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Mind Your Own Business
June, 2019 - Issue #177
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Have an Aggressive Dog? That Might Bite You
About 89.7 million dogs live as pets in American households. It might be an understatement to say that our country loves pups; many people prefer "fur children" to the real thing. But with that many dogs, there's a high risk of bites and attacks.

What to Know if You have a Dog
Dog bite laws were different not too long ago. It used to be that owners were only responsible for their dog biting when that bite was considered vicious. In these cases, the owner could claim that they had no idea or nothing to indicate that their dog would act in a vicious way.

Because of this, the first person that a dog bit might just be considered an accident that had no legal remedy. Now, owners can be held liable virtually any time their dog attacks or otherwise bites someone.

Dog owners still have a defense against these claims, however. A dog owner could claim that the victim was partially liable for their own injuries because they either provoked the dog or did not heed warnings that the dog might bite.

If you have a dog, even one you consider friendly, keep them leashed at all times when in public. At home, make sure your fencing is secure, with no holes large enough for little hands to go in - or teeth to come out. If someone asks to pet your pup, you may want to decline if you believe there's even a small chance of a nip. Fido should relax in a quiet closed room during parties and gatherings, where new people and added stresses could make them more likely to react negatively to an unexpected touch.

What to Do if You're Bit
In the event that a dog bites you, the first thing you should do is identify the rightful owner of the dog. Is the dog a stray? Did it escape off of a leash? Establishing ownership is an important first component for a dog bite case to rest on.

After you establish who the owner is, get in touch with them for their contact information. This will help for insurance purposes. If there are any witnesses, speak with them to gain witness testimony. Make as many notes as you can and take pictures if possible. This will serve as evidence when determining liability and damages.

It is important to be evaluated by a doctor even if you think your injuries are minor. A doctor's evidence can go a long way when it comes to filing a claim, in addition to providing you with much-needed medical treatment. If you are seeking compensation in the event of a dog attack, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills as well as emotional trauma like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 661-296-2992

Valencia Country Club
Valencia Country Club
Valencia Country Club
Announces New Membership Director
Lyon Lazare Brings a Passion for Golf to Santa Clarita

Lyon Lazare has been announced as the new membership director at Valencia Country Club. Lyon is a Newport Beach,California native who was introduced to the game of golf at the early age of 7 by his grandfather, who was a PGA professional.

Lyon has always had a love and passion for the game and has competed in numerous tournaments worldwide. To this day, he still competes at a professional level. In 2013, Lyon graduated from Chapman University with his bachelor's degree.
After graduating college he began his career working as the membership sales assistant at Aliso Viejo Country Club. Wanting to further his knowledge in the golf industry, Lyon transitioned to assistant golf professional to pursue his PGA. In that position, he successfully developed multiple instructional programs and was the lead of the golf professional team.
As he continues his PGA education, Lyon brings with him a well-rounded background of both sales and golf to the membership director position at Valencia Country Club. In Lyon's personal time, he enjoys the outdoors, traveling, going to the gym and spending time with friends and family.
Valencia Country Club 799-1271
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

5 tips for Managing your Life Insurance After Divorce
Most people buy life insurance to help family members stay financially secure after the policyholder's death. Yet, when a marriage ends, the topic of life insurance after divorce is too often overlooked.

These five tips can help you and your soon-to-be-ex discuss important changes to your policies before you sign the papers:
Determine how much coverage you'll need. Examine what your ex-spouse's financial situation would be like if alimony and/or child support payments ended. Talk with an experienced agent and divorce attorney to arrive at a specific amount.

Read the divorce agreement carefully. Before you sign any documents, make sure they meet your needs and that you'll be able to comply with them. Divorce agreements are legally binding and can be difficult to alter.

Discuss duration of coverage. The time frame for any obligatory life insurance coverage varies, often depending on the length of the court-ordered alimony and/or child support. These are typically temporary needs. Ask your insurance agent about a term policy which could be used to help meet the financial obligations of raising your children or providing your ex with financial support should you pass away.

Decide who will pay the premiums. Having your ex-spouse pay the insurance company may be convenient, but if you're concerned about the possibility of default, talk with your lawyer about having payment responsibility written into the divorce agreement. Or, have your ex add you to the policy record so that you may receive duplicate copies of billing and lapse notices.

Re-designate beneficiaries. Depending on the divorce settlement, many couples will rename the beneficiaries of the life insurance on their ex-spouse to their children or create a trust to handle the proceeds of a premium. If the children are minors, consider appointing an adult custodian or trust to receive and handle the benefits on their behalf.

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
Not every family begins with a marriage. Many couples choose to remain unmarried for a variety of personal and legal reasons. Studies have shown that an increasing number of unmarried couples are living together in deeply-committed relationships. Because the relationship is not legally defined, estate planning for unmarried couples is far more critical than for married couples.

Under the law, unmarried couples are treated no better than roommates. There is no consideration for the depth commitment, promises to care for one another and even the presence of children. No rights exist to care for one another and inherit after death. In cases where the sick or deceased's family disapproves of the relationship, the surviving person can be shut out completely.

Estate planning can ensure your loved one is able to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and inherit from your estate. Properly-completed estate planning will give your loved one the powers they would expect to have if you were married. They will be included in any important medical and financial decision that needs to be made in your absence.

Although the estate tax law favors married couples, there are several other planning and contractual options that could give the same or similar results. It's Ok to have questions; it's better to have answers! Consult an experienced estate-planning attorney for details.
Attorney Michael Yeager 471-2177
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