There Are Alternatives To The Traditional

A trust is a way of managing the assets that you plan to leave to your beneficiaries. That’s the basic concept but there are several ways to improvise a trust, depending on your individual circumstances.  A “living trust” for instance, gives you access to your assets as long as you live then hands them over to your beneficiaries after your death.  You will assign a representative to see to it that your assets are disbursed according to your wishes.

The representative you choose will be in charge of investments, taxes, and keeping you and the beneficiaries updated as to any changes in the status of the trust.  Depending on the way your trust is set up you may name yourself as trustee and designate a successor trustee to take over affairs after your death. You can also specify that he take charge in the event that you should become incapacitated.

Making the choice of who will assume control over your trust should not be taken lightly.  It should be someone with the skill and experience necessary to manage your estate with objectivity.  A family member or close friend of the family is not often the best choice.

Some people choose a living trust over a more traditional will in order to maintain privacy.  A will must be filed in probate court and once that happens it becomes a public document for anyone to access.  There are any number of reasons why you – and the inheritors of your estate –  would prefer to keep such private information private.  

There are many factors associated with the different types of trusts available today and many reasons for having one. Consult an attorney whose speciality is in the field to be sure that your final wishes are properly documented.

Parker Lawyers was established in 1987 and has continued to serve their clients well throughout the years.  Call our offices @ 303-841-9529 for professional consultation.

Make Your Wishes Known

If you care about what happens to your belongings after your death you should consider having a will.  A last will and testament is a legally binding document that will assure that your wishes are carried out.  You don’t have to own a vast estate or extremely valuable possessions to justify having a will.  There are any number of other reasons for the need.  

If you have no family and you die intestate, meaning that you have left no will, whatever you leave behind will go to the state in which you resided at the time of your death.  If there are surviving family members your assets will be divided among them according to the specific laws that prevail in your state.  If you are married for instance, all of your belongings will automatically go to your spouse unless you have children from a previous relationship.  In that case half will go to your spouse and half to your children.

State intestacy law only applies to relatives.  If you are in a relationship but not officially married your partner will not be eligible to inherit any part of your estate unless the state recognizes domestic partnerships.  So, if you can foresee this kind of a problem or if you would rather see part of your estate go to a charity rather than a family member you may want to seriously consider making a will.

Some states acknowledge a handwritten will that you have made out yourself as long as it is signed, dated and witnessed, but there is good reason to have your will drawn up by an experienced estate planning attorney.  If you have an extensive estate or if you want to leave certain belongings to specific members of your family, or someone outside of your family circle, it’s best to legally clarify these wishes.  An attorney will know the correct wording to use to leave no question as to your intentions.

Talk to the attorneys of the Parker Lawyers firm about estate planning.  Call the law offices in Parker @ 303-841-9525.

Preparing For Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy may well be your best course of action to get yourself out from under the burden of heavy debt, but it may not be as simple a process as you may have thought.  There are some preliminary requirements that you must fulfill  before you can file to receive a discharge.  First up is credit counseling.

The purpose of credit counseling is to determine that there is no feasible alternative to bankruptcy.  You will discuss the circumstances of your debt, your living expenses and your income to see if you could possibly afford a repayment plan on your own, without filing for bankruptcy.  The counseling course usually turns out to be just a formality that can be completed in a personal setting, over the phone or online.  You must complete the course within 180 days before you plan to file.  If you can’t produce a certificate stating that you have completed the credit counseling course the court will decline your petition.

The debtor education course comes after you have filed.  Its purpose is to prepare you to handle your future financial affairs so that you won’t make the same mistakes again.  Money and credit management are the focus of debtor education.  The course is mandatory so you can’t be discharged from your debt until you have followed it through.

Both the credit counseling and the debtor education courses are compulsory whether you’re filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy or a chapter 7 and they must be overseen by an agency that is accepted by the U.S. Trustee’s Office.  There are however a few instances that may allow an extended time period for the completion of the courses.

If for example, you are facing imminent foreclosure on your home or property after having tried everything in your power to prevent it, the court may waive the course requirements so that you can file sooner.   Active military duty is a legitimate exemption as well.

If you are contemplating bankruptcy seek legal advice from the experienced professionals at Parker Lawyers.  Call the offices @ 303-841-9525.

Know What You’re Up Against

Civil litigation comes into play when the courts are asked  settle a conflict between the parties to something like a marriage or domestic issue, a breach of contract or a personal injury dispute.  Cases are usually heard in municipal, state or federal civil courts rather than in a criminal court. They are typically settled by either awarding the plaintiff, or injured party, financial damages or ruling that there is not enough evidence to warrant doing so.

If you are the plaintiff in the case and are tired of trying to reach an out of court settlement with the defendant or his insurance company, consult with an experienced attorney before you decide to file a lawsuit.  The threat alone may be enough to trigger a response, but if the case does go to court you are always at risk of losing.

A well established attorney will be able to tell you if you have enough evidence to support a personal injury claim.  Once your case is in the hands of the legal system the only thing that matters is if your evidence is sufficient to prove that the defendant was indeed at fault.  Even if you have all your ducks in a row it may not be worth the time and expense to take your case to court, unless the compensation is substantial.

If you are determined to go ahead with litigation your personal injury attorney can advise you on how best to go about it.  If you file in the wrong jurisdiction for instance, your case could be dismissed before it even gets to court.  Each court has what is called a “monetary limit,” so that if you are asking a court to award you an amount of money that exceeds its limit you may have to refile in a higher court which will mean additional fees for you.

If the court rules in your favor you will still have to face the possibility of impending appeals especially if you’re dealing with an insurance company lawyer.  A final settlement could take years to achieve.

Talk to the professionals of Parker Lawyers before you make any final decisions.  Call our offices @ 303-841-9525.