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Key factors in dueling will decisions

Estate plans and wills are intended to provide clarity about the wishes of a deceased individual. However, if a loved one leaves more than one will, this may lead to a will dispute.

In such instances, the court must make the final determination. There are a few key factors to know and understand in regard to dueling will decisions.

Options for resolving encroachment issues

Whether you have a great relationship with your neighbors, neighbor issues tend to arise over time. One of the most common issues is encroachment.

This can cover a few different types of issues. Should you face an encroachment issue with your neighbor, there are a few different resolutions available.

Is the HOA ineffective in resolving your noise complaint?

When you moved into your condo, you had no trouble complying with the CC&Rs set out by the Homeowners' Association. You appreciate that the HOA keeps the property well-maintained, for example, and that smoking is prohibited in common areas.

However, two sisters, both in their twenties, have recently purchased the condo above yours. They have noisy weekend parties that last until the wee hours and keep you awake. You have lodged a complaint with the HOA, but is the board taking action?

Breach of contract and its possible remedies

When you delegate a task to a specific person or party, you expect her or him to complete the work. If the party does not complete the agreed upon work within the set timeframe, or at all, you may be eligible for a breach of contract dispute.

A breach of contract has a few key parts that are important to understand. It may also be beneficial to understand the possible remedies to such a claim.

Understanding the different special needs trusts

You want to take care of your loved ones with special needs; however, if there is a mishandling of trust funds, it may cause more harm than good. Not only may the funds face taxation, but if it appears that an individual with special needs receives or has too much money, it could disqualify him or her from receiving benefits from the government.

Thankfully, there are ways around this. If you or a loved one has special needs, having a trust in place can help to protect the funds intended for care. In fact, there are a few trust options to choose from.

Common reasons a living trust must be challenged

A living trust is a good way to avoid probate and keep family finances private, but sometimes it becomes necessary to challenge a living trust. It can be much more difficult to contest a living trust, because the settlor, the person who made the trust, is still alive.

However, sometimes this is unavoidable. The Superior Courts of California lists three common reasons that a trust might be challenged:

  • Undue influence was put on the settlor in creating the trust.
  • The settlor was not competent at the time the trust was created.
  • A person who helped the settlor set up the trust would benefit from the trust (but who may not necessarily be included.)

Do you have a breach of fiduciary duty case?

A fiduciary relationship could be created under the law, such as a contractual relationship between a principal and an agent, or an administrator and an heir. It could also be created by the relationship of the parties and the transaction that has occurred  for example, a business partnership.

When trust is broken in these relationships, it can be devastating both emotionally and financially. The duties of a fiduciary include loyalty. The law and individuals both assume the fiduciary will act with integrity toward the interests of the other party in the transaction. 

How to deal with landlord and tenant disputes

As a landlord, there may be times when you and your tenants in California do not see eye-to-eye on things. Your tenants may feel there are issues you are responsible for and decide to withhold their rent until you address them. You may feel that those issues are the responsibility of your tenants and refuse to do anything about them. As stressful and time-consuming as landlord and tenant disputes can be, it is in everyone's best interest to work together to resolve them. 

Here are some steps you can take to resolve any disputes you may have with your tenants. 

Mediation as a Litigation Tool

Buffington Law Firm's civil litigation attorneys often utilize formal Mediation as a tool to conclude business litigation, real estate litigation, or trust dispute cases.  Mediation can be a very cost-effective and efficient way for our clients to achieve their objectives without the cost, stress, and uncertainty of trial.

Why most business litigation lawsuits settle

Experienced business litigation attorneys know that most lawsuits settle. In California, the percentage of civil lawsuits that settle as opposed to going to trial and verdict is usually right around 96% in any given year. This may seem odd to some observers. After all, most plaintiffs believe in their case, or presumably they wouldn't have filed it. Most, or at least many, defendants believe themselves to be blameless - and indeed some of them are. Nonetheless, when a case is filed the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the case settling rather than going to trial.

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Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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