Ask any homeowner renovating or constructing a home and you will get unanimous agreement. Nobody wants to pay for labor or materials twice. However, with frequency, this happens in Missouri. Homeowners must beware when signing proposals and/or contracts with anyone providing labor or materials for their home. Consider these guidelines and suggestions in this important area of the law.General Contractors and Subcontractors—What is the Difference?A general contractor is one who has a direct contractual relationship with the owner(s) of the property. Typically, a general contractor will hire subcontractors more proficient in their respective trades to complete various portions of the work. This is true for most builders of residential homes. They hire a framing crew, an electrician, a plumber, a cabinet and trim carpenter and others who perform labor and supply materials for the project while they serve to coordinate the work and communications with the owners. What … [Read more...] about Mechanic’s Liens against Homeowners—Simplified
We all have a tendency to elevate celebrities to a position far above the “common man” to a point where it seems they can do no wrong. But as the supermarket tabloids, late night talk shows, and other media outlets frequently tend to show, celebrities make mistakes just as we do (but on a far bigger stage). These mistakes don’t end at messy domestic disputes, late night altercations, or substance abuse issues. Celebrities have also been known to make costly errors when it comes to planning for the transfer of their massive wealth to the next generation. As the following celebrity estate planning blunders show, no one is immune from the consequences of inadequate planning.Prince: No Estate PlanPrince Rogers Nelson, the singer-songwriter who brought us “Purple Rain”, passed away in April 2016. His death was not only shocking due to his young age (57), but also due to the fact that he had failed to set up any semblance of an estate plan prior to his death (i.e. he died … [Read more...] about Celebrity Estate Planning Bloopers
Over the years, our courts have struggled with the standards to be applied in cases of this nature. It is no secret--employment claims have become more prevalent in our litigious world. Employment law is ever evolving, and most litigators in this area spend significant time tracking cases and legislation to be sure that the advice they provide is based on the most current law and regulations that apply. Because our state legislature has recently adopted a new law that governs these claims, this article is intended to alert employers of the new paradigm that now controls how retaliation claims in the worker's compensation arena will be analyzed by our courts.The Exclusive Cause Test (Old Law):Employers are prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under the Missouri workers' compensation law. Since at least 1984, the Missouri Supreme Court held that an employee who files a lawsuit claiming he was retaliated against in violation … [Read more...] about Missouri law on worker’s compensation retaliatory discharge claims has been in flux.
The death of a spouse can be one of the most challenging events that life has to offer. In addition to the emotional toll, an avalanche of legal and financial issues will arise that try to throw your life further into disarray. The goal of this article is to make the process a bit easier by providing those who have found themselves recently widowed with a checklist of the most important matters you must deal with after a spouse passes. While not all-inclusive, what follows is critical information that can save you precious time, money, and energy during a time when such relief would undoubtedly be welcomed.Funeral Arrangements and Organ DonationObviously one of the tasks you will need to accomplish early in the process involves funeral and burial arrangements for your loved one. Determine whether or not your spouse prepared an advance health care directive or other document which outlines exactly how they wish to be buried and whether they desire for their body or organs … [Read more...] about Five Steps to Take Following a Spouse’s Death
The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“ABLE Act”), a part of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The law allowed for states to establish their own ABLE programs under the federal guidelines. ABLE accounts are now open for enrollment in twenty-two states, including Missouri. Missouri Senate Bill 174 created the Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) effective August 28, 2015. The Missouri Department of Social Services issued IM-96 on October 26, 2015, setting forth regulations regarding how ABLE funds would be treated and the impact of such funds on the eligibility for Mo. Healthnet, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance and Child Care Subsidy. Since that date, eligible individuals with disabilities living in Missouri now have an option to set up an investment account, known as a STABLE account, that can be used to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefit programs.One of the … [Read more...] about Continuing Evolvement of ABLE Accounts Under Missouri Law