California Legal Blog

False advertising claim has Taco Bell facing business litigation

Any business is at risk of having complaints filed by clients or customers. Unfortunately, some companies may not see those complaints easily resolved because parties choose to file lawsuits against them. As a result, companies may have to go through business litigation in order to have the predicament addressed.

California readers may be interested in a case involving Taco Bell and a disgruntled couple. Apparently, the couple had seen a commercial for Taco Bell's Chalupa Cravings box, and because the box of food was advertised as being $5, they decided to get two. The couple drove to a location and ordered two of the boxes, but rather than being $10 before taxes as they anticipated, the total came to $12.18. They asked about the price difference and learned that the location did not participate in the promotional pricing.

Nevada residents, could a spendthrift trust benefit your heirs?

When Nevada residents do their estate planning, one possible option is a spendthrift trust for one or more beneficiaries. While this is not the ideal solution for all individuals, funding such a trust can provide trust grantors with the peace of mind they need to realize that their loved ones' needs will be met in the future.

Spendthrift trusts are treated much like other trusts under Nevada law. The key difference is that the beneficiaries do not have unfettered access to the principal of the trust. Also, the disbursements are handled solely by the trustee according to a preset schedule determined by the trust grantor.

California real estate disputes often involve escrow deposits

The real estate market in California and across the country has its ups and downs. A fluctuating economy can impact property investment and sales in the United States. Some people purchase property only to walk away from their deals before closing of escrow, which can sometimes spark real estate disputes regarding escrow deposits.

Gaining a thorough understanding of the escrow process before signing a real estate contract can help reduce the risk of litigation down the line. It is critical that buyers and sellers fully understand the terms and conditions in the documents that govern the escrow process. It is also a top priority to have an experienced real estate law attorney review a proposed contract because terminology used in a prospective escrow agreement can help a buyer avoid losing a deposit.

California man wants state law to change re spousal support

Judges in family courts often order California spouses who divorce to provide financial supplement to their exes on a temporary basis. In such cases, the court determines what a reasonable period of time might be, then issues an order that specifies the terms. One man has been outspoken in saying that he believes the state's spousal support laws need to change.

The man in question is a father. He is divorced and works as a software engineer. He currently pays his ex $1,000 in spousal support. The man says the judge overseeing his case has ordered him to keep up with payments for the rest of his life.

Is there such thing as a happy divorce?

Most California spouses who decide to sever their marital ties would agree that it is a life-changing experience that is not particularly easy to navigate. Especially when children are involved, divorce can be emotionally upsetting, financially challenging and, in some cases, legally complex. However, when a concerned parent knows where to seek support and sets goals that keep children's best interests in mind, it is often possible to part ways without contention.

Many people misguidedly believe that filing for divorce means there is likely to be a long, drawn out court battle ahead. On the contrary, quite the opposite is often true for those who wish to resolve issues as swiftly and painlessly as possible so they and their children can leave the past behind and move on in life. In fact, some couples never even step foot inside a courtroom when they divorce.

Heirs to Aretha Franklin's estate are locked in a court battle

California music fans grieved the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, along with the rest of the world. Many of Franklin's fans have closely followed news about litigation involving her heirs since then. Soon after Franklin passed away, it was thought she had not executed a last will and testament.

However, three handwritten documents were later discovered that detailed how the late singer wanted her assets to be distributed among her loved ones. Franklin had four sons, the eldest of whom is said to have special needs. Her niece was originally appointed to represent the estate, which is one of the issues now being litigated. One of Franklin's sons has petitioned the court to remove his cousin from the position and appoint him instead.

Choosing the wrong business partner can set you up for disputes

Choosing the right partner with whom to start a business is a bit like getting married. Make the right choice and you can look forward to many happy years ahead. Pick the wrong person and you are trapped in a shared misery.

This can be particularly precarious when your partner is also your spouse, a blood relative or an in-law. The negative effects of a soured business partnership can then bleed over into your personal relationships and create havoc with family unity.

Estate planning for those with more than $100,000 in assets

Whether you've been working for decades or only recently began your journey into adulthood, it is never too soon to think about the future. You work hard to save money and to acquire things such as a home, a vehicle and perhaps even a vacation property, so it's understandable you want to protect those assets. It's also logical to assume that you want to do whatever you can to provide for your loved ones down the line and help them avoid a lengthy probate process when the time comes to administer your California estate. Estate planning is a valuable tool that can help you accomplish all of these goals and more.

If your assets are worth $100,000 or more, it would be a good idea to learn as much as you can about establishing a trust. A trust allows you to arrange for the transfer of money or other assets without all the time and expenses typically involved in the probate process. In addition to establishing a trust, you may want to designate powers of attorney to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. 

Know where to seek support for complex property division issues

Getting divorced is stressful. If two California spouses get along fairly well and are both merely looking to end their marriage peacefully and move on, the process might be swift and relatively painless. If, on the other hand, serious problems arise such as hiding assets during complex property division proceedings, it is critical to know where to seek support. Knowing where to look for hidden assets as well as what to do about such as scheme can be challenging, and it is best to rely on help from someone well-versed in such issues.

The court does not look favorably on any spouse who tries to hide assets in divorce. In fact, it is illegal. It is not uncommon, however, especially in high-net worth cases. There are typically three or four basic schemes that spouses use to try to keep assets from going to the other spouse. A good place to start to uncover a hidden asset scheme is to review recent tax forms to check if there has been an overpayment or to discover evidence of other assets.

Spears and Federline back in the news regarding visitation issues

Britney Spears has a lot of fans in California and throughout the country. Many of them have followed news updates regarding problems in her personal life, including family law issues, conservator issues and, even, mental health problems. Such fans may be glad to learn that Spears and her ex, Kevin Federline, have modified their child custody agreement to include unsupervised visits for Spears. Any parent in this state who has encountered visitation challenges may want to read more about this case.

Federline has been hesitant to increase Spears' visitation with their two sons, ages 12 and 13. Many people believe his reluctance stems from Spears' past mental health problems. However, the two recently filed a petition in court after agreeing to a 70/30 split of parental time spent with their boys. An attorney can also remain on hand to represent a concerned parent in case any modifications are needed down the line.

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