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West Virginia Law Blog

Divorce rate growing for those over 65

When West Virginia couples or others from around the country have been married over 50 years, the likely assumption is that the marriages are going to last. However, divorce among couples age 65 and older is becoming more common, according to a national research organization. Many of those people who thought their marriages would last forever are now facing life as singles.

Divorce within this demographic is often referred to as a gray divorce. As statistics show that the divorce rate for this age group tripled over the last 25 years, some experts are not surprised by the trend. Often, divorce among seniors is less contentious since many of the hot button issues, such as child custody, are not in play. Some simply want a fresh start as they approach retirement years.

Avoid issues when estate planning

Most residents of West Virginia and those around the country understand the importance of planning for the future and how their affairs will be handled after death. However, many fail to give estate planning the necessary attention it needs. Many may realize the need and the broad concept of making an estate plan, yet few understand the detailed requirements. This lack of understanding can lead to future issues if not addressed.

Financial experts stress the importance of having up-to-date documentation. Make sure that marriages, divorces and deaths are reflected in the naming of beneficiaries. Also, a comprehensive inventory of assets is essential. It is critical to remember that the plans are static in nature and should be reviewed on an annual basis. In addition, wills should be revised as needed.

Estate planning with no children

West Virginia residents and others throughout the country often make decisions regarding their retirement years. Estate planning may address how assets will be distributed or how health care will be handled should someone become incapacitated. In most instances, an estate and any decision-making authority will be granted to one's children. However, these choices are different for those people with no children or other heirs.

Financial advisors are encountering clients with no children with greater frequency now. Many of these clients are uncertain who will be named as executors of their estates or who will make health care decisions for them. Experts often suggest that their clients focus on charitable giving to organizations that reflect their interests.

Do you have grounds for a slip-and-fall claim?

If you have recently gotten hurt as a result of tripping, slipping and falling in a store or on someone else's property, there may be plenty of people advising you to just move on and chalk the incident up to clumsiness. 

However, you could very well have grounds to file a legal claim seeking compensation for your injuries, particularly if they are serious. Rather than dismiss your options or assume there is nothing you can do, you would be wise to ask yourself a few questions first.

Estate planning isn't something to put off until retirement

A lot of people in West Virginia think that estate planning is something you do when you're farther along in life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While we all hope for a long and healthy life, you never know when you could develop a severe illness or experience a major accident. If you fail to create a last will or estate plan before this happens, your assets could end up in probate court. Also, your loved ones may not know how to handle financial and medical issues if you become incapacitated for a long period of time or even permanently.

Estate planning early in life makes a lot of sense. Not only do you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you've provided for the needs of your family, but you know your wishes will get followed as well. Does your family know how you feel about prolonged life support, resuscitation when you're terminal or organ donation? You can include all of these critical medical decisions in your estate plan. You can even give someone you trust limited power of attorney in the event that you die or become too sick or injured to make your own decisions.

How motorcyclists can stay safe over the Memorial Day weekend

Recently released figures from AAA are projecting that Memorial Day weekend 2017 will see 39.3 million people travel a distance of 50 or more miles, the highest number since 2005. Even more impressive, 88.1 percent of these travelers will be getting to points near and far via the roads and highways.

Closer to home, AAA is estimating that the South Atlantic region of the nation, which covers Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia, will see 7.4 million people taking some type of trip -- with close to 6.6 million going by car, truck, SUV and, of course, motorcycle.

Considerations for hiring a divorce attorney

Starting the process of a divorce is a big step. You may have thought about it for awhile, even researched information online, read about the laws in your area or reviewed a few law firm websites. Meeting with and hiring an attorney is a big step in moving forward. 

Before you hire an attorney, how do you know you are making the right decision? Not all family law lawyers are the same. And you want to make sure you are able to get the information and results that you need without driving up your legal costs unnecessarily with miscommunication. Below are some ideas of good questions to ask when you interview lawyers.

3 tips for relieving a child's stress over divorce

For children, a divorce may seem like the end of life as they know it. How can they go on? What will change? Is it their fault?

As a parent, it's your responsibility to help your child handle the divorce. This is primarily a decision between you and your spouse, but your child is affected and should know what to expect from an age-appropriate conversation. Here are a few tips for helping your child adjust.

3 tips for buying the home you love

You've saved up a down payment, and you have the pre-approval from the bank in hand. You're ready to buy the home of your dreams, but where should you begin?

Real-estate transactions are relatively straightforward, but there are several tips that can help you on your path to purchasing your new home. Here are three to consider.

What you should know when buying land

Buying land is a major investment and large undertaking. Since this is your first property purchase, it is important that you have proper guidance. A real estate professional is often who people turn to for purchasing property. However, a West Virginia attorney may be more effective.

A lawyer can help you with the entire transaction, from a title exam and document preparation to escrow services and loan closing. Now that you are ready to purchase land and build the home you and your family have always dreamed of, there a few things you should consider.

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