Category: Uncategorized

Things You Shouldn’t Keep from Your Divorce Lawyer

 

Going through a divorce can be stressful and emotionally painful. You may feel horrible that your marriage is falling apart and wonder what your life will be like when everything is said and done. Certain aspects of the divorce may even be embarrassing for you and you may be tempted to hide them from your divorce lawyer. However, it is important to remember that your lawyer is not there to judge you and can’t help you if he or she doesn’t know the full story. Here are some things you should never keep from your divorce lawyer:

 

Your Financial Situation

 

A divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s finances. If you are having financial problems, you may be tempted to hide those facts from your attorney because you are afraid he or she won’t want to represent you. While divorce attorneys do of course want to get paid, they understand that divorce result in financial problems for many people. That is why many are willing to work out pay arrangements. If you are not honest with your lawyer about your finances, he or she may not be able to help you arrange the necessary spousal or child support arrangement with your ex.

 

Your Bad Behavior in the Marriage

 

Very few marriages end because of just one person’s wrongdoings. It usually takes two people to break apart a marriage. Even if your spouse made the majority of mistakes in the marriage, it is still important to disclose your wrongdoings to your divorce lawyer. It may be a little uncomfortable to reveal that personal information at first, but you must remember that your lawyer has probably heard it all before. If you try to hide your mistakes from your divorce lawyer, it could end up hurting you in the end. Your lawyer must know the entire truth to provide you with the best representation.

 

Your Suspicions About Your Spouse

 

If you have any suspicions about your spouse whatsoever, be sure to let your divorce lawyer know. Hiding your suspicions can keep you from getting the upper hand in the divorce and even possibly even put your children in danger. For example, if you saw your spouse use illegal drugs, you should tell that to your lawyer.

 

The idea of revealing personal information to a stranger might seem daunting at first. However, your attorney, like a divorce lawyer Austin, TX trusts, is on your side and will not pass judgment on you. He or she must know all the details about your divorce in order to best serve you. If you leave important details out, your lawyer may not be able to represent you to the best of his or her ability.

 

To get the divorce process start, schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer soon to discuss the details about your divorce and learn about your options. Many divorce lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The law Offices of Ryan S. Dougay for their insight into divorce law

Why Should I Have an Estate Plan?

An estate planning attorney knows that many people put off making estate planning arrangements. Life gets busy and discussing end of life issues is not a topic people like to make time for.

We know there can be negative consequences for families when their loved one dies without having any will, trust, or other important documents in place. We have been helping clients with all of their estate planning needs and know there are many reasons why you need to take the time to meet with an attorney, like an estate planning lawyer Ridgefield, CT relies on, who can assist you with all of your needs.

Some of the more important reasons include:

  1.    You are in control of who your assets will go to. Without a will, a court will make the decision on who your heirs should be. This means that anyone who can claim relation to you can make a claim on your estate, including relatives you may never have even met before.
  1.    You are in control of who will administer your estate. The law requires that a person is named to administer distribution of assets, paying debts, taxes, and any other issues that need to be addressed on behalf of your estate. You can also name a person to be guardian for your minor children and even your pets. If you do not have a will designating who these people should be, the court will again make these decisions for you.
  1.    You do not have to be rich to have an estate. There are many items that make up an estate, not just money in the bank or real estate. Even if you only rent your home, you still have furniture, jewelry, and other personal items. Your vehicle and digital assets are also considered part of your estate, so it is important that your family know what should be done with all these items should you pass.
  1.    You will make life easier on your family if you have already made these decisions and they do not have to. Your estate planning documents will specify what your wishes are. The worst thing that can happen to a grieving family is having to second-guess what their loved one would have wanted and making those decisions. It not only adds to their stress, but can often cause family rifts if they can’t agree on what those wishes should be. Instead of fighting, they can focus on supporting and helping each other get through a very difficult time.

Let an Estate Planning Attorney Help

Putting together an estate plan is not a complicated or expensive process and it does not have to take a lot of time. It is important to have your plans in place before something happens and you are unable to physically articulate what your last wishes are.


Thank you to Sweeney Legal for providing their insight on estate planning.

Reasons to Pursue Pre-Marriage Counseling

Many couples, even emotionally healthy ones, can experience big questions about marriage before taking those big steps down the aisle. Feeling this sense of questioning is entirely normal, and is one of the reasons why many counselors encourage engaged couples to pursue pre-marriage counseling.

