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The Probate Process In 3 Simple Steps

Posted by on 10:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Probate Process In 3 Simple Steps

Many people don’t give the probate process a second thought until it directly affects them. While the unknown can be intimidating, just like anything else, the probate process can be broken down into logical and easy to understand steps. If someone dies, probate is very likely to happen, whether the deceased had a will or not. Read on to get the process broken down into 3 simple steps. 1. The filing of the will Once the will has been located and read to any pertinent parties, it must be filed in your local county probate court. The reading of the will also heralds the naming of the person responsible for ensuring that the wishes of deceased are carried out properly by the personal representative or executor. Alongside the filing of the will, at least in most locales, comes the publishing of a notice to creditors in a local newspaper. This publishing gives notice to any creditors with an interest in the estate of the deceased to come forward within a certain period of time or lose the opportunity to have the debt repaid. Once the probate court has received the will, all beneficiaries will be notified, and the will becomes a public document. 2. An inventory is performed. The will goes through the probate court process, which can take around 6 months, but can take much longer for larger, more complicated or contested estates. During this time, one of the first duties of the personal representative is to perform an inventory of all estate assets. Assets of the estate can include everything from the family home, vacation homes, boats, cars, art, jewelry, the funds in checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds and more. The value of real estate must be determined by utilizing the services of a professional home appraiser. In many estates, property may be prepared for sale and even sold if the debts of the estate require it. The personal representative must keep careful records of any funds used and the purpose, as this accounting will become part of the final probate paperwork. For example, if the services of a maintenance person are required to keep the home safe from the elements during probate, this transaction must be part of the completed probate paperwork. 3. The probate is final The final paperwork will be handed down at probate’s completion and will serve as the prompt for the personal representative to distribute the property according to the deceased’s wishes. Beneficiaries will need a copy of the death certificate to have property transferred to their names. Any real estate will be transferred via a name change on the deed (via a quit claim in some states), and vehicles and boats are issued new titles with the new owner’s name. Other property, such as personal belongings, can simply be handed over to the designated beneficiary. Click here for more info about this...

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4 Benefits Of Choosing A Mediated Divorce

Posted by on 8:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Choosing A Mediated Divorce

The challenges of any relationship can be overwhelming at times.  This is likely to be the reason many people decide to get divorced. It is important to choose the least stressful way to end your marriage. One way to do so is by selecting a mediated divorce. This will enable you to work together on various decisions that must be made instead of arguing and working with lawyers. By knowing other benefits of choosing this method of divorce, you may be more motivated to do so. Benefit #1: Control the outcome One of the biggest challenges that married people may face is not having any control if the divorce proceeds to court. However, by working with your spouse, a mediator and attorney, you can work to determine all of the decisions that must be made on your own terms. Benefit #2: Reduced legal fees It’s ideal to work together when a marriage is ending because failure to do so can result in steep legal fees. The time it takes for an attorney to act as a go-between can be costly. Studies show the average cost for a contested divorce is $15,000-$30,000.  Benefit #3: Private and confidential It’s likely you may prefer to have your case settled outside of a court because of the privacy it will grant you. Mediation can be a confidential gathering between you and your spouse without any other individuals knowing about it other than the professionals involved. On the other hand, a divorce that is tried in court will be on open record for any other individual to see.  Benefit #4: Deciding on key issues The reason for mediation is to come to an agreement on various issues that must be decided upon during a divorce. There are sure to be many things that must be discussed and listed below are some decisions typically made at mediation: 1. Property – Who will get the home or will it be sold and the money divided? 2. Assets – Any assets that are jointly owned will be split. Deciding on how much each spouse gets can be done during this time. 3. Children – If there are children involved, you can agree on custody matters. The benefits of divorce mediation are many and may enable you to legally end your marriage with less stress. Be sure to consult with your family lawyer to assist you through this legal process today! Contact an attorney like Gilbert P Kaback for more...

