Mind Your Own Business
January, 2018 - Issue #160
courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

An Informative Example of a Car Accident Case Settlement
A client was involved in a car accident when the other party pulled out of a driveway directly into her path, resulting in a moderate-impact collision. As a result, the client's car was damaged and she suffered back and neck injuries, requiring neck surgery. Even though the police report placed the other party at fault, the other party's insurance company disputed the claim based on liability/fault and injuries.

The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus demanded settlement prior to filing a lawsuit; the other party's insurance company offered $15,000 to settle the case. The law office was forced to file a lawsuit and aggressively litigate the case. After extensive litigation and discovery, they convinced the insurance company to do the right thing and settle their client's case for its full value in the amount of $486,000. Mediation, arbitration and a trial were not necessary. This saved their client thousands of dollars in costs as well as the delay and uncertainty associated with a trial.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

Gerald L. Marcus Named 2018 Super Lawyer for Fifth Year in a Row
One of California's winningest injury attorneys, Gerald L. Marcus, owner of The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, was again named a 2018 Super Lawyer; this is the fifth year in a row for this prestigious honor. Marcus has also been recognized as Top Lawyer in California by multiple bar associations, Nation's Top 1% by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Man of the Year by Time Magazine for Excellence in the Law and many, many more.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

Giving Back, Building Community
One of the reasons that Santa Clarita is such a desirable community to call home is because our residents are incredibly committed to quality of life for all. We work hard to make our schools, neighborhoods and nonprofits better and we invest in those who might otherwise struggle. It's not perfect; people and places sometimes fall through the cracks. In 2018, RE/MAX of Valencia and Santa Clarita will invest even more time, energy and resources into this community we call home - and hope you'll do the same. Consider setting up a convenient monthly donation to a local nonprofit, helping your children organize a canned-food drive, donating your services to a local school or shelter or volunteering as a pet foster. When we all try a little harder to make life better for everyone, we also make it better for ourselves.
RE/MAX of Valencia & Santa Clarita 702-4500

Bringing your Brand to Life
As Simon Sinek presents in his book, "Start With Why," every organization knows what they do, most know how they do it but very few know why they do what they do. The experienced team at WeKreative has been helping organizations across the country understand the "why" and then present it creatively using print, digital, social, web and video for over a decade. Effective branding is far more than a logo. Each interaction a customer has with an organization leaves a lasting impression and when branded correctly each marketing piece, personal interaction and product will reflect why your organization is unique. WeKreative is a boutique design and marketing firm focused on developing cohesive identities for, and building long-lasting relationships with, organizations that love what they do and are driven to exceed expe ctations. To begin bringing your brand to life, visit them online.

Wicall's Carpets Celebrates 50 Years in Santa Clarita
For five decades, the family-owned and operated Wicall's Carpets has provided Santa Clarita with exceptional service, selection and affordability. Boasting one of the largest floor covering showrooms in the community, their selection of carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl and tile, has loyal clients shopping decade after decade. As is standard for the one-stop flooring shop, Wicall's will be celebrating their anniversary by gifting their beloved Santa Clarita with slashed prices and anniversary sales.
Wicall's Carpets 259-6040

The Saddest Meetings Of All
by Edward O'Hare
There are a lot of reasons parents will come into my office. Ensuring that their loved ones will be blessed with their life's work is important, but often that will take on secondary importance to making sure children will be properly cared for in case of the unthinkable. I'll often hear "I want to make sure my kids are okay if the worst happens and I'm no longer here to provide and care for them."

It's an incredibly tough thing to think about - let alone discuss with a stranger. That's why I work so hard to make my office look and feel like the safe place it is; hard conversations are best to have when you know the person on the other side will tread softly.

Recently, a potential client said to me, "So, what happens if I don't have a legal plan in place - and I die before my kids are adults? We're okay, as long as the life-insurance policies go to the people we want to care for the kids, right?"

Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. You see, when you take care of your estate proactively, you get to decide who will care for your children in the case of your death. You have the luxury to nominate Person A, who will keep your children in their school district, near their friends and enrolled in piano. As life happens you can always adjust who you want Person A to be. You can also name back-ups. But without Person A denoted in a Will, it can - and often does - get messy. I hear and see families fighting over money when there is no estate plan in place, but those exchanges are never as heartbreaking, or drawn out, as when families fight over who gets the kids.

I'll be honest; they're devastating - even for a practiced professional. "His" side, "Her" side, "Their" side - everyone gets a lawyer, scans years-old e-mails hoping to find "evidence" of your wishes and petitions the court. Alliances are sometimes made - and relationships always broken. In the end, the court - not you - will decide who will parent your beloved children. And, while it happens, the kids wait months, sometimes over a year, to find out their fate. These are, by far, the saddest meetings I ever take part in - and what makes them even harder to swallow is that they don't have to happen - ever.

If something were to happen to you, your children would certainly need the comfort and security that comes with knowing their next step - and, probably, next home. Please don't wait to have this conversation with an attorney who specializes in estate planning. You'll spend, on average, about $2,000 to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, if something truly awful happens, your thoughts will not be filled with worry about who, and how, your children will be cared for.
Edward O'Hare of O'Hare Law 284-5000
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