Edition No. 9

Student getting on to school bus

Back-to-School: How to Avoid Auto Accidents and What to Do if One Happens

August has come and gone, and you know what that means—our kids are back in school! While we’re excited to hear all about their adventures and see them off in the early morning hours, there’s something we can’t overlook: the increased traffic on the roads. So, let’s talk about how to navigate this busy season safely and what steps to take if you find yourself in an unfortunate fender-bender.

First off, those flashing yellow lights in school zones are not just for decoration; they’re your cue to slow down. Speed limits typically drop to around 20 or 25 miles per hour when those lights are on. And take it from us, you really don’t want to be the person caught speeding in a school zone. The fines are hefty, and more importantly, speeding puts children at risk. Speaking of children, let’s not forget about the big yellow buses making their rounds. These buses are the guardians of our kids during their commute, so give them the space they deserve. Remember, it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus when it’s picking up or dropping off children; those red stop signs on the bus are not optional.

Now, we know it’s tempting to check that buzzing phone while you’re stuck in traffic, but resist the urge. Texting and driving are a dangerous combo, and it’s even riskier amidst the back-to-school chaos. But let’s face it, even if you’re the epitome of caution, accidents can still occur. If you find yourself in a minor collision, the first thing to do is check for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Next, if possible, move your car to a safe location, like the side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights. Once you’re secure, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. While you’re probably not thrilled about meeting someone this way, it’s an important step. Don’t forget to use your phone to snap some pictures of both cars. Photos can clear up any questions about who caused the accident down the road. Next up, you’ll have to call the police to report what happened. Filing a police report is not just a formality; it’s essential for sorting things out with your insurance company later. If you’re scratching your head wondering how things got so complicated or how you’ll get your car back in shape, you might want to talk to a lawyer. Lawyers know the ins and outs of these messy situations and can help make sure you’re not taken for a ride.

So, let’s buckle up and make this school year’s commute a safe one. Keep your eyes on the road, your speed down in school zones, and this guide in mind just in case the unexpected happens. Happy driving and happy schooling!

Estate Plan on table with fall decorations

Fall Cleaning: Don't Forget Your Estate Plan

The leaves are soon to be changing, there’s a crispness in the air, and pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu. Yes, fall is here! Many of us use this season as a time to declutter our homes and prepare for the holidays. But as you’re dusting off your decorations and sorting through your closets, there’s another kind of cleaning you shouldn’t overlook: tidying up your estate plan.

If you’ve gone through major life changes recently—like getting married, divorced, or welcoming a new baby into the family—now is the perfect time to review your estate plan. Life events like these often mean your previous plans might not fit your current needs. Just as you wouldn’t keep clothes that no longer fit, holding onto an outdated estate plan can be more of a burden than a benefit. So make sure your Will reflects your current wishes, from who will inherit your assets to who will act as guardian for your children if necessary.

Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t even have an estate plan!” If that’s the case, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Many people put off estate planning because they think it’s only for the wealthy or elderly. But in reality, everyone can benefit from having a plan in place. Think of it as your financial wardrobe; you wouldn’t leave the house without clothes, so why go through life without a financial safety net? Creating an estate plan is your chance to lay out your wishes clearly and protect both your assets and your loved ones.

Once your plan is in order, don’t forget to let key people know where to find it. This is like putting your freshly folded clothes back in the closet where they belong. Important documents should be kept in a safe but accessible location, and the people who need to know about it—like your executor or your attorney—should be informed.

But what if things get tricky? For example, if you have a blended family or own a business, your estate planning might need an extra layer of attention. In these cases, consider bringing in an expert. Estate planning lawyers can help you navigate the complexities, ensuring that your plan covers all the bases. They’re like professional organizers for your legal life, helping you sort through the clutter to create a clean, straightforward plan.

So this fall, as you tackle your seasonal cleaning, don’t forget to add your estate plan to the list. Whether you’re updating an existing plan or creating one for the first time, taking the time to sort through your financial and legal affairs is just as important as tidying up your physical space. Happy cleaning and happy planning!

The Legal Guide to Picking the Perfect Pumpkin: What Gourds and Lawyers Have in Common

Attorney looking through pumpkins

Autumn is soon arriving, bringing with it cool breezes, a tapestry of vibrant foliage, and the unmistakable aroma of pumpkin spice filling the air. But before you cozy up with your latte, there’s an important autumn ritual you shouldn’t overlook—pumpkin picking! Believe it or not, the process of selecting the ideal pumpkin isn’t too different from choosing a lawyer. Intrigued? Let’s dig in!

Just as you’d scrutinize a pumpkin patch for the best pumpkin, it’s essential to survey your options when looking for a lawyer. You don’t want to pick the first one you see, right? In both cases, you should aim for a good fit. If you’re planning to carve a spooky face into your pumpkin, you’d look for one with a smooth, carve-friendly surface. Similarly, if you’re dealing with a family law case, you want a lawyer experienced in that area, not someone who specializes in, say, maritime law.

When you’re wandering through the pumpkin patch, you also want to avoid any pumpkins with visible bruises or mold. In the legal world, this translates to doing your homework to find a lawyer with a solid reputation. Just as you wouldn’t want a rotting pumpkin, you wouldn’t want an attorney with a sketchy track record. Check for online reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations to find a lawyer who’s in top-notch condition.

Now, let’s talk about size. In the pumpkin world, bigger isn’t always better. A massive pumpkin might look impressive, but it’s also harder to lug around and carve. The same logic applies to law firms. Bigger firms might have more resources, but smaller firms often offer more personalized service. Think about your needs and preferences before making your choice.

Once you’ve made your selection, it’s all about proper care. A well-chosen pumpkin, given the right conditions, can last quite a while. A good lawyer, similarly, requires an open line of communication and mutual trust to effectively handle your case over the long term.

So, the next time you find yourself in a pumpkin patch, pondering which gourd to take home, remember these tips. Just like finding the perfect pumpkin, selecting the right lawyer can make all the difference in achieving a successful, and less stressful, season—whether you’re carving a Halloween masterpiece or navigating the complexities of the law.

Happy pumpkin picking, and may you find your perfect match this fall, in gourds and legal guidance alike!

Referrer of the Month: Sold Sisters at Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners II Tomika Spires-Hanssen & Kimberly Mkhwane

Sold Sister Realty Team

We are thrilled to announce The Sold Sisters as our Referrer of the Month! Your ongoing trust in Keith Taylor Law Group to handle the cases you refer to us is deeply appreciated. Thank you for being an invaluable part of our community and for helping us continue to serve others at the highest level.

With over 32 years of combined Real Estate experience in Citrus County, they have successfully closed more than 2,400 transactions, totaling over $168 million to date. They are consistent Multi-Million Dollar Producers with a strong track record in marketing and negotiation. Tomika has served as a director and treasurer for the local Realtors association and has been awarded Realtor of the Year. The team has also received the Co-Broke of the Year award 10 times. They are deeply committed to community involvement and excel in customer service.

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Keith R. Taylor Law Endowed Scholarship with College of Central Florida

Attention Crystal River and Dunnellon High School Cheerleaders!

Keith Taylor Law Group is pleased to announce that we have a scholarship opportunity available to Crystal River and Dunnellon High School Cheerleaders who plan on attending College of Central Florida.

To be eligible:

  • Completed application on file to attend CF
  • Recent Graduating cheerleader of Crystal River or Dunnellon HS
  • Have earned a min 2.8 weighted GPA in HS or College
  • Complete a photo/publicity waiver
  • Application for student aid must be completed.

For more information contact CF at 352-873-5801