Family & Law

Why it is Important to Have a Living Will

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Family & Law | 0 comments

There are many reasons why everyone should have a living will, and not just for those who are advanced in years. Accidents and sudden illness can happen to anyone at any time, and loved ones and relatives are left to make life and death decisions for an individual who is unable to communicate their wishes regarding their physical disposition.

A living will is the written statement by an individual who wants to retain control of their health decisions even if they become incapacitated. It is a legal document that may also be referred to as an advance directive, a physician’s directive, or health care directive. Essentially, it lays down the wishes of the testator regarding health and medical treatment decisions.

For example, if Tony is involved in an accident that leaves him in a comatose state, he can only be kept alive using machines. Most relatives would be reluctant to “pull the plug” even if the doctor says there is very little chance that Tony will survive without the machines. He has a living will that states he does not want to be put on a respirator. In such cases, the relatives have little choice but to follow his wishes.

A living will eliminates the emotional turmoil that survivors feel when making medical treatment decisions for an incapacitated loved one. The testator can make a living will with the assistance of a physician and a living will lawyer. As pointed out on the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, you will want a lawyer who specializes in these types of documents, because it requires divulging very personal information. These professionals can guide the testator on the appropriate terms for a living will, and the appropriate person to designate with health care power of attorney. This is the power to make health care decisions for you in cases where the living will does not have a specific directive.

A living will may seem macabre, but it is as important as having life insurance. It eliminates a lot of uncertainties and eases the burden for those you leave behind.

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The Basis of Court Decisions on Child Custody Cases

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Family & Law | 3 comments

There are many factors considered in determining divorce-related issues and states actually differ with regard to which factors count or do not count. This is the same in specifically determining the issue of child custody, except for the fact that all states share one guiding principle to arrive at a most favorable decision: “the best interest of the child.”

What actually may be considered as falling within the scope of “in the best interest of the child,” can definitely be contested, however, the following factors have been deemed necessary to be included: the amount of involvement each parent has in the child’s activities; the level of relationship the child has with each of his/her parents; a parent’s lifestyle, stability, and health which can affect a child’s academic performance; the child’s age and gender; and/or, the health risks and safety of the environment where each parent lives.

Divorce, as pointed out by the BB Law Group PLLC on its website, can be a very emotional and demoralizing process. Yet, when spouses reach a point in their relationship where still living their future together becomes more of a struggle than a source of happiness and fulfillment, many consider divorce as the only sensible option. But there are many issues that need to be settled due to divorce, such as division of liabilities and assets, alimony, child support and, probably the most painful, the issue on who takes custody of the child.

According to the website of Alexander & Associates, when handling child custody cases, as well as other legal matters that involve former spouses and family members, it is best to acknowledge the sensitivity and the complexity of the issue that need to be settled. Still, regardless of how emotional the proceedings may go, the firm’s commitment in protecting and fighting for its client’s legal rights and interests never waver. The firm is also committed to protecting the children or close family members who may effected by difficult divorce proceedings as much as possible.

Before the close of the 19th century fathers enjoyed the right to child custody, thanks to the Property Law and inheritance issues. The start of the 20th century, however, witnessed a change in the perception of the courts, which decided to transfer custodial right to mothers, who were acknowledged as better caretakers of young children; this belief actually served as the basis of The Tender Years Doctrine, which lasted until the 1970s.

Today, so long as both parents are found fit by the court to continue caring for their child, and for the child not to be denied of the love and care of both parents, courts decide to award joint legal and physical custody, which gives the spouses equal time with the child as well as equal rights in making decisions for the child’s well-being. And where a child’s well-being is the major concern, the law firm of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, states on its website that no matter how challenging the legal process is, there is often a way to arrive at a solution or a court decision that the divorcing couple will find agreeable.

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