GRISMER LAW

Estate Plans are not just for Billionaires, but they should get them too!

Estate Planning is one of those important things we all know we need to do at some point in our
lifetime. We always believe we have more time and that is true, until there is no more time. We
cannot predict when we will pass or become incapacitated, but once an Estate Plan is in place it
is in place forever.


If you die in California without a Trust or Will, your assets will pass pursuant to the laws of
intestate succession as defined in Probate Code § 6400 et set. Your estate will be distributed to
your family pursuant to a strict, non-contestable progression.


Let’s take the story of Howard Hughes, the richest man in the world between 1960s to 1980s, as
a cautionary tale. In one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar worthy roles, The Aviator, he played the
eccentric aviator, inventor, movie producer, and business tycoon Howard Hughes. If you have
not watched it, you should. It is an amazing film about the rise and fall of Hughes who battled
OCD, paranoia, and physical pain related to a near death plane crash.

In 2023, at the age of 18, Hughes had inherited almost a million dollars (almost $18,000,000.00
in 2023) and Hughes Tool Company from his father. He turned his inheritance to a business
empire, which in 1926 he expanded into Hollywood creating the notable movies Two Arabian
Knights, Hell’s Angels, Sky Devils, Scarface, and The Outlaw. From there, Hughes began
investing heavily into the aviation industry creating Hughes Aircraft Company in 1934 and
acquiring Trans World Airlines in 1939. In the 1950s, Hughes began buying up real estate in
California, Arizona, and Nevada that later skyrocketed in value. In 1967 Hughes began buying
Las Vegas casinos, airports, and most of the undeveloped vacant land. In the early 1970s Hughes
became a recuse and dropped out of the public view.


In 1976, Hughes died of organ failure while traveling from Acapulco to Huston in his airplane.
He was 70 years old.


At the time of his death, Howard Hughes’s net worth was approximately $2.5 billion the
wealthiest man in the world at the time. Today, that would be approximately $13.5 billion.
Hughes, who if he did not make a single dollar more would be almost breaking the top 100 on
today’s Forbes billionaire list), died intestate, with no estate plan whatsoever.


The Probate process can be expensive, take time, and is public. Probate of an intestate estate can
cause absolute chaos and confusion, even more so when the estate in question is worth billions,
with no direct heirs. For the Hughes estate, the final asset was sold and distributed in 2010, over
34 years after his demise.


Following the death of Hughes, many documents surfaced purporting to be Hughes’s Will. After
years of litigation, they were all determined to be forgery. After the forgeries were taken care of,
the Nevada Court determined that Hughes died intestate and that his estate would be distributed
to his heirs-at-law.

Hughes was divorced, had no children, no siblings, and no close living relatives. In 1984, the
vast majority of his $2.5 billion estate ended up being divided amongst 22 cousins.
In California, if you do not have an Estate Plan, the State has one for you, it is called intestate
succession. Proper estate planning can avoid the unintended consequences of the laws of
intestate succession. Do you think that Howard Hughes intended for his estate, that he grew from
$1 million dollars to over $2.5 billion dollars to be distributed to first cousins, some of which he
likely never met or knew?


We offer free consultations for new estate plans as well as for review of previous estate plans.
Many of our clients elect to schedule an annual check-up, but we recommend reviewing your
estate plan with an attorney at least every three years.


Schedule your free consultation today!

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Howard_Hughes

What To Do If You Are Involved in an Auto Accident

Over one thousand auto accidents happen every day in California. Whether you are involved
auto v. auto, auto v. pedestrian, truck v. auto, motorcycle accident, or a hit and run you need to be
prepared and know what to do in the moment. Right after an auto accident you may be in pain,
scared, angry, or confused and forget about what you should do. While each accident is unique,
we at Grismer Law want to prepare you to ensure you make a full recovery. Here are the steps
you can take in the moment, and after:

1. Check for Injuries
Immediately after the accident, check yourself, your passengers, and others involved to
determine if there are any injuries. If you or anyone else are injured, immediately call 911 or ask
someone else to if you are unable to. If seriously injured, try not to move and wait for emergency
personnel.

2. Move to Safety
If you are able, move your vehicle or yourself to a safe area to avoid blocking traffic or risking
further collisions. If your vehicle is not drivable, turn on the hazard lights, leave the vehicle
where it is, and get yourself to the side of the road, shoulder, or sidewalk.

3. Call 911
Regardless of if the accident is minor or major, you should contact law enforcement to document
the accident with a police report. Law enforcement will help you gather information, obtain
statements, document the scene, and create an accident report. If the police are unable to come to
the scene, you can go to a local police station or CHP field office to complete a report yourself.
Both insurance companies may ask for a copy of the report to assist with the claims process.

