Friday, March 31, 2017

3 Things You Didn't Know About Your POA

Owners' associations are residential communities comprised of condominiums or individual homes. When you buy a condo or home that is part of an association, you will automatically become part of the association and, therefore, will be required to pay assessments and abide by specific rules and restrictions.


Being a part of an association comes with distinct benefits, such as access to community amenities like pools, playgrounds, fitness centers, etc. Unfortunately, associations sometimes have a bad reputation for restricting homeowners' freedoms. Since our Lake of the Ozarks law firm represents homeowners associations and condominium associations, we wanted to take this opportunity to shed some light on some of the lesser-understood aspect of owners' associations.

1. Managing An Association Is A Huge Responsibility

While some associations are relatively small and consist of only a handful of property owners, some associations are quite large. Large associations can be comprised of hundreds of property owners, each with their own opinions and desires. No matter the size of the association, managing the needs of all the different property owners can be challenging. In order to maintain an association that meets its residents' needs, the association will require that its residents and visitors abide by their covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).

2. Associations Require Assessments In Order To Survive

All associations require that property owners pay assessments (dues) monthly, quarterly, or annually. Because the cost of the assessments is determined by the cost required to maintain the association, the dues required will vary by association. The money from the assessments is used to cover association expenses. This may include:
  • Road/driveway maintenance
  • Snow removal
  • Maintaining community amenities, such as
    • Swimming pools
    • Tennis courts
    • Basketball courts
    • Playgrounds
    • Fitness rooms
  • Roof maintenance
  • Landscaping
  • Sidewalks
  • Trash removal

If property owners fail to pay their assessments in a timely manner, the association may not have the funds required to cover its necessary expenses. 

3. The Restrictions Exist For The Benefit Of The Members

People sometimes complain about their owners' associations, saying that they have too many rules and are too restrictive of property owners' freedoms. However, it is important to recognize that the by-laws and restrictions exist for the members' benefit, and are intended to create a cohesive community that is a desirable, attractive place to live. The reason associations require that property owners abide by their by-laws and restrictions and obtain special permits if they wish to alter their home's exterior is to ensure that the community retains its attractive, cohesive appearance.

O'Donnell Law Center Is Proud To Represent Associations

Homeowners' associations and condominium associations are popular throughout the Lake Area. Our general practice law firm in Osage Beach MO recognizes the important roles these associations play within our residential communities, and we are honored to help them as needed. If you would like to learn more about our legal services for owners' associations, call us at 573-552-0317 or visit our website. 


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Family Law Representation: How Can We Serve You?

Family law encompasses a broad range of legal services. Since family law issues deal specifically with the people nearest and dearest to us, emotions tend to run high among those involved in a family lawsuit. As your dedicated family attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, I am here to take the burden off of your shoulders as much as I can. Keep reading to learn more about some of the family law services I offer and how I may be able to help you with your next case.



Divorce
Divorce is, unfortunately, a fact of life for nearly half of all married couples in the United States. Dissolving any marriage is challenging and emotional, but often it becomes even more challenging when the couple shares children and/or significant assets or debts. In high-stakes divorces such as these, securing representation from an experienced divorce attorney in Camden County MO is essential.

Adoption
Regardless of the reason you choose to adopt, the decision to welcome a new child into your family is exciting to say the least. In order to successfully adopt a child, however, you must follow a relatively complex legal protocol. Our family attorney will be here to guide and coach you through the process. Our legal consultations may become invaluable as you move forward with your adoption.

Prenuptial Agreements
When you are preparing to get married, you have the option of establishing a prenuptial agreement. This document outlines basic guidelines for how future conflicts should be handled. It also identifies which assets and debts shall be considered marital property and which will be kept separate. Finally, it can also serve as a precursor to an estate plan by identifying whom should inherit certain assets in the event that something unexpected should happen. We can assist you in establishing a sound premarital agreement to protect your interests.

Child Support
Child support issues often last much longer than the divorce itself. The non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support for years after the divorce is finalized. Sometimes, the agreements established years prior during the divorce itself may become outdated as life progresses. We can help you evaluate your child support order and, if necessary, aid you in the process of updating it to reflect your current situation.

Custody Agreements
Just as child support orders can become outdated, so can custody agreements. As children grow, their needs and desires may change. Updating custody agreements is sometimes easier said than done, however, so securing representation from an experienced family attorney is an important first step.

O'Donnell Law Center - Your Local Family Law Resource 
If you are facing the possibility of a family lawsuit or other legal situation in the near future, we encourage you to take steps now to find a family attorney to represent you. Your attorney will be your constant resource throughout the process, so it is important to find a Lake of the Ozarks family attorney you trust. 

If you are looking for a local family attorney, we hope you'll consider setting up a consultation with O'Donnell Law Center. Our team has experience handling multiple types of family law cases, and we would be honored to put our experience to work for you. Throughout the process, we promise to do everything we can to lift the burden off of your shoulders.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Are You Putting Your Business At Risk?