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Three Things To Know To Know If You Stop Paying Your Credit Card Debt

Posted by on 12:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Know To Know If You Stop Paying Your Credit Card Debt

If you are struggling to pay your bills, it is likely you are considering the decision to stop paying some of your bills, such as your credit cards. Before you make the choice to stop paying your credit cards, it is essential to understand what the ramifications are. 1. Know the Statute of Limitations When you stop paying your debt, the credit card company has a limited amount of time to recoup its money. Once the statute of limitations is over, the creditor can no longer take steps to force you to repay the debt. The statue of limitations varies based on the state that you live in. For example, it is three years long in Alabama, but in Montana, the period is eight years. If a creditor does try to sue you or pursue collection efforts once the statute of limitations is over, the creditor is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 2. Understand What Your Creditor May Do After you stop making payments, your creditor will take certain steps to recoup the money that you owe. For 180 days after you stop making payments, the credit card company will call you directly to collect the debt. Once 180 days have passed, the creditor charges off the debt. When the debt is charged off, this means that the credit card company removes the debt from its assets. Legally, you still owe the debt. At this point the debt is usually sent to a collections company, either within the original credit card company or through an outside collections agency. Once the debt is sold off, the collection company may take you to court to force you to pay. If a judgement is secured against you in court, your wages can be garnished (company takes what you owe directly from your paycheck) and you can have a levy filed against your home (the levy must be paid off before the home can be sold). 3. Your Options for Dealing with the Credit Card Company You may be able to settle the debt for less than it is owed by contacting your credit card company. If the debt is in collections or a judgment has been issued, a settlement is still possible. Collecting judgments is expensive, and credit card companies want to mitigate their losses. Filing for bankruptcy is another possibility to legally dissolve debt obligations. It may be helpful to consult with a lawyer that deals with judgments. You can find one at a firm like Sinsheimer, Stuart J. If you truly do not have the financial resources to pay the debt or have few assets,  the judgement may not have an effect on you. Financial distress is a difficult time in any individual’s life. Take control of the situation by learning what to expect if you stop paying your credit...

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Common Dirty Tricks Used By Exes During A Divorce

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Dirty Tricks Used By Exes During A Divorce

All’s fair in love and war, and the gloves come off during a divorce. Many divorces end in a very one-sided manner because one of the parties knows how to work the system to his or her advantage. If you want to make sure that you get what you deserve during the divorce, you will need to be aware of common divorce tricks. Orders Of Protection One common trick is to get an order of protection. This is done in an effort to portray you in the most negative light possible with the hope that this will make your ex appear more sympathetic. The best solution to this problem is to challenge the order of protection. Require that your ex prove that it is necessary to have an order of protection. Bring your own evidence that the claims that were used to justify the order of protection are unfounded. Also, through every step of the process, try to be as polite as possible and avoid appearing angry. Maxing Out The Credit Card Another common trick is to use up the credit card of the other partner if he or she is the primary cardholder. This is effective if the primary cardholder agrees to be responsible for all of the credit card debt. Before agreeing to a deal like this, look at the charges to make sure that there are no unapproved charges that were made by your partner. Not Paying The Bills If you are not the primary income earner, your spouse may move out of your home and refuse to pay any bills. The goal is to place you in such a terrible position that you are then willing to accept any offer. There are some vindictive actions that exes engage in, often out of anger. These include: Removing everything from the home Cancelling all credit cards Trying to get an ex fired Cutting off utilities Trying to leave the state with the kids These actions should never be taken, regardless of how angry you feel. Doing so may get you into legal trouble or will at least make it more difficult to have an amicable divorce. It is also easy to fall prey to any of these tricks, but if you work with a local divorce attorney, you will be much less likely to fall victim to them. Divorce attorneys have seen all of these tricks before and can provide more advice on how to avoid them. Contact a firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC for more...

