Not Enough Homeowners Are Aware of Construction Defect Laws

Not Enough Homeowners Are Aware of Construction Defect Laws

Being a homeowner takes more than paying the mortgage and utilities each month, but knowing what is really going on with the structure and foundation of your home. If there is ever a constructional defect within your home, there are attorneys that work specifically with clients who are experiencing troubles with their homes and the construction professionals.

If you are to ever come across a construction defect inside of your home, the best first step is to contact a construction defect attorney or lawyer to walk you through the steps to taking care of the said defect(s).

Before contacting an attorney, however, one must be able to identify said construction defect(s). Common construction defects include problems such as a damaged roof, cracks that can be found anywhere in or on the home, mold, dry rot, blocked drainage, water issues, and defects within the electrical and heating/cooling systems.

Unfortunately, poor workmanship can be one of the main reasons that a home would experience and suffer from a construction defect. There are other causes that include things such as defective materials used to build, a poor selection of a site to build on, poor planning and preparation and so on. These said construction defects can be cause for a case of action to be taken against the home’s builders. Any failure within the home can be taken to a lawyer to be reviewed and claimed as a construction defect that can assist you in getting compensation in return.

Having a construction defect within your home is not something that will help you in any way due to the fact that it actually brings a decrease of value upon your home. However, if and when the defect has been compensated and repaired, the value of your home should increase to the original value or the value it should have been before the defect.

After observing the construction defect and contacting an attorney, he/she will first assess whether or not there is a case to be taken to court. The most important case that can be made and proven in court is if the value of your home has actually decreased. Depending on where you live, some states contain different laws but the case will usually favor the homeowner in the lawsuit if the assumptions are proven.

No matter the state, if there is a bodily injury sustained from any defect, there will compensation for that almost every time if it can proven that the default is the cause of injury. When filing a lawsuit for these construction defects and the case is proved in the homeowners’ favor, it is possible for the homeowner to receive compensation for the lack of ability to use the property whilst it is being repaired, costs for filing the lawsuit and all court costs, and even for having to pay for temporary housing.

For the construction defect to be proven in court that it is the home builders’ fault, it comes down to the severity of the defect and whether or not it is an obvious mistake made by the home builders’. It would be a different case if the defects found were older and unnoticed immediately. If the construction defect has been observed and is not obvious enough to be assumed as a recent mistake will bring upon an investigation done by a specialist in home construction to determine whether or no the defect is of the home builders’ fault and what it would take to repair the damages.

If a defect is detected, it is important to make note of it and act on it immediately so that there are no complications when attempting to file a lawsuit. We cannot overstate how important it is to contact an experienced California construction defect lawyer as soon as possible because different states have different laws and caveats regarding construction defects.

Final Word

If you are ever to come across a defect within your home, take action immediately so that you can properly hand the lawsuit within a reasonable time period and find the fault of the defect. Being a homeowner takes responsibility and a little bit of knowledge and awareness about construction defect laws that can save you in the long run with money and the safety of your household.

Can a Loss be Taken on an Inherited Trust of Mutual Funds?

Can a Loss be Taken on an Inherited Trust of Mutual Funds?

Yes. If you have a legal claim to the decedent’s assets as part of a trust, inherited mutual fund losses can help to lower your taxes.

However, inherited mutual funds need to be appraised before you can take advantage of the damage.

Inheritance Recovery Lawyers can walk you through the process to help understand how the funds are valued and the legal aspects of ownership liability.

Sometimes, the funds need to remain in the trust until probate is complete. Depending on the estate, the process can take months or years delaying the distribution of the fund shares.

Cost Basis Versus Step-Up Basis

Cost basis is the previous owner’s purchased price value of the share. Investment and tax-wise, the gain or loss of an asset like mutual funds is determined by calculating the difference between the cost basis and the current market value price.

When you inherit the funds, the cost basis changes. Instead of using your decedent’s purchased price, your cost basis is now termed as the step up basis.

The share’s step-up basis is established on the date of death. If the shares currently have a lower market value from the step up basis price, the difference is the loss amount that can be written off on taxes.

Tax Write-Offs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has valuation date provisions for inherited funds held in a trust. For you to claim any loss, the faith needs to pass the shares to you.

The IRS 550 Publication contains information for individual shareholders of mutual fund distributions. The tax provision allows you to use this lost value to offset the federal taxes of other investment gains or taxable income. Most beneficiaries don’t realize, the tax basis for inherited mutual funds is the date of the decedent’s death.

You may be limited to losses of $3,000 each year. If the injuries are more significant than $3,000, you can carry the excess over to the following years until you have taken the entire loss.

Mutual Fund Investments

Some funds are short-term (less than one year), while others are long-term (longer than one year) investments. A different tax table governs each.

In this case, the IRS deems inherited mutual funds as a long-term investment.

You want to know the proportions of mutual equities, bonds, and other securities. Generally, portfolio managers invest in bonds and other securities like retirement funds.

Individuals also invest in businesses, exchanging cash for shares called equities known as common stock of publicly traded companies.

Beneficiaries inheriting mutual fund shares are free to do as they wish with these assets. The trust pays all expenses typically before the descendant’s death, but you are liable if you choose to sell fund shares after you received your inheritance.