As an entrepreneur, your company is a hugely important part of your life. It's your baby, your passion, and your livelihood. Throughout your business' lifespan (especially during its early years) you will dedicate considerable time, energy, and resources to ensuring its success. The last thing you'll want is to do anything that would put your company at risk. Unfortunately, from a legal liability perspective, putting your business at risk may sometimes be easier than you realize.


A variety of potential legal pitfalls await business owners. Today, our Lake of the Ozarks business attorney is here to examine a few examples of the different risks you may face and the legally compromising situations you could be putting your business in (without even realizing it).

Premises Liability

As a business owner, you care about the safety of your customers while they are on your property. It is wise to purchase property liability insurance to protect yourself financially from any claims an injured customer may pursue. If you do not purchase premises liability insurance, you could face serious implications in the event that someone were to slip and fall on your company's property.

Workers' Compensation

Missouri law requires companies with five or more employees (or fewer in certain industries) to purchase workers' compensation - a type of insurance that is specifically designed to cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages an employee may incur if they are injured while working. These injuries may include both random accidents (such as falling off of a ladder) and repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel from too much computer/desk work). If you do not purchase the required workers' compensation insurance, you may be required to pay for the cost of your injured worker's damages out-of-pocket. You may also face legal consequences for not purchasing the required insurance.

Copyright Issues

Copyright law is technical and complex, but it is something that all entrepreneurs should become at least generally familiar with. Marketing is the main area that poses potential copyright issues. As you write promotional pieces for your business, it is essential that you compose everything yourself - do not borrow ideas from competing businesses. As you manage your company's social media campaign, it is equally essential that you do not use random images you find online. Images that pop up in a Google search are not allowed to be used by whomever finds them. The only way to be completely confident you can use an online image is to explicitly purchase it from a royalty-free site.

Employees

The quality of the employees on staff is often directly related to a company's overall success. The value of having hard-working, self-motivating, loyal employees on staff speaks for itself, but unfortunately, finding quality employees is sometimes easier said than done. Regardless, taking the time to find the right employee for your company is essential if you are to succeed. It is also important that you not hesitate to terminate an employee who may be holding your company back or exposing your company to unnecessary risk. 

Not Having A Business Attorney

Even the most successful businesses have legal needs. Whether you must react to an external issue or proactively ward off potential issues, having an experienced small business lawyer on your side can make a world of difference. Your business attorney can provide the legal counsel you need to make smart, informed decisions every step of the way. 

If you are looking for a business attorney in central Missouri, we would be honored to speak with you. Our business lawyer in Osage Beach MO has experience working with both large and small companies in a variety of business sectors. Contact us at (573) 552-0317 to schedule your initial consultation today.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, March 10, 2017

Legal Representation For Your Home Owners' Association or Condominium Association

Homeowners associations and condominium associations are common throughout the Lake of the Ozarks region and across the rest of the country. Associations, as the name suggests, are organizations of multiple property owners that work together to create a cohesive community in which their members reside.


As with any official organization, associations sometimes face certain situations that may benefit from representation by a skilled attorney. We represent homeowner associations and condo associations at O'Donnell Law Center, and are here to assist these organizations when needed. Here are a few examples of the different types of situations we can help associations with.

Property Owners Who Don't Pay Their Dues

Property owners associations must maintain a tight budget in order to keep up with all of their required expenses. Depending on the scope of the its amenities and member benefits, examples of the types of costs associations may cover include:
  • Snow removal
  • Landscaping
  • Road/driveway paving
  • Maintaining amenities
  • Payroll for association employees

Homeowner and condo associations rely heavily on their members' association dues to meet these (and other) expenses. When property owners fail to make their payments, it can create significant challenges within the association. Our attorney can help associations take the appropriate steps to seek needed payments from delinquent members.

Property Owners Who Don't Abide By Association Regulations

Associations are regulated by restrictions and bylaws. Additionally, condo owner associations are regulated by state statutes. Restrictions and statutes exist to protect both the association's and the individual members' interests. When everyone follows the rules, they contribute to a cohesive, mutually beneficial environment. When a property owner fails to abide by the regulations, however, he/she can create significant problems.

It only takes one property owner who disobeys the rules to create an unpleasant living situation for all (or at least several of) the other association members. It is important that these situations are addressed swiftly, before the problems they create are allowed time to get out of hand. However, the association must follow the appropriate procedures in order to avoid putting themselves in a legally compromising situation. An attorney can serve as an important resource for navigating this process.

Drafting & Updating Bylaws

As we have just discussed, associations are governed by restrictions, bylaws and sometimes statutes that are designed to protect the interests of everyone involved. When a new association is forming, it is important that they receive legal counsel as they draft these governing documents.

As time passes, the bylaws that were established during an association's formation may become outdated or obsolete. As with the original creation, it is important to seek legal counsel when updating these bylaws. Appropriate procedures must be followed to ensure that the new bylaws are legally sound; your attorney can help you make sure that all appropriate steps are taken.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For Association Representation

We have experience working with the unique situations that condominium and homeowners associations face, and we are able to provide the rapid and effective responses required to address situations as they arise. For more information, visit our website or schedule your initial consultation by calling 573-552-0317.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065