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tarrant-county-business-litigation-lawyer.jpgContracts play an important role in a business’s ability to operate successfully. When a business makes a deal with a vendor, a client, its employees, or other parties, everyone who signs the agreement is expected to hold up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, there are many cases where contract breaches occur, such as when a company fails to complete work on time after receiving payment. While it may sometimes be possible to resolve disagreements about contracts through communication or negotiation, a party that suffered losses because of a breach of contract may pursue litigation to address these issues. In these situations, it is important to understand the orders that may be made by a court to correct the breach.

Common Remedies in Breach of Contract Cases

To succeed in contract litigation, one party to a contract will need to meet certain requirements, including demonstrating that the contract was legally valid, that the other party failed to meet some or all of their requirements, and that they suffered losses or other damages as a result of the breach. If a plaintiff can prove all of these elements, the court may impose certain penalties or requirements on the party that breached the contract (the defendant).

In many cases, the plaintiff will seek monetary damages from the defendant. These usually take the form of compensatory damages, or repayment for the losses they experienced. These may include both direct and indirect losses. For example, if a manufacturer had a contract with a supplier to deliver certain materials, but the supplier did not deliver the materials by the expected date, the manufacturer may have suffered direct losses because it was unable to build and sell products. However, it may have also suffered indirect losses because its failure to deliver products on time led its customers to cancel orders or back out of business deals, resulting in additional financial losses. The plaintiff may seek compensation for all of the losses that occurred because the supplier did not meet its contractual obligations.

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tarrant-county-estate-planning-attorney.jpgA last will and testament is one of the foundational elements of a comprehensive estate plan. A person’s will details decisions about how the property they own should be passed to their heirs after their death. Seniors who are entering their twilight years will often be looking to make plans for how to address different assets they own, distribute property to their loved ones, and ensure that their wishes will be followed after their death. When creating a will or making changes to a will that had previously been created, a person will need to make sure to understand the legal issues that they may need to address.

Key Considerations in a Last Will and Testament

It is important to understand how different types of property will be considered during the probate and estate administration process. Seniors will need to take a complete inventory of their assets and debts before they will be able to make decisions about how the distribution of their property will be handled. Some different types of assets to consider include:

  • Jointly-owned property - Assets that are jointly owned with a spouse or another party (such as a home that is co-owned by a person’s child) will not be distributed to a person’s heirs following their death. Instead, the co-owner will assume full ownership of these assets. However, it may still be a good idea to include these assets in a will, which will address situations where a co-owner dies prior to or at the same time as the testator.

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fort-worth-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgIn many cases, estate planning is focused on making decisions about what should happen after a person’s death. While this is an important issue to address, a family may also need to consider issues related to a person’s medical treatment and personal needs as they reach an advanced age. This aspect of estate planning is known as incapacity planning, since it will address how decisions will be made in any situations where a person becomes incapacitated, meaning that they cannot make decisions for themselves or cannot express their wishes to others. One of the key tools used for incapacity planning is a medical power of attorney.

Addressing Health Issues Through a Power of Attorney

In a power of attorney agreement, a person will name someone who will be allowed to make decisions for them. This person is known as their agent. When creating a power of attorney, a person will want to choose a person they trust to serve as their agent, such as an immediate family member or a close friend. 

With a medical power of attorney, an agent will have the authority to make decisions about a person’s health and personal needs. This may include deciding what types of medical treatment they will or will not receive, determining whether they should be admitted to a hospital or receive care in a nursing home, and addressing issues related to end-of-life care, such as deciding whether life-sustaining treatment should be provided or withheld. While a medical power of attorney will generally allow an agent to make any necessary decisions, a person can specify what types of decisions the agent can address, and they can also leave detailed instructions about their wishes for the types of care they do or do not want to receive.

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tarrant-county-estate-planning-lawyer.jpgA family may need to address multiple issues related to the needs of a person as they get older. Seniors can sometimes struggle to handle concerns related to their health, their finances, and their day-to-day needs. In these situations, other family members will often be able to step in, offer assistance, or even provide a home and round-the-clock care to address medical and personal concerns. When doing so, a person may be unsure about the best steps to take to ensure that they will have the right to make decisions on behalf of their loved one. By consulting with an attorney who can provide guidance in matters related to estate planning and elder law, a family can determine whether establishing guardianship may be the right choice in their situation.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Guardianship

Texas law allows a person to be named as someone’s legal guardian, which will give them the right to make certain decisions, as well as the responsibility to act in the best interests of the ward and provide for their ongoing needs. To establish guardianship, a person will need to file a petition in court, and their request will typically only be granted if there is evidence that the proposed ward is incapacitated, meaning that they are unable to fully provide for their own personal, medical, or financial needs. An examination by a doctor may be required to determine the person’s mental state and physical abilities, and a court hearing will be held where a judge will decide whether guardianship is necessary.

There are two types of guardianship that may be established. A guardian of the person will have physical possession of the ward, and they will be responsible for providing care, supervision, and protection, making decisions about the ward’s medical care and treatment, and addressing other personal needs. A guardian of the estate will be able to manage a ward’s property and finances, including collecting income or benefits, paying expenses, and addressing legal issues that may affect the ward.

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fort-worth-business-dispute-lawyer.jpgWhile business contracts can be crucial for protecting the interests of a company and other parties, there are a variety of situations where business owners may need to determine how to address a breach of contract. For example, a service provider may not have fully provided the services described in a contract within the correct time frame, or a former employee may have violated the terms of a non-compete agreement. In these cases, a business may seek to enforce the terms of a contract or pursue compensation for financial losses that occurred because of a breach of contract. While these issues may be addressed through litigation in court, the parties involved may benefit by using other methods to negotiate a settlement. Mediation can be a beneficial way of resolving contract disputes, and it will often allow the parties to reach agreements and settle disputes much more quickly and efficiently.

Understanding the Mediation Process

In some cases, a contract may include terms stating that the parties will use mediation to address any disputes that may arise. In the absence of these terms, the parties may also agree to participate in mediation and attempt to negotiate a workable settlement before proceeding to litigation. By using mediation, the parties can approach their issues amicably, and they can agree to cooperate to find solutions that will protect the interests of both parties and allow them to maintain ongoing relationships.

During the mediation process, a neutral mediator will serve as an intermediary between the parties and an advisor during discussions. The mediator will not have any decision-making authority; instead, the parties will need to reach agreements on how their disputes should be resolved. By facilitating discussions, offering suggestions, and working to defuse conflict, the mediator can help the parties find mutually beneficial solutions. The parties will need to be in full agreement on all decisions that are made.

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