Nursing Home Negligence: What Are Victims’ and Loved Ones’ Options?

It’s a sad truth—nursing home neglect is far more common than the headlines about the worst abuse cases and tragedies would have us believe. The National Council on Aging estimates that 1 in 10 Americans who are age 60 and over have experienced some form of abuse, such as negligent nursing care, but only 1 in every 14 cases ever gets reported.

And there are many seemingly small infractions that you may not have even considered—a missed meal here or there, minor falls, a medication mistake once in a while—which can constitute nursing home negligence. These little problems and other under-the-radar abuses tend to build up and should not be ignored by loved ones of individuals living in nursing homes, assisted living/personal care facilities, and larger retirement communities.

Today’s post takes a closer look at what friends and family of nursing home residents—as well as residents themselves—should be concerned about within long-term care environments.

We’ll touch on a few things to be paying attention for that could signal neglect and abuse of a care facility resident. Additionally, we’ll tell you what to do to in response. Even if you’re not entirely sure whether something is wrong, it is wise to be overly cautious and ensure that your or your loved one’s nursing facility is following the law. One of your best resources for doing so are highly experienced personal injury attorneys.

Continue reading “Nursing Home Negligence: What Are Victims’ and Loved Ones’ Options?”

Estate Planning Considerations for Your Digital Assets

Your Complete Guide to Estate Planning – CHAPTER 6

As the digital age advances and more elements of our lives move online, a trending question in modern estate planning is how to manage an individual’s intangible, electronic assets like their web presence and contents of various online accounts once they have passed away.

It’s true that some of these so-called digital assets can pass through your last will to your family members and other heirs, but there are many more that you don’t actually own the rights to. Yet, these other types of accounts still often need to be handled in some way—archived, deactivated, deleted—so that data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Today’s post highlights a few things you need to think about your digital life as you work through the entire estate planning process covered in our ongoing blog series, Your Complete Guide to Estate Planning.

Continue reading “Estate Planning Considerations for Your Digital Assets”

What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Law

What is personal injury law?

Every member of our community has a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent harming others.  When we fail to exercise reasonable care (e.g. choosing to send text messages while driving) and as a result, another person is injured, the person who failed to exercise reasonable care is responsible for the harm caused.  Personal injury or “tort” law exists to enable those who have been hurt to seek compensation for their financial losses and pain and suffering from the persons or companies responsible for the injuries.

The object of Pennsylvania’s tort law is to modify behavior by imposing the financial risk on the party in the best position to prevent the harm. Personal injury / tort claims are part of the civil justice system, which basically means that personal injury cases are separate from any related criminal cases, and only deal with harms and losses or injuries to person or property.

Seeking compensation through personal injury law means more than just filing a lawsuit. The legal rules and the knowledge of attorneys experienced with injury law also shape the investigation of the claims and the process of settlement negotiations.

Continue reading “What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Law”

Tips For Crafting Your Last Will & Testament in Pennsylvania

Your Complete Guide to Estate Planning – CHAPTER 5

Though drafting your last will—the central document in estate planning—here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may seem complicated at first, our home state actually has few solid requirements for what a will must look like. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should scribble yours on a bar napkin and sign it with a purple marker you found.

Your goal should be to create a clear and unquestionably valid document that allows your loved ones to administrate your estate with ease after you’re gone—your will is essentially a gift to your friends and family in this way. And working with an experienced probate and estates attorney on all of your estate planning matters is the best way to accomplish that goal.

This chapter in our Complete Guide to Estate Planning offers a few tips that will help you write and maintain (that’s right—this document is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing) a solid last will and testament that accomplishes your wishes while avoiding common pitfalls.

Continue reading “Tips For Crafting Your Last Will & Testament in Pennsylvania”

Advance Directives and Living Wills: What’s the Difference?

Your Complete Guide to Estate Planning – CHAPTER 4

Have you been following our ongoing estate planning post series here on the blog in recent months? If so, you’ve likely noticed that much of estate planning has to do with establishing legally valid documentation that conveys your end-of-life wishes regarding your assets and property.

Did you know that there is also specific estate planning documentation that deals with your personal health and physical body? You may have heard of these advance directives, but likely have many questions. Today’s post focuses on healthcare decision-making at times when a person cannot express their wishes, how their wishes are properly documented, and why you should seriously consider establishing these instructions as part of your unique estate plan.

This may sound relatively simple, and you’ll find that do-it-yourself forms are widely available online—after all, what’s a little bit of paperwork? However, there are many different points to consider, and even modest estates can benefit from strategizing with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that the right documents are prepared in the right way to accomplish your goals and support your loved ones.

Continue reading “Advance Directives and Living Wills: What’s the Difference?”