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Pittsburgh Legal Blog

What are zoning laws?

Zoning laws can be particularly important to property owners because they can have a dramatic impact on the property owner's use of their property. Zoning laws regulate the development and use of real estate; the most common type of land-use law includes zoning laws.

Typically, zoning laws divide a city or municipality into commercial zones, industrial zones and residential zones. Mixed-use zones are also a possibility. Zoning regulations address specific requirements related to the types of buildings allowed on the property; restrictions on building setbacks from the street and other boundaries and additional buildings on the property; the size and height of buildings; the number of rooms allowed in buildings; parking; and the location of utility lines.

The importance of an advance healthcare directive

There are many important components of an effective Pennsylvania estate plan and an advance healthcare directive is one of them. Having an advance healthcare directive can provide peace of mind for both the estate planner and their loved ones, when the time comes that the estate planner can no longer make medical decisions for themselves.

An advance healthcare directive is a legal document that allows the estate planner to express their wishes concerning the medical care and treatment if they become incapacitated and are unable to do so at some point. It also allows the estate planner during the estate planning process to designate a person to make healthcare decisions on their behalf, if the estate planner becomes incapacitated and is unable do so for themselves.

When should I update my estate plan?

Knowing when to update an estate plan can be just as important as knowing what to include in an estate plan and understanding the importance of having one. There are several important situations that should trigger a review of an estate plan that every estate planner should be familiar with.

A good rule of thumb when estate planning is to review your estate plan every three years to ensure it is up-to-date and current. An estate plan is intended to accomplish the wishes of the estate planner and if the estate plan is not kept up-to-date, there is a chance it might not be able to do that. Another good time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner has relocated to another state because the laws may be different in the new state and impact the validity of the estate plan.

What is negligence and why is it important to victims?

Negligence law is a cornerstone of personal injury legal protections and remedies for victims. Victims of car accidents or other types of accidents may have heard that the other driver was negligent but wondered what that means. Liability for harm suffered in a car or other type of accident is based on negligence which is why it is so important for victims to understand.

A personal injury claim for damages is a type of civil litigation that allows the victims of another party's negligence, such as a car accident victim who was injured by a negligent driver, to recover compensation from that negligent driver for their physical, financial and emotional damages suffered because of the driver's negligent actions. Victims may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages through a personal injury claim for damages based on negligence.

Hazing laws are getting stricter and college penalties tougher

Summer is over, and perhaps this is the semester you have waited for, the time when you are no longer the lowest member of your club or organization's hierarchy. You may have endured the initiation process with strength and dignity, and now it is time for you to be part of the initiation for incoming freshmen or pledges.

Of course, you have likely heard warnings about hazing. Perhaps your sorority, fraternity or club leaders fulfilled their obligation by sharing with you the policies and laws related to hazing rituals. Maybe your Pennsylvania college held a mandatory orientation during which speakers reminded you of the recent tragedies resulting from excessive initiation practices. However, you may not realize how easily you could face accusations of hazing and where you can turn for help.

Legal help for victims of pedestrian accidents

Victims of pedestrian accidents can suffer devastating injuries and consequences. As a result, it is important for them to be familiar with personal injury legal protections that may be able to help them with their damages and the harm they have suffered.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association or NHTSA, 5,000 pedestrian victims die in accidents with motor vehicles annually. In addition, an estimated 76,000 pedestrian victims were injured when they were struck by a car or truck during 2012. Pedestrian victims may suffer severe and catastrophic injuries requiring medical care and treatment, time away from work and that cause emotional trauma. A personal injury claim for damages can help them with their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.

Everything a complete estate plan needs

Most of use spend our lives working hard to care for our families, which is what an estate plan can help with to ensure surviving loves ones are taken care of after their loved one is gone. This can provide invaluable peace of mind for both the estate planner and their families.

There are several things that an effective estate plan needs, and estate planners should be familiar with what these document types are. Different legal tools are available through the estate planning process that can be tailored to the specific needs of the estate planner to help ensure that their beneficiaries are cared for how they want to them be cared for and that their property and assets are distributed according to their wishes.

How to modify child support or child custody when needed

The family law process serves as a resource to help parents work out child support and child custody concerns. The family law process can both help parents establish child support and a child custody arrangement and can also help them modify child support and child custody when needed.

It is important for parents to be familiar with how they may be able to request a child support or child custody modification if they believe it is needed. Either parent can request a modification from the family law court. No change is considered valid until it is approved by the family law court, so that it important to keep in mind. Parents can agree to a child support modification or child custody modification or ask for the family law court's help.

Employment contract basics and what to do during a dispute

There are a variety of important goals for an employment-related contract, including that it protects the employer and the employer's business and creates a positive work environment for the employee. Because of the importance of an employment contract, employers should understand how to structure an employment contract and the employment law resources available to help.

At its most basic level, an employment contract outlines the employer-employee relationship. As such, an employment contract should clearly outline the position and the job requirements and duties for the position so the employee has a clear understanding of the expectations. An employment contract should also outline the place and hours for the position.

Hidden assets can complicate the property division process

Divorce is already a difficult process, but when one spouse decides to play the game unfairly, it can add another layer of complication. One of the most frequent ways that people are unfair in their divorces is when they try to hide assets. They often do this in an effort to get revenge, act out against the other person or simply gain a financial advantage during the divorce. 

Hiding assets is both against the law and frustrating. If you suspect that your spouse is doing this, you will want to work diligently to uncover these assets and fight for a fair property division settlement. When facing a financially complex divorce, you will find significant benefit in seeking the right kind of help you need to locate and value all marital assets.

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Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C

1290 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Toll Free: 888-894-0351
Phone: 412-455-5388
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