We are always taking appointments for couples interested in pre-marriage counseling; we believe it’s a crucial step when it comes to improving your relationship, establishing healthier behaviors, and, most importantly, avoiding divorce. Do not hesitate and contact an experienced family lawyers Tampa FL to ensure you are taking all proper steps.

Why is Pre-Marriage Counseling so Important?

The following are a few reasons why we consider pre-marriage counseling to be such an important step for our clients:

  • Discuss issues

Pre-marriage counseling is an opportunity to talk about hidden or not-so-hidden issues that lead to arguments, and can even start couples down the road toward separation. In a counseling session, you and your partner can talk about problems as they arise or even before they do so, so you can learn how to talk about them in the future. Having a plan of action for conflicts can turn out to be enormously helpful down the road.

  • Receive wisdom

The prior experience of a strong marriage counselor can be invaluable when you’re encountering the unknown. Knowing that someone older has been through what you’re experiencing, and has felt similar feelings, can make it easier for you to make decisions and understand better what you’re starting when you get married.

  • Improve communication

Effective communication is integral to a strong and lasting marriage. Going through counseling can help couples become better active listeners, and start to understand each other’s wants and needs. Instead of taking each other for granted, you and your spouse-to-be can learn how to have more open communication and express your love more fully to one another by going through pre-marriage counseling.

  • Learn something new

In pre-marriage counseling, couples often have the chance to discover new information about one another, especially about the past and painful experiences that don’t always arise in everyday conversations. It can help provide insight as to why your partner behaves in the way he or she does, and bring to light any underlying issues either of you may need to address.

  • Prevent divorce

Many couples pursue pre-marriage counseling because they want to prevent a future divorce. With the rates of divorce as high as they are, this should come as no surprise. Pre-marriage counseling is very effective in helping keep couples from separating, because it helps mend problems with communication that often lead them in that direction in the first place. It will give you the tools to you and your partner need to begin to build trust and support for each other.


Thank you to The McKinney Law Group for providing their insight and expertise on divorce and family law.

Defective Motorcycle Parts and Personal Injury Claims

A motorcyclist’s life depends on the safety on the motorcycle in order to avoid injury or death while riding. Every motorcycle accident lawyer is familiar with the tragic consequences of defective parts that cause equipment failure. Under certain circumstances, the manufacturer of that part can be held responsible for the injuries and other damages of a rider resulting from an accident. If you were injured in this way, or lost a loved one in a fatal accident caused by a defective part, call our office immediately. After a review of your case by a motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm, we can determine if we might be able to help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.

Motorcycle Parts Manufacturers

Manufacturers have a legal and moral obligation to design, build, and distribute products that are reasonably safe when used by consumers. Though their product may be dangerous if used incorrectly or not in a way as dictated by the manufacturer, if used in the way intended and not worn from use, it should not be harmful. For example, a tire is expected to stay intact and not explode from normal usage within a certain number of miles if used as per the manufacturer’s instructions such as on pavement rather than on a rocky surface. That same tire, if used after a certain number of miles is expected to wear out and it’s the consumer’s responsibility to replace it before it becomes too worn. A motorcycle accident lawyer can determine if the tire on your motorcycle was defective and led to your accident.

Retailers

Retailers have a similar responsibility to manufacturers in that they are obliged to protect the consumer. If a federal agency or the manufacturer itself deems that a particular make and model of motorcycle is dangerous or hazardous to the user, the retailer is expected to take that item off the shelf or out of the lot. For instance, if a manufacturer recalls a part used on a motorcycle, or the motorcycle itself, the retailer has an obligation to not sell that motorcycle or part until the part is replaced, repaired, or modified as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If the retailer disregards the manufacturer’s instructions and sells the defective item and the consumer is injured or killed as a result, a motorcycle accident lawyer can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the retailer.

Personal Injury Claim

If you were injured while riding your motorcycle due to a defective part, we may be able to recover compensation on your behalf from the manufacturer. Additional parties can be held responsible as well, if applicable. In addition to your medical bills, we may be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages you have suffered as a result of the accident. In the event that you need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact an attorney, like Injury Lawyers Charlottesville relies on, to assist you with your case.


Thank you to MartinWren, P.C. for providing their insight and authoring this piece on personal injury and defective motorcycle parts.

Updating Your Will and Estate Plan Post-Divorce

There are many milestones in life that should inspire you to update your estate planning arrangements, including after a divorce. All your documents should reflect your marital status and new designated powers of attorney (financial, medical, trust). Some states use their own discretion in taking out former spouses from estate planning documents, however you are usually required to make updates.

