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Du Bois Pennsylvania Legal Blog

What are Pennsylvania's laws for deciding custody?

Many divorces involve more than just two spouses. When children are involved, the situation can be tremendously more difficult. These cases can be emotionally trying for parents, children and family members.

Most of the time, each parent believes they deserve custody. But the many factors tied in make for a complex situation. It is not easy decision, so the court takes all matters into consideration. 

Mini Cooper vs. house crash leads to DUI charges

Whether an individual lives here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, attempting to flee from police is never advisable. Not only does it lead to criminal charges, it also puts everyone at risk. One of the first things officers look for when chases end is a reason why. In some cases, police suspect the driver involved of DUI.

Police suspect alcohol played a significant factor in a high-speed chase that ended with the vehicle slamming into a residence on July 4. Around 11 a.m., troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police began pursuing a Mini Cooper traveling at speeds upward of 80 mph northbound on Interstate 83. The car then got off the interstate and eventually wound up in a residential neighborhood.

Could you be heading toward a divorce this August?

Every couple and family is different. Divorce happens during every month of the year, but could there be certain times of the year where more couples choose to get a divorce?

A 2016 study analyzing divorces from 2001 to 2015 shows there are two months of the year when couples file for divorce that are greater than the rest. August and March are peak times for couples to separate.

Estate and probate law are about more than rich, older people

When Pennsylvania residents are young, they may not be able to see a time when they are not. In some ways, that is an admirable trait -- they only see the future in snippets and smaller goals. As they achieve them, they move on to new and bigger goals. However, when it comes to estate and probate law, it is less about being older and richer, and more about planning for an unknown future.

How many times have Pennsylvania residents started down one road and ended up taking another? It is this uncertainty in life that makes failing to plan for the future risky. Young people opening retirement accounts, starting businesses and having children may actually have more to lose. This makes estate planning a crucial part of setting goals and planning the future.

Motorcyclists risk life and limb in motor vehicle accidents

Warmer weather here in Pennsylvania often means more motorcycles on the roads. Their maneuverability, gas mileage and sense of freedom make them popular to a lot of people. Less popular are the risks that come with riding a motorcycle. Motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles often result in loss of life or limb for the one riding the motorcycle.

For example, late in the afternoon on a recent Sunday, a motorcyclist was killed. As he rode, a pickup truck pulled into his path and hit the motorcycle. The 37-year-old man riding the bike was thrown off it.

When do most DUIs occur?

If you see more cops around the streets than usual and there is no local event going on, they are on the lookout for drunk drivers. Because there have been so many DUI incidents over the years around different times, they now know the best times of the days, weeks and months to put additional resources on the roads of Pennsylvania.

It is important that you are aware of these moments so you can be more cautious of when you choose to drive into town.

Futures are cut short by fatal auto accidents

Any loss of life in car crashes is tragic whether they occur here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere. However, when victims of fatal auto accidents are just starting their lives and have nothing but the future ahead of them, the loss may seem even sadder. When a young person is denied a future due to the negligence of another person, it can be downright devastating.

For instance, an 18-year-old volunteer firefighter who had recently graduated from technical school after studying auto repair recently lost is life in a senseless accident. He was the passenger in a vehicle at the time. The driver failed to obey a stop sign and slammed into another vehicle. The fatal accident victim clung to life long enough to be flown to a hospital in the area, but died at the hospital.

Be armed with knowledge if stopped on suspicion of DUI

No one anticipates being stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. Most Pennsylvania drivers know that when they got their driver's licenses they agreed to submit to a breath test when requested by a police officer. When it comes to officers requesting participation in field sobriety tests during a DUI stop, most people believe they are also legally obligated to participate in those tests as well.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The implied consent laws do not apply to field sobriety tests. Drivers do not have to participate in these tests, and in most cases, probably should not. These tests are highly subjective. They rely on a police officer's opinion of whether a driver passes or fails.

Estate planning mistakes could make probate more challenging

The last thing that most Pennsylvania residents want is to make life more challenging for their family members after they pass away. For this reason, they engage in estate planning in order to get their affairs in order so that loved ones have an easier time wrapping up the estate. However, if mistakes are made during the process, it could complicate the probate process.

When first creating an estate plan, most people make sure to include all of their assets in it. Even so, few people go through their entire lives without buying or selling anything. For this reason, a will needs to contain a residuary clause that lets loved ones, the executor and the courts know where any assets not accounted for in the documents should go. Such a provision helps make probate easier.

Financial planning following the death of a parent

You've laid your parent to rest and are now tasked with managing the estate they have left behind. Unfortunately, estate planning never came up in conversation and you are unsure of where you should start. What are the first items of business that should be taken care of?

Here are four steps you can take to clean up your deceased parent's finances, even if you were left in the dark.

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