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Why is estate planning key, even for singles?

Many individuals who are tasked with saying what comes to mind when they hear the term "estate planning" often mention wealthy, elderly individuals with kids drafting wills. This phrase means so much more than that though. Estate planning is an important process that all individuals, including those who are young, single, childless and have little means should also engage in.

Single individuals should draft wills even if they don't have kids. Everyone needs to appoint an executor of their estate to settle up with their creditors, to file their final tax return and to pay any estate taxes that they may owe. If you don't have any kids and have decided to place your money in a revocable trust, then you may wish to have your executor designated as the beneficiary of it.

How can you tell if police violated your rights during an arrest?

It's frightening and overwhelming to face criminal charges, especially those pertaining to drunk driving. Will you lose your right to drive? What will this mean for your future? Even a first offense can seriously impact your life, and it's worthwhile to work diligently to defend your future interests and keep your criminal record clean. 

One of the first steps for developing your DUI defense is to determine whether you experienced a violation of your personal rights in any way. This includes during your interaction with North Carolina law enforcement and your arrest. If you did, this could be sufficient reason to challenge your arrest and the entire case against you. It may be helpful to learn more about what to expect from a DUI arrest.

Drug use can also get you charged with a DWI/DUI

When many people hear that someone has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), they often think that someone got behind the wheel of their car while intoxicated from alcohol. However, countless individuals are charged with DWI/DUI after driving under the influence of over-the-counter remedies, prescription medications or illegal drugs.

Data published by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2015 captured how 43% of those fatally-wounded motorists who were tested that year had drugs in their systems. The researchers found that drug usage among these decedents was far more common than alcohol use. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported 1,342 drug-related crashes in 2014. Those accidents resulted in 753 individuals' injuries and 21 fatalities.

A multi-county North Carolina police operation nets 636 arrests

Last week, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) arrested 444 residents. The state agency notes that special agents teamed up with local police and sheriff's departments in eight districts to conduct this operation.

A spokesperson for the ALE notes that their officers specifically targeted stores that carry Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licenses during this operation. He notes that these locations were chosen because they tend to be hubs for illegal activity including targeted violence. Officers selected stores in the counties most affected by crime in hopes of making them safer for residents to live in.

How can you collect on your customers' bad debts?

As a business owner, you've probably had your fair share of clients who have has failed to abide by their contracts with you. Customers often think that nothing will happen if they violate an agreement. They don't realize that you were counting on them to meet your own financial objectives. If you've tried and failed at making collections calls, then there are a variety of legal remedies available to you to collect on the debts that you're owed.

One option that you may consider is having a collection agency or an attorney attempt to collect the debt on your behalf.

What are the 3 components of a standard field sobriety test?

If a North Carolina police officer suspects that a motorist is driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence (DWI/DUI), they'll generally have them perform a standard field sobriety test (SFST). These tests are 90% accurate when performed correctly. There are three primary components of the SFST.

One of the first factors tested as part of the SFST is the motorist's horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN). A motorist who was DWI/DUI will generally have trouble tracking moving objects when asked to follow them with their eyes. They often experience an involuntary jerking of their eyeballs at reduced angles as they refocus their gaze from one side to another.

Will your Adderall prescription cause trouble on campus?

It is no secret that important and valuable prescription drugs often become the source of misuse and addiction. Opioids and other painkillers, sedatives, anxiety medication and sleep aids can quickly lock people into a cycle of abuse and addiction, which often leads them to seek these medicines illegally and without a prescription.

Another commonly abused drug is Adderall. Your North Carolina doctor may have prescribed Adderall for your symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Adderall is an amphetamine, a stimulant, that for many users improves their ability to focus, study or work more effectively for longer periods of time. It is no wonder that Adderall is widely abused on college campuses. However, the consequences of possessing Adderall without a valid prescription can be serious.

How can you best preserve your eligibility for Medicaid?

It becomes increasingly important for a Medicaid recipient to engage in estate planning as they age. If they don't, then they risk losing access to the benefits that they rely upon for their long-term medical care.

Most individuals qualify to receive Medicaid provided that they meet two conditions. Their monthly income mustn't exceed the $2,000 threshold that most states have in place. The recipient shouldn't have more assets than the essentials such as a lower-cost car, home, life insurance policy or funeral plan.

What should you do when police pull you over?

Whether it's for allegedly speeding, a burned-out taillight or at a drunk driving checkpoint, most every veteran North Carolina motorist has been pulled over by police on at least one occasion. Since these instances don't happen all the time, it can be difficult to know how to respond to them. This is why it's important to know what your rights are in these situations.

If a police officer turns on their lights behind you, then you should immediately start signaling and moving over to a safe place along the roadway. You should resist the urge to reach for your driver's license, registration and insurance until the police officer instructs you to do so.

Make sure that your will is valid in North Carolina

A will is one of the most important parts of an estate planning arsenal. It details what you want to happen with your hard-earned money and most prized assets once you've passed away. It can also spell out your final wishes concerning burial or the scattering of your ashes. Each state has different criteria that must be met for a will to be considered as properly executed. North Carolina is no different in that respect.

North Carolina and virtually every other state consider typewritten wills to be valid ones. Holographic, or handwritten, wills and nuncupative, or oral ones, are considered as legal in this state as well. North Carolina is one of only a few jurisdictions where this is the case.

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