Articles Posted in Legal Advice and Tips

New Year’s Eve is upon us, and 2020 is right around the corner. As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are making our resolutions for the new year. For most Americans, that means planning to exercise more, lose weight, and save money. All of these are excellent resolutions that will improve your life. But even as you plan on improving your health and taking better care of your bank account, you should consider a resolution that will improve your family’s life – planning your estate.

Estate planning includes the creation of three essential legal documents. First is the will, which lays out your wishes after your death and names an executor, who will carry out those wishes. Then, there is the power of attorney, a document that grants someone else authority to manage your affairs. Finally, there is the advance health care directive, which states your wishes for medical treatment, if you are terminally ill and allows someone else to carry out those wishes with your health care provider.

Planning your estate is one of the best things you can do for your family. According to a 2019 survey, 76% of Americans agreed with this sentiment… and yet only 40% actually have a will. Of those polled, the majority of people who did have an estate plan in place were older adults, while younger people put less importance on an estate plan. Another study indicates only 18% of people over 55 have all of the recommended estate planning essentials– a will, a power of attorney, and an advance health care directive.

Christmas is almost upon us, and New Year’s Eve is around the corner. For many people, this means a chance to enjoy some drinks with friends and family at Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Unfortunately, this means more people driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI-related arrests are at an all-time high between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, as are DUI-related fatalities. According to the US Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people lose their lives in drunk-driving related fatalities in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Most people know that drinking and driving is dangerous, but not everyone is aware of the true cost of a DUI conviction. It is important to be aware of this, especially at a time of year like this, where DUI arrests and fatalities are at an all-time high.

A DUI is More Expensive Than You Think

1519851021570-300x218Christmas is only two weeks away. Now is the time to get that gift shopping done before those amazing holiday sales have passed you by and everything is picked over. But even as you search for that perfect gift at the best possible price, you need to keep yourself safe. Porch pirates aren’t the only thing you have to worry about this holiday season. You also need to keep an eye out for identity thieves.

Over 16.4 million United States citizens became victims of identity theft in 2017, with financial losses totaling upwards of 16.8 billion dollars. Every year, December and January see higher than usual reports of identity theft. According to a 2018 survey, eight percent of consumers polled had their identity stolen in 2017, with twenty-seven percent of these incidents happening while the victim was shopping online for Christmas gifts.

Christmas creates ideal conditions for identity thieves. A busy and chaotic holiday shopping season creates distracted and careless shoppers, who are even easier to take advantage of. A sharp increase in online shopping this time of year creates even more chances for an identity thief to nab someone’s personal information or hook  consumers with a phishing scam. Preventing identity theft is more important than ever this time of year. Luckily, there are multiple steps you can take to protect yourself from these modern-day Grinches:

7bd8181220181983b3302ddbbb014ad6-271x300Online package deliveries soar every holiday season. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are many excellent deals to take advantage of on Amazon or other online marketplaces. And with Christmas looming around the corner, it’s nice to be able to buy that perfect gift with just a few clicks of a mouse, right from the comfort of your own home.

Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping brings a hidden risk – package theft, otherwise known as porch piracy. An increase in package deliveries means an increase in boxes left on doorsteps. With deliveries happening at all hours of the day, there is a good risk your package may be delivered while you’re not home, making it a very easy mark for package thieves. Being home might not even help – a savvy porch pirate might follow the delivery driver, allowing them to nab your package within minutes of its arrival.

If your package is stolen, you should file a claim with the online retailer, contact the shipping carrier and provide the tracking number, and file a report with your local police department. In most cases, online marketplaces will replace the stolen items or provide you with a refund. But how do you prevent package theft from happening to begin with?

What does Thanksgiving Day mean to you? For most people, it means spending some quality time with relatives, enjoying a nice home-cooked meal, and watching some football. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also one of the deadliest times of year. Every Thanksgiving season, the mortality rate in the United States spikes. The main reason behind this sudden increase in deaths? Car accidents.

The National Safety Council estimates that over 417 people may die on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period. According to the NHTSA, over half of people killed on the roads during the 2018 Thanksgiving season weren’t wearing their seat belt, and nearly one out of every three Thanksgiving traffic fatalities involved a collision with a drunk driver.

There are many reasons for a sudden spike in traffic accidents this holiday season. AAA states that more than 45 million people traveled by car to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in 2017. More cars on the roads means more congested roadways, which means more opportunities for collisions. Many people will be driving on unfamiliar roads and determined to get to their destination no matter what, making the likelihood for a deadly traffic accident that much higher.


Do I have to disclose my legal troubles to my employer?

When you’re arrested, many questions can leave you unsure of what to do next. Of the many questions that crop up, you may be asking yourself, “Do I have to tell my employer?” An attorney can help you determine what the correct response is for your situation, but generally speaking, the answer is complicated.

Georgia law gives employers the right to “employ at will,” which means they can hire or fire an employee for any reason, so long as it’s nondiscriminatory. In addition, many applications ask prospective employees to disclose their legal records. This can be a tricky thing to navigate as well because whether you have to disclose is a case-by-case basis.


Autumn is here! This time of year is widely seen as prime riding season, particularly for those of us fortunate enough to live in the South.

Here in Georgia, hopping on my bike in “the dead of winter” isn’t a stretch.

That being said, no matter where you live when you do decide to hop on your bike here 10 Secrets for Smart Touring, courtesy of our friends at the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA):


Did you know that Georgia has a new Distracted Driving Law? The Georgia Legislature recently passed House Bill 673, also known as the new Georgia Distracted Driving Law, which prohibits motorists from handling their cell phones or any electronic devices that may distract them while driving.

This does not necessarily mean that motorists cannot use their cell phones or other electronic devices while operating their vehicle, but it does require drivers to utilize hands-free technology.

Under the new Georgia Distracted Driving Law drivers are now prohibited from doing the following things, although this is not an exhaustive list:

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