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Temple, Texas, General Practice Blog

You can still succeed with real estate investments

It used to be that purchasing real estate meant having a solid and reliable investment. Commercial real estate is a great way to balance your portfolio and earn a passive income. Unfortunately, recent events may have you nervous about making such an investment.

If you have followed the news, you may be concerned that the latest government shutdown, rising rates of interest and the instability in Europe, among other factors, may make investing in real estate less profitable. Additionally, commercial real estate is experiencing a new challenge with the explosion of online shopping options. Nevertheless, you can take steps to keep up with the many challenges and changes in the market.

Easy ways to avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is a concern for everyone, as there will be times when you're tempted to move your attention away from the road. Knowing just how dangerous this can be is often more than enough to keep you focused on the task at hand.

If you're concerned about distracted driving, here are several tips you can follow to avoid doing so in the future:

  • Put your cellphone away: For example, you can place your cellphone in your purse, center console or glove box so that it's out of sight. This lessens the likelihood of using it while your vehicle is in motion.
  • Don't get carried away with passengers: It's easy to get lost in a conversation with a passenger, especially if you're having a good time. Let your passengers know that it's okay to chat, but you need to focus your attention on the roadway.
  • Don't multitask: When driving, you shouldn't do anything else. Don't eat, drink, smoke, text or reach for an item under your seat. All your attention should be on the road and the steps you can take to remain safe.
  • Pull over if you're tired: Drowsy driving and distracted driving often go together hand in hand. If your eyelids are getting heavy, look for a safe place to pull over so you can assess your situation.

What will happen to your business during divorce?

Even if you and your spouse understand the marriage is over, filing for divorce can be an emotional decision. It can mean the end of many things that have become comfortable and familiar, and it means starting in a new direction that may be unknown. If you are a business owner, you may worry that the end of your marriage means the end of your business. However, this is not necessarily so.

If you had the foresight to sign a prenuptial agreement to keep your business separate from marital assets, you would be wise to review that document with an attorney to ensure it is still valid and enforceable. If no such agreement exists, you can take steps to protect yourself financially before, during and after the divorce, and perhaps save your business in the process.

Inexperienced teen drivers pose a risk to themselves and others

After driving for years, a lot of Texas adults -- perhaps you included -- forget how it felt when they first began driving. Now, they take their experience for granted and may not even have to think before reacting on the roadway since it tends to become second nature.

Teenagers don't have that experience or second nature to work from when they start driving. They need to think constantly about what they are doing. They may attempt to react to the same situations an experienced driver does, but they lose critical seconds due to a lack of experience. As anyone who has ever been in even a minor accident knows, seconds could mean the difference between a close call and a serious or deadly accident.

Choose a guardian with these considerations in mind

When creating an estate plan, you spend many hours thinking about who will receive your assets upon your death. For example, you may decide that it's best to leave everything to your children.

Since your children are such a big part of your life, it's imperative to name a guardian for any who are under the age of 18. This helps ensure that the right person raises your children in the event that you pass away while they're still minors.

Do these things when choosing an executor or trustee

As you create your estate plan, you'll soon realize that you have to involve many other people. For example, if you're creating a will, you need to name an executor. And if you're creating a trust, you're required to choose a trustee.

An executor or trustee is the person responsible for carrying out your final wishes, based on the details of your will or trust.

Asking for a prenuptial agreement: Tips you can use

Once you and your partner decide to get married, you'll have a lot to think about. While planning your perfect wedding is a big deal, you should turn some of your attention to the future.

For example, discussing the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement is never a bad idea. Even if you don't proceed with a prenup, talking about one gives you the opportunity to discuss some very important details about the future with your partner.

Family conflict more destructive than estate taxes

Creating an estate plan serves several purposes. For many, a well-constructed plan will protect their assets and their heirs from federal estate taxes, which can take a sizeable bite out of an inheritance. However, a new report shows that taxes are not necessarily the threat for which you need to plan.

The biggest threat to an estate, even one with a plan in place, is family disputes. Nearly half of attorneys and other advisors polled for the study agreed that family disharmony can drain an estate and leave families in turmoil. While there may be no way to dispel all animosity that exists among family members, you can take certain steps to ensure you have eliminated as many sources of contention in your estate plan as possible.

Are there specific steps to take after a car accident?

There are few things in life scarier than being part of a car accident. Even if it's a minor fender bender with one other vehicle, you'll have concerns about your health, legal rights and the financial impact on your life.

There are several steps you can immediately take after a car accident to help put your mind at ease. Here are five things to do:

  • Check yourself for injuries: This is a top priority, as you need to know what you're up against in regard to injuries, your health and the type of treatment you require.
  • Move to safety: Depending on the circumstances, this may be the first thing you do. Either way, do your best to move your vehicle out of traffic and to an area where you don't have to worry about another accident.
  • Call 911: You should never attempt to control the scene of an accident on your own. A quick call to 911 will result in an ambulance and police being dispatched to the scene.
  • Receive medical treatment: Even if you're feeling okay, but just a bit shook up, you should still ask for transportation to a local hospital for a professional evaluation. Some injuries don't present symptoms right away.
  • Contact your insurance company: Once you review your policy, contact your insurance company to file a claim.

What are possible solutions when involved in a boundary dispute?

Private property is important, and it is in your rights to take the necessary steps to protect yours. One of the instances in which you may have to protect what you own is if you find yourself in a dispute with your neighbor over property boundaries. This can be much more than an inconvenience -- it can be a threat to your Texas property rights. 

If you find yourself fighting with a neighbor over where your property ends and his or hers begins, there are a few different ways you can solve this problem. While going to court is not always the only solution, it can be helpful to understand all the options you have as you seek a beneficial resolution. Boundary disputes are complex, but it is important to take quick action to address this type of problem before it escalates.

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Harrell, Stoebner & Russell, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Temple Office
2106 Bird Creek Drive
Temple, TX 76502

Phone: 254-935-3036
Fax: 254-771-2082
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Killeen Office
2210 E. Central Texas Expy.
Suite 102
Killeen, Texas 76543

Phone: 254-432-7058
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