Tag: Massachusetts

Finances & Kids, Wills & Trusts - the Basics , , , , ,

Trusts: Recipe for cooking a great Trust with Attorney Andrew Garcia

Attorney and Cooking Enthusiast Andrew Garcia passes along his recipe for Cooking up a Great Trust. Andrew spells out the necessary steps that a family needs in order to create an effective trust.

If you would like to set up a trust or for more information about trusts please fill out the contact form or visit us at http://www.phillipsgarcia.com

Finances & Kids, Wills & Trusts - the Basics , , , , ,

Trusts: Recipe for Cooking a Great Living Trust with Attorney Andrew Garcia

Attorney and Cooking Enthusiast Andrew Garcia passes along his recipe for Cooking up a Great Trust. Andrew spells out the necessary steps that a family needs in order to create an effective trust.

If you would like to set up a trust or for more information about trusts please fill out our  contact form

Finances & Kids, Wills & Trusts - the Basics , , , , , ,

Massachusetts Probate Court to Lose 20% of Judges: What’s that mean for me?

Before the end of 2011, 20% of judges in the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court will be stepping down. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports.

So what does this mean for me?

With significantly less Probate and Family Court judges, the Probate process will slow down dramatically, leaving your assets in probate for an extended period of time and in the hands of the remaining overwhelmed judges.

How do I pass down my assets to my children without being affected by the Probate Court?

Set up a Trust! Setting up a trust is the safest way to make sure your assets get to your children without entering Probate.

Why a Trust and not a Will?

A Will “comes to life” when you die and passes your property on through the Probate Court System. A Trust, or “living trust,” “comes to life” when your your still alive and after your death while avoiding Probate Court.

Who can help me set up a trust?

We can! At Phillips Garcia Law we specialize in protecting families by helping them legally pass down their assets in the safest and most precise way possible. Contact us using the Contact Form, call us at 508-998-0800, or email us at [email protected] As always, you can find out more information on protecting your family and creating Trusts at our website, www.phillipsgarcia.com.

Guardianship Over Minors, Young Adults , , , , , , , ,

Social Host Liability: Learn the Laws Before Thinking about Serving to Minors

When throwing a graduation party many parents say the same thing when it comes to drinking:

“The kids are going to drink anyway, so why don’t we provide a place in our home for them where they can be supervised?”

In response, we have found a few pieces of information to think about as well as the laws in Massachusetts.

  1. While parents who adopt this approach think they will be able to supervise a teenage party with alcohol, they cannot predict situations that may develop if a minor has been drinking.
  2. Good intentions aside, this approach may subject both parents and child to criminal penalties and civil liability.
  3. If teenage alcohol consumption has taken place at a supervised party, and the teenagers have left the home, the “social host’s” responsibility does not end.

The following are penalties one may face if they choose to host a party and/or provide alcohol for minors.

Contributing to the delinquency of minor.
Penalty: Max. 1 yr in prison; $500 fine or both.
Sale, delivery, furnishing alcohol to person under 21 years old.
Penalty: Max. 1 yr in prison, max. $2,000 fine; or both

Common Questions:

Can I be sued if my child or a teenage guest at my home drinks alcohol and harms another person?

Yes. Under the principle of social host liability, you can be held financially responsible if your guest harms or kills another person after having consumed alcohol at your home.

Why should I be liable for the criminal or negligent acts of my guests? If my guest kills or injures someone in a drunk driving accident after drinking in my home, why should that be my problem?

If your guest was under age 21 and you allowed him to consume alcohol, you committed a crime. Violation of a criminal statute is powerful evidence that you were negligent. There is no good reason to allow anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. If your guest was an adult who was visibly impaired, you were negligent if you permitted him to drink alcohol at your home. There is no good reason to serve any impaired guest more alcohol.

For more information about the Social Host Liability Law’s and how to protect your children, visit our website at www.phillipsgarcia.com call us at 508-998-0800 or email Andrew Garcia at [email protected].

Massachusetts also provides this great brochure with very important information on this topic.

Uncategorized , , , , , ,

Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Since graduation season is among us we thought that it would be important to explain some of the relevant laws for children and parents during these celebratory times. In the next couple of days we will be touching upon alcohol related, driving, partying, and texting laws. Specifically, today we will explain the texting while driving law.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, Massachusetts has adopted a law against specific phone uses while driving, due to the surge of accidents and even deaths caused by texting, web surfing, and reading or writing e-mails over the phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Under the Massachusetts Law, as of September 30, 2010, reading or writing texts, surfing the web, and reading or writing e-mails are all considered a Civil Offense EVEN WHILE STOPPED AT A STOP SIGN.

The Penalties are as follows (FOUND ON THE COMMONWEALTH CONVERSATION WEBSITE)

Civil Offense-No insurance surcharge

(Operators cannot use any mobile telephone or handheld device capable of accessing the Internet to write, send, or read an electronic message including text messages, emails, and instant messages or to access the Internet while operating a vehicle. Law applies even if the vehicle is stopped in traffic.)

