Landlord's return of security deposits.

In Rhode Island, a landlord who fails to comply with the law concerning the return of a security deposit within twenty days can be be assessed a damage payment of twice the amount illegally withheld plus attorneys fees. R.I.G.L. 34-18-19.requires the security deposits be returned within twenty days "after" the tenant gives proper notice, moves out, returns the key and provides a forwarding address.

When returning the deposit, the landlord must send the tenant an itemized notice listing any legal deductions withheld. These deductions can be for unpaid - outstanding rent and physical damages other than ordinary wear and tear.

A tenant's failure to provide a forwarding address or providing notice that he or she is vacating will be argued by the landlord in defense of punitive damages. When does the twenty day notice period begin? When did the landlord become aware that the tenant vacated? Written notice is important!

Regardless, the security deposit after deducting for damage and back rent, has to be returned.

In short, if a tenant fails to provide notice or a forwarding address, he or she will forfeit any right to recover statutory damages and attorneys fees from their landlord. 

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Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy

When you need debt relief, you may be concerned about the consequences of #bankruptcy. You may wonder what will happen to your credit score, if you will ever be able to purchase a home, and what will happen to your existing assets. A #bankruptcyattorney can help you explore all of your debt relief options and alternatives so that you understand all of your rights and obligations before filing.

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Helpful Estate Planning Tips

Did you know that more than a third of Americans don’t have updated estate plans? That’s according to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, and if you’re one of these Americans, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Unfortunately, without fully up-to-date estate plans, you can’t be sure that your loved ones will be financially protected if something were to happen to you. And while nobody enjoys thinking about life after death, having thorough plans in place is always a smart idea. The following are a few estate planning tips that you should be taking advantage of.

If you don’t have any plans at all, the first thing you should do is draft a will. Without a will, it’s up to the state to determine who gets your money. This can be especially tricky if you have multiple children, or no children at all, and if you have several forms of income and assets. Clearly stating who gets what in a will is the easiest way to avoid any problems.

When it comes to things like life insurance and retirement plans, you should review you policies to ensure all of them are up-to-date. Make sure all of the necessary forms are properly filled out and signed, and remember to update them when and if you go through a major change like a divorce.

Finally, it is important to choose the right executor for your estate. This person will be responsible for not only paying off any remaining debts you may have, but also for following your will and ensuring your assets get to the appropriate people. This can be a close friend or family member who you trust, or a professional executor.

These are just a few things to think about to help you get started with estate planning. For additional help, make sure you contact us about our estate planning services!

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Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce is always a serious matter, regardless of the circumstances. You may be tempted to forego a lawyer and attempt to settle everything on your own, but we do not recommend that. You deserve a lawyer on your side who will fight for your rights, and there are several benefits to hiring one even if you don’t foresee any problems. The following are just some of the reasons why hiring a divorce lawyer is a smart idea.

Divorces can quickly escalate, and depending on whether or not there are children involved, the stakes can become incredibly high. Without a lawyer, most divorces typically result in one person coming out on top with the other left to pick up the pieces. When you have a lawyer by your side, they will work to lower the stakes and ensure your rights aren’t taken advantage of throughout the legal proceedings.

While not their main responsibility, having a lawyer with you can help provide some much needed emotional support. This is especially true if you don’t have many people to turn to during this trying time. A family lawyer will work hard to take on the burden of the proceedings so you don’t have to, and can be there to offer advice and support regarding the entire situation. Just knowing someone is on your side, fighting for your rights, can change your whole outlook on the situation.

One of the best reasons to hire a lawyer is so you can have someone who has an impartial view on the situation look at the facts. Because of how deeply involved you are in the emotional aspect of the case, it can be easy to miss certain details or facts that could work in your favor. A lawyer can look at everything objectively and with a clear mind in order to provide you with the best result.

If you’re in need of a lawyer who has experience in divorce and family law, contact us today!

Settle Your Personal Injury Claim in 2015

Personal injury claims and lawsuits can involve a wide range of incidents, but cases can easily fall apart before they even begin if the injured party doesn’t take the proper steps after an accident. While the extent of your injuries may prevent you from taking notes immediately after an accident, it is important to document as many details about the situation as possible. However, taking notes is just the first step and one of many things you should do before pursuing legal action.

Preserving any relevant evidence is key, and most importantly you will want to make sure your injuries are fully documented. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible, and find witnesses who will be able testify in court if necessary. In fact, the success of your claim may very well depend on how many people can back up your account of events.

