Family & Relationships

Is Your Family at Risk for These Legal Issues?

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Not everyone has the time, money or training to be able to navigate a legal issue alone…but sometimes we run into things that seem easy from the outside.

Many families find themselves facing complicated situations, but they don’t have to face them alone. Discover a few situations below, and what you can do to remedy them if they happen to you.

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 just one person. Without realizing it, caregivers can fall into “lone soldier” mode and believe that the responsibility is theirs alone. 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: 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 the John Smiths and Sarah Johnsons straight. If your identity is stolen or it gets lost in the mix with other local people with similar names, you may not even know it’s been stolen for quite some time.

SolutionIdentity 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: 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 a will. In that case, the court can distribute the assets according to state laws – which may not be in accordance with your family member’s wishes.

Solution: The best thing to do would be to talk with 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: You found issues with your contractor’s work on your home, but kept quiet.

Finally being able to remodel and turn your house into the home of your dreams 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: Your family member chose the wrong person to execute their 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: A store tries to claim that damage to your daughter’s new smartphone is not covered by your warranty.

No parents enjoy their kids coming to them in a panic. Unfortunately, technology can provide a few opportunities for 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 the warranty has somehow been voided.

Solution: When your consumer rights could have been violated, it’s a good idea to start 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.

Need legal advice? ARAG is here for you. Family is what’s important, so don’t let the financial and emotional stress of finding a lawyer stop you from getting help. If your employer doesn’t offer legal insurance, Legal Now may be able to help.

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