systematically accumulating funds during periods of employment to pay benefits for periods of unemployment. The legislature declares that the general welfare of our citizens requires the enactment of this measure and sets aside unemployment reserves to be used for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. I.C. § 1302.
In order to receive unemployment compensation you must satisfy certain qualifications. Three of the most prominent qualifications are that: 1) your job loss cannot be due to quitting or leaving voluntarily; 2) being fired cannot be a result of your own misconduct; and 3) you must actively look for a new job following the loss of your job. I.C. §§ 72-1366(5) and (6). Several other criteria must also be met. Contact the Idaho Department of Labor for help filing a claim for unemployment benefits: www.labor.idaho.gov.
If your claim for unemployment benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal that decision. You must file an application for appeal within fourteen days after you receive the denial of benefits. I.C. § 72-1368(3)(c). After filing for the appeal, you will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to a fair hearing. I.C. § 72-1368(6). Both you and your former employer have the opportunity to submit evidence and testimony to the appeals examiner at the hearing. I.C. § 72-1368(6). If you disagree with the decision of the appeals examiner, you would have the opportunity to request a rehearing. But, you must file that request within ten days from receiving the appeals examiner’s decision. I.C. § 72-1368(6).
As an individual claiming unemployment benefits, you have the right to be represented by an attorney, if you so choose. I.C. § 72-1375. However, that attorney would have to be hired by you personally on terms agreed to between you and your legal counsel. The deadlines for filing for an appeal or rehearing are short. If you need legal assistance do not delay in hiring an attorney.
Posted by eswartz at 1/10/2014 10:30:00 PM