Birth control could raise the risk of blood clots

Birth-control-could-raise-the-risk-of-blood-clotsConsumer safety advocates have believed for quite some time that the popular birth-control pills Yaz and Yasmin, which contain the synthetic hormone drospirenone, can cause heart attacks, strokes and gallbladder failure.

Recently, the manufacturer of the pills settled about 70 lawsuits that raised such claims – out of more than 11,000 that have been filed.

Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced another potentially hazardous side effect: blood clots.

According to the FDA, some recent studies have indicated that taking Yaz or Yasmin triples a patient’s risk of developing blood clots. The FDA is now requiring all makers of birth-control pills containing drospirenone to include information about these studies on their warning labels.

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Deceased man’s sister is sued for interfering with friend’s inheritance

When Marc MacGinnis was in the hospital awaiting surgery, he asked his friend Brent to prepare a will for him that would leave half of his estate to Brent and half to Marc’s sister, Susan. Brent downloaded some will forms from the Internet, but Susan then suggested that she contact a lawyer to set up a trust instead. She said this would be better because it would avoid probate.

Susan never talked to a lawyer, and Marc died a few days after the surgery. Because Marc never signed a will, his entire $1 million estate went to Susan.

Brent then filed a lawsuit against Susan. He claimed that Susan knew there was a good chance Marc wouldn’t survive the surgery, because the doctors had told her so. (They didn’t tell Brent because he wasn’t a relative.) He also claimed that Susan deliberately lied about talking to a lawyer, because she knew that if Marc didn’t sign a will before he died, she would inherit the entire estate.

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Make sure you can access your power of attorney documents

Make-sure-you-can-access-your-power-of-attorney-documentsIt’s important to have access to the originals of your power of attorney documents, because a photocopy sometimes won’t be accepted.

Sometimes an attorney keeps the originals, and sometimes the client keeps them. Both are good ideas. But either way, make sure you can access them when you need them. If you keep them yourself, put them in a safe place. And if your attorney keeps them, be sure you leave enough time to obtain them if you’ll need them for a transaction.

This issue came up recently when Latonya Bartholomew signed a power of attorney. She was deploying overseas with the Air Force, and wanted her husband Lyndon to be able to manage their affairs back home in Kentucky. Later, Lyndon refinanced the couple’s mortgage. But when it came time to record the new mortgage with the county, the clerk’s office refused to do so – because Lyndon couldn’t find the original notarized power of attorney, and only had a photocopy.

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More people rent space in their home…but often overlook the legal issues

know-the-rules-if-you-are-going-to-rent-your-homeThe number of people who rent out space in their home, such as an extra room or an apartment, is skyrocketing. But many people don’t realize that doing so can create legal problems.

Craigslist reports that the number of people offering to rent a room in a home has nearly doubled over the last year or so. Some of this is due to the economic doldrums. But another phenomenon is that many baby boomers whose children have grown up and moved away have houses that are larger than they need, yet they don’t want to move – or they can’t sell because they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. Often, these people rent out extra space to generate income.

That’s fine – but many people who rent out a room or convert a garage into a studio apartment don’t realize the complexities of landlord-tenant law. Even if you only have one apartment, or even if you only rent to “friends,” you still need to have a formal lease and understand the legal rules for tenancies, or you could find yourself facing unexpected legal issues down the road.

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Son is liable for mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill

son-is-liable-for-motherThe adult son of a nursing home patient is legally on the hook for her $93,000 in unpaid nursing home bills, an appeals court in Pennsylvania recently decided.

It doesn’t matter that the son never signed a contract with the nursing home; he’s still liable for his mother’s debt, the court said.

The case in the latest in a series of lawsuits in which nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other institutions have sued the adult children of their residents for the cost of their care.

In the Pennsylvania case, John Pittas’ mother entered a nursing home for rehabilitation after a car crash. Later, she left the nursing home and moved to Greece, leaving a large portion of her bill at the nursing home unpaid. She applied to Medicaid to cover the cost of her care, but that application is still pending.

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