4. Document the Accident
Even if law enforcement documents the accident, you should also gather as much information as
possible. Obtain the following information from all drivers and witnesses involved: names,
addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Take
pictures of the scene, vehicles involved, traffic control systems, conditions on the day of the
accident, and any injuries sustained.

5. Do Not Discuss Who Is At Fault
We recommend that you avoid discussing fault when giving statements to law enforcement or to
the other parties. Most importantly, don’t admit fault! Even if you believe you may be at fault for
the accident, there may be other factors you may not be aware of such as certain vehicle codes or
regulations that may apply and change the outcome.

6. Get Medical Help
Your number one priority should always be your or your loved one’s health. Not only in this an
important step in building your case, but it is critical for your overall safety and recovery. The
unfortunate truth is that insurance companies do not believe that you are injured unless your
injuries are well documented, i.e. emergency room or treating physician records in proximity to
the accident. Visiting a doctor immediately after your accident is the most important thing you
can do to create a strong record of your injuries.

You also may not know the full extent of your injuries, especially if you sustained a head injury.
Moreover, it is common for injuries to be hidden because of your body’s natural defense
mechanism of releasing adrenaline. Seeking the proper medical care can make sure all of your
injuries are accounted for and documented which is essential to your case. Ultimately, if you wait
to seek medical treatment the insurance company will dismiss your injuries and argue that they
are unrelated to the accident.

7. Contact Grismer Law
The insurance company is not your friend, and they are not on your side. Even your own
insurance company doesn’t have your best interest in mind. They may act concerned for your
injuries, and assure you that they are going to compensate you for your losses. However, despite
their illusions of assistance, their ultimate goal is to pay you as little as possible to increase their
company’s profits.

At Grismer Law, not only are we on your side, but we have the resources and experience to win
your case. Our team will be with be with you from start to finish, including contacting the
insurance company, filing the necessary claims, all the negotiations and legal paperwork, and
trial if necessary. We will also track your treatment and assist you in getting the medical
treatment you need.

Call us today for a free zero obligation case review. And remember, we take your case on a
contingency fee basis which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

What To Do If You Have A Slip And Fall Accident

Life happens, and so do life’s unexpected events. Slip and Fall accident are one of those
unexpected events. Most people after a slip and fall accident are in pain, scared, embarrassed,
confused, and may not know what to do in the moment. As a result, critical things may get
overlooked that may help you make a full recovery not only health wise, but financially.

Premise Liability involving slip/trip and fall accidents are a type of action against the owner of
property, including buildings, homes, parking lots, public property, or sidewalks. Landowners
have a duty to ensure that their property is safe. If you are seriously hurt after slipping, tripping,
and falling on someone else’s property because the owner failed to keep their property safe, you
could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain you
endured as a result of the accident.

We at Grismer Law want to help you plan for the unexpected so that when the time comes, we
can put you in the best position to help you make a full recovery. Here are the steps you should
take during and after a slip and fall accident occurs:

1. Get Medical Help
Your number one priority should always be your or your loved one’s health. Not only is this an
important step in building your case, but it is critical for your overall safety and recovery. The
unfortunate truth is that insurance companies do not believe that you are injured unless your
injuries are well documented, i.e. emergency room or treating physician records in proximity to
the accident. Visiting a doctor immediately after your accident is the most important thing you
can do to create a strong record of your injuries.

You also may not know the full extent of your injuries, especially if you have sustained a head
injury. Moreover, it is common for injuries to be hidden because of your body’s natural defense
mechanism of releasing adrenaline. Seeking the immediate proper medical care can make sure all
your injuries are accounted for and documented which is essential to your case. Ultimately, if
you wait to seek medical treatment the insurance company will dismiss your injuries and argue
that they are unrelated to the accident.

2. Inspect and Document the Scene
If you are physically able to, the best time to collect evidence related to the accident is right after
it occurs. Try to identify the cause of your fall such as liquid (water, milk, etc.) or debris on the
floor, unattended tripping hazards, or building defects. Moreover, make note of any signage in
the area such as “wet floor” signs or the lack thereof. If not documented at the time of the
accident it may be hard to recreate what exactly happened, which may present certain defenses
for the insurance company. Also, you should store your shoes and clothing you were wearing at
the time of the accident as they may become important pieces of evidence later.

3. Take Pictures
It is very important to document the scene and your injuries with photographs. Take pictures of
the floor and the surrounding area – take pictures of everything.

Pictures can help us determine the possible cause of the accident as well as place a jury at the
scene when trial comes. Jurors expect every case to involve CSI level television. Testimony can
help set the scene, but photographs can help them visualize the scene and prove that your
recollection is accurate.