The U.S. Legal System Explained

The U.S. Legal System Explained

The American legal system can seem quite complex, especially when you live in a different state to the person you’ve taken to court for whatever reason. We’ve come up with a brief summary to help you grasp the basics!

The U.S. Legal System Explained

First of all, there are two types of laws: federal and state. Congress and state legislators decide on what the federal and state laws. Federal laws are enforced and created by the federal government. State laws are enforced and created by the state.

Below, we break down each component of the U.S. Legal System.

Federal Laws

The Congress executes federal laws. Drafted Bills are debated by the Senate and House of Representatives. Once a final vote on the matter has been achieved, it is then passed on to the President to make a final decision of the vote. This decision then becomes the law.

State Laws

The state can pass laws in which jurisdiction they share with Congress.

Courts of Law

Courts enforce laws as well as create the common laws which are not covered by the state or federal laws.


Types of Courts

Trial Courts

This type of court tries civil cases that have not been resolved.

Appellate Courts

This court discusses trial case decisions to come to a final verdict

Federal Courts

This court has jurisdiction of federal law violations and diversity jurisdiction involving the two parties in a case who come from different states.

Types of Cases

Civil and Criminal

The federal government or state prosecute criminal law violations. Civil cases occur when two parties have a legal dispute over common law violations.


If a case does not come to a resolution it then goes to a trial by jury.


A losing party of any case who is unhappy with the outcome of a case can then go to a court to appeal in the appellate court.


Parties choose to resolve a dispute with arbitration instead of a lawsuit with a registered arbitrator. There is no judge or jury and it’s quicker and much cheaper!



Divorce Cases Exemplifying State Laws

Divorce Cases Exemplifying State Laws

Divorce proceedings hardly ever bode well. It makes it even more difficult when your divorce case is through a court of law in a particular state of America. Every state has their own laws for grounds of divorce to be granted. Below, we take a look at three divorce cases that have become the epitome for state divorce laws!

#1 – William Diemer v. Gilberte Diemer (1960)

Mrs. Diemer was a Roman Catholic and her husband was a Protestant. After a consultation with her priest, Mrs. Diemer demanded that Mr. Diemer renew their marital vows in a Roman Catholic church or else she would deny him any kinds of sexual relations. The courts denied a legal separation and Mrs. Diemer acquired full custody of their child.

The divorce laws in New York in the 60s had been the same since 1787: Divorce was only granted on grounds of unfaithfulness on either spouse. During 1966, in order for a divorce to be granted, seven grounds stated in the Domestic Relations Law were implemented. A couple had to cite any one of those seven reasons in order to be granted a divorce.

#2 – Orr v. Orr (1979)

Mr. Orr filed a lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court stating the Alabama alimony law was based on gender discrimination and it was unconstitutional. The Alabama alimony law at the time stated that only men were required to pay alimony during divorce proceedings. Naturally, this legislation was now frowned upon. Now, both parties to the divorce proceedings are required to pay alimony based on the length of the marriage.

#3 – McCarty v. McCarty (1981)

In the U.S Supreme Court of California, Mr. McCarty argued that the law of the equal right to all communal property barring separate property of each spouse should not include his military retirement fund. He asked the court to keep his army pension as a separate property. Due to state and federal law differences, the Uniformed Services Spouses Protection Act has implemented dependant on state rulings.

Do you think there are other divorce cases which have set new precedents?

3 Personal Injury Lawsuits Which Made History!

3 Personal Injury Lawsuits Which Made History!

There are many instances when a person can physically and financially suffer as a result of injuries from the manufacturing of defunct products, loss of income from debilitating road accidents, and food vendor negligence. Below, we outline three infamous personal injury cases that have made history!

#1 – Gladys Escola (Hand injury from a manufactured defunct product)

In 1944, Gladys Escola suffered a severe hand injury resulting from an exploding Coca-Cola glass bottle. Her injuries included burst blood vessels and damaged nerves in her hand. The Supreme Court of California ruled in her favor. An improved law of Strict Liability on manufacturing companies in terms of the negligence of safety testing procedures came into effect in 1963.

#2 – Gloria Estefan (Back injury from road accident involving a truck)

In March 1990, Gloria was involved in a serious bus accident as a result of a truck plowing into her stationary tour bus. She broke her back and had to cancel her tours for a year,  therefore, resulting in a lack of income. After filing a lawsuit against the trucking company, Gloria and her tour team members were awarded 8.5 million dollars.

#3 – Stella Liebeck (3rd-degree burns injury from food vendor negligence)

In 1992, Stella Liebeck suffered from 3rd-degree burns after handling a boiling cup of coffee purchased from a McDonald’s Drive-Through. Stella took the famous food vendor to the court which then went to trial.

The evidence presented at trial included that the normal temperature for a cup of coffee was about 135-degrees. McDonald’s hot coffee measured a whopping 185-degree temperature which would result in instant 3rd-degree burns.

It was also revealed that McDonald’s had ignored well over 700 complaints from customers of burn injuries from hot beverages. Eventually, she was awarded $500 000 in damages. This case prompted improved consumer protection laws relating to food vendor negligence.

Cases of personal injury mostly rule in favor of the plaintiff due to severe repercussions of debilitating circumstances such as those mentioned above. There will always be cases warranting legislature improvements. May these improvements continue!