Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of passing on your wealth and wishes to your heirs. Estate planning also allows you to take the burden off of grieving family and friends by not putting them in the position to have to guess what you would have wanted and then agonize over whether they made the correct decision.

Why Do I Need A Will?

Wills are not only for passing on money and wealth, but also for passing on your wishes as to who will be the guardian of your children, who will inherit your personal property, how you want your funeral arrangements to be handled, and many other details best not left to guessing.

In some circumstances when a person dies intestate without heirs the entire estate can become the property of the state.

What If I Die Without A Will?

Almost half of those who die this year will die without having established a will or other means of passing on their estate. When someone dies without a will it is called being “intestate”. This means that the government decides who gets what according to the individual laws of the state in which the decedent resides.

What Is A Trust?

A trust is a way of managing personal property (such as money and belongings) and real estate without going into probate court, which can be a long and contentious (not to mention public) process. A trust also allows for conditions and special circumstances to be taken into account such as a special needs child, a spend thrift, or other situation that may require additional supervision or assistance from the trustee.

What Is Power Of Attorney?

Powers of attorney designates your medical wishes should you not be in a position to express them yourself.

What Is A Living Will?

Living wills designates your medical wishes should you not be in a position to express them yourself.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Alimony

What’s involved in getting a divorce?

Divorce involves officially ending your marriage, dividing of assets, and the determination of alimony and child support when necessary.

What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment?

A divorce is the legal end of a marriage based either on an alleged fault ground or on a no fault theory. Different states have different rules and guidelines as to what must be alleged in a divorce.

Unlike divorce, annulment is the courts declaring a marriage as having been void. Once an annulment is granted, legally it is as if the marriage never occurred. There are different rules and requirements by state as to what must be proven in order to obtain an annulment.

Why do I need a lawyer for a divorce?

Each divorce is unique and requires an attorney who will consider not only the technical aspect of the ending the marriage, but also the emotional wreckage that can be left behind with the client if the case is not handled properly. It is very important when selecting a lawyer to handle your divorce that you find someone who will respect your goals and desires in how you want your marriage to end.

Are there alternatives to litigation for a divorce?

While traditional litigation in court is still the most common method of ending a marriage there are other options such as, mediation, and collaborative law. The goal of any good divorce attorney should be to accomplish the divorce while doing everything in their power to minimize both the personal and financial pain for their client that is typically associated with the process.

What about children in a divorce?

A divorce where children are involved adds many additional factors to be considered. From the most basic issues such as custody, financial support, and visitation, to more obscure issues such as future schooling, vacations, religious upbringing, college, etc.

How is child support determined?

Child support is determined from a set of published state guidelines relative to a parent’s income level.

What is alimony?

Alimony is an amount of money paid by one spouse to the other for their support. The amount varies greatly and depends a lot on the lifestyle the couple was used to. Alimony, unlike child support is not based on published guidelines. Judges have great latitude in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded.

Personal Injury Law

Do you offer a free consultation?

We will provide you with a free consultation to assist you in determining if there are legal remedies available to you.

What kind of injuries can result in compensation?

Many injuries may at first seem innocuous only to surface later as major debilitating injuries. Many injured people notice a difference in their quality of life. The inability to play with their children, to have a meaningful and intimate relationship with their spouse, or engage in the activities that they once enjoyed are common side effects of serious injuries. All of these things may be worth money, which of course does not make up for what is lost, but hopefully helps your life go on more comfortably.

How will you help me handle a personal injury claim?

I will determine if there are legal remedies available to you. You will be able to make decisions about your case and the direction you want your case to go with my assistance and advice. Should your case be resolved solely through negotiations, through alternative dispute resolution (mediation or arbitration), or should your case proceed to a full trial I will be there to assist you in getting the best possible outcome.

What will a personal injury case cost me? What if we lose?

Personal Injury cases are generally taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay ANY legal fees to us unless you win.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Every cause of action (law suit) has a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations lays out the time you have to file a law suit. If the given time has expired you are permanently barred from filing your suit, no matter how grievous your damages. The statute of limitations varies greatly between different causes of action. The best possible advice is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your window of opportunity, so that you are not left without any recourse.

Contracts

What is breach of contract?

When there is a contract established and we rely on a person or business to hold up their end of the bargain and they fail to do so, we then have what the law refers to as a breach of contract.

Does every breach of contract require a suit?

To have a contract suit, you must first show that there was a valid contract and that the other party breached the contract by failing to do what they promised to do. Not every contract breach requires a lawsuit. If a party to a contract makes a mistake, or does not carry out the contract as specified in a relatively minor way, it may be appropriate, and in some cases even required, that you give the offending party a chance to make the situation right, this is called “curing.”

Why should I have an attorney if there is a material breach of contract?

If a breach of contract raises to the level of being, “material” or “major” then your duty to carry out your obligations under the contract may be suspended, and you may be entitled to damages. It is very important to consult with an attorney to determine what law governs your contract action, what steps must be taken (if any) to give the offending party a chance to repair the damage done, and what your rights are going forward to court. I can help you evaluate your case and decide which plan of action is best suited for your situation. There are often factors to consider outside of the basic contract and its alleged breach. Factors such as a future relationship, either business or personal between the parties, counter or cross claims that the breaching party may bring if sued, and cost are all factors worth appraising prior to settling on a course of action.

What type of damages are involved with breach of contract?

How will your firm help me with a contract dispute?

We represent clients who are seeking to enforce contracts, or who are seeking to defend their failure or inability to perform their part of a contract. Many business contracts must be handled delicately and with discretion due to the effect of negative publicity and the possibility of future commercial contact between the parties. There is no boiler plate approach to a contract claim or dispute, I evaluate each situation and assist my clients in reaching their desired resolution.