4. Get Information for Witnesses
Another important aspect of documenting a scene is to identify and collect possible witness
information. Collect each potential witness’s name, address, phone number, and email. While
they may not have time to give a thorough statement immediately, their statements later can help
support your recollection of the accident.

5. Report the Accident
Making an official written report with the store manager, owner, or landlord is critical. Not only
does it establish that the accident happened, which often is disputed, but it helps establish an
accurate report of the accident for the premises to investigate.

When making a written report of the accident, do not embellish the accident or your injuries.
Include all important information regarding incident and the pain you are experiencing at that
time. Make sure you get a copy of the report for your records.

If an insurance company reaches out to you for a recorded statement, respectfully decline until
you have a chance to talk to your attorney. Do not post the details of the accident, your injuries,
or your treatment on social media.

6. Contact Grismer Law
The insurance company is not your friend, and they are not on your side. They may act
concerned for your injuries and assure you that they are going to compensate you for your losses.
However, despite their illusions of assistance, their ultimate goal is to pay you as little as
possible to increase their company’s profits.

At Grismer Law, not only are we on your side, but we have the resources and experience to win
your case. Our team will be with be with you from start to finish, including all the negotiations,
legal paperwork, and trial if necessary. We will also track your treatment and assist you in
getting the medical treatment you need.

Call us today for a free, zero obligation case review, and remember, we take your case on a
contingency fee basis which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

UNinsured or UNDERinsured Coverage

One of the most overlooked portions of automobile insurance coverage, and most important in California is Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, also referred to as UM and UIM
coverage. UM and UIM coverage are designed to cover your injuries, your passengers’ injuries, and damage to your vehicle in the event you the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or if they do not have enough insurance.

Although every driver in the State of California is required to have a minimum auto insurance policy, there are many drivers on the roads who do not carry insurance. In 2019, California approximately 16.6% of bodily injury claims involved uninsured motorists according to the https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists. That means that the victim in 16.6% of all accidents involving an injury had no insurance available, unless they had UM and UIM coverage. Given there are approximately 27 million drivers in California, that averages to almost 4.5 million drivers on the road, who do not have any insurance.

Most other drivers elect to have the minimum liability coverage permitted in California, usually
because this policy has the lowest monthly premium, which is $15,000.00 per person and up to
$30,000.00 per occurrence. Under this insurance policy, the most you can recover from the at fault driver would be $15,000.00, regardless of the extent of your injuries. Unless the at fault driver has additional insurance or assets, you could be left without a full recovery, necessitating you to pay expensive medical bills and other financial obligations out of pocket as a result of the
other driver’s negligence.

This is where your insurance coverage can end up being your guardian angel. If you have elected for UM and UIM coverage, you would have the ability to seek full recovery of your damages from your own insurance for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, physical and
emotional pain and suffering, and overall loss of quality of life.

UM and UIM coverage can also be used in bicycle accidents, vehicle versus pedestrians, and even hit-and-run accidents, so if the at-fault party flees the accident scene, you can submit a claim directly to your insurance company seeking recovery.

Your entitled to the same coverage to protect you if you are at fault for a UM and UIM policy. Meaning, if you have liability coverage of $100,000.00, you are entitled to get $100,000.00 UM and UIM coverage.

We understand that being in a car accident can by scary, stressful, and frustrating. Moreso if the
at fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your losses. If you were
involved in an automobile accident, or any type of accident we at Grismer Law are here to help.
Your consultation is free, and you will never be charged attorney fees unless you receive compensation.

Aretha Franklin’s Estate Battle Illustrates The Importance of Preparing a Proper Estate Plan

Aretha Franklin EstateOn July 11, 2023, a Jury in Michigan determined that a handwritten will found in the iconic singer’s couch after her demise was valid putting to rest a four-year litigation over the estate.

Aretha Franklin’s reported net worth at the time of her death was estimated at $80 million. Now, the estate estimates its assets are less than $6 million, including intellectual property rights such as music royalties, as well as cash, jewelry and property.

Aretha Franklin died in 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. As reported by NBC
News, Franklin’s longtime entertainment lawyer had advised the singer to have a valid will and
trust prepared prior to her demise which could have avoided the estate battle.

Originally, it was thought that the singer had not prepared an estate plan at all. However, since
then, two handwritten wills were discovered, and it has been an all-out war between her children
over the estate since.

page 1 of Aretha Franklin willpage 2 of Aretha Franklin willpage 3 of Aretha Franklin willpage 4 of Aretha Franklin willpage 5 of Aretha Franklin will

Open PDF of Aretha Franklin’s found will.

Not only was the estate in limbo for four years, delayed by the pandemic and slowed by litigation, but the parties have likely spent tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands, in litigation of this matter through trial.

