Click the category links below for related questions:

Probate
Personal Injury
Elder Law
Real Estate
Bankruptcy
Divorce
Corp./Business

 

 

    

 

Probate
Why do I have to go thru probate?

Probate is a process that assures an orderly transferral of property from one person to another. It also provides protection for creditors and designates an order for payment. In many cases, this is a necessary and desirable thing to assure those ultimately receiving property have proper title to it.

What will probate cost?
Probate fees are charged on the basis of time, expertise and value of the estate. The Probate Court must approve all fees, which typically are considerably less than the cost of a funeral. If a full administration is needed, a standard estimation of 2% of the value of the property is normally reliable.

How long will probate take?
The law provides certain periods of time for things to occur, such as a creditor submitting a claim. However, with the consent of all the beneficiaries, the process can be shortened and most estates can be closed within six months. If there is a surviving spouse, very often the process can be shortened even more. Likewise, the fees are considerably less because the time commitment is reduced.

How can I avoid probate?
There are a variety of ways to avoid probate, and we can suggest those to you with more information provided to our experts. Some potential solutions might be securing a living trust; the transfer of property—limited or full; or joint and survivorship ownership.

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Personal injury
What will the attorney fee be?

Personal injury cases are handled on what is called a contingent fee. That means there is no fee if there is no recovery. The fee is typically one third of any amount recovered.

Can you come to my home to see me?
Yes, we are available to see you in your home, at the hospital or a convalesant home.

Can I collect against my own insurance?
Yes that is possible if you have uninsured motorist insurance and the other party is at fault.

Will I have to go to court?
It may be possible to settle a claim without filing a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is necessary, negotiations will continue to settle the claim so that every effort is made to not have a trial.

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Elder law
Can I protect my assets from Medicaid?

Medicaid is a government program designed to help those individuals whose assets are insufficient to take care of their healthcare needs. The program has exemptions and provisions for spouses and participants. With early enough planning, those exemptions can be maximized and an individual's desires to provide for their family can be realized.

Should I have a power of attorney?
The older one gets, the more likely it is that a situation will arise when they will need help with some aspect of their life. A power of attorney is something one should secure before the need arises, or it may be too late to create one.

Should I give all my property to my children?
Each situation is different, but some things to consider are the possibility of your property being in jeopardy from an unstable situation with your children's marriage, credit, health, and/or ability to pay any unexpected debt.

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Real Estate
Do I have to have a written contract to sell my house?

Unlike many contracts, the sale of real estate requires the contract to be in writing.

How is the payment of real estate taxes handled in the sale of a property?
County real estate taxes are collected in the year after they are assessed. Consequently, the taxes currently due may not be the same as the year of the sale. Most buyers and sellers prorate the taxes to the date of transfer using the numbers that are available to them.

What is a land contract?
A land contract is essentially a seller-financed sale where the seller keeps the deed until the contract is fully paid. The buyer occupies the property during the term of the contract and makes periodic payments.

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Bankruptcy
What will I lose if I file bankruptcy?

There are a variety of things one may keep when filing for bankruptcy. These things are designated as “exemptions.” They include a limited interest in your home, car, bank account, retirement plan, household goods and other assets.

Do I have to file against every creditor?
Yes, but you may keep or reaffirm those debts you wish to repay, thereby effectively not filing bankruptcy against them.

Can a husband and wife file bankruptcy together?
Yes, a joint petition may be filed resulting in only one case.

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Divorce
Who will get custody of the children?
The court will have the ultimate decision regarding what is in the best interest of the children involved with a divorce. That interest typically is for both parents to play a role in their children's lives. The availability of the parents and their ability to nurture the children are two of the most important elements in deciding where the children will live.

How can I pay my bills if we are separated and I have the children?
Temporary court orders are available to provide for the interim needs of the parties until the case is finally heard by the court.

Can we agree on who gets what?
Yes. If you can agree to all aspects of ending your marriage, you can use a process called the Dissolution of Marriage. This is usually faster and less expensive than a divorce.

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Corp/Business
Do I need a corporation to do business?
A corporation offers some protection for personal liability and makes transfer of ownership easier. The size and complexity of your business will probably decide if a corporation is best for you.

Is maintaining a corporation too burdensome of a task?
To be a legitimate corporation you must act within the corporate structure and follow corporate rules. These consume a little more time than a sole proprietorship, but normally it is not overly burdensome.

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