Mind Your Own Business
July, 2017 - Issue #154
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Be Pool Smart this Summer
Swimming pool accidents claim more than one thousand children's lives each year and accidents in swimming pools account for more than one third of all child fatalities. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in children ages 14 and under, but even adults can suffer catastrophic injury or death as a result of swimming pool mishaps each year.

There are several reasons why there are so many swimming pool accidents among children. A temporary lapse in supervision is a common factor in most drowning and near-drowning cases. A child can drown in a matter of seconds - in the time it takes to answer the phone, and there is often no splashing to warn of trouble. Children are also more at risk because they can drown in small quantities of water and are at risk in their own homes from wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails and toilets as well as swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.

The owners of private pools are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for children and adults. If you or a loved one has been injured in a private or public pool, you may be able to file a claim for damages against the owner/operator of the pool. The three main components of a valid claim against the owner or operator of a pool are negligence, causation and damages.
If the owner failed to provide a safe environment, with respect to the use and operation of the swimming pool, which would include proper supervision, warnings, gating and safety and rescue equipment, the owner or operator of the swimming pool may be negligent. If the injured party suffered damages as a result of a swimming pool owner, or operator's negligence, they are entitled to be compensated for their damages.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

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Valencia Acura Celebrates 20 Years of Friendship
For 20 years, Don and Cheri Fleming have worked to create a car buying experience based on treating customers the way they themselves would want to be treated, infusing a culture of friendship. Marking two decades as Santa Clarita's "Friendship Dealership," they recently announced earning the Acura Precision Team status for an 11th year. This is the most prestigious honor that Acura can grant to its dealerships. The status recognizes those dealership teams that demonstrate superior achievement in customer satisfaction, sales and service.

Today, Valencia Acura is one of Acura's highest ranking dealerships in customer satisfaction and one of the highest in the nation for customer loyalty. And that's just the beginning of their story. Since moving to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1997, the Flemings have strived to make a positive difference in the community with a combination of financial support and volunteerism.

In addition, Valencia Acura has received Acura's Council of Excellence Award from Acura Financial Services for 13 years. Locally, they have been named "Best New Car Dealership" in the Santa Clarita Valley for the past 13 years; recognized by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce as "Medium Business of the Year" in 2001 and "Large Business of the Year" in 2016. As dealer/principal, Cheri was awarded "Dealer of the Year" by Newsweek Magazine and the American International Automobile Dealer Association in 2006 based on Valencia Acura's business practices and community involvement.
Known for its affordable luxury and defined by its precision crafted performance, there's never been a better time to buy or lease an Acura than now. So, stop by, say hello and see for yourself the exciting new Acura line-up in the showroom and experience the "Friendship Dealership" difference.
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Can You Withdraw your 401k and Still Stay at your Job?
by Arif M. Halaby

Have you ever been at your job and wanted or even needed to withdraw money from your company retirement account? After the collapse of the stock market in 2008, many rules associated with company-sponsored retirement plans were changed.
Under the prior rules, in order to withdraw money from your retirement account you had to either quit or take out a loan. The loans had to be paid back but they lost their status as pre-tax money, hence could not be rolled over into an IRA.

An "in service" rollover allowed you to remove some or all of your principal on deposit inside your company retirement account without causing a taxable event or canceling the account all together. In this scenario, the account transfers from company to company. Any company that is able to receive this type of account has the paperwork to begin this transaction. Your current company usually has its own paperwork and in some cases can do it right over the phone.

You may select one or more types of investments such as real estate, gold or fixed annuities. This can allow someone the opportunity to have actual diversification of their retirement assets and not just moving seats on the same bus. True diversification means not having all your eggs in one basket when, not if, the market collapses again.
Arif Halaby is a certified estate planner and president/CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc., a financial and insurance services company. 753-9683

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The Risks of Joint Tenancy as an Alternative to a Living Trust
Many homeowners are aware of probate and want to avoid the time and expense associated with it. The legal document that will allow you to avoid probate in California is a living trust. Nevertheless, many people don't want to take the time to create a trust and instead decide to quitclaim their home, usually to their adult children, to hold the property in joint tenancy.
This way, the thinking goes, if the adult children are now joint tenants, when the homeowner passes away the home can then be transferred to those adult children with minimal effort and without probate. Unfortunately, there are significant downsides to this approach that are potentially very harmful to the homeowner and the children that they're trying to help.

When people become joint tenants with their children, they oftentimes don't realize they're also opening themselves up to their children's liabilities. If your child holds joint ownership in your home and is involved in an auto accident, it can result in a big-time lawsuit that can take your house. If your child is married and gets divorced, your child's ownership in your house might be claimed as one of the assets to be divided by the court. If you decide to sell your home, you can't do so without the approval of all joint tenants. Joint tenancy can also lead to disastrous gift tax, estate tax and income tax problems.

Fortunately, there is a way to leave assets to your loved ones, without probate, and that is a through a properly-created living trust. With a trust, you can relax knowing that none of these scenarios will ever happen to your family and rest easy with the confidence that your assets will be distributed the way that you decide - on your terms.
Edward O'Hare, Esq. of O'Hare Law 284-5000
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