Coal mine deaths have increased in the last year with five fatal coal mining accidents occurring in West Virginia. The miners' union places partial blame on the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration amid concerns that safety regulations are being eased. There were eight deaths total last year in the nation's coal mines. That number is at 10 already this year.
West Virginia is largely a family-oriented state. It is not unusual for family members to live near each other and to know with some familiarity the general financial affairs of each other. In this close-knit, communicative environment, it can be helpful for adult children to check with their parents on the status of any estate planning that they have accomplished.
The durable power of attorney is a legal instrument that all West Virginia residents should consider as a necessity for an estate plan. The durable power of attorney can be a tremendously useful document in providing for unexpected consequences such as mental incapacity due to an illness late in life. Normally, when a person becomes incompetent to handle his or her own affairs, the family incurs extraordinary additional expenses to have a guardian or conservator appointed by the court. This can be avoided through some simple estate planning.
A malpractice case in West Virginia and in most jurisdictions is usually difficult to prove and must rely on the expert testimony of physicians who practice in the specialty under scrutiny. After a medical malpractice case is filed, there follows an intensive exchange of information between the sides. Much of this may be obtained by discovery demands, but a great deal of information will be provided by each side as a matter of course.
Unmarried couples in West Virginia may think that they have no need to prepare an estate plan. To the contrary, there are some important reasons why the estate planning process can be useful even to unmarried couples. For one thing, the two partners can appoint each other to make medical decisions on each other's behalf when the other is unable to do so.