Kirk owned a home in a residential community that was overseen by a homeowners association. His property abutted one of a handful of lakes in the community. Legally, the lakes were regarded as common areas controlled by the association. When Kirk bought his home many years ago, the only recorded document imposing restrictions on his use of the property was a two-page document with general restrictions for all homeowners in the community. The only mention of the lakes was an irrelevant limit on how far a boat pier could extend into a lake. The association amended its rules to prohibit the use of pontoon boats having more than two pontoons … [Read more...]

Protect Your Plastic

As new technologies change the way we pay for things, criminals are managing to keep pace as they devise ways to separate you from your money. Doing what you can to protect yourself is one part understanding the technology and at least equal portions of vigilance and common sense. Still, we can all benefit from some reminders. "Phishing" refers to out-of-the-blue e-mails, text messages, or phone calls from superficially legitimate sources, often couched in urgent tones, asking for your credit card or debit card information. The thieves then set up counterfeit cards and run up charges on your accounts. Don't take the bait. You might think … [Read more...]

Employees Are Responsible for Beneficiary Designations

The federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 (KEGLIA) establishes an S824 billion program providing low-cost life insurance for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. It allows an employee to name a beneficiary of life insurance proceeds, and specifies an "order of precedence" providing that the employee's death benefits accrue first beneficiary ahead of other potential recipients. In 1996, when he was one of those federal employees who could participate in the FEGLIA program, Warren named Judy, his wife at the time, as the named beneficiary on his life insurance policy. In 1998, the couple divorced. In 2002. Warren married … [Read more...]