If you are in the process of changing your estate planning documents, or possibly thinking about remarrying, consider reaching out to one of the best estate planning attorneys in O’Fallon MO. If there are children from your previous marriage, it may be wise to create a premarital agreement in order to ensure that the children will inherit your estate rather than a new spouse.

Important Documents You Should Update

  1. Will: You should create a new will revoking any reference to your now ex-spouse. If you were to pass away after a divorce without updating your will, your ex-spouse may be awarded your assets as the will states. There is no guarantee your children will inherit the assets stated in the will if this situation occurs.
  2. Revocable Trusts: A revocable living trust must be updated to keep your spouse from becoming a trustee or beneficiary of the trust. If the trust is irrevocable, you cannot change the beneficiary designation. Trusts established for your children should not require modification.
  1. Power of Attorney for Medical Care: You may wish to change this designation since this person has power to make medical decisions for you when you are incapacitated. An ex spouse may make decisions that you will regret, or, if they move away and cannot be reached, you may suffer further.
  2. Power of Attorney for Finances: Part of divorcing means dividing assets and property and becoming solitary owner. Having your ex spouse manage your finances should you die or become hurt can be extremely unwise. One should not always assume the worst out of others, but you should be careful with your finances. Naming a new person as your power of attorney for finances can be a wise and useful modification to make in your will.
  3.  Designating a Beneficiary: Life insurance, pensions, investments, and bank accounts all have beneficiary designations that allow you to choose who inherits the assets after you die. If you fail to choose or change your beneficiaries, then your ex-spouse are legally entitled to that money by default when you pass away.

At the end of your marriage, it is wise to ensure your assets are given to the appropriate people. If you do not update your will, then your ex spouse will inherit your assets and there is no guarantee that your children will receive a dime. Consult a divorce lawyer to be sure you are correctly updating your documents and avoiding a disastrous outcome.


Thank you the authors at Legacy Law Center for providing their insight on wills and estate planning.

 

If I Receive an Inheritance Will I Have to Go Through Probate?

When a person passes away, their will is resolved by a process known as probate, which is a process that settles the estate. Assets not held in a trust make up the taxable portion of the estate. Probate excludes any assets that are jointly owned. It can be costly as it can take time and money to go through the probate process. It is an important step that must occur prior to assets being transferred to beneficiaries. If you have been chosen to manage a person’s estate following their death, working with a probate and wills attorney will be of great help when it comes to going through this process.

 

What is Probate?

It is important to be mindful that laws can vary depending on the state you live when it comes to the distribution of assets under an estate. It will be important to work with an attorney who has experience with estate planning and how the laws within your state will impact your particular circumstance. It will be important to be aware of the following:

 

  • Many may choose to create a trust because it makes the process more private than a traditional will. This is because when a will goes through the probate process it is required to become part of public record.
  • Talk to an estate planning attorney to learn more information around retirement accounts as they are a way that probate can be avoided. Upon a person’s passing, the appointed beneficiary can receive the funds in a retirement account immediately.
  • Jointly held assets are not required to go through probate proceedings
  • Assets cannot be transferred to heirs until the probate process is complete. Assets are required to go through the probate process if a person passes away without a will in place.

 

Assets That Do Not Require Probate

Assets that often do not have to endure the probate process are:

 

  • Assets that are in trust accounts
  • Accounts that have named beneficiaries on them. This is usually cash in checking accounts, retirement accounts and gifts
  • Joint ownership or right of survivorship assets
  • Any proceeds from insurance policies

 

A beneficiary will be able to avoid court costs and attorney fees that are required as part of the probate process. They can even assume ownership of assets sooner for inheritances that are not required to go through probate.

 

Assets That Require Probate
Assets that are required to go through the probate process include the following:

 

  • Real Estate Property
  • Valuable Items and other personal property assets
  • When there is no transfer on death clause assigning a beneficiary for checking and savings accounts

 

An estate planning attorney or tax advisor will be able to make recommendations by going over the details of the estate if you are planning your estate. Your heirs will only have to pay minimal costs when it comes to attorney fees and taxes by taking the time in doing some advanced planning. Speak with an experienced attorney such as the Estate Planning Lawyer Fairfield County, CT locals turn to.


Thanks to authors at Sweeney Legal for their insight into Estate Planning Law.

How to Bring a Wrongful Death Case

Losing a loved is often one of the hardest things a person endures. If a loved one dies at the fault of another party, then the surviving family members may have a wrongful death case. A wrongful death lawsuit can hold the responsible party liable for the damages, and entitle surviving family members to compensation for damages and losses. Losing someone can be very painful and expensive ordeal. Although nothing can take away that pain, a wrongful death lawsuit may help alleviate some of the financial burdens and stresses caused by the death of a loved one.

