4 Reasons to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer for Future Plans

If you’ve been putting off planning for the future because you’re too busy, now is the time to reconsider. It’s important to have an estate plan in place so that there are no surprises. You shouldn’t attempt to do your own planning. With help from a lawyer, you can feel more comfortable about the process. Take a look at the following information to better understand the reasons as to why you should hire an estate planning lawyer to prepare for the future. 

An Estate Planning Lawyer Knows Your State Laws

Never guess your way through the law, especially if you have absolutely no legal experience. An estate planning lawyer fully understands your state laws and how they relate to your individual planning needs. For example, your lawyer understands what documents need to be in place depending on your state’s requirements. If you have any questions about laws in your state, you can direct them to your lawyer.

An Estate Planning Lawyer is Worth the Investment

You shouldn’t skip out on planning due to finances. You may think that attempting your own planning will allow you to keep a lot of money in your pocket. This may not be the case if you make a costly mistake, because you will have to get a lawyer to fix it for you. If you’re concerned about money, speak with a lawyer about payment plan options or ask if you can do bits and pieces of your plan at once. This can cut down costs and make everything more manageable financially. 

An Estate Planning Lawyer Can Better Explain the Most Important Documents

When planning, there are some very important tools and documents that need to be in place. A lawyer will talk with you to better understand your goals and needs and then can explain these documents and tools so that you better understand your options. Your lawyer can also help you make important decisions about each document so that you’re able to make the best choices for your future.

An Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help You Communicate with Loved Ones

When planning, you may need to get trusted loved ones involved. For example, when choosing a guardian for your children, you will need to ask a loved one if they’re able to handle this type of responsibility. A lawyer can help you have these difficult and important talks with loved ones. 

As you can see, it pays to have an estate planning lawyer on your side when making estate plan choices. If you have any questions or if you’d like to start the planning process, contact a lawyer like Coley Hennessy Cassis Ewasko.

     

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Bit By A Dog In Canada: What You Need To Know About Personal Injury Laws

Were you recently injured by a dog in Canada? If so, you should know that the dog’s owner could be held legally liable for their dog’s actions and ultimately for your injuries. This fact allows you to collect compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

However, before filing your claim, there are a few facts that you should know:

Fact #1: The Dog’s Owner Must Have Acted In A Negligent Way

In order for a dog’s owner to be held legally liable for the actions of their pet, that owner must have acted in a negligent way. Furthermore, this negligence must have directly resulted in their dog’s ability to attack you.

For instance, if an owner fails to restrain their dog while outside despite the fact that they know the dog can escape, this action can be considered negligent and will therefore result in the owner being held liable for any actions their dog takes.

However, if the dog is restrained in the backyard and signs are clearly posted alerting individuals to the dog’s presence, the owner cannot be held liable if you choose to access their back yard anyway since you were aware of the danger and they had done everything in their power to minimize that danger.

Fact #2: Dog Bite Laws Only Apply To Unprovoked Attacks

Just like people, dogs have the right to defend themselves if they are being attacked. Consequently, dog bite laws will only apply in cases where the attack on a human is unprovoked.

While many people define the provocation of a dog to be a physical attack, the truth is, attacking a dog physically is just one of the ways in which a dog can be provoked. These domestic animals may also be provoked if you enter their personal living space despite warning or if you threaten physical harm towards their human companions. In these situations, you will not be able to seek compensation for your injuries since you will be at fault for causing them.

Fact #3: Dog Bite Cases Can Be Complex And Complicated

The process of determining liability and assigning damages in a dog bite case can be a very complex and time consuming process. Therefore, it is often recommended that you seek the services of a qualified injury lawyer when pursuing this type of case.

If you are a bit unsure about your need to hire a lawyer, taking advantage of the free consultation that these lawyers typically offer can be a great way to get the additional information you need to be truly confident in your final decision.

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Collaborative Divorce: The Third Divorce Settlement Option

Collaborative divorce can be best described as a method in which lawyers agree to assist two soon-to-be single individuals in resolving their conflicts using cooperative techniques. This diffuses any adversarial strategies that are commonly utilized in a divorce that undergoes the usual court route. All those involved in the divorce are committed to attaining an outcome that meets the needs of both parties.

Collaborative Divorce: A Method of Peace

The main purpose of a collaborative divorce is to maintain peace between spouses before and after the agreement. It also has many other pros, as well as cons, that deserve mentioning.

