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Lexington Probate and Estate Administration Law Blog

Workers deserve to be paid their due wages

People who work usually don't put in the hours because they are bored and want something to do. Instead, they want to support themselves and be able to pay their bills. Unfortunately, some individuals do what they are supposed to do at work and aren't paid their due wages when it is time to get paid.

Kentucky has some very pointed wage and hour laws that must be followed. One of these is that employees are a due at least minimum wage. Another is that overtime pay is required. In April, the Labor Cabinet recovered a total of $101,424.73 that was due to workers. These were for unpaid overtime, time clock shaving and mandatory tip pooling.

Consider mediation to resolve semitruck crash lawsuits

Finding out that there is legal action pending after a semitruck crash is a hard spot to be placed in. For many people who are facing these types of cases, the focus is on trying to get them over with as quickly as possible without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money to do so.

One option that you have in these cases is to go through mediation with the victim of the crash. This puts you and the other party in negotiations to try to work out a settlement so that you don't have to put the case in the hands of a jury that might see the case in favor of the alleged victim.

White collar crimes can occur in various ways

Some crimes aren't violent at all. Many of these are considered white collar crimes, which have to do with financial matters or fraud. For people who are facing white collar crime charges and those who have to deal with money or personal information on a regular basis, knowing a bit about these crimes might be beneficial.

Issues with income tax returns is one of the possible white collar crimes a person can face. All income tax documents must contain factual information. When there is anything amiss, you might find yourself facing charges. This isn't likely going to happen for a simple, honest error; however, a willful lie is another matter.

Truckers aren't always at fault for crashes they are involved in

Understanding the case against you is one of the most important steps when you are facing a claim for a semitruck crash. The complainant is going to try everything possible to make the accident look like your fault. There are some cases that aren't the trucker's fault at all. These are the ones that are particularly troublesome.

Oftentimes, the person who was injured in the accident will claim that the trucker was distracted, fatigued or using unsafe driving practices. These might not be the case at all, but they do sound good in the claim for compensation.

Fight back against trucking accident claims

It is an event that all truckers fear -- slamming into another vehicle. When this does happen, the trucking company might come under fire because many people will opt to sue. A trucking accident lawsuit can be difficult to defend against.

One of the first things that has to be done is to discern the cause of the crash. This isn't always easy because there are sometimes so many variables that you have to think about. These can all have a huge impact on the options that you have for defending against the accusations.

Keep control of your digital assets after you die

When you get online, you probably don't think much about what you are doing. One thing that you need to think about is who is going to get your digital assets when you pass away. These are things like your PayPal account, your online bank accounts, your social media accounts and your emails. All of these are probably important to you and you don't want them to just wither away when you pass away.

Creating a digital will is something that most people just don't think about. Sadly, this means that accounts with family pictures and videos might be inaccessible after your death. Just to be clear -- it isn't enough to just share your password with your loved ones. You need to have clear documentation in place that will give them the power to take over your online accounts when you die.

Estate administration is sometimes a challenge

There are many aspects of estate administration that might seem mystifying to some individuals. You have to make sure that you are ready to handle these duties if you are appointed as the administrator of the estate. We can work with you to help you address some of the challenges.

One thing that you have to remember is that your actions can have an impact on other people who have a part in the estate. This is why it is so important that you ensure you are doing things properly. Even small mistakes can be costly when it comes to these duties.

The Ever Changing World of Sovereign Immunity

"Despite the frequency of opinions on the subject from this Court, the law of sovereign immunity, and the related doctrines of governmental immunity, official immunity, and qualified official immunity, is still difficult to apply, no doubt in part because of the large number of decisions on the subject. Attitudes about the propriety of immunity for the state and its subdivision, government agencies and their employees, and government-created entities have shifted back and forth over time and personnel changes on the Court." Ky. River Foothills Dev. Council, Inc. v. Phirman, 504 S.W.3d 11, 16, (Ky. 2016); citing Comair, Inc. v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Corp., 295 S.W.3d 91, 94 (Ky. 2009).

This statement by the Kentucky Supreme Court illustrates the evolving Kentucky law regarding sovereign and governmental immunity. In Comair the Supreme Court attempted to clarify any confusion in the law and establish a more certain framework to resolve the question concerning the types of businesses and organizations entitled to immunity. In Comair, the Supreme Court set forth a two prong test. First, one must look to see who created the entity in question. Comair, 295 S.W.3d at 99. Second, and most importantly, does the entity provide a governmental function? Id. To satisfy the second prong, there are two elements that need to be addressed. Whether the entity's function is "governmental", and whether the matter is of a "statewide" concern.

Raising the Kentucky Minimum Wage?

In an effort to modernize, the Fair Labor Standards Act underwent an overhaul that raised the minimum salary necessary to become exempt from overtime pay. Although the changes have not yet gone into effect due to an injunction in place while the Department of Labor hashes things out in a Texas federal court, the message is clear. Similarly, eighteen states have raised their minimum wage requirements above the 2009 federal mandate of $7.25 per hour. Now the 115th U.S. Congress (2017-2018) is considering the Raise the Wage Act (S.1242) which has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Should it become law, the Raise the Wage Act will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, and will eliminate the separate minimum wage requirements for tipped employees, bringing them up to the same minimum wage as regular employees after a certain time period.

Was a loved one tricked into signing a will?

Unfortunately, fraud knows almost no bounds, and so people will resort to fraud in order to alter a will or an estate plan. This may become clear during the estate administration process, when most of the family is shocked by the contents of the will and one person clearly benefits from it more than anyone else.

So, how does this fraud occur? Here's one example:

  • A son sees a father's will. He's not happy with what he is being given and decides to cut out his other two siblings.
  • The son works with the father on his estate planning documents. These include things like a medical power of attorney, an advance medical directive and a legal power of attorney.
  • The son drafts a new will that drastically reduces what the other two siblings get. He brings that will to his father, tells him it's a power of attorney and asks him to sign and date it.
  • The father trusts the son and doesn't read the document. After all, they both talked extensively about what the power of attorney should do and the son kindly offered to help.
  • The father then signs and dates the new will. Shortly after that, he passes away.
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