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July 2017 Archives

Benefits For Veterans

blog60.jpgLong-term care for elderly or disabled people is expensive. It is extremely difficult for families to afford the care that they need for their loved ones, especially if a family is in need of a paid caregiver or assisted living facility.
If this individual has served for the U.S. military, then they may be eligible for benefits. This will help the entire family with the financial burden. These benefits also may be available to the surviving spouses of former service members.
If someone is dealing with a disability, or even just the effects of aging, performing everyday activities could become more of a challenge. This person may need help preparing meals, dressing, walking, bathing, and so much more. As much as a family would love to give constant care and comfort to their loved one, it's not always an option. These families may turn to assisted living or a caregiver for help. These services are mostly not covered by Medi-care. There are options out there to help those who have served.
If a person is in need of help, and they served for as little as 90 days in any branch of the armed forces, Veterans Administration benefits may help by paying and providing long-term care.
If a wartime veteran has served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day in wartime period, they may qualify for a VA Pension. They must follow a certain criteria though. This criteria includes being 65 years old or older, being totally disabled, living in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, receiving Social Security Disability, or receiving Supplemental Security Income.
In order for this veteran to be eligible, he or she must have not of been dishonorably discharged. This individuals income must also be a certain amount.
Besides the pension, veterans may also be qualified for the Aid & Attendance benefit. This provides money to veterans and their surviving spouses who need help preforming daily activities. This option is also available for those who are blind, bedridden, or confined to a nursing home.
The Aid & Attendance benefit can also help pay for assisted living or nursing. If you are restricted to your home, then you may be eligible for housebound allowance. The amount you receive in benefits will depend on your annual income.
If you have a disability that is related to your military service, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation. You must apply for this.
If you are a veteran who is looking to get the help you need, you must apply with the VA. The application process could be complicated, so it's always important to contact a lawyer if you have any questions.
Source: Legal Zoom 

Security Deposit

blog61.jpgAre you planning on finally moving? Concerned about not getting your security deposit in full? There are definitely things you will want to do in order to make sure you get your money back.
If you want to get your security deposit back, you will want to make sure you are content with the conditions of your lease to begin with. If there is property that came with the apartment, then this property must remain in the apartment when you leave. If your apartment came furnished with couches, lamps, dressers, or anything else, you have to leave it. You will be charged for any unreturned items, and this means any keys as well!
You are going to want to make sure you keep your apartment in good condition. A landlord can charge you for the cost of damage if there is wear and tear to the apartment. What you consider as normal wear and tear can be very different than what your landlord considers as wear and tear. It's important to be aware of this. He or she might not be so sympathetic if a pet of yours did any damage.
You are definitely going to want to review your lease. Your lease will specify the time period for your occupancy. The most common lease options are usually month to month, six months, a year, two years, etc. When you sign the lease, you agree to occupy the space for that time frame and pay the specific rent. You can move out before this, but you are still bound by the terms. You may have to pay for rent until a new tenant moves in.
If you plan to get your security deposit back, you might want to consider the conditions that you move into. If you aren't given a move-in inspection list, then you will definitely want to make your own. Note the damages already there when you move in. Give a copy of this to your landlord.
When you plan to move, you always want to give your landlord advanced written notice. You will not want to be subject to additional fees because you did not properly inform your landlord. The time frame that tenants usually give notice is 30 days.
You will also want to notify your landlord of your forwarding address in writing. In many states, if you do not do this, then the landlord is not responsible for the same deposit refunds.
Many landlords will do a final walk through of the apartment when the tenant moves out. During this walk through, you will be able to see if you are responsible for any charges.
You either will get your security deposit back, or you will receive a letter with specific deductions and information of why your deposit was not returned. This usually happens within approximately 20 - 60 days.
According to Legal Zoom, "If your landlord doesn't refund the deposit after the seven-day notice, you can sue him in small claims court. If your landlord sends a letter on time saying he is withholding some or all of your deposit, but you think the amount is too high, you can still sue him in small claims court."
Source: Legal Zoom 

