Family & Relationships

Are You at Risk for These Uncommon Family Problems?

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No one likes to hear the words, “I’ve never heard of that before,” or, “that’s the first time this has happened.” Much like researching a health problem and finding that your symptoms slightly match a very uncommon and incurable disease, finding out that you have an uncommon legal issue can leave you feeling just as nervous.

Many families find themselves facing complicated situations, but they don’t have to face them alone. Discover what kinds of unusual family problems affect many people in the United States, and what you can do to remedy them if they happen to you.

Problem: Your identity was stolen because your family has a common name.

If you’re a Smith or a Johnson, you know how common it is to meet another person with your same last name. Unfortunately, identity thieves know it too. It’s easy for thieves to create email addresses and other information based off of people with common names, and credit reporting agencies often have a hard time keeping all of the John Smiths and Sarah Johnsons straight. If your identity is stolen, and it gets lost in the mix with other local people with similar names, you may not even know your identity had been stolen for quite some time.

Solution: Identity theft is a major problem, and getting your life back together can take time and work. If you have a common name, investing in identity theft protection might be a good step for you and your family.

Problem: Your family assumes that one person is responsible for caring for a sick or elderly family member.

No matter the family’s intentions, giving care to a sick or elderly family member too often becomes the responsibility of one person in the family. Without realizing it, caregivers can fall into “lone soldier” mode and believe that the responsibility falls completely on their shoulders. This emotional state is not beneficial for any caregiver’s mental or physical health.

Solution: Talk to your family about dividing up the responsibility of caregiving. You can even set up a schedule of who will be doing what, and when. If things start to get rocky, find a place that you can turn to that will offer sound legal advice when you need it.

Problem: You can’t find the will of a recently deceased family member.

When a family member passes away, there is much more to manage than most people realize. If you are the executor of the estate, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all of the financial and material aspects are taken care of, but that’s kind of hard to do if you can’t find their will. In that case, the court will distribute the assets according to the state’s laws which may not be in accordance with your family member’s wishes.

Solution: The best thing to do would be to talk with your family members and ask them about their wills. If they haven’t created one yet, urge them to do so. If you are currently dealing with a deceased family member’s estate, speaking with an estate attorney could help with its administration.

Problem: Your family member chose the wrong person to execute his or her estate.

It can be frustrating watching an incapable person attempt to settle the estate of a deceased family member. Whether things are going wrong, or the responsibilities are not being met, you don’t want to see your loved one’s estate mangled.

Solution: An estate attorney can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to family issues like this. There are several legal rights that a family has, and identifying a qualified executor can help you avoid repeating this problem.

Problem: You found issues with your contractor’s work on your home, but kept quiet.

Finally being able to remodel and turn your house into your dream home feels like a great accomplishment. However, noticing problems with your contractor’s work is a big deal. You might think that small issues here and there won’t be a big deal, until something breaks. Since you didn’t speak up right away, you may feel like you don’t have any other options but to pay the bill and fix the problem yourself.

Solution: Meeting with an attorney who practices in the area of contracts can help you find a way to make sure that you contractor has to finish the job before you pay. It’s also a great idea to have an attorney create contracts for such projects to protect your rights.

Problem: A store tries to claim that damage to your daughter’s new smartphone is not covered by your warranty.

No parents ever like when their kids come to them in a panic. Unfortunately, technology can provide quite a few instances of this. When a brand new smartphone starts to act possessed, your first thought is to take it back to where you got it from so they can fix it. However, some stores might refuse to fix your phone for free, stating that you somehow have voided your warranty.

Solution: When your consumer rights could have been violated, it’s a good idea to start your journey with a call to an attorney. They can give you tips and tricks that you can use to get what you deserve. Another solution is to read your warranty and other purchasing documents carefully before you make a purchase.

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