Brookville Legal Blog

Title insurance is an important part of any property purchase

The Pennsylvania you know today came about in 1681 when King Charles II gave the land to William Penn as payment for a debt. Even before that time, people have owned land in the state. When you purchase a piece of property or a home, it may be new to you, but it probably changed hands numerous times since at least 1681.

Why the history lesson? Well, you need to know that when you buy property here, you need to make sure you actually own it. A search of hundreds of years of land records could reveal problems with you receiving legal ownership of it. 

Disturbing facts about driving while impaired

All American states have a vast amount of statistics about motor vehicle accidents caused by impaired driving. As those of us who live and work in Pennsylvania already know, this state has its own share of crashes caused by alcohol and drugs. With all of the widespread knowledge regarding impaired driving, it is natural to wonder why these motor vehicle accidents continue to occur.

Unfortunately, there is no answer to the question of why. However, continuing to spread facts regarding impaired driving may at least reduce the statistics. Below you will find several unsettling facts about this phenomenon to share with the people you care about.

  • Nearly 10,500 people died in 2016 (the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control has figures) in motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol
  • Impairment caused by substances other than alcohol is a factor in approximately 16% of vehicle crashes
  • Every 120 seconds, a person suffers injury in a drunk driving accident
  • Those who experiment with alcohol while young are seven times more likely to experience an alcohol-related crash within their lifetimes
  • A drunk driver will operate a vehicle while impaired approximately 80 times before an arrest occurs
  • In the U.S., someone dies in an impaired driving crash about every 51 minutes

Avoid these common estate planning mistakes

During discussions with an attorney about estate planning, there is much talk about what you should do to create a solid plan. These discussions are extremely important as they inform you of the most effective ways to protect your estate and make your passing easier for your family. However, there are additional discussions that are equally important.

One of these discussions involves talking about mistakes that could render your plan ineffective during and after your estate planning efforts. This post will inform Pennsylvania residents about a few potential errors to avoid.

Is it okay to start dating while getting a divorce?

Dating during a divorce is one of those tricky areas of family law. On one hand, your spouse may not care what you do, but on the other hand, you might end up injuring your spouse's ego if you begin a new relationship so soon. As many people have already discovered, it is unwise to upset your current spouse unnecessarily if your divorce is still in progress.

There are many other reasons to resist a new relationship if you are still legally married. For example, you may not be as ready as you think you are to enter the dating scene. For your own mental health, it is wise to wait until you have emerged from divorce completely and are emotionally ready to start fresh with someone new. Additional reasons to avoid dating during your divorce include the following.

  • Pennsylvania is an at-fault divorce state, which means that your spouse could raise adultery issues before the court
  • Dating during divorce may negatively affect your final property settlement as well as any spousal support you request
  • If you share children with your spouse, your kids may resent you for dating too soon, and it may harm their sense of security and well-being
  • Avoiding new intimate relationships gives you ample time to adjust to life after divorce, which means you will foster better relationships down the road

What is the best way to resolve boundary disputes with neighbors?

Fortunately, an attorney experienced with real estate law in Pennsylvania can help property owners address boundary disputes before they grow out of hand. Several different options exist depending upon the nature of your dispute. This post will highlight some of the most effective ways to resolve unwanted boundary disputes.

Professional property surveys

Is a trust a beneficial addition to your estate plan?

You probably understand why it is important to have an estate plan in place. This step can allow you to protect the interests of your loved ones, decide what will happen to your stuff and even plan for your own health care in the future. For many, they can accomplish their estate planning goals by drafting a thoughtful will. 

While a will can provide many benefits and types of protection, you may need more than a will to get the full amount of protection you need. You may benefit from establishing a trust. This is a specific type of estate planning tool that allows you to set aside and protect assets for a specific purpose. You may want to consider whether this may be a smart addition to your estate plans.

Speeding is still a top cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents

Discussions about fatal motor vehicle accidents typically revolve around intoxication and distraction. However, there are many other reasons these accidents occur. One cause that has plagued American roadways since the invention of motor vehicles involves driving much too fast.

Breaking any traffic law could result in a motor vehicle accident, but speeding is often particularly dangerous. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), excessive vehicle speed still plays a role in almost one-third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. Worsening this issue, the GHSA believes that speeding "as a traffic safety issue" does not get proper attention.

What does it mean to fund a trust?

A trust is one of the most beneficial documents you can add to an estate plan. It helps ensure that your loved ones are provided for upon your death, and it can minimize the probate process. However, simply drafting and signing a trust document does not complete the process of creating a trust.

Wills and trusts both address your wishes for after you're gone, but creating a trust is typically more complex than drafting a will. There are many different types of trusts -- including testamentary trusts and living trusts. This post will discuss how to fund your trusts because an empty trust is a useless trust.

Estate planning 101 for residents of Pennsylvania

Estate planning has become a hot topic across the nation, and Pennsylvania residents have taken notice. In our firm, we have seen a new burst of interest in many of the topics surrounding estate planning. These topics include wills, trust, health care directives and many others. We believe that planning your estate is a healthy activity that can take the worry about end-of-life and other sensitive matters out of the equation.

Contrary to popular opinion, estate planning need not be a difficult or stressful process. While you can attempt to tackle this on your own, most people find it easier to reach their goals by working with an experienced attorney. This important step helps you identify what you need to include in your plan regardless of your estate size. The following section outlines three common estate planning elements for you to consider.

What is contributory negligence in personal injury cases?

To understand how contributory negligence applies in injury claims, you must first understand how negligence can lead to personal injury. One of the best ways to explain negligence is in a motor vehicle accident scenario.

Say you are driving along a roadway obeying all traffic laws and minding your own business. Out of nowhere, an impaired or distracted motorist comes along and crashes into the back of your car. You suffer a serious head injury, which leads to missed work and requires ongoing medical treatment.

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Brookville, PA 15825

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