Recently, an actor claimed their life was similar to the life of a member of the United States military. Their claim was disputed by other celebrities and members of the military for obvious reasons, however. We understand the stress on both the relationships of a celebrity and military families as a result of life apart due to their work. The extensive time apart is often cited as a reason for celebrity and military divorces. Members of the U.S. military and Veterans should consider the use of a prenup, a tool often used by celebrities.
Many celebrities have employed the use of the prenup to ensure both parties understand upfront what's at stake. Celebrities have inked prenup clauses addressing cheating, custody and differences in income. We wanted to walk through a hypothetical situation involving some of these issues with a military hero and their fiancé.
Who Are the Parties?
The parties include a female Army Captain with no children and a previously married civilian Contractor with two children. Both parties are 35 years of age, legally competent, and healthy enough to have children. The parties have substantial savings in their retirement accounts. Our Captain is planning to have children and retire from the Army within the next five years. The parties want to know if they need a prenup, and if so, the specific content of the prenup.
Both Parties Need the Prenup.
These parties likely need a prenup because if it's properly prepared the prenup will resolve some of their future financial and custody issues. Well before their marriage date, they should employ separate attorneys to negotiate and execute a written prenup. The Captain should consider a clause to keep her military retirement as separate property. The fiancé might request that the Captain agree to forego some or all of any inheritance if he dies, because his will leaves everything to his two existing children. He might change his mind regarding the inheritance if the couple has children. If either party is concerned with changing circumstances in the future, they can include a "Sunset clause" in the prenup to have the agreement end after a specific number of years.
The above hypothetical provides a brief example of how to prepare a valid prenup and its clauses in North Carolina. Estate and family laws differ in States regarding the enforceable content in premarital agreements. We would like to hear generally from readers about their experience with premarital agreements. As always, thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Courtesy of Fredericksburg.com
As a result of music and movies, the public has misconceptions regarding the premarital agreement, also known as a prenup. Kanye West's popular Gold Digger
song referred to a prenup and its contents of property distribution and child support. Kanye advises that "It's something that you need to have." Let's figure out if his advice will help you.
What is the applicable law for drafting a premarital agreement? In North Carolina, we look to Chapter 52B: Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. It includes the basic information under N.C.G.S. § 52B-3. Formalities. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It is enforceable without consideration. (1987, c. 473, s. 1.)
With arm's length negotiation, a couple can create an enforceable premarital agreement in North Carolina. The reasoning behind completing a premarital agreement is important to understand. According to www.ricefamilylaw.com, common reasons for this type of agreement include:
The prenuptial agreement process forces couples to lay all their financial issues on the table. Each should provide documents to explain their assets and liabilities. After the recession, use of the premarital agreement is reportedly on the rise. Take advantage of this opportunity to protect your military benefits and long-term financial future. If parties do not have a will, or have a will from a previous marriage, they should prepare a new will and power of attorney documents. The documents needed for the prenup and estate documents are similar, and so finding a family law and estates attorney will probably save money.
- Protect and pass separate property to children of a prior marriage
- Protect the spouse who sacrifices their career and/or assets for the marriage
- Protect spouse from debts accumulated by other spouse before the marriage
- Protect pre-marital assets
- Provide for elderly parents
- Avoid lengthy litigation in the event of divorce
- Shield children from litigation
- Shield a family business from insolvency
Military families are likely to move around, and for this reason an attorney must draft their prenup with these unique situations in mind. Check back for our next article that will apply the above law to a hypothetical situation involving a military hero and their
fiancé. We would like to hear generally from readers about their experience with premarital agreements and separation agreements. As always, thanks for reading!Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
We want to salute our Veterans for their military service. Our suggestion for helping United States military heroes is to donate or volunteer time. Whether you are a Veteran or not, all eligible donors are invited to donate blood on Veteran's Day. For example, the American Red Cross is holding a Veteran's Day Blood Drive from 1:30-6:30 pm at the Triad Blood Center, 650 Coliseum Dr., Winston-Salem. To find a blood drive in your area, see www.redcrossblood.org. Check back in a few days for a new blog article.
