The Jones & Swartz Law Blog
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
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
Friday, November 17, 2017
It used to be that unwanted touching was, well, unwanted. But, apparently, that is not what we want any more. Maybe we never wanted unwanted touching to be unwanted?
Here we are – 2017 – with more laws on the books to prohibit, deter, and punish unwanted touching than ever before. And, yet, we have a president that grabs women by their pussy and laughs about it. Perhaps that’s okay, though, because apparently with presidential power comes the privilege of copping a feel while having your photo taken with women?
Then, there’s the congressional privilege of grabbing women’s breasts while they sleep. That privilege comes with a photo too!
Of course, how can you blame your presidents and congressmen? It’s really not their fault. It's Hollywood’s fault. Sure. That’s where it all started. And, having watched on-screen unwanted touching, it should be no surprise to learn that unwanted touching takes place off screen too.
I mean they have to rehearse so when we pay for the big show, it is a good one, right? They are just trying to please their audience, right?
So maybe it’s our fault? If so, though, and if it is so unwanted, why do we let be? If it is our choice, can we change it?
Why do we elect leaders to the highest and most influential positions in our country knowing they want unwanted touching? Why do we keep them there? Why do we defend them and laugh off their behavior?
If we can’t change it, or don’t have the courage to change it, perhaps we should all just join them? I mean who would mind grabbing a hunk of some dick and balls now and again? That could really give new meaning to a presidential handshake.
Think about it. We could all rise to a position of power if we would just embrace how much we all really want unwanted touching.
Posted by eswartz at 11/18/2017 12:44:00 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
While the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage established the law regarding marriage rights, many are wondering what that decision means for same-sex couples in areas of the law extending beyond marriage. The United States Supreme Court’s decision ruling that the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry aligned with a prior Ninth Circuit decision striking down Idaho’s constitutional amendment restricting marriage. The Supreme Court decision impacted more than 1,000 areas of federal law that are related to marital status. This includes everything from bankruptcy filings and Medicare access to military spousal benefits and social security. In Idaho, both court rulings affect how same sex couples are impacted by Idaho divorce law including asset division and spousal support.
Regardless of whether you are in a domestic partnership or whether you have legally married your partner, there are a plethora of legal issues that same sex couples and their families face, both on the state and federal levels. The attorneys at Jones & Swartz can help individuals navigate these various issues including: complex community property laws; legal adoptions; child custody and visitation; name changes; alimony; property and asset division without marriage; and assessing the legal ramifications of informal property and custody agreements between partners. Regardless of what legal issues you and your family face, having an attorney helping to guide you through this ever changing and constantly developing area of the law can be greatly beneficial in helping you determine your current legal rights and how to go about accomplishing your goals.
Posted by eswartz at 6/29/2016 5:30:00 PM
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, 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
Monday, March 9, 2015
Idaho is among a handful of states known as community property states. Because of its designation as a community property state, many believe that, in the unfortunate event that they go through a divorce, all of the property they own is divided equally between them and their soon-to-be ex-spouse. While that is the case with some couples' property, it does not unequivocally apply to each and every piece of property in the marriage.
Idaho law recognizes a distinction between marital property and separate property. In a divorce action, marital property is split between the spouses while separate property goes independently to the owning spouse. Generally, any property either spouse owned before the marriage is considered separate property. Separate property also usually consists of items a spouse receives as a gift or individually inherits, even if it is during the marriage. Additionally, if a spouse acquires new property during the marriage through the proceeds of her separate property, that property likely remains her sole possession. The property that does not fall into those three separate property categories is generally considered marital property; however, property can change designations during the marriage.
Despite the law identifying which property is marital property and which property is separate property, many divorcing couples continue to disagree as to what category some property falls into. It is important to have an attorney that can help a divorcing spouse navigate the sometimes-complicated community property laws. A diligent lawyer can help a spouse ensure that the division of property is fair, reasonable, and in accordance with the law. At Jones and Swartz, PLLC, we passionately advocate for our clients’ interests and our attorneys are there to answer questions about Idaho law every step of the way.
Posted by eswartz at 3/10/2015 4:55:00 AM