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News & Info

Can the Will's Drafter be Sued?

Aug 22 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Recently, the Supreme Court of Virginia upheld a $600,000.00 judgment against a lawyer for drafting a client’s Will that did not meet the expectations of a third party beneficiary. In Thorsen v. Richmond Society for the Prevention Of Cruelty of Animals, the testatrix of the Will, Alice, undisputedly intended for her elderly mother to inherit her estate. The next-to-inherit was the Richmond Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (hereinafter “the Richmond SPCA”). After a short while, Alice’s mother passed away, and Alice was soon to follow.

How to Incorporate Art in Your Estate Plan

Aug 18 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Avid art connoisseurs know the importance of collecting rather than investing. However, collecting valuable art does not automatically ensure your loved ones will appreciate it as much in the future as you do in the present. Thus, it is vital to consider who will find value in your art when you are no longer around.

 

 

A Trustee and Their Responsibilities

Jul 19 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

What is a trustee?  A trustee is a legal term referring to an individual who is given powers of property, administration, or a role in a trust which is intended to benefit another.  Many people choose to be their own trustee and manage their own assets as long as they are of sound mind.  However, a successor trustee will step in and manage the trust when the original trustee no longer has the capability to do so.  

Trustees make decisions which best benefit the beneficiary.  This typically involves managing assets of a trust.  Trustees typically do not have any personal gain in the process unless a trust document specifically permits as much.  Because a trustee is in a position of high responsibility, it is vital for them to be aware of the expectations associated with their role.


What is a Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?

Jul 12 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

A covenant is an agreement which can either be express or implied.  Every rental agreement contains a covenant of quiet enjoyment that gives a tenant certain rights.  The covenant can, but does not have to be, written in the lease. 

In property law, the tenant essentially buys a covenant of quiet enjoyment with his or her monthly rental payments.  This covenant generally provides that the tenant can peacefully enjoy his or her space with the authority to express certain rights in regard to the property.  Quiet enjoyment typically applies to anything that creates a legitimate nuisance, or an unlawful interference with the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the lease premises.


Do Oral Contracts Carry Any Weight?

Jul 06 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Handshakes and oral promises are time-honored symbols of assurance, given by one party to another as a means of entering into a contract.  A contract is nothing more than a promise that the law will enforce.  However, legal contracts seem much more complicated than a handshake or merely giving ‘your word.’  Many people envision a legal contract to be stacks of paperwork in all-caps and fine print font, between two companies with transactional lawyers that have experience negotiating business deals.  In an era when contracts are easily associated with business transactions, do oral promises really carry any weight?

How to Leave Your Legacy with Non-Profits Through Estate Planning

Jun 29 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Estate plans ensure your legacy continues on to the next generation when you pass.  Testators can choose whomever the wish to inherit their life’s assets, both real and personal property.  Sometimes, in addition to having dear friends and family members as beneficiaries, an individual will want to give back to a favorite charity that has touched their life in a monumental way.  An estate plan allows testators to benefit a charity, while simultaneously encouraging the surviving family members to participate in the joys of philanthropic work. 

Individual estates have become a big supporter of non-profit organizations.  This does not mean that it is custom to pass significant sums of money upon death.  Rather, people have recently become more gracious, and this is reflected in donations left to non-profit organizations – both big and small.  


The Modern Trend of Multigenerational Homes

Jun 27 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

In modernity there is a growing trend in the real estate market that is hard to deny. American families have become interested in purchasing multigenerational homes. These homes accommodate aging parents, grown children, and other sorts of extended family all under one roof.  Why are these types of homes booming and what purpose do they serve?

Multigenerational homes are seen as ideal for numerous reasons.  First, people are trying to cut back on spending.  Based on the 2008 recession and the increasing number of young people with immense student loan debt, people are trying to live within their means. Second, people at a crossroads in their life are looking for stability.  There are adults looking to return to their parents’ home after a messy divorce and people who are having trouble finding a job to support their independent lifestyle.  Third, there are tens of thousands of baby boomers retiring, and living longer lives than the previous generation.  And finally, many grandparents are looking to be closer to their children and grandchildren in their retirement.   These are just a few reasons why multigenerational homes are growing in popularity.  But do these reasons add up to an ideal situation where three or four generations can comfortably live under one roof?

 

The Detrimental Impact of Banning Housing to Ex-Offenders

Jun 24 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Federal officials recently announced guidelines to ensure that landlords don’t enforce a blanket ban against people with criminal records from rental housing.

Research studies show that obtaining housing reduces the likelihood of repeat offenses, which is a major reason federal officials are targeting these blanket bans. Most landlords who oppose renting to ex-convicts assume that they pose a higher risk to the other tenants or their property; there is assumption that they will get in trouble with the law, again, or that they are more likely to fail to pay rent.

 

Landlord Rights: When Can They Enter Your Apartment?

Jun 20 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

As a tenant, it is important to feel that you have established a “home” in your apartment whether you live with family, friends or by yourself.  A large part of feeling at home is the sense of privacy that comes with having your own space.  Privacy, most importantly, means that people are not barging into your space unannounced and without permission—especially your landlord.

Your Digital Estate Plan: How to Manage Your Future Online Footprint

Jun 20 2016
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Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

In this day and age, people’s assets are not strictly limited to real and personal property.  Modernity has posed the issue of assets that cannot be defined by traditional property laws.  These assets exist in an online server, but still have the ability to reveal the intimate thoughts and pictorial representations of a single person’s life.  What are these law-defying assets?  Digital assets.