Photo of U.S. Court Courtesy of Mark Fischer
Washington hit pause on the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, but the government must act again before January 15, 2014. As a result, we encourage readers to act now in preparation for ongoing thorny legal issues. What are the concerns of lawyers regarding the shutdown? Lawyers across the nation are concerned about the potential for an attorney or litigant to miss a statute of limitation as a result of closed government offices and their delayed responses in the coming weeks. Statute of Limitations is the t
ime frame set by legislation where affected parties need to take action to enforce rights or seek redress after injury or damage. (Source: thelawdictionary.org) Most courts are open for business, so far, leaving lawyers to believe litigants must continue to meet deadlines. We addressed this issue in our suggestions to proactively deal with the current problems by consulting the professionals mentioned in our article: Tips for Dealing with Sequestration.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was one of the closed government entities, but if the government resumes its shutdown the EEOC will likely accept charges that must be filed to meet statute of limitations requirements. Check out the informative FAQ article found on the EEOC website for Veterans: Understanding Your Employment Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Guide for Veterans
. The EEOC website also provides a step by step process on How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination
. In addition, check on the status of your file with a request for confirmation that they received your correspondence or filing during the shutdown. If you feel the government shutdown unfairly affected your legal matter, you are likely not alone so consider consulting a licensed attorney to potentially use this argument to your advantage.
There are several other related legal matters that warrant attention to prepare for another shutdown. According to the VA, a government shutdown lasting more than a couple weeks will likely effect disability and pension checks and GI Bill benefits paid at the start of the month. Students should seek information and document issues regarding their education benefits at their respective financial aid office. This is a time to keep documentation as evidence because it will be essential for any appeal of an unfavorable benefits decision. It is also important to maintain records of the actual amounts received for tax purposes.
The issue of processing tax returns and refunds is expected to become a frequent topic in the coming months. It is likely best to file taxes as early as possible
once you have the necessary documentation. We would like to hear generally from readers about their experience with legal headaches caused by the government shutdown. As always, thanks for reading!Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Students have returned to schools across the country, and many of these students are military heroes pursuing more education with financial assistance from the government. Receiving in-state status is a major help, but the application and appeal process is often challenging. We found a recent case of a university denying a military hero's request for in-state status in North Carolina. In North Carolina the drafters of its laws distinguish “legal resident” from "r
esident for tuition purposes." A legal resident of North Carolina for purposes of voting is not necessarily a NC resident for tuition purposes.
Do you think owning real estate for years in North Carolina is enough to be a resident for tuition purposes? It was not enough for one of our military heroes. A recent case of the residency issue in the news involves,
Hayleigh Perez, a U.S. Army veteran. She requested in-state status from both UNC Pembroke and Fayetteville State University, the former denied her request and the latter approved it. Perez chose to attend UNC Pembroke because of its course offerings, and she appealed the denial from UNC Pembroke. UNC Pembroke based its decision on North Carolina G.S. § 116-143.1. Provisions for determining resident status for tuition purposes
. This law includes a typical requirement to live in North Carolina for twelve months before requesting residency status, with a couple exceptions. One exception is "(h) No person shall lose his or her resident status for tuition purposes solely by reason of serving in the Armed Forces of the United States outside this State." According to Perez, her family left North Carolina due to her husband's military transfer to Texas after which they returned, but the State denied her appeal in choosing to not extend the exception.
How can a military hero prove their case of residency for tuition purposes? Documentation is clearly important to the decision makers. We suggest finding the most relevant documentation based on a publication like the North Carolina State Residence Classification Manual
. The manual appears to provide the decision makers and others with the exact guidelines for making the residency determination on pp.16-18. However, military heroes and dependents transferred into North Carolina within the last 12 months can request in-state tuition from a NC community college under a different exception found on p.20 of the manual.