In addition to taking your own notes and photographs, you will also want to acquire any and all relevant medical records. Stay in touch with your doctor and hospital throughout the process to ensure everything is documented and you receive copies of all paperwork pertaining to your admission and care.

Before filing the claim, you should also make sure all relevant defendants are notified. By following these steps you will be in the best position possible before dealing with insurance companies and any other parties that may be involved. If you have any questions about personal injury law in Rhode Island, get in touch with our team today. We are always happy to discuss your claim and determine whether or not you have a viable case.

To ignore estate planning for small estates can be a huge mistake.

A small estate may not incur estate taxes, but we all will incur funeral costs, medical expenses, loan and credit card debt obligations, state and local taxes and administration fees that are applied during estate settlement.

Debt concerns can include a mortgage, car loans, unpaid school loans and recurring bills. Failure to plan can result in liquidation of assets, sometimes at a discount to cover obligations. Modest estates can pose planning challenges because liquidity may not be there.

Some planning tools to consider:

• joint ownership
• beneficiary designation
• Will
• Living Trust
• Durable Power of Attorney
• Life Insurance
• Long Term Care Insurance
• Reverse Mortgage (if over age 62)

Some issues everyone should address:

• avoid family disputes - Will and/or trust considerations
• plan of succession - who gets what and when
• election of executor and/or guardian for minor children
• update beneficiary designations on policies and joint accounts or accounts of convenience
• life, disability and long term insurance considerations

Making sure all family members understand your wishes can go a long way in preventing post-death battles and hurt feelings. Just as important, you should review your estate plan every few years or when significant changes occur. Just as important the above considerations have to be coordinated in order to void inconsistencies.

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Living Will v Heath Care Proxy v Medical Directives are all different documents…?

The most common types of advance directives are the living will and the durable power of attorney for health care (in Massachusetts a ”health care proxy”).

These directives allow you to say you don’t want to be resuscitated, you want to make organ or tissue donations, and desired quality of life and end of life treatments you don’t want to receive.

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What you should know about premarital - postmarital agreements?

A prenup (premarital agreement) establishes property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a separation or divorce. These contracts are used to protect assets of wealthy spouses but can be used to protect assets slated for children of a first marriage.

If you are already married, a postmarital agreement can be entered into. 

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Purchasing real estate should lead you to your attorney’s office. If you need a mortgage to help finance your house or business, your attorney will act as your personal representative and act as closing agent for your lender. These two functions complement one another – logistically it is more cost-efficient for your attorney to perform both functions. Some lenders will allow your attorney to act on your behalf and as closing agent – others will require an attorney from their approved closing list to conduct the closing.

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Things to Know Before Declaring Bankruptcy

At Rego & Rego Law Firm, we specialize in a wide range of legal areas, including bankruptcy law. If you are thinking about declaring bankruptcy, our experienced and dedicated team is here to help. However, bankruptcy isn’t the best solution for everyone. And even if it is the right choice for you, there are a few things you should know before declaring it. The following are just some of the things to be aware of going in.

One of the most important details about bankruptcy to understand is that it can solve some problems, but can’t do everything. For example, in most cases declaring bankruptcy can stop debt collectors in their tracks, get rid of your legal obligation to pay off your debts, help you get your driver’s license back if you’ve lost it because you didn’t pay damages for an accident, and even prevent the termination of your utility services.

However, like we mentioned, there are a few things that bankruptcy can’t do. If you have a co-signor on any of your loans, they are still obliged to pay off what is owed. In addition, declaring bankruptcy won’t get rid of any debts you incur after going bankrupt, and it won’t absolve you of paying things like child support, student loans, and alimony.

In addition, there are several different types of bankruptcy, including chapter 7 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 is ideal for people who are looking for a fresh start. Declaring it will get rid of your debts, but you will also liquidate many of your assets, including property. On the other hand, chapter 13 is more of a reorganization of your debts. You get to keep your property, but you will still have to pay off most debts eventually.

If you have any questions about declaring bankruptcy, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more!

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Helpful Estate Planning Tips

That’s according to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, and if you’re one of these Americans, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Unfortunately, without fully up-to-date estate plans, you can’t be sure that your loved ones will be financially protected if something were to happen to you. And while nobody enjoys thinking about life after death, having thorough plans in place is always a smart idea. 

Read More