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Things You Can Do To Lower Your DUI Penalties

Posted by on 4:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things You Can Do To Lower Your DUI Penalties

The outcome of your DUI trial doesn’t have to be squarely in a judge’s hands. There are a few things that you can do to make yourself a candidate for a low DUI penalty. Here are some ways to be proactive about getting a reduced sentence.  Hire an Experienced Lawyer The first thing to do is look for an experienced DUI lawyer or criminal law attorney who is well-versed in your county’s DUI laws. They can be your first line of defense and greatly affect how you’re seen in court. For instance, they will offer you counsel about which pieces of information to play up in your trial and which to minimize.  Weaken the Evidence One part of a criminal lawyer’s job is to help you weaken the evidence in your case. After all, a judge’s sentencing is based on how strongly they believe you were driving under the influence and what the implications were to public safety. Your DUI lawyer may help you to refute a weak blood alcohol test or contextualize your drunken behavior as something else, such as illness or tiredness at the time. It can also help to argue that your drunk driving didn’t put many people in danger; this is an especially good thing to mention if there were few drivers and pedestrians in the area at the time you were pulled over.  Seek Out Help On Your Own You can also be proactive about taking steps to correct alcohol abuse and poor driving behavior. Alcoholics Anonymous is one option. Some states may also offer DUI classes to curb drunk driving. Substance abuse treatment centers are another excellent option for solving long-term alcohol abuse. If you sign up for these classes voluntarily and without the judge’s guidance, it shows that you are already taking steps to correct your behavior and a heavy DUI sentencing isn’t needed.  Offer To Do Community Service If the financial obligations of a DUI sentencing are what you’re concerned about, you may be able to negotiate. For instance, asking to do community service hours in lieu of a cash fine is one option to reduce the financial burden.  Ask for an Interlock Device Another negotiation you can make if this is your first DUI is to get an interlock ignition device put on your car. While a judge may not accept, this is a potential option for you to keep being able to drive instead of getting your license revoked.  Click here for more information on a criminal law attorney or do an online...

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3 Steps You Should Know About If Your Teen Is Arrested

Posted by on 6:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Steps You Should Know About If Your Teen Is Arrested

Summer is here, which means your teenager has a lot of spare time on their hands. If their boredom has resulted in criminal activity, you’ll need to know what the process is. This is particularly important if your teen has been arrested. Here are three steps of the criminal process that you should know about. The Arrest If your teen has been taken in for questioning, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve been arrested. If you’ve not been specifically told that your teen is under arrest, or your teen has not been told that they can’t leave, they haven’t been placed under arrest yet. However, if you’ve been informed that your teen has been arrested, you’ll need to contact an attorney. Your attorney will ensure that proper juvenile arrest guidelines are followed. After the Arrest After the arrest, your attorney will work to secure your teens release. There are four things that can happen following the arrest. Unconditional Release If your teen is released unconditionally, that means they’re free to go home with you. While they won’t need to follow any specific requirements, they will need to show up at all court hearings. Conditional Release Home If your teen is released conditionally to go home, that means there will be specific requirements your teen will need to follow. Your teen will need to remain at home and may be re-arrested if they break any rules or laws. Conditional Release Placement If your teen is conditionally released to placement, that means they will have to go to a group home, emergency shelter, or into foster care. Detention If your teen is held for detention, that means they’ll be in juvenile court custody until their case is settled. The Detention Hearing Once your teen is sent to detention, there will be a detention hearing. During the detention hearing, your teens attorney will be able to argue for their release. If they’re allowed to leave detention, the judge will place requirements on your teen that they will have to follow. If the judge does not allow the release, your teen will be sent back to detention and held until the case is settled. If your teen has been arrested, you need to know how to help them. The information provided above will help you understand the process that your teen is about to go through. If you have further questions, be sure to speak to your teens criminal defense attorney like O’Brien &...