In California, a handwritten or “holographic” will is a handwritten document that does not require all the normal formalities of a will. These handwritten wills are valid in California so long as they meet certain requirements; it must be written by the testator and signed by them before death. A handwritten will does not have to be witnessed nor notarized to be valid.

In the underlying litigation of the Franklin estate, the singer had prepared a 2010 handwritten
draft of her will that was found in a locked box and a 2014 handwritten will was found in the singer’s couch after her death. The 2014 handwritten will was significantly different then the 2010 draft. The primarily differences between the two documents were the ultimate distribution of the estate assets as well as control over the administration of the estate.

Following a short trial, a jury deliberated for less than an hour and found that the 2014 handwritten will was valid.

Years of litigation, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees could have been avoided had
Aretha Franklin prepared a proper estate plan.

Regardless of the size of your estate, we at Grismer Law care about our clients and the legacies they leave behind. We offer free consultations for new estate plans as well as for review of previous estate plans. Many of our clients elect to schedule an annual check-up, but we
recommend reviewing your estate plan with an attorney at least every three years.

Schedule your free consultation today!

 

Orange County Workers Comp: What You Need to Know

Orange County Workers Comp: What You Need to Know

Orange County Workers CompensationNavigating the complex world of Orange County workers’ compensation can be daunting, especially if you’re dealing with an injury or illness. You may be unsure about your rights, the claims process, and how to get the compensation you deserve. But don’t worry, help is at hand! We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of Orange County workers’ comp. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about workers’ compensation in Orange County, from the basics of the claims process to the most common types of injuries and illnesses covered. So, whether you’re a worker who has been injured on the job or an employer who wants to ensure that your workers are protected, read on to discover all the essential information you need to navigate Orange County workers’ comp with confidence.

Understanding Workers Comp Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their work. This insurance is mandatory in California, and it is the responsibility of employers to provide it to their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs that arise from work-related injuries and illnesses.

In Orange County, workers’ compensation insurance is regulated by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. This agency oversees the administration of workers’ compensation claims and ensures that employees receive the benefits they are entitled to. The Division of Workers’ Compensation also provides education and outreach to employers and employees to ensure that they understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the injury or illness must have occurred while the employee was performing work-related duties. This includes injuries that occur on the employer’s premises, during work-related travel, or while performing tasks that are required by the employer. If the injury or illness is not work-related, the employee may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of Workers Comp Claims

Workers Comp Orange CountyThere are two main types of workers’ compensation claims: medical-only claims and indemnity claims. Medical-only claims are for injuries or illnesses that require medical treatment but do not result in lost wages. Indemnity claims are for injuries or illnesses that result in lost wages.

Medical-only claims cover medical expenses related to the injury or illness, including doctor visits, hospitalization, and medication. If an employee misses work due to the injury or illness, they may be eligible for temporary disability benefits, which provide a portion of their lost wages while they are unable to work.

Indemnity claims cover both medical expenses and lost wages. If an employee is unable to work due to the injury or illness, they may be eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits provide a portion of the employee’s lost wages while they are unable to work, while permanent disability benefits provide ongoing financial support for employees who are unable to return to work due to their injury or illness.

Orange County Workers Comp Benefits

In Orange County, workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide financial support for employees who are injured or become ill due to their work. These benefits include medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits.

Medical treatment benefits cover the cost of medical treatment related to the injury or illness, including doctor visits, hospitalization, and medication. These benefits are available to employees regardless of whether they miss work due to the injury or illness.

Temporary disability benefits provide a portion of the employee’s lost wages while they are unable to work due to the injury or illness. The amount of these benefits is based on the employee’s pre-injury earnings and is subject to a maximum weekly benefit amount set by the state.

Permanent disability benefits provide ongoing financial support for employees who are unable to return to work due to their injury or illness. The amount of these benefits is based on the severity of the disability and the employee’s pre-injury earnings.

Death benefits are available to the families of employees who die as a result of a work-related injury or illness. These benefits provide financial support for the employee’s dependents and cover the cost of funeral expenses.

The Workers Comp Claim Process

The workers’ compensation claim process can be complex, and it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee or employer. The following is an overview of the workers’ compensation claim process in Orange County.

1. Report the injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. This should be done in writing and should include the date, time, and location of the injury or illness.

2. Seek medical treatment for the injury or illness. Your employer may provide you with a list of approved doctors, or you may choose your own doctor if your employer does not provide a list.

3. Your employer will file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will investigate the claim and determine whether to accept or deny it.

4. If the claim is accepted, you will receive medical treatment and may be eligible for disability benefits if you are unable to work due to the injury or illness.

5. If the claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You may want to consider hiring an attorney to help you with the appeals process.

Common Workers Comp Mistakes to Avoid

There are several common mistakes that employees and employers make when dealing with workers’ compensation claims. These mistakes can result in delays in receiving benefits or even the denial of a claim. The following are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Failing to report the injury or illness to the employer in a timely manner.