Understanding quitclaim Deeds

blog4.jpgThere are several different ways that you can transfer a real estate title. Each real estate deed has its own set of benefits and consequences. The deed will contain names of old and new owners, as well as provide a description of the property. This is signed by the person who is transferring the property. A property deed can take the form of a special warranty deed, general warranty deed, a trustee's deed, or quitclaim deed.
If you are not informed about these different deeds, we would recommend that you do your research first. If you are unfamiliar with the importance of each kind of deed, we are here to help. There is a potential for title issues. Title issues can be difficult because these issues can even arise many years after the property was already transferred. There are several factors that could lead to a potential mistake with paperwork. These errors are taking form in a new way through the digital era. Errors sometimes occur when transferring the physical copy to digital form.
Title issues will also occur when there is undiscovered issues with the property. This may include second or third mortgages, boundary issues (check out our previous blog post for more information in regards to this), or forged public documents. With the passing of time, there is an increase in the issues that may acquire in regards to the property.
Palacios Law Group will focus on quitclaim deeds in this week's blog post.
A quitclaim deed is a legal document that lets an owner transfer their ownership interest in a piece of property to a recipient, but offers no guarantee of ownership. These are rarely used when selling property. This method is useful if you are transferring ownership between family members or transferring ownership into a living trust.
The interest passes from grantor to grantee. Couples will use quitclaims in a divorce to pass the property to each other. Some states allow a "deed in trust" to transfer title to a living trust. Other states however could use the quitclaim deed.
According to Legal Zoom, "The grantee is receiving title to the property "as is," and there may be encumbrances, known or unknown on that property that the grantee is receiving."
A Warranty Deed promises or "warrants" that title is clear from any encumbrance or defect. This is the opposite of a quitclaim Deed.
Quitclaim deeds are usually filed at the recorder's office or register of deeds office in the county where the property is located. It's an easy way to transfer property but it is also considered as "buyer beware".
Ask the experts at Palacios Law Group for more information in regards to your real estate issues or situations. 

No Lawsuit? Find Out Other Ways An Attorney Can Help

Blog1.jpgJust because you are not involved in a lawsuit, doesn't mean that an attorney can't help you. There are so many times that just spending a few minutes talking to an attorney can help. If you are not an expert at law, legal aspects can be clarified by an attorney!
Speaking with an attorney can help you to make decisions. Many people try to avoid speaking to a lawyer due to the cost. There are several attorneys that provide affordable rates. There are some law firms that even provide a free first time consultation, such as Palacios Law Group! Spending a small amount with a lawyer can help you to avoid a costly mistake. You would not want to risk a costly business or personal life mistake. This won't only take money, but also your time to solve.
Having a lawyer is convenient if there is ever a time where someone threatens to sue you., refuses to comply with a contract, or if someone you had a relationship with won't follow the custody or child support order. There are times that just a simple call to your lawyer can solve the problem.
For a low fee a lawyer can even write a letter on your behalf as a way to resolve a problem instead of having to go to court.
As it was mentioned earlier, talking with an attorney can help clarify any of your questions about law that you are unfamiliar with. The law is very complex. You might have a rough idea about your options, but we guarantee that an expert can give you the best advice, and explain your options in greater detail. This can come in handy when it comes to child support, wills, health care directives, or even contracts.
The knowledge of a lawyer can be used to your advantage to help you save money, get more money, or have your wishes upheld.
When you are involved in a legal matter in which the other party involved has a lawyer, you may be put at a disadvantage if you do not have your own. In a situation like this it is recommended to have your own attorney. They will know how to handle the situation better than you.
There are plenty of legal forms involved in different aspects of law such as wills, health care directives, power of attorney, trusts, and divorce petitions. If you do not do this properly on your own, then the arrangement won't be legally binding. It is always better to make sure that you keep yourself protected. This is another situation in which an attorney is recommended.
If you are in need of an attorney, don't hesitate to call Palacios Law Group! We offer a free first time consultation. We are always here to help. 

Debt and Divorce

blog3.jpgA common issue that people wonder about when going through a divorce is, "what will happen to the debt?" Debt division is an extremely important issue, especially because the individuals involved are going from a joint dependent marriage to being independent individuals. It can be extremely difficult for a newly single person to adjust to the new lifestyle. It will especially make the situation more difficult if there is debt involved. Outstanding bills is a factor that determines a couple's net worth. The most ideal thing you could do is to pay off any debt before filing for divorce, but this isn't always possible obviously.
The most critical factor in determining the division of debt is applicable state law. The laws vary, so it is recommended that you check up on your state's laws. Most states are "common law property" states, which means debts in the name of one spouse remains the responsibility of that spouse alone after divorce.
There are exceptions to this though, even if your state is a "common law property" state. This may include debt that occurred for family necessities and for living expenses. This could be the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, or tuition for children attending school. These are considered joint liabilities.
Usually in common law property states, the judge will divide the debt. He or she may take into account different scenarios such as one individual involved running up credit card debt. Especially if this was without the knowledge of the other party involved. The judge may consider the length of the marriage, the financial situations of both parties involved, and how their financial situation has changed prior to the marriage in comparison to now.
There are other states that are considered "community property states". These states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In these states, any debt that was acquired by either party during marriage are jointly held. In states like these, debts that occurred before marriage by one spouse do not become the responsibility of the other.
You may be wondering if the laws are any different for same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions. The laws are generally the same in states that allow these relationships, but only in the states where these relationships are viewed as equivalent to marriage.
According to Legal Zoom, "not surprisingly, in community property states, since most debts are jointly owned, a creditor can generally go after joint property and income to cover such joint debts." In most common law property states, joint property may be seized for debts that occurred for family necessities and living expenses. Debt held by one spouse does not usually entitle a creditor to go after a joint property though.
"Another consideration may be if real estate is held in "tenancy by the entirety," which means that each spouse owns the undivided whole of the property. "
If a couple has a prenuptial agreement, that includes a provision for debt division upon divorce, its terms will be upheld by the court.
If you still have questions, and are in of legal advice from a lawyer, Palacios Law Group is always here to help. We are the experts at family law and divorce. 