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How To Handle Debt Collectors Who Violate The FDCPA

Posted by on 2:12 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Handle Debt Collectors Who Violate The FDCPA

If you are getting harassed by debt collectors, the collector may be in violation of the Fair Debt Consumer Practices Act (FDCPA). The Fair Debt Consumer Practices Act protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices. Constant harassment from debt collectors can cause emotional and physical stress, which is a personal injury. Here is how to handle a debt collector who violates the FDCPA. Know What Constitutes a Violation of FDCPA A debt collector that is mildly annoying doesn’t make a strong case. The debt collector must be in direct violation of FDCPA to bring a case against them. Violations of FDCPA include: Calling consumer before 8.am or after 9.p.m Using threatening or profane language Continually calling multiple times daily Contacting employers, neighbors, friends, or relatives about your debt Not complying with the Automatic Stay applied to a bankruptcy Including your name in a ‘bad debt’ list Falsifying information on your credit report Send a “Cease and Desist” Letter Send a “Cease and Desist” letter, if the debt has passed the statute of limitations, which gives debt collectors a limited time period to sue. Be aware a “Cease and Desist” letter does not absolve you of the debt, even after the statute of limitations has expired. The collector still can contact you about the debt. Contact the Government Agencies Document all illegal actions of the debt collector by having another person present when they call, or logging the calls. You will need this documentation to send the FTC. Don’t record calls unless it is legal in your state. List the original creditor, time and date of calls, witness names,written communications, and call recordings in your complaint. Also include medial reports linking the harassing calls to physical stress. Send a copy of the complaint to the creditor. The creditor may decide to cancel the debt or negotiate to avoid a costly lawsuit. File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). The CFPA sends complaints to the creditor, and they often work out a solution on your behalf. Sue the Debt Collector Sue the debt collector when no other remedy works. If you would rather represent yourself in court, consider suing the collector in a small claims court. The amount of damages you can recover in small claims court is usually limited, but you still may be entitled to $1000, even without enough evidence Don’t stand for debt collector harassment. It is possible to handle some cases of debt collector harassment pro se. However, it pays to have a personal injury attorney represent you to present a strong case, or if you prefer to sue in state court...

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2 Things You Need To Know About Filing A Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on 2:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Things You Need To Know About Filing A Injury Lawsuit

Going through a lawsuit can be very stressful. Many times it will take a good deal of time to resolve and require a good amount of work and money from you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t file a personal injury lawsuit if you feel you have a good case against someone; instead, it means that you need to be realistic about what a lawsuit will entail and what it will require from you. Here are some things that you need to know. 1. You Will Most Likely Have To Pay A Lawyer Whether You Win Or Lose In many TV shows and legal dramas, they portray the lawyers as working on contingency. This means that they don’t take any money from the client unless they win the lawsuit. The lawyer would front all of the costs of the lawsuit and take the major risk of getting noting out of it, but doing all the work. There are not that many lawyers who actually work on contingency, and if they do, you should be prepared for them to take a good part of the winnings. Instead, you will most likely be responsible for paying the attorney whether or not you win. The attorney will have a billable rate and they will charge you for every hour that they work on your case. In many situations, this is still worth it because the amount that you will get from the suit will outweigh the attorney’s fees, but it is no guarantee. Understanding this is important since you need to be sure that you are ok paying the attorney’s fees regardless of the outcome of the suit. 2. You Will Most Likely Settle Outside Of Court Another important thing to recognize is that you will most likely settle the dispute outside of court. This is important to understand for two reasons. The first is that you should be ready to compromise. You will initially ask for a certain amount in damages knowing that when you settle you will most likely have to meet the other party halfway. Second, it is important to be realistic about the amount of money you will get out of the lawsuit. Television may make you think that winning a personal injury lawsuit is much like winning the lottery. The amount that the plaintiff receives is a huge sum of money. This is not realistic and shouldn’t be expected. Usually, the amount that you will receive will directly correlate to the amount that you can prove in damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and so forth. By understanding these things, you can know what to expect out of your lawsuit.  For a personal injury attorney, contact a law firm such as Randall A. Wolff & Associates,...

