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BY: LORIE D. FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

People often wonder why the law is so complicated. Isn’t it all just written down in a Code book created by the legislature (or Congress) so anyone can look it up?  There it is, in black and white.  Have a problem?   Is something legal or not?  Look up the answer in the book.

The problem with that approach is that the law is about people and what they do or don’t do.  And people are complicated, really complicated.  Read more…

BY: THOMAS J. SCRIBNER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

We live in troubled times.  Though I have lived in Utah since 1973, I was born and raised until then in San Bernardino, California.  The recent tragedy there was personal.  I have two close family members who are police officers in that county and many relatives who still live there.  I am grateful to live in a country with an established set of laws and procedures to deal with these kind of problems.  They certainly aren’t perfect, but without them we would dissolve into anarchy.  It wasn’t that long ago in Great Britain where safety was in how strong your master’s castle was and if he had better knights than the other guy. Read more…

BY: PHILLIP E. MILLER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

Last quarter my news article was a primer on the difference between wills and trusts.  Hopefully you are now prepared to go to your attorney and say, “I want a…”. What I did not do is go into much depth on how your trust will work.  How does it skip the probate process?  Do you lose control of your property?  In this article you will get the rest of the story. Read more…

BY: LORIE D. FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

In spite of the stories you hear, most lawyers are honest, hard-working, and sincerely interested in providing the best service possible for their clients.  However, every once in a while a case comes along that eventually takes on a life of its own.  When this happens it can be because one or both of the parties are crazy, or one or both of the attorneys are unreasonable. If this circumstance is combined with enough money, the results will certainly end up in the appellate courts.The results are published so all lawyers will understand the law in the areas in dispute. Read more…

BY: PHILLIP E. MILLER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

As an associate attorney, I have had many friends and family taking an interest in the wills, trusts, and estates portion of my practice.  When they realize that I do indeed do wills and trusts they realize that, like everyone, they too will die someday and they will need a will and/or a trust.[1]  After they realize that they need a plan they realize they have no idea what that plan should look like. So their next question is always, “do I need a will or a trust?”  It is a very complex question but there are a few basics that make the decision easier.  Read more…

BY: THOMAS J. SCRIBNER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

As I was finishing up law school in an Advanced Estate Planning class, I received some counsel I have never forgotten.  The professor, Stan Neeleman, explained that when working up an estate plan, we should place all of the options and ideas on the board and then find the simplest way to meet the goals, as the more complex the plan the harder it is to manage.  A case in point:  over the past few weeks I have met with two different clients regarding the mechanisms of what’s known as an A/B trust, a widely used trust to help minimize gift and estate taxes.  From 1983 to the early 2000’s a person’s estate could go to $600,000 before it was taxed. However, clever lawyers figured out a way to double that amount when a couple is involved. The mechanics work like this: Read more…

BY: PHILLIP E. MILLER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

       There are several statutory reasons that a landlord can try to evict a tenant.  However, breach of a well drafted contract is the most direct route. Often times, the contract is the first place an attorney will look to see if the tenants’ actions are actionable.  The contract governs the relationship between the two parties.  If terms are vague or ambiguous it makes interpretation and therefore enforcement of the contract much more difficult.  If you are thinking of renting property it is usually worth the legal fees to have a contract drafted by an attorney as opposed to a “fill in the blank” contract. Read more…

BY: THOMAS J. SCRIBNER

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

      Laches. Now here is a word you don’t hear very often unless you are a lawyer drafting an answer to a complaint.  The doctrine of laches is an important one to understand as you go through life, especially if you deal with land or other “things” that may be out of your control or difficult to check on.  After you learn about it, it will probably make sense. Read more…

BY: LORIE D. FOWLKE

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

       Like most states, Utah has a law authorizing premarital agreements, sometimes called prenuptial agreements, or “prenups.” The statute in 30-8-6 Utah Code, states:

30-8-6. Enforcement.
(1) A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that:
(a) that party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or
(b) the agreement was fraudulent when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement, that party:
(i) was not provided a reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party insofar as was possible;
(ii) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
(iii) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party. Read more…

(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)

 

I read this the other day and thought it was worth sharing. I’ve copied it here below for your ease, see below for the link. If you are looking at an imminent divorce you should be aware that attorneys are becoming more aware of the uses of social media in a courtroom. If you’re feeling anger or rage, I suggest you do NOT share you frustration in an online public forum. Posts on social media forums never truly go away, and you can never really know who will see it. The original article follows:

“Since our offline and online lives are so intertwined, here are five things you need to do fast when a divorce is on the horizon.

Read more…