Common Neighbor Disputes:

blog2.jpgFor most people, especially living in New York, you have to deal with neighbors on the day-to-day basis. Your neighbors can come from a variety of backgrounds. Their lifestyle might not be the same as yours. This could potentially cause conflict down the line. Understanding typical neighbor disputes can help you when you are in need of legal advice or understand how to avoid the situation.
It is common that neighbors get into disputes over property boundaries. In order to resolve the issue, you are going to want to be informed. There are property surveys done at the time of the purchase that reflects the boundary lines. In order to determine the accurate boundary lines, an updated survey could be ordered. If a survey does not resolve a boundary dispute, the property owner may file a quiet title lawsuit. They can request that the judge determine the boundary line. This is a more expensive method than a survey. It is recommended to get a survey if that is an option that is attainable.
Another option for a boundary dispute is for the owners to agree on some object as a line dividing the property. The owners would then sign a quitclaim deed to the other. This grants the neighbor ownership to any land on the other side of this line.
Another common dispute that neighbors may have is if one neighbor blocks a scenic view. In a situation like this, it all depends on where you live. You may have a few options.
Cities and towns near the ocean, with views of the mountains, or have nice views usually have view ordinances. Many of these laws do not include obstructions other than trees. Usually if a homeowner loses their view due to a neighbor growing tress, they can sue this neighbor. If your city lacks a view ordinance, other homeowners' association rules could be enforced.
A method to avoid a situation like this is to purchase an easement from your neighbor. This is a written contract granting a nonpossessory interest in another individual's land.
Another dispute that can happen between neighbors is if there is any damage done to your property due to a neighbor. This can often be from water damage. If a neighbor has altered his property in some way that causes more water to run onto your land than would otherwise, then your neighbor is liable. If you can prove that your neighbor is responsible for this damage, then you may be able to collect damages. Some of these damages include the cost of repairs, cost of staying at a hotel while your home is being fixed, any medical bills that are a result of the damage, and punitive damages if your neighbor was acting maliciously.
Although there are many other neighbor disputes, the final common dispute that will be discussed is noise complaints. In most communities there are laws and ordinances that prohibit excessive noise. There may be certain set times during the day that are general quiet times.
If you need to talk to a neighbor about their noise, it is always the best solution to talk rather than shout at them. You can give them a warning by sending them the local noise ordinances if you need to. Meditation is a method to sit down with your neighbor to hash out the problem. If nothing has worked, you can always resort to calling the cops.
These are just some typical neighbor disputes. Find Law covers a variety of other typical problems, and methods for solving it. Check out the source below for more information! 

Foster Care

Foster_Care.jpgConsidering becoming a foster parent?
There are so many children who have been orphaned or removed from their homes. These children are looking for a stable and loving environment. Not everyone chooses to adopt a child. There are other individuals or families who choose to be foster parents. Foster care provides these children with the care and support that they need. These arrangements differ from adoption because these are temporary situations. Sometimes foster care can lead to adoption though. 

Busting Myths About Immigration

BustingMythsAboutImmigration.jpgWith so much talk in the media about immigration as of lately, it is not surprising that there is some misinformation. There are many myths about immigration and immigrants, leaving people to not actually know the truth. It's important to always ask someone where they got their information from in regards to immigration.
The first misconception that people have in regards to immigration is that most of the immigrants here are illegal. That is simply not true. Although the United States has had an increasing amount of illegal immigrants and it has become a big issue for our country, does not mean that all of the people who are immigrants are illegal. According to statistics of the 43 or more million of foreign-born people who were living in the U.S. in 2014, 44 percent of those individuals were naturalized U.S. citizens. 27 percent that did not fit in that category were green card holders. Around 25 percent were unauthorized. Experts estimate that out of those people around 40 percent let their visa expire.
Many people have this misconception that it is easy to enter the U.S. legally. This is not the case anymore. At a certain time the U.S. had an open immigration policy. This allowed any able-bodied immigrant to come in. This is no longer the case. There are now many restrictions and rules which specify who can and cannot enter. The process is also a lot more timely. Those looking to become legal immigrants must have all the proper documentation filled out. Since the amount of people who can stay in the U.S. is so limited, these individuals must be highly skilled, escaping political persecution, or are joining close family that is already here. 

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