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Three ways to enforce HOA rules and regulations

Homeowners associations exist to keep residential areas safe and looking their best. Unfortunately, not all residents of neighborhoods with an HOA agree with all of the rules and regulations, or they may be unaware of specific rules because they failed to read the community covenants, conditions and restrictions declaration given them upon move-in. When a resident fails to follow the CC&Rs, there are three ways HOA boards in Missouri can enforce the rules.

Option number one: give a written warning. A written notice should state the issue, cite or provide a reference to the CC&R that addresses the problem at hand, and provide a set period of time that the resident has to fix the problem. This gives the resident a chance to resolve the issue without any further consequences.

How can Catholics plan for life or death?

Growing older is a natural part of life, and as you age, many concerns may come to mind. Designating assets to your loved ones is a common concern. Clarifying your health care wishes is another.

However, as a Catholic, how can you make advance choices about medical decisions without putting your friends and family in a position to sacrifice their beliefs?

Reasons a landlord may be taken to court

Being a landlord is not an easy job. If one is not careful, tenants or potential tenants may end up taking one to court. Here are several reasons why landlords in Missouri may be sued.

Reason number one: discriminating against potential tenants. The Fair Housing Act states that landlords cannot ask discriminatory questions. It also says that it is illegal to refuse to rent a property to a person based on his or her race, gender, disability, religion or national origin -- among other things.

Will electronic wills replace estate planning?

Heard of electronic wills? These are wills people make online on their own, and then have witnesses and/or a notary E-sign the digital documents. In other words, it is just another do-it-yourself will; it is just never printed. As more people in Missouri and elsewhere are looking for ways to save time and money, this form of estate planning seems ideal. Will E-wills eventually replace estate planning altogether?

Here's the thing; E-wills do have their place. People with few assets and no complex issues that need addressing can probably get by with this type of will. Those individuals who have children, a decent amount of assets, businesses or other concerns may not benefit from going this route, though, as convenient as it may be.

Missouri estate planning: Talking about one's plans

There are many benefits to having an estate plan in place, yet many Missouri residents do not. Those who do might be inclined to keep the details of their plans to themselves. While no one really wants to go through the estate planning process, let alone talk to loved ones about it, according to a recently published article, talking about it with one's beneficiaries may be a good idea. 

The article is directed toward millionaires who want to pass their money down to their children. However, the advice given really can apply to most people. The problem with passing along money or other valuables is that beneficiaries may not know what to do with it or they may not use it wisely. This is why it is suggested that people talk to their beneficiaries about what money and valuables mean to them and what they hope their heirs will do with what is given them. 

When an HOA faces a personal injury claim

Did a homeowner or his or her guest get hurt while utilizing common space in your community? Are you or the homeowners association you volunteer for facing a lawsuit because of it? In Missouri, when an HOA faces a personal injury claim, it and its board members can take steps to fight or settle the matter as quickly as possible.

An HOA is generally responsible for the upkeep of any common areas in the community it governs. Failure to maintain the property or fix any known issues in a timely manner is likely to lead to personal injury claims being filed if residents or their guests suffer injuries because of it. The sad reality is, even if an HOA is on top of everything, lawsuits may still happen. When people get hurt, they just want to find someone to blame.

Missouri judge throws out part of a former tenant's complaint

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of factors like disability, religion or race in buying or renting a home. A former tenant of a St. Louis, Missouri, apartment building recently filed a lawsuit against the landlord and owner claiming that they violated her rights under the Fair Housing Act on two different counts. A judge dismissed one of the counts but determined that the plaintiff, an African American woman, had a plausible claim on the other. 

According to the lawsuit, the landlord and the owner of the building allowed law enforcement to search the woman's apartment, which she claimed was a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights. The lawsuit goes on to allege that the landlord and building owner did not renew her lease on account of her race, claiming a violation of the Fair Housing Act. The plaintiff claimed another Fair Housing Act violation over the building owner and the landlord filing a report with authorities claiming that she had stolen property. 

How to create an LLC for your home business in five easy steps

You have the mark of an entrepreneur with your self-confidence, perseverance and the willingness to take initiative. You have created a business plan that gleans clarity on your goals and objectives. As an entrepreneur, you have a clear understanding of both your personal and professional finances and the ability to track them. Now you need to decide what business format is best for you and your business.

One of the most common business structures for small business owners is a limited liability company (LLC). Launching and managing a business is hard work and it can be risky. So, finding ways to protect your personal liability is an important consideration. LLCs provide separation between personal assets and those of the company. Any claims or lawsuits are limited to the assets of the business itself.

What if you die without a will?

Despite the advice offered up by estate planning experts in Saint Charles for people to do their estate planning early on in their adult lives, a majority of adults still do not have even a will that details how their assets are to be distributed when they die. Your reason for putting off creating your will may be the hope that if you do not create such a document, it will be left to your heirs to decide how to divide your estate (that way, you do not have to worry about offending anyone). Yet that simply is not the case. Rather, if you die without a will (the legal term is for this is "intestate"), it is the state that determines the dispersal of your estate. 

Missouri's guidelines for intestate succession can be found in Section 474.010 of the state's Revised Statutes. Here it states that your surviving spouse will receive your entire estate if you leave no descendants behind. If you do have surviving issue (direct descendants), then your spouse will receive the first $25,000 of your estate, then half of the remaining balance of those descendants are also their descendants (with the remaining half going to your descendants). Your spouse's share of your estate is reduced to exactly half if any of your issue are not also related to them. 

New marriage, new estate plan

It is no longer uncommon for a person in Missouri to get married more than one time over the course of their life. This may be due to the death of a previous spouse or to a divorce. Regardless of the reason that leads a person to get remarried, it is important that they make it a priority to review their estate plans in detail with their new partner.

As reported by CNBC, a large number of the people who enter into second, third or subsequent marriages are over the age of 55 by the time they get married again. This means they are likely to be bringing into their new relationships larger asset pools than their younger counterparts would. It also means that these people are more likely to have children and even grandchildren already by the time they are getting married again.

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