Additional information on financial assistance is available in our article: Military Service Qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
. We hope this information helps your pursuit of more education. Feel free to share comments and stories. Thank you for reading!
Source:Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Courtesy of Ken Mayer
Serving as Executor of an estate comes with a long list of to do items and adherence to probate and tax law. We attempted to compile some of the general information an Executor should consider when taking on this thankless responsibility of carrying out a will and protecting an estate.
Estate and probate law is in the news based on recently signed State legislation and case law. For instance, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 279, revising its law on estates, trusts, powers of attorney, and guardianship. It makes valid "a military testamentary instrument executed in compliance with 10 U.S.C. § 1044d(d) or other relevant federal statute shall also be considered self-proved." These revisions apply to estates of decedents dying on or after the effective date of October 1, 2013. Additional changes in laws will likely occur in many States as a result of the recent highly publicized decision in U.S. v. Windsor. Some probate court clerks are a helpful reference to properly complete new forms, but the clerks are usually not attorneys. Licensed attorneys will serve as the most reliable source of advice on these changes in Estate and Probate law.Serving as an Executor is not legally mandated despite the wishes in a person's will. In most cases the person named in a will can refuse to serve as Executor after the decedent's passing, or the Executor can later resign. A probate court will then name an Executor. A court's options for Executor include naming a person, corporate executor, or co-executors.
Accomplishing the Executor's responsibilities requires some knowledge of legal terminology. The most important terminology includes the following:
Most State probate courts will supply information on how to proceed as Executor, but we have included a list of important items typically performed by the Executor of an estate. This list is not exhaustive, but it should provide a good start.
- Probate: the official proving of a will as authentic or valid in a probate court (a special court with power over administration of estates of deceased persons, the probate of wills, etc.).
- Decedent: a deceased person.
- Testator: a person who has died leaving a valid will.
- Executor: a person named in a decedent's will to carry out the provisions of that will.
- Heir: In Common Law an heir inherits some or all of the property of a deceased person, as by descent, relationship, will, or legal process. In Civil Law an heir legally succeeds to the place of a deceased person and assumes the rights and obligations of the deceased, including their debts and the possessory rights to property.
- Will: it usually expresses the desires of a person for distribution of their assets, amongst other things, following their passing. States have different laws on the validity of specific types of wills (i.e. pour-over will, noncupative will, and holographic will). Learn more about a will in our article at Top 5 Legal To Dos for Veterans.
- Beneficiary: a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor. When naming a beneficiary, make sure to give enough information so they can be easily identified and located.
- Letters of Testamentary: a document issued by the court clerk which states the authority of the executor of an estate of a person who has died.
- If you know that a person named you as an Executor in their will, ask the person to provide the exact location of the will, and if possible, discuss its contents together for a clear understanding of your responsibilities as Executor of their estate;
- Request at least three copies of the Death Certificate, most likely available at the Register of Deeds;
- File for appointment as the Executor;
- After appointment as the Executor, request an EIN from the IRS;
- Create a bank account for the decedent's estate;
- Consider insurance for yourself as Executor;
- File the decedent's will within the Statute of Limitations;
- Contact Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to notify it of the decedent's passing;
- Research potential eligibility for survivor benefits, including burial expenses, which require copies of the veteran’s discharge papers, marriage certificate, and other basic information. For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000 or visit its website at www.va.gov.
- Contact Home and Auto insurance companies;
- Contact utilities to change into the name of the person taking over possession of the decedent's home;
- Contact Bank and Credit Card companies; and
- File all tax returns, including but not limited to, income and estate taxes.
Thank you for reading and please send us your comments.
Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Tom Domer at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
This past week the world lost a truly exceptional man, Tom Domer. He was my father, friend, mentor, and a frequent contributor to the development of this website. My father was a talented award-winning television producer and supporter of our Military Heroes. He always treated a work project as if it was the Super Bowl with extensive preparation and attention to detail. Not only did he execute well, he also earned and appreciated the friendship of associates. As one of these associates said recently, great humanity was one of my father's most impressive qualities. He will be dearly missed, but we will continue to celebrate him in spirit through helping others.