2. Choosing a doctor who is not approved by the employer or the insurance carrier.

3. Failing to attend medical appointments or follow the doctor’s orders.

4. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carrier within the required timeframe.

5. Failing to provide accurate information about the injury or illness.

Finding the Right Workers Comp Attorney

If you are dealing with a workers’ compensation claim, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney to help you navigate the process and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. When choosing an attorney, it is important to look for someone who has experience in workers’ compensation law and who has a proven track record of success.

You may also want to consider an attorney who offers a free consultation, as this can give you the opportunity to discuss your case and determine whether the attorney is a good fit for you. You can request a free consultation with our team by completing the form on this page.

Workers Comp Appeals and Hearings

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. This may involve a hearing before an administrative law judge, where you will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of your claim.

It is important to be prepared for the appeals process and to have a strong case. This may involve obtaining medical evidence to support your claim and working with an attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation appeals.

Workers Comp Fraud

Workers’ compensation fraud is a serious crime that can result in fines, imprisonment, and loss of benefits. This can include filing false claims, exaggerating the severity of an injury or illness, or misrepresenting the facts of a claim.

Employers and employees should be aware of the signs of workers’ compensation fraud and take steps to prevent it. This may involve implementing policies to detect and prevent fraud, providing education and training to employees, and working with law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of fraud.

Conclusion

Navigating Orange County workers’ compensation can be challenging, but with the right information and support, you can ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. Whether you are an employee who has been injured on the job or an employer who wants to protect your workers, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities under the law. By following the tips and advice in this article, you can navigate the workers’ compensation process with confidence and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Personal Injury Lawyer Orange County

Personal Injury Attorneys in Orange County

Personal Injury Lawyer Los Angeles and Orange CountySuffering a an accident and personal injury can be a traumatic experience, and it can be difficult to navigate the legal system on your own. Hiring a personal injury lawyer from a respected law firm can provide you with the support and guidance you need to seek compensation for your injuries. Learn about the benefits of an accident lawyer by working with a skilled law firm like GP Law and our experienced personal injury claims attorneys.

Knowledge of Personal Injury Law and Legal Process.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Orange County is their knowledge of the law and legal process when it comes to a personal injury case in California. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. They can also provide you with valuable advice on how to proceed with your case and what to expect throughout the process. With their expertise, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands.

Most personal injury cases can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with injuries and medical bills. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you understand the legal process and guide you through each step of your case. They can also help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and medical providers, and represent you in court if necessary. With their experience and understanding of the law, a personal injury lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. So if you have been injured in a car accident or any other type of accident, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.

In addition to their knowledge of the law, injury victims and legal process, a personal injury lawyer can also provide you with emotional support during a personal injury case. They understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that an injury can take on you and your family, and they will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Whether you have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you get back on your feet and move forward with your life. So if you are in need of legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer today.

Personal Injury Lawyers Bring Negotiation Skills and Experience.

Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with an insurance company and other parties involved in your case. They know how to build a strong case and present it in a way that maximizes your chances of receiving fair compensation. They can also help you understand the value of your case and negotiate a settlement that covers all of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With a skilled negotiator on your side, you can rest assured that your interests are being protected.

When it comes to personal injury cases, negotiation skills and experience are crucial. A good personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case to get you the damages you deserve. They understand the tactics used by insurance adjusters to try and minimize your personal injury claim amount, and they know how to counter those tactics with strong arguments and evidence. With their experience and knowledge, they can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. So if you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

In addition to their negotiation skills, many personal injury lawyers also have experience dealing with similar cases and understanding the value of your claim. They can help you gather evidence, such as medical records and witness statements, to build a strong case and present it in a way that maximizes your chances of success. They can also advise you on whether to accept a settlement offer or take your case to trial. With their guidance and support, you can focus on your recovery while they fight for your rights and fair compensation. So if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer.

Personal Injury Lawyer Access to Resources and Experts.

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you gain access to a network of resources and experts that can help strengthen your case. Your lawyer may work with medical professionals to assess the extent of your injuries and determine the long-term impact on your health and ability to work. They may also consult with accident reconstruction specialists to gather evidence and build a strong case against the responsible party. With these resources at their disposal, your lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome and financial compensation for your case.

In addition to medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists, personal injury lawyers may also work with economists to calculate the financial impact of your injuries, vocational experts to assess your ability to work and earn a living, and other experts as needed. These resources can be invaluable in building a strong case and negotiating a fair settlement or winning a favorable verdict in court. Without the help of a personal injury lawyer and their network of resources and experts, you may not be able to fully understand the extent of your injuries or the long-term impact on your life, and you may not be able to recover the damages you deserve.