Wrongful Death

When a person’s death is the direct result of either another party’s negligence, careless or intentional actions, or lack of action that could have prevented the death, then the death can be considered wrongful. In such case, the surviving family members are able to bring a wrongful death case in order to claim damages sustained as a result of the decedent’s death. Wrongful death claims are often complex and difficult to navigate. IN addition, the laws dictating wrongful death statutes vary by state. For these reasons, it’s important to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in your areas as soon as possible. They will be able to review the situation and determine the best course of action. In addition, they can help you make a valid claim and build a strong case.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death can occur in a number of situations, and is more common than most people would think. In most cases, the accident and death may have been unintentional, however, if it could have been prevented, then it might be considered wrongful. The following are the most common types of wrongful death cases:

  • Auto accident
  • Medical malpractice
  • Public transportation accident due to faulty work or equipment
  • Work accidents resulting from safety concerns not addressed by the employer
  • Murder
  • Plane accident at the fault of the pilot’s negligence

Proving Negligence

In order to win a wrongful death case, the following elements must be proven:

  • The decedent’s death was caused directly by the negligence of the other party
  • The death resulted in monetary damages that have financially impacted a surviving loved one or family member
  • Surviving loved ones or family members were financially dependent on the decedent

Who is at fault?

After an accident occurs that results in the death of a loved one, it’s important to determine who is at fault. As long as negligence can be proven, then the at-fault party can be determined. This can be either a single person responsible for the accident, or a company whose negligence resulted in the accident. For example, if a drunk driver caused the accident that killed someone, then they will be named the defendant in the lawsuit. If an work accident kills an employee as a result of unsafe working conditions, then the employer or company can be named in the lawsuit.

A wrongful death lawyer such as the wrongful death lawyer Orlando, Fl locals trust can help you determine who is at fault in an accident and help provide evidence of that person’s negligence. Hiring a lawyer can be vital to ensuring all requirements are met, a strong case is made and potential problems are avoided. In addition, they can relieve you of unnecessary stress so you can focus on family and grieving in these hard times.

Thanks to authors at Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for insight into wrongful death cases.

3 Common Causes of Premises Liability Lawsuits

Premises liability is an area of tort law that deals with a premises owners’ duty to keep his/her property in good repair. The Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Wieand Law Firm litigate numerous cases each year where people are seriously hurt because of a defective or hazardous condition of someone else’s property.

There are countless types of property hazards or dangers that can cause injury if a premises is not properly maintained. Three of the most common property hazards are:

Defective Sidewalks – Sidewalks can be defective for a myriad of reasons. Some common sidewalk defects include broken pavement, holes in the sidewalk, uneven sidewalk and areas of the sidewalk that protrude above another creating a tripping hazard. If you fall and are hurt on a defective sidewalk you may have the right to bring a claim for compensation for your harms and losses. A slip and fall lawyer can help you determine whether your case is meritorious, and if so, file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

Icy Sidewalks – A sidewalk may be defective because the owner or manager failed to clear ice or snow in a reasonable period of time after a storm. A fall on an icy sidewalk can cause debilitating injuries such as broken bones, herniated discs and traumatic brain injury. Most property owners carry liability insurance to cover damages to pedestrians who are injured on a defective property. Liability insurance will cover damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.

Defective Stairs – Stairs need to be designed and maintained in a safe manner for the protection of everyone who uses the stairway. It is self evidence that a defective stairway can cause serious injury or even death. Some defects which may result in liability to a property owner include failure of the rise and run to conform to code, lack of a handrail, stairs that are unsteady or collapse due to lack of maintenance.

A property owner may be found negligent if he not maintain his property in a reasonably safe condition. When someone is seriously injured as a result of a property owners negligence they may be able to sue for injuries and damages caused in civil court. A knowledgeable premises liability lawyer in your area can explain this nuanced area of law in greater detail, including helping you determine what your personal injury claim is worth for settlement purposes.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm for their insight into premise liability cases.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice.

 

Divorce Lawyer

If you’ve decided to separate from your partner, it’s important to find a divorce lawyer you can trust. Even the most amicable divorces can fall apart quickly and can devolve into angry, vindictive disputes. We understand that you and your family may be facing a difficult time right now. It’s our job to help you get through it.