1st offense-$100

2nd offense-$250

3rd or subs offense-$500

The laws also state that a Junior Operator (driver under the age of 18) is prohibited from using cellular phones all together.

Ch 90/8M- Use of a Mobile Phone or Mobile Electronic Device by a Junior Operator

Civil Offense- No Surcharge

(Mobile electronic device includes mobile telephone, text messaging device, paging device, PDA, laptop computer, electronic equipment capable of playing video games or video disks or can take/transmit digital photographs or can receive a television broadcast. Mobile electronic device does not include any equipment permanently or temporarily installed to provide navigation, emergency assistance or rear seat video entertainment. Reporting an emergency is the only exception. Drivers are encouraged to pull over and stop the vehicle to report the emergency.)

1st offense-$100, 60 day license suspension & attitudinal course

2nd offense-$250, 180 day suspension

3rd or subs offense-$500, 1 year suspension

The above information is provided by the Massachusetts Transpotation Blog which you can find here. If you have any more questions regarding driving laws or would like to meet with an attorney at Phillips & Garcia Law please visit our website at www.phillipsgarcia.com or give us a call at (508) 998-0800. You can also email us at [email protected]

Finances & Kids, Young Adults , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prom and Graduation Season: Protecting Your Children

It’s one of the most exciting times of the year, the sun is finally out, the Sox and Bruins are winning and guess what, it’s prom and graduation season! Prom is an incredible experience that culminates a whole year of hard work and perseverance during one of the most confusing times of a person’s life, high school. This can also be said for many high school seniors who are graduating this spring and ready to celebrate. You should celebrate! You deserve it. Celebration along with year ending ceremonies is a right of passage and it is important for you and your child to understand how to celebrate safely and within the limits of the law.

This week we are going to be discussing a variety of topics ranging from prom safety, minors and drinking, to texting while driving. We truly believe that this special time in our lives should be cherished and completed safely so that we can all look back and remember our wonderful young years.

To start off I’ve compiled a few local articles with great information about these topics. Enjoy!

A great tip from Safeandsober.com
“Weekends and especially Prom night are the worst times to be on the road. There are more drunk drivers at that time. Be sure to drive carefully and know where you’re going. Keep your cell phone charged in case of an emergency and take extra precautions like pausing another second at a red light or stop sign.”

“Durfee Seniors Win Prom Safety Video Contest” Congrats to the local seniors at Durfee High for winning “Dance, Don’t Chance” video contest. Great stuff, check it out!

“Grant Designed to Combat Underage Drinking”

“Help teenagers avoid prom pitfalls”

“Simulators show drivers, teens crash consequences”

 To speak with Attorney Garcia call him at (508) 998-0800 or email him at [email protected] For more information on how to protect your family visit us at www.phillipsgarcia.com. Have a smart-phone? Scan below!

Finances & Kids , , , , , , , ,

Update: Dartmouth Massachusetts Attorney Takes on Bank of America in Federal Court

Today, Attorney Andrew Garcia from Phillips & Garcia Law is scheduled to appear at Federal Court in Sacramento, Ca. Today’s meeting is for a Rule 16 Scheduling conference for a case against America’s largest bank, Bank of America. Your probably wondering “what exactly is a Rule 16 Scheduling conference?” Check out this link from the Cornell Law School.

You can follow Andrew’s twitter here, where he will be updating us on his day.

Phillips & Garcia is known for being a small yet powerful firm always fighting for the common consumer’ family and their rights. They specifically select only a handful of clients in order to exert the right amount of time and care into each case. All too often the rights of consumers are ignored by BIG corporations who are looking out for their bottom line.” From the insurance company to the big bank, Phillips & Garcia is always fighting for the rights of the common consumer.

For more information about big bank cases check out our earlier post or go to our website.

If you are interested in learning more about his Business Legal Planning services, just contact him at [email protected] or by calling (508) 998-0800.

Pet Law , , , , , , , , ,

Dog Bite Law: Is there a first bite exception?

Carlin Phillips of Phillips & Garcia of Dartmouth Massachusetts explains the Massachusetts Dog Bite Laws a little more this time when he answers the first bite question. THERE IS NO FIRST BITE EXCEPTION IN MASSACHUSETTS.

Find out more at our Website or scan below with your smartphone.

Finances & Kids, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Local Dartmouth Lawyer Andrew Garcia Takes on Bank of America in California Federal Court

Local Dartmouth Ma. lawyer Andrew Garcia of Phillips & Garcia Law is currently flying over the continental United States on his way to California Federal court to take on the largest American bank, Bank of America. Andrew’s trip is for a widely publicized illegal lock-out and trash-out case.

You can follow Andrew for updates on twitter.

Check out earlier discussions about illegal lockout and trash-out cases with Phillips & Garcia featured on the Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

For more information on illegal lockout, trash-out cases and how to protect your family check out our website here.  If you have a smartphone scan below.