When you suffer a personal injury, it can be overwhelming to navigate the legal system and fight for what you deserve. That’s where a personal injury lawyer comes in. By using personal injury lawsuits and hiring a lawyer, you gain access to a network of resources and experts that can help strengthen your case and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Personal Injury Law Advice and Guidance.

One of the key benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer is the objective advice and guidance they can provide throughout the legal process. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, and provide an unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf, ensuring that you receive fair restitution for your injuries and losses. With a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands.

When you’ve been injured in a car accident or any other accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. That’s where a personal injury attorney comes in. These legal professionals specialize in helping people who have been injured in car accidents due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. They can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the complex legal system and get the restitution you deserve. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and fight for your rights. So if you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to reach out to a personal injury lawyer for help.

In addition to providing objective advice and guidance, personal injury attorneys can also handle all aspects of your case, from gathering evidence and filing paperwork to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court. This can be especially helpful if you are dealing with a serious injury and need to focus on your recovery. Your lawyer can take care of the legal details, allowing you to focus on getting better. And because most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, you don’t have to worry about upfront costs or fees. Your lawyer will only get paid if you receive a settlement or judgment in your favor. So if you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.

A Personal Injury Attorney Increases Your Chance of Fair Compensation.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a personal injury lawyer or personal injury attorney is the increased chance of receiving damages or settlement amount for your injuries and losses. Insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate with a lawyer than with an individual, as they know that lawyers have a deep understanding of the legal system and can hold them accountable for their actions. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with the other party to ensure that you receive the damages you deserve. With a lawyer on your side, you can focus on your own medical treatment and recovery while they handle the legal details. Talking directly with the insurance company on your behalf At this stage, your lawyer may attempt to negotiate a fair settlement that avoids court. If the terms offered by the insurance company are not satisfactory, your attorney will more than likely file a lawsuit. If a settlement is not reached your lawyer can file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit signals a new phase in the pursuit of compensation. A personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit when they formalize their legal theories

In addition to negotiating with insurance companies, personal injury lawyers can also help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. They can advise you on the best course of action, whether that means reaching a fair settlement amount and settling out of court or going to trial. They can also help you understand the various types of damages you may be entitled to from your personal injury lawsuit or accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With their expertise and guidance, you can feel confident that you are taking the necessary steps to secure fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

How can a personal injury lawyer help?

Lawyers often appear at their worst days. Your injuries can never be dried up until your bills are written out and sent by insurance companies or police. When we focus purely on recovering our body we can feel overwhelmed and stressed wondering where to go from here? When you have been hurt, you should speak with someone about your case. Personal injury lawyers help victims in accident cases get compensation. The funds can be used in many cases as medical expenses, compensatory damages and compensation.

Personal Injury Lawyers Will Discuss the Accident with You and Advise You of Your Rights

Often people hurt in an accident have a claim for damages for their injuries or loss. A professional personal injury lawyer can help with the negotiation of a compensation plan. If insurance is refusing to settle your claim a legal professional is prepared to take the case to trial. Your version of the accident will become your legal roadmap when it comes to protecting yourself. When you talk to the accident attorney your claim requires further clarification.

Personal Injury Lawyers Will Discuss Your Claim with Insurance Companies

If your accident is auto-related, your insurance company may be asking you a question. If you were injured in an accident during your job then your employer may require you to obtain the information. Everyone will demand recorded testimony. If I’m injured my lawyer is going to:

After case facts are provided, a personal injury lawyer may decide to launch investigation and filing a lawsuit

Typically, preparation for settlements or litigation involves an investigative process. Your injury lawyer can begin the legal investigation of your case immediately. In some instances a thorough investigation may vary based on your circumstances. Many lawyers are personally involved in an in-depth investigation. Others have hired investigators. A witness or forensic expert is available for hearing or for support of an investigation. Generally, a lawsuit investigation is about finding the facts necessary for a winning case.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Protect Your Right to Recover Compensation

If your injuries are caused due to a car accident or faulty product then your recovery will be the main focus. As you focus on urgent health issues or therapeutic treatments, your personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights. They create barriers between yourself and anyone causing you pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of an injury, you may feel that the situation will continue to escalate. Your attorney can help you during these difficult days after accidents.

What percentage do most personal injury lawyers take?

In most cases, an attorney can recover up to three3% of the settlement. But trials often require different amounts of money. Typically fees are charged in order to reduce the risk for the client to retain an attorney for their legal matters.

What is another name for a personal injury lawyer?

The term Trial lawyers has been used in legal circles because many other lawyers are present in trials even though most cases are not pending in court.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury in California?

Injuries: 2 years from the accident. If the accident occurs quickly, the injury will last up to a year after the incident happened. Breach of written contract. Breach of an oral agreement 2 years after contract breach.