Over the last two years we have described some of the legal changes and programs designed to increase employment of Veterans. We have found more changes to employment laws as well as positive employment news. States are making changes to their unemployment laws that will impact Veterans and their families. In addition to legal news, we included important eligibility information to know when applying for unemployment.Statistics
It appears the government's tax incentives and programs lead to companies increasing hiring of Veterans this year. The hiring of Veterans substantially improved in the most recent quarter of 2013, according to the employment status listed in the Economic News Release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment of Post 9/11 Veterans is now at 7.4%, which is now much closer to the 7.2% rate of unemployment of nonveterans, however. It still takes eight months on average for unemployed individuals to find a job. As a result, both Veterans and spouses should be encouraged to take advantage of eligibility for unemployment benefits.Legal Changes to EligibilityEligibility for unemployment benefits is dictated by State law, and States have recently modified these laws. For instance, North Carolina recently modified eligibility requirements to drop unemployed workers if they do not immediately take an available job, see the article at Feds take issue with new NC unemployment law. In contrast, California and Vermont appear to have expanded or clarified eligibility by adding language, including: "Individuals will not be denied benefits under provisions relating to their availability for work, active search for work, or refusal to accept work solely because they are seeking only part-time work." Several other States modified language related to military service as follows: "Unemployment benefits are allowed for individuals who leave employment to accompany a spouse serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who has been reassigned from one military assignment to another
," according to the Monthly Labor Review, March 2013
States also determine unemployment for Guard and Reservists under Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members (UCX). Eligibility and filing rules for UCX vary by State. The eligibility requirements for Guard and Reservists include separating from active duty under honorable conditions, completion of their first full term of service, and active duty of 90 continuous days or more. As with all Veterans, receiving separation pay may influence receipt of unemployment compensation. To find a local unemployment office, use the Service Locator on Career One Stop. Some States have attempted to simplify the process by allowing filing in person and on the internet. Most State unemployment offices continue to require applicants to present certain documentation for an application. These items typically include a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214), Social Security Card, and work history. If you remember one thing from this article, remember it is extremely important to tell the truth in your claim application and fully report your earnings.
Thank you for reading and please send us your comments.Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Courtesy of U.S. Air Force
We have a few suggestions for improving flexibility. What type of stretching helps? There are three main types of stretching, including static, dynamic and ballistic stretches. No matter your level of activity, stretching can be done anywhere by almost anyone.
The history of stretching has roots in the likes of warrior combat and yoga. It evolved over the years to become part of sports and everyday life. Stretching is not just for professional athletes or yoga enthusiasts. Unfortunately, some studies appear to have confused recreational athletes regarding the benefits of a stretching routine.
We looked for some clarification and guidance on various CrossFit websites. CrossFit professionals have published many articles on this topic.
A few of their tips include the following:
(1) Always Start Slow;
(2) Be Consistent; and
(3) Adjust Stretching Based on the Workout of the Day (WOD).
Find the rest of the tips at Stretching for CrossFit and Special Forces Athletes. To learn more about CrossFit and stretching, read Dreams of CrossFit Greatness
, Stretching Myths
, and 9 Stretches You Should Know
Of course CrossFit stretching routines are not for everyone. Perform research and ask questions to find an appropriate stretching routine, which might require consulting your physician. Physical and occupational therapists are certainly capable of advising on specific stretching techniques. Adopt one of the professionally developed stretching routines to use at CrossFit, a yoga studio or your home. Consistent stretching has its benefits!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to endorse any of the organizations mentioned. It is intended to provide general information about fitness. Consult your doctor before beginning a diet or workout.
Courtesy of DVIDSHUB - D-Day heroes congratulate each other.