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Do you know your neighbor's name?

Have you met your neighbor and exchanged more than a wave? Do you know their name if someone asked?

If so, while you are in the majority, you may be surprised to find that it's not as big of a group as you'd imagine. Roughly 33% of Americans claim they have "never interacted" with their neighbors. A mere 20% say that they spend any amount of time with them on a regular basis. A third claim they did not know the names of any of the people living around them.

Suing an estate executor

In an ideal world, the executor for your parents' estate will do a fair and capable job, helping to divide the assets and carry out the instructions left for them in the will. That is the task they were given when they agreed to become the executor.

However, it is important to know that some executors make mistakes or take deliberate actions to go against what the deceased person would have wanted. This can lead to lawsuits and all manner of legal problems. Sometimes, heirs feel forced to sue an executor.

What can you do when a neighbor won't respect an easement?

Property disputes can arise for a large number of reasons, but easements are a common source of contention among owners of adjoining properties. An easement is a legal form of permission for access to or use of someone else's property or along shared boundaries. Easements can get granted to an individual or get attached to a deed for a specific piece of real estate.

It is possible for private corporations, the government or individual property owners to seek and secure an easement against the property of another as a way of guaranteeing access and use of a particular piece of real estate. Easements allow people to walk or drive on a property, install pipes or wires for utilities, and to use common or shared spaces and facilities.

What is light trespass?

There are a lot of ways that your neighbor can impact your quality of life. Maybe they refuse to maintain their property, bringing your property value down. Maybe they built a fence that is so tall it breaks local regulations and makes you feel enclosed in your own yard. Maybe they don't agree with you on where the boundaries are, and they think that your land actually belongs to them.

One less common but still frustrating issue you can have with your neighbor is known as light trespass. Essentially, this just means that they have installed lights that are so bright that the light enters your home. This can ruin the atmosphere in your yard, it can keep you up at night and it can make you feel like even your own home isn't the relaxing place you always wanted it to be.

Wills, heirs and the perception of inequality

You do all that you can to make your will equal. You know that a lot of estate disputes arise when one heir gets more than the others. Siblings may spend years in court arguing over what should happen with your assets. You want to avoid that, so you just make everything perfectly equal.

This may be a wise move, but one thing you should know is that the perception of inequality can still be an issue. Your heirs may not see things the same way that you do or the same way that an unrelated outsider would see things. Disputes can still happen.

Don't just leave your child out of your will

You decide that you do not want to leave any of your assets to one of your children. You're cutting them off. As a result, when you draft your will, you just leave them out. That means they won't get anything, right?

This is a dangerous mistake that many people make, and it can actually lead to confusion and even inheritance disputes. You do not want to simply leave the child out of the documentation.

People often do not know what land they own

Do you think you know exactly what land you own? Do you know how big your yard really is?

If you do, it may surprise you to find out that many homeowners have no idea. They may think they do, but they do not officially know where the boundary lines are. Part of the problem is that they make assumptions and use unofficial evidence to determine where those lines sit.

Why inheritance disputes really happen

When inheritance disputes begin, it's easy for people to point to one driving factor: greed. But is that really fair? Is that really why these disputes take place?

The reality is that, while some disputes do arise as heirs simply try to get more money, many of them have absolutely nothing to do with greed. They may not even be about financial gain at all. Let's take a look at some of the reasons these disputes really take place.

Why would a trustee get removed?

When someone creates a trust, they also pick a trustee. This person is in charge of carrying out the actions indicated by the trust, but they are not the person who benefits from it.

For instance, maybe the trust is supposed to be used for a college student's expenses. Obviously, the student can't have control over the trust or they could just ignore the rules. A third party will operate it instead, paying out the money to cover the student's expenses.

Can you trim a neighbor's tree?

Your neighbor has an old tree with huge branches hanging out into your yard. Your children play in that yard all the time. You're worried that one of those branches is going to break off and injure someone.

However, your neighbor loves that old tree and refuses to have it removed, no matter how dangerous it looks. You ask them to trim it, at least, but they refuse to do the work or pay someone to do it. What options do you have?

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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
Fax: 425-775-0406
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