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Semmes Legal Articles

Semmes offers articles, relative to different areas of law, for information-purposes only. Semmes assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The articles and information may not apply to your unique situation, and are not intended to be used as a basis for any particular course of action or as a substitute for legal advice.

Estate Planning to Keep Hostile Family at Bay

August, 2015

George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” He may have been on to something. Families can bring us joy, but they can also bring us heartache. For most people, of course, family woes are mere annoyances-the parent who complains we never call, the crazy uncle who…

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DIY Estate Planning: A Cautionary Tale

July, 2015

Ann Aldrich was a frugal lady. When it came time to write her Will, the Florida resident decided to use “E-Z Legal Forms” and leave everything to her sister, Mary. By preparing the Will herself, Ann thought, she would save the cost of using a lawyer and achieve the same result. What could possibly go wrong?

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The Top 10 Reasons You Need a Will

August, 2014

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve been putting off having a Last Will & Testament prepared for too long. Most of us have strong feelings about who should inherit our money, real estate, personal possessions, and other assets—and who shouldn’t. But the sad truth is that we usually fail to put our wishes in writing. By preparing a Will, you can leave the people you care about with clear instructions as to your final wishes and save them time, money, and a lot of stress.

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Estate Planning For An Owner Of A Special Pet

August, 2014

Anyone who has lost a pet knows a special sorrow. What happens, however, when it is the pet that loses its owner? That lingering question, and its potentially tragic ramifications, are leading more and more pet owners to plan for the care of their pets after their own death. A good first step is to…

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To Try or Not to Try: Who Decides Is the Question

May, 2014

The “Right to Try” refers to the right of terminally or seriously ill patients to acquire investigational drugs without waiting for FDA approval. It grants these patients the right to access certain drugs, specifically those drugs that have completed only phase one of the FDA three-phase drug approval process. Advocates of the Right to Try contend that the decision to try an investigational drug should be between a patient and his or her physician and, thus, exclude the government, i.e., the FDA. Opponents support the FDA’s role in the drug approval and distribution process. The Right to Try debate boils down to one question: Who should decide whether a drug is too risky to try?

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The Top Ten “Do’s” of a Law Firm Social Media Policy

April, 2014

Although social media can serve as a useful marketing tool and investigation-gathering source, it is not used exclusively for business endeavors. For these reasons, every law firm should attempt to provide reasonable guidelines for online behavior to employees who participate in online networks. By Marisa A. Trasatti and Jhanelle A. Graham This article was published in…

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