What You Must Know when Hiring a Attorney in Temple ?
Divorce is not always easy because there are so many legalities involved in the process. Child custody, property settlements and parental responsibilities are some of the legal issues that come into the picture when getting a divorce. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing and the last thing you want to do is struggle with the process. A divorce lawyer comes in handy during this trying phase of your life. The divorce attorney represents and guides you through the process, making it easier for you to handle. But to enjoy a smooth process, you must find yourself a reliable attorney.
1. Talk to friends and relatives
2. Know what your needs are
3. Do your research
4. Create a budget
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Why You Need a Wills Lawyer
I am a do-it-yourselfer. I love working around my house: Painting, building, and even stuccoing. But there are exceptions, like plumbing. I hate plumbing.
One thing I have learned about my handyman hobby is that I should expect to buy twice the building materials that I should need to complete the project. Experience tells me that I will use all of those materials. My habit is to try to build the first time, fail, and then to try it again. Almost invariably, I will end up building or fixing up the same thing at least twice -- once or twice for practice, and then "for real."
Some who would never consider fixing a garage door or stuccoing a wall would unthinkingly prepare a will or trust using many materials found in bookstores. Bookstores abound with quick-fix be-your-own-lawyer books and CDs, featuring forms and fill-the-blank forms and programs for wills, trusts, and powers of attorney for healthcare decisions. Some of these materials are even state specific, offering different provisions for residents of different states.
Some of these do-it-yourself materials are fine, and may even be useful. If correctly used, many of these forms might work for a do-it-yourselfer. But suppose your case is different? Suppose you fail to properly use the form?
One thing I have noticed about building materials is that the old rule of thumb generally applies: you get what you pay for. The same is true in estate planning. But it is also true that legal documents such as wills and trusts oftentimes do not "speak" until the author is deceased or incapacitated. Because of this fact, in the case of estate plans the handyman analogy of buying double the building materials breaks down. If a wall is improperly built, it can be torn down and redone. But if a will is improperly drafted, or if it fails to state the intent of the author, there is often no opportunity for a second try. Rather, in many cases, when the author of the will or trust is incapacitated or deceased, the planning "solution" either fails, or has completely unexpected and unwanted consequences.
Still, to be a good consumer of legal services, self-education is essential in communicating needs to an estate planning professional. The following is an overview of some of the major estate planning topics that should be applicable in most states.
Help! I Must Avoid Probate!
Whither Will or Trust?
Like anything, there are pros and cons when choosing between a will and a trust. Most of the pros and cons relate to cost:
- Wills are generally less expensive than trusts to prepare. Trusts are usually more extensive documents, and require property transfers when "funding" them.
- Trusts are usually less expensive to administer than wills. However, probating a will can be expensive, depending upon the size of the estate. While there are costs associated with trust administration, it is usually less expensive than filing a petition to probate a will.
Depending upon the circumstance, trusts can provide similar benefits as certain types of conservatorships. If a settlor becomes unable to handle his or her own affairs, the successor trustee can step in and make the necessary decisions to manage the settlors' financial affairs. Wills do not offer this benefit. However, if a person suffers from dementia, for example, a conservatorship "of the person" may still be necessary.
There are benefits to each approach. Also, the law governing wills and trusts may vary from state to state. You should consult with a competent estate planning attorney to choose the right approach for you.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not legal advice, and the use of it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any liability that might arise from your use or reliance on this article or any links from this article is expressly disclaimed. This article is not to be acted upon as if it were legal advice, and is subject to change without notice, or may include obsolete or dated information, or information not relevant to your jurisdiction. If you require legal services, you should consult with an attorney.
Legal Separation - How It Differs From Divorce
It is often said that the American divorce rate is the highest in the world, that half of all marriages in this country end in divorce. Some point to this number and say that it suggests Americans have lost touch with family values, that we don't take marriage seriously anymore, and that we're frivolous when it comes to our relationships. But how true is this assumption?
While it is true that the crude divorce rate in the United States is higher than it is in most other countries, it is not unreasonably higher than it is in most developed countries around the world. The generally accepted statistics are:
- Marriages are 2.5 times more likely to end in divorce than they were in the mid-1980s. They are 4 times more likely to end in divorce than they were in the mid-1950s.
- Somewhere between 40% and 60% of new marriages will end in divorce.
- About 20% of marriages end within the first 5 years.
- About 33% of marriages end within the first 10 years.
- The median length of marriage in the United States is 11 years.
If you have any questions about divorce law, visit the West Palm Beach divorce attorneys of Eric N. Klein & Associates, P.A., today.