Lady Gaga Sued

Lady Gaga Sued for Not Paying $500,000.00 to Dog Thief Accomplice

California is widely considered top ten in almost every category. This includes consistently topping the list for being one of the most litigious states in our nation. 

Yes. In California you could be sued for just about anything. Remember the movie Liar Liar starring Jim Carrey? If you are like me, it is one of my all-time personal favorites and the exchange between Fletcher (Jim Carrey) and his legal assistant Greta (played by wonderful Anne Haney) is sometimes comically accurate of our legal system: 

Lady Gaga Sued for Not Paying $500,000.00 to Dog Thief Accomplice

Greta: A couple years ago my friend had a burglar on her roof, a burglar. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a butcher’s knife cutting his leg. The burglar sued my friend, he sued my friend. And because of guys like you HE WON. My friend had to pay the burglar $6,000. Is that justice?

Fletcher: No. I’d’a’ got him ten.

Here, we have a not so unsimilar situation where Lady Gaga is being sued for the $500,000.00 reward she promised for the return of her French Bulldogs- by the alleged accomplice to the underlying dog thief and attempted murder of Lady Gaga’s dog walker. 

Amazingly, the alleged accomplice, Jennifer McBride, is suing in Los Angeles County Superior Court for breach of contract and fraud alleging that Lady Gaga never paid the $500,000.00 reward which was offered at “no questions asked.” In the complaint, she argues that reward was offered at “no questions asked,” and Lady Gaga failed to pay. She is also asking for punitive damages.

Back in December 2022, McBride pled no contest to one count of receiving stolen property and received a two-year probation sentence. Unfortunately, pleas of no contest are generally not admissible in a civil matter; however, she will not be able to navigate through the discovery process without getting slammed with this inconvenient truth.

Among the many defenses Lady Gaga will have at her disposal, one of the biggest we see is the doctrine of unclean hands. In General, one who comes into equity must come with clean hands. A court will neither aid in the commission of a fraud by enforcing a contract, nor relieve one of two parties to a fraud from its consequences, where both are in pari delicto (Latin for in equal fault). Unconscientious conduct in the transaction may give rise to the defense.

Unlike Greta’s friend in Liar Liar, we believe the outcome in Lady Gaga’s matter is going to much different. If somehow this matter survives a motion for summary judgment based on the unclean hands defense and many others, we do not see a judge or jury looking very favorably toward McBride. 

We hear at Grismer|Patterson, LLP are a full service law firm. We prosecute and defend all types of Trust Litigation and Civil Litigation matters ranging from Personal Injury, Breach of Contract, Business Disputes, Trust and Will Contests, etc. If you want us to evaluate your case, contact our office and set up a free consultation. 

Heath Ledger Estate

Everyone remembers the tragic death of Heath Ledger in 2008 from an accidental overdose at
the young age of 28. His acting as the joker in “The Dark Knight” is unparalleled, even by the
1989 rendition by Jack Nicholson. My wife remembers and loves him best in “10 Things I Hate
About You.” Personally, I have watched “A Knights Tale” and “Lords of Dogtown” literally
100s of times.

While he is best known for his Oscar and Academy Award winning acting, most people did not know the controversy that arose following his demise regarding his estate. In 2003, during his rise to fame, Heath Ledger prepared a Last Will and Testament declaring that he was domiciled in Australia. At the time, he was unmarried, and he had no children. Therefore, in the event of his demise, Heath bequeathed his entire estate to his parents and his siblings, to be divided equally. Had he not prepared an estate plan, he would have died intestate, and his estate would have passed completely to his parents.

Now, I- like most of you- understand that life happens. And when life happens, many things can fall to the wayside. Most people after they create an estate plan never bother to revisit it.

Regardless of my personal plea with every client to follow up with me every two to five years,
very few take me up on the offer. I do not charge for consultations, nor do I charge to simply
review an estate plan.

Personally, as an experienced estate planning and litigation attorney, I always contemplate
unborn children and grandchildren when I prepare estate plans for clients, even where it may be
unlikely or far into the future. Why? Because so many people prepare an estate plan and
completely forget about it. We are human and love to live life in the present. Unfortunately, it is
my job to look into the future and protect a client’s legacy and make sure it is distributed
according to the client’s wishes.

Forgetting about one’s estate plan is likely what happened to Heath. In 2005, Heath and his then
partner Michelle Williams, best known for her time on Dawson’s Creek, gave birth to their
daughter Matilda. Heath died a little over two years later.

At the time of Heath Ledger’s death in 2008, he never revisited and amended his estate plan to
provide for Matilda.

