Richard Alderman's archive

Q. I had a divorce in January 2012. In the decree, a 2012 Toyota Corolla was awarded to my ex-wife. When we bought the car, it was in her name as the buyer and mine as the co-buyer. My ex-wife had been doing very well, making all the payments on this car, until April of this year. I thought my attorney had sent Toyota finance the divorce decree to show she was liable for all future payments.

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Q. I recently had a small fire in my apartment. I think it was caused by the new clothes dryer I had installed. The landlord collected for the damage to his building from his insurance company. Now the insurance company is coming after me for $60,000 because of a clause in my lease. This fire was not my fault. How can I be sued?

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Q. I gave proper notice to end my lease and started moving out a week before it ended. I moved almost all of my belongings into my new apartment and was living there, but I accidently left a jewelry box in my former apartment. When I went back to retrieve it, it was gone. I still had my key and three days remaining on my lease. Is my landlord responsible for the theft?

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Q. My father recently passed. Question is, he had made a will with a lawyer but never had it registered. Is the will still valid? What happens if he did not have a will? Does all the property go to the state?

A. A will is valid and enforceable once it is properly prepared and signed. In most cases, a will also is notarized. This is not necessary, but it does make it easier and less expensive to probate the will. A will, however, does not have to be filed or registered to be valid. The attorney may now file the will for probate.

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cracked windshield

Q. I was driving down the road when the large truck in front of me kicked up a small stone from the road into my windshield. I filed a claim with the owner of the truck, and it refused to pay. Do I have a case for small claims court? My friend was with me and can testify that she saw the stone thrown from the truck into my windshield.

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