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3 Important Things To Understand About Your Estate Plan

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Important Things To Understand About Your Estate Plan

Many people recognize the importance of getting an estate plan. They go through the process of getting all the proper documents with a lawyer and think that they have everything that they need and are protected if anything should happen to them in the future. Although this is a great first step, it is important to note that the estate plan will need updates and changes made throughout your life. Here are some things to consider with your estate plan. 1. With Any Change In Marriage or Family Status, You Should Revisit Your Estate Plan One of the biggest reasons to adjust your estate plan is if you have a change in your marital status or your family. When you initially write your estate plan you will name your spouse and they will most likely play a vital role in your estate. Even though you might get a divorce, your ex-spouse may still have claim to your estate if you don’t change these documents. This is why you need to get those estate planning documents adjusted at the same time that you go through the divorce. In addition, if you get re-married, make sure you update your estate plan to reflect the changes. This also relates to the birth and death of children. 2. Don’t Forget To Include Stepchildren or Foster Children Your biological children have legal claim to your estate simply by being blood relatives. This means that in many cases they don’t have to be named specifically in your trust or will to get their benefits from your estate. However, any children that are not biologically or legally yours will not be included. For instance, if you have stepchildren or foster children that you have raised and consider family, unless you specifically state them in your estate plan they will be left out. Thus, if you have a blended family or any special circumstances make sure you make the necessary changes to your estate plan. 3. Any Major Changes In Your Financial Status Should Merit An Update To Your Estate Plan Lastly, if you have had any major changes in your financial status you need to meet with your attorney from a firm like Linn Schisel & DeMarco Attorneys At Law. There are ways to protect wealth and investments so that they don’t become overtaxed when you pass away. Trust funds are a great way to get your money to your loved ones and protect it. If you simply assume that your wealth will just pass to your family, think again. It is important that you meet with an attorney to ensure your wealth is protected. By understanding these things you can be sure that your estate plan reflects what you...

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Kids Going Out Of Town For Spring Break? 4 Common Reasons You May End Up Needing A Personal Injury Attorney

Posted by on 2:06 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kids Going Out Of Town For Spring Break? 4 Common Reasons You May End Up Needing A Personal Injury Attorney

Spring break is here. Time for your college students to head out and have some fun. While they’re out having fun, it’s important to remember that injuries can happen anywhere. Whether they’re staying in town or heading to an exotic location, spring break injuries can take the fun out of their vacation. Here are four common spring break injuries you should be aware of. Underage Drinking Spring break is the time of year when many college students head out of town to unwind and have some fun. Unfortunately, with spring break comes the opportunity to participate in underage drinking. If your underage college student was served alcohol, and suffered injuries as a result, you need to speak to an attorney. The individual or business that served the alcohol may be legally responsible for those injuries. Fights Tempers can flair in large crowds, especially when alcohol is involved. Fights aren’t uncommon during spring break. You hope that your kids will walk away from disagreements, but sometimes that’s just not possible. If your college student sustains injuries due to a fight while on spring break, they need to file a police report as soon as possible. This information will help your personal injury attorney file claims against the responsible parties. Flies and Fouls If you’re kids are baseball fans, they may be heading out for a ballgame during spring break. While ballgames are fun to watch, they can lead to unforeseen injuries. This is particularly true if your kids are sitting in the flies and foul zone. Those are the areas of the bleachers where fly balls and foul balls are most likely to drop. Serious head injuries can occur when a fast-moving ball flies through the crowd. It’s important to note that most ballparks refuse liability for injuries incurred during a ball game. Car Accidents If your college students are going to be taking a road trip during spring break, they need to be prepared for possible accidents. Be sure they have their insurance information – both medical and automobile – with them at all times. It’s also important that they remember the following information if they’re involved in an accident: Don’t leave the scene Don’t admit fault for the accident Don’t forget to obtain insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident Speak to an attorney like Jon D. Caminez, PA as soon as possible It’s time for spring break. Accidents happen. If your child is involved in any of the incidences described above, be sure to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to seek monetary compensation for the injuries your child sustains while on...

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