Top Pros of Opting for a Collaborative Divorce

  • Your children will not witness any hostility between you and your spouse. This is very beneficial when opting for a collaborative divorce.
  • When you opt for a collaborative divorce, you will spend less time at the courthouse waiting for your case to be called; therefore, you will not have to take as much time off work.
  • With a collaborative divorce, both parties share the costs of parenting experts, mental health care experts, financial experts, and just about any other expert that is needed in order to come to the best solution possible.
  • If both parties want to undergo a collaborative divorce, this means that both of them are on the same page, which means that attaining a beneficial outcome won’t take a long period.
  • You will not have to see your soon-to-be ex that much as it is when one is undergoing a divorce the common way.

Top Cons of Opting for a Collaborative Divorce

There are never foolproof methods of going through a divorce. As a collaborative divorce does have many benefits, there are a few cons to be aware of.

  • If there has been a domestic violence case present in your marriage, the judge may not accept the process of a collaborative divorce.
  • If your spouse cannot be trusted 100%, a collaborative divorce won’t be of any good, as both parties need to fully disclose debts and assets. For this reason, both parties need to communicate in an honest manner at all times. Failure to do so may delay the process.
  • If your soon-to-be ex cannot come to an agreement with you, you will have to divorce the common way. This means that you may have to pay more in legal fees.

For more information, contact Vic West Law or a similar firm.

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How To Plan Your Estate When You Have Children

When you have children, there is a lot to think about. You need to plan for their education, start a savings for their future, and protect them. One way to protect them is by planning your estate. It may seem like something you should do later in life, but it can actually help your children now by starting early.

Here are some ways to plan your estate when you have young children:

Draft a Will

One of the most important aspects of planning your estate when you have children is to draft a will. Your will includes information about who will become your children’s guardian and where your assets will go. Even if you don’t think you have many assets, you will still include information about who is to get money in your bank accounts and who retains ownership of your home.

Not to mention the important task of selecting a guardian to take care of your children. You can have your property go to your children instead of your spouse if you prefer. This is something that must be in your will, otherwise it will go to your spouse.

Write a Living Will

The living will is not the same as the regular will, since it is more for your medical directive and power of attorney. With a living will, you are naming someone who will have control over your finances if you are unable to. For example, if you get a serious injury that puts you in a coma, you will not be physically or mentally capable of making medical decisions.

If you have a living will that names a power of attorney, that person makes medical and financial decisions for you. If you want palliative care but don’t want extreme measures to be taken, that is something you would also include in your living will.

Get Life Insurance

Part of your estate planning is preparing your finances for the future. This includes purchasing a life insurance policy. Life insurance is beneficial regardless of your age. Many people make the mistake of waiting until later in life to get life insurance, but everyone needs a policy.

What would happen if you were in a fatal car accident driving home from work? Does your family have financial protection? Also consider that the younger you are when buying a life insurance policy, the lower your premium will be. You can select a beneficiary when purchasing your policy, which is the person that will have control over the benefits after you pass.

With these three main directives, you will be able to start planning your estate to protect your children. You may need the help of an estates lawyer to make sure you are doing everything you need to do.

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3 Things You Should Know When A Tenant Trashes One Of Your Apartments

As a landlord, you probably realize that one of the most important parts of rental properties is selecting the right tenants. Bad tenants can cause a multitude of problems, and they can cost you money. If you are new to this job, you may wonder what your rights are when a tenant leaves a rental property trashed and damaged when he or she moves out. If you are not sure of your rights, here are three things you should know.

You can keep the deposit

When a tenant moves in, he or she will pay you a security deposit, which is refundable at the end of the lease, or when the person moves out. You should realize that if the tenant destroys your property, you do not have to give this deposit back. This does not include normal wear and tear on the property, though. It only includes damage that is above and beyond normal wear and tear.

You can also keep the person’s security deposit it the tenant:

  • Still owes you money for rent
  • Leaves trash in the rental property
  • Does not clean it after moving out

In many cases, the security deposit will be enough to cover the expenses of cleaning the unit, but there are times when the damage is much more severe.

You must send a letter

While it is your right to keep this money if the unit has issues after the tenant leaves, the tenant still has the right to know about this. Because of this, you must send a letter that explains why you are not returning the deposit. This letter must state the exact problems you discovered in the unit, as well as the costs you are charging for repairing the problems.

You can sue the person

The third thing you should know about this is that you also have the right to sue the tenant if the damage is extremely severe. For example, if you find holes in the walls or floors, cuts on the countertops, and stains on all the floors, it may cost thousands of dollars to repair the unit.

