Factors that Could Invalidate a Will

In order for a will to be considered legally valid, certain measures and requirements must be met. Failure to meet these standards could also potentially lead to legal challenges by beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who are already suffering from the loss of a loved one do not need the added stress and anxiety associated with inheritance disputes. Therefore, in order to ensure a will is not compromised, a testator should aim to avoid or limit the possibility of the following factors.

According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm will can be considered invalid for numerous reasons. However, the most common include mental state of the will’s writer, coercion, faulty execution, undue influence, and inaccuracies. Other factors determining the legitimacy of a will are age of the writer, witnesses, notarization, and residence.

Although legal standards for each of the previously mentioned factors differ from state to state, there are some common requirements that span across state lines. For example, in order for a testator to be considered of “sound mind,” they must simply know what a will is and that they were making one, know who the beneficiaries are, understand what they owned, and be able to decide how to distribute that property. Many states also have similar requirements regarding the contents of a will. For example, most states require that a will expressly state whose will it is and who wrote it, include a substantive provision, and appoint an executor.

Some of the factors that do vary from state to state are age, witnesses, and notarization requirements. For example, in all states a testator is required to be at least 18 years of age, unless, as some states allow, a minor is married, a military member, or considered to be emancipated. Likewise, some states require there to be at least two, non-inheriting witnesses to a will while others require no witnesses to assure validity. And lastly, while most states do not require a will to be notarized, some states may ask for a self-proving affidavit by the witnesses.

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NYC Bans Employment Credit Checks

In an effort to limit employment discrimination, New York City recently passed law 261-A which prohibits employers from denying applicants positions due to poor credit. Though states such as California and Maryland have similar laws already in place, New York’s differs in that virtually all jobs and positions are protected from employers aiming to use credit checks to deny or terminate employment.

According to the website of Cary Kane, LLP, while companies are allowed to fire employees for no reason, they can’t fire an employee for a reason prohibited by law.Unfortunately, companies often wrongfully terminate employees based on factors that are unrelated to financial needs or job performance. Several studies have shown that credit history has no correlation to worker and workplace productivity. Sadly, while there is no substantial evidence showing credit checks add value to employers, about 50 percent of employers across the nation continue to use credit checks in the employment process.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled and warned that employment credit checks can have a severe discriminatory impact. As a result, the new law is set to be especially helpful for communities of color where poor credit is compounded by limited job opportunities and predatory lenders. Commonly a result of uncontrollable circumstances, when taken into consideration during employment screening, debt can further limit job opportunities which subsequently results in an inability to pay off the debt. New York City seeks to put an end to the detrimental cycle and hopes that the new law will push other states to do the same.

Fortunately, other states are working to pass similar laws that will help curb employment discrimination and create better job opportunities for all.

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Causes of Craniosynostosis

By causing the bones of the skull to fuse prematurely, craniosynostosis hinders the brain’s ability to grow naturally resulting in a misshapen head. In addition, limiting the skull’s capacity for the growing brain can lead to further underlying brain abnormalities.

There are three main types of craniosynostosis each affecting a different part of the skull. Sagittal synostosis affects the top of the head and causes a child’s head to grow in a long, narrow shape rather than a round, wide shape. Coronal synostosis affects the skull structure that spans across the head from one ear to the other. This form of craniosynostosis results in a flat forehead and raised eye sockets. Lastly, Bicoronal synostosis cause both coronal structure to fuse also resulting in a flat forehead.

Causes of craniosynostosis are classified as either syndromic or nonsyndromic. Syndromic causes are simply genetic complications and mutations. Nonsyndromic causes are those that are not genetics related. These include cell defects, irregular womb position, and medications. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, one medication that has been shown to cause craniosynostosis is Zoloft, the antidepressant. When used by mothers during the early stages of pregnancy, the drug can double the the risk of a child developing some form of craniosynostosis along with other birth defects.

Fortunately, complications associated with the birth defects can be eliminated or reduced through surgery. However, in order to see the best result, it is recommended that the surgery be conducted within the first year of the child’s life. Failure to do so can result in further skull and brain deformities. There are two methods of surgery. The traditional method requires two surgeons, a craniofacial surgeon and a neurosurgeon. For some, a less invasive method known as endoscopic surgery may be available. Because it is less invasive, the form of surgery is much quicker and may require less post-surgery monitoring.

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