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Many couples are increasingly turning to alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation, rather than immediately taking their divorce to court. These options can be very beneficial for both spouses and often require less time — and less money — than the typical divorce proceeding requires. If you and your ex-partner still have a friendly relationship with each other, an informal mediation may be especially appealing and effective.

However, even in cases where two spouses get along well, it’s usually still a good idea for each spouse to hire their own divorce lawyer. Sometimes simply consulting with a lawyer once or twice can be very helpful before you begin to negotiate with your former partner. There are several reasons for this, and here are just a few of the most important ones:

  1. A lawyer can help you explore your options for separating from your spouse. Many people think that getting a traditional divorce is the only option for splitting up with their partner. However, there are several other options that you might want to consider. Some couples choose to separate permanently or obtain a legal separation if they do not wish to divorce for religious reasons. If a couple does want a divorce, mediation and arbitration are two viable ways of negotiating in an informal setting.
  2. Experienced divorce lawyers may also practice other areas of family law. This can be very beneficial if you have children and you’ll need to work out custody agreements and child support.
  3. You’ll likely want some help predicting possible costs of your divorce. Getting divorced costs money — there’s no way around it. In fact, hiring a lawyer can sometimes end up saving you money in the long run. It’s important to have some idea about how much you’ll end up paying when it’s all said and done.
  4. A good lawyer will help you fill out court documents and review agreements before anything is final. At best, a mistake on a form could delay the divorce process. At worst, you might find out that your former partner tricked you into an agreement that severely disadvantages you. A simple way to avoid these scenarios — and everything in between — is to have an experienced divorce lawyer review things for you.

Contact a Law Firm Today

A divorce can be a very intimidating process, but there’s no reason you should have to go through it entirely on your own. We recognize the importance of hiring a compassionate and knowledgeable legal team during a divorce. We are proud to be a trusted source where individuals can come to find a lawyer for a variety of family law matters. In the event you need legal advice, contact family lawyers Tampa FL relies on to get more information.

Thank you to The Mckinney Law Group for providing great insight on family law.

 

Estate Planning Documents and Divorce

If you are considering or going through a divorce, it is critical to go over your estate plans to ensure that any changes that need to be made are done. In the eyes of the law, you are legally married until the divorce is declared final. This means that if something should happen to you and your spouse is currently the person who would inherit any of your property, they will still inherit that property unless you have an attorney make those changes. This is also a good time to draw up estate plans if you do not currently have any.

The following are some of the important documents you should update if you are in the midst of a divorce.

Wills

Each state has its own laws on how a person’s will should be handled if they still have their ex-spouse named. While some states declare any provisions made for your ex-spouse are invalid, other states declare these provisions are valid and your ex-spouse will inherit. There may be a legal gray area if you are still in the middle of the divorce process. Rather than risk leaving the decision up to the probate court, it makes more sense to have your estate planning attorney make any changes necessary to your will if your wish is that your soon-to-be former spouse not inherit.

If your will currently leaves any of your property to your ex-spouse’s children, they will still inherit no matter what the laws are in your state. Divorce has no effect. If your wish is to remove them from inheriting, you can also make those changes in your will.

Trusts

If you have a trust set up, it does not matter if your state has a law that excludes ex-spouses from inheriting what assets and property are in that trust if they are still named as beneficiary. If the trust you have set up is revocable, you will want to have your estate planning attorney change the beneficiary from your spouse to someone else right away.

Unfortunately, if the trust you set up is an irrevocable one and it does not stipulate that a divorce removes the current spouse as beneficiary, the trust cannot be changed. This is why it is critical to have a professional lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer Ridgefield CT trusts, assist you in all of your estate planning in order to avoid legal situations such as this one.

Guardianship and Power of Attorney

Many clients set up documents that will address how financial decisions should be made in the event they become incapacitated. Two tools available for this purpose are power of attorney and guardianship. If there is currently a power of attorney drafted that grants your spouse the authority as your power of attorney, the majority of states revoke this document when a divorce actions is filed by either spouse.

However, the divorce filing does not revoke any documents which name the spouse as guardian for the other spouse. The only way that could be revoked would be with the court’s approval. The guardianship does not become void until the divorce is legally final.

In addition, you have normally appointed your spouse as your Health Care Proxy and they will be able to make health care decisions should you not be able to.  You would normally have to change this to remove the spouse.

Connecticut has a law which revokes any dispositions of property and the former spouse’s role as executor and trustee in a Will. CGS 45a-257c.  New York’s law goes further and revokes beneficiary designations and other similar statuses. EPTL 5-1.4.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Sweeney Legal for their insight into estate planning law.