If this happens, you may want to talk to a real estate lawyer in Cambridge to find out how to sue this person to recover these damages. You should realize that suing someone will cost money out of your pocket, but it might be the only way to get the money to pay for the repairs.

For more information, contact Hilborn & Konduros Law Firm or a similar organization.

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Divorcing Later In Life? How Will Your Retirement Plans Be Impacted?

Whether you’ve been unhappy in your current marriage for years, or simply want a way out of a relationship that has become abusive or toxic, if you’re over age 60 you may be part of the demographic seeking what is often termed a “grey divorce.” Read on to learn more about how divorcing after a long marriage can affect your financial situation and your ability to retire:

How can a later-in-life divorce affect your ability to retire?

Although individuals going through a “grey divorce” will often avoid the mess of child support calculations and custody disputes, there can be even more costly battles to fight. 

The Divorce Act, which governs spousal support, can require you to pay support to your ex-spouse for a reasonable period of time following your divorce. This support is generally awarded in cases where there is a large disparity in earning power between spouses, and is meant to provide the lower-earning spouse with enough money to pay bills while he or she seeks the education or employment to become fully self-supporting. 

However, in a grey divorce, you may find that the amount of time “reasonable” for your ex-spouse to find gainful employment can be significantly elongated (or even indefinite). When others your age are winding their careers down, it can be hard to get one started — and in many cases, the educational hurdles needed to enter a certain career field can be insurmountable. 

While a twenty- or thirty-something may be able to reinvent themselves in a new career, a sixty- or seventy-something may not be employable — which could necessitate the receipt of spousal support for the rest of his or her life.

If you’ve vested in a pension, you may also be required to split a portion of your pension with your ex-spouse — even if you don’t begin drawing the pension until years after your divorce. Fortunately, you’ll rarely be required to pay both spousal support and a portion of your pension at the same time.

Is there anything you can do to protect yourself? 

There are a few things you can do to minimize the financial impact of a later-in-life divorce.

First, you may wish to enlist the services of a mediator to help you and your ex-spouse decide how your assets should be divided. It’s nearly always better to agree on this step, rather than to have a judge make the decision for you — and can allow you and your ex-spouse to come to a result that works for both of you, rather than one that significantly handicaps one (or both) sets of future plans.

If your spouse is also employed, you may want to consider structuring your retirement dates to coincide. This generally makes it easier for the court to calculate the amount of any pension or other retirement income that should be paid as support to the other party — and if your income is reduced through retirement, it’s less likely that you’ll be assessed a spousal support figure that comprises most of your monthly income.

To learn more, contact a company like J. Leigh Daboll Law Office with any questions or concerns you have.

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Stay Informed And Protect Your Interests – Questions For Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding yourself in a situation where you need the services of a personal injury lawyer can be one of the most stressful and difficult times of your life. A large part of this stress comes from feeling overwhelmed by new information. Many times, you may even feel like you don’t know the right questions to ask to make sure you get the information you need.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some questions you should ask your personal injury lawyer. Having the answers to these questions will decrease a large amount of your stress, make you feel more confident about the potential outcomes, and guarantee that you feel like an active and involved participant in one of your life’s most pivotal moments.

Ask About Costs

Often times, a personal injury case is necessary if your ability to work and provide your family is at risk. This can create a large financial strain, and for many people, the threat of that strain will prevent them from seeking out the justice that they deserve.

Your attorney, however, will be able to walk you through a cost structure that will work for you. Many times, your lawyer will be willing to accept your case on a contingency basis, allowing he or she to be paid as a percentage of your settlement. This allows you to have cost certainty while also protecting your family’s future.

Ask About Outside Experts

While your lawyer will be experienced in navigating the legal issues surrounding your case, there will likely be other aspects that he or she requires assistance with. Personal injury settlements are based on medical conditions, and as such, an outside opinion can go a long way to finding the outcome you deserve.

Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of engaging potential outside experts. These individuals will be able to fully explain to the court the extent of your injuries, and their findings can also strongly increase the likelihood of a settlement.

Ask About Communication

When going through a personal injury lawsuit, it can feel like the world has stopped until your case reaches its conclusion. This can create frustration if you feel as though your attorney is insufficiently communicating with you or being responsive to your needs. As such, you should work out a consistent communication schedule. This will guarantee a smooth relationship for you and your lawyer while also providing for sufficient time for the wheels of the justice system to turn.

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