Technically, pursuant to Heath’s estate plan, the estate was to be divided equally between his
parents and siblings. As his will was probated in Australia, there were obvious issues that arose
during the administration that could have resulted in Matilda being left out. This would likely not
have been Heath’s wishes. Eventually, Heath’s parents and siblings decided to leave the entire
estate, valued at over 20 million, to Matilda, to be held in trust for her benefit.

While I cannot comment on the law in Australia, there could have been a very different ending to
this story. In California, there exists several statutes protecting the rights of Omitted Spouses and
Children. Generally, in the event a testamentary instrument such as a will or trust fails to provide
for a child of decedent, born or adopted after the execution of all decedent’s testamentary instruments, the child would be entitled to a portion of the estate as if the decedent had died without having executed any testamentary instrument. See Probate Code § 21620 et seq. For an omitted spouse, the relevant Probate Code § 21610.

While there are exceptions, such as if in the event the decedent 1) intentionally excluded the
omitted heir, which is clear from the testamentary documents, 2) the heir was provided for
outside of the testamentary documents such as beneficiary upon death to accounts or life
insurance proceeds, 3) in the event of a omitted child, the estate is substantially bequeathed to the
parent of the child, or 4) in the event of an omitted spouse there is a valid agreement such as a
prenuptial/antenuptial agreement.

While this story ultimately ended up having a happy ending, the outcome could have been very
different and heartbreaking. Estate planning is not just for older people. Unfortunately, and all
too often, younger people pass away. Everyone, old and young should have some type an estate
plan in place to protect their family legacy, no matter how small.

We at Grismer Law care about our clients and the legacies they leave behind. We offer
free consultations for new estate plans as well as for review of previous estate plans. Many of our
clients elect to schedule an annual check-up, but we recommend reviewing your estate plan with
an attorney at least every three years.

Schedule your free consultation today!

Probating an Estate – Avoid These Common Mistakes

Probating an estate can be complicated. Navigating the probate of estates can be intimidating, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it doesn’t have to be. Get insights and tips on filing paperwork, gathering necessary documents and avoiding common mistakes in this comprehensive guide to probate of estates. While avoiding probate is the goal, sometimes things happen. It is important to have somebody on your side during this process. We specialize in probate of estates, so give us a call to discuss your options.

Lack of Estate Planning prior to probating an estate

One of the most common mistakes made in probate is the lack of estate planning prior to death. Without an updated estate plan, a personal representative may have difficulty properly distributing assets among family members and other beneficiaries. Additionally, if there are any discrepancies with creditors or tax authorities, those claims must be entertained or paid before assets are distributed according to the original will. It is critical to update your estate plan every 5 years or whenever circumstances change in order to avoid these risks and issues.

Inadequate Preparation of Court Filings

Many people make the mistake of skipping necessary steps when filing paperwork with the applicable court. In order to properly administrate a probate, all necessary documents must be in order and include vital information such as correct names and addresses for executors and beneficiaries. Additionally, any executed wills or codicils must also be submitted along with appropriate fees. Improper preparation of these items can delay resolution of the estate or even result in it being rejected in some cases.

Common mistakes to avoid when probating estate

Failure to Identify and Notify All Beneficiaries

It is essential to identify and properly notify all beneficiaries when probating an estate, as even the omission of a single beneficiary may result in legal problems later on. Beneficiaries must be listed with the correct name and current address, as notification letters will be sent to confirm their stated interests in the estate. Otherwise, something as simple as a misspelled name can lead to costly court proceedings down the line.

Misunderstanding Taxes and Other Obligations due to the Estate

During the probate process, it is important to accurately identify and pay all taxes, fees, and other obligations owed by the estate. Depending on how complicated these matters are, they may require the services of a professional tax advisor or accountant. Furthermore, it is wise to remain aware of state and federal deadlines associated with such obligations, as failure to meet these could lead not only to fines but even possible criminal charges when probating an estate.

The executor of the estate is responsible for filing the applicable tax and other forms, as well as for remitting any obligations due. This can be an especially intricate process when more than one state is involved or when a decedent held property in multiple states. For those cases, expertise from a professional may be warranted to ensure all necessary procedures are followed correctly and efficiently. Doing this will help both the executor and beneficiaries avoid time-consuming mistakes that could leave them vulnerable to costly penalties down the road.

Neglecting Inventorying Assets and Debts Owed by the Estate

One of the most common mistakes made in probate is neglecting to inventory assets and debts. It is important that all assets and liabilities be identified, adequately described, and accurately valued. Without an accurate accounting of what belongs to the estate, it is difficult to properly administer the process – underestimating assets or liabilities could result in either inadequate recovery for creditors or unjustly enriching one or more heirs. Additionally, for estates with large amounts of money or property, professional appraisals may need to be conducted to ensure a proper assessment of value.