Why Is It Important to Have a Will?

A will is a document that allows you to speak after you are dead, and one that gives instructions on how you would like your assets to be managed in your absence. It provides instructions such as how your properties will be distributed and who will take care of your underage children, i.e. those under 21 years. However, a study by Merril Lynch and Age found that 55% of all Americans are those who die without a will or estate plan.

When you die without a will in place, you leave the management of your assets in the hands of the courts who will apply the law in the distribution process. Your loved ones may stand to lose out on what you intended to be theirs because there is no guidance in the form of a will to state this. This is therefore a very important document to have in place and we look at a few reasons why.

Instruction for Your Burial Preferences

A will instructs your loved ones on how you would like to be buried. We all have a way in which we would like our bodies to be handled after we die. However, if this is not shared with our loved ones, it can cause conflict and confusion among those left behind. A will easily clarifies what the last wishes of the deceased were in that matter.

Who Inherits Your Wealth

This is a critical aspect of why a will is needed. It especially protects young children to ensure that your hard-earned wealth does not fall into the wrong hands to deny them what is rightfully theirs and that they are well provided for in your absence.

Determine Your Executor

A will allows you to select the person that you would like to be the executor of your wealth. This is especially so where there are properties and financial assets. You can select the person you trust to run your affairs and ensure that your wishes are carried out.

A will is not a nice document to have or a suggestion, but a critical part of your estate and future planning, especially when ensuring that your children and loved ones are protected even when you are gone. It reduces the level of disputes and conflicts as the instructions are clearly spelled out for everyone to understand and follow.

What Divorce Lawyers Wish You Knew

No one enters into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, but sadly, it happens all too often. In fact, according to the latest statistics, nearly half of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. If you’re going through a divorce or are considering one, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions: scared, uncertain, and maybe even a little angry. It’s natural to feel all of those things. But before you make any major decisions, it’s important to know what divorce lawyers wish you knew.

1. It’s Not Always a 50/50 Split

One of the biggest myths about divorce is that it’s always a 50/50 split. In reality, that’s not always the case. Several factors can affect how property and assets are divided in a divorce, including who earns more money, who has custody of the children, and the existence of a prenuptial agreement.

2. Custody Battles Can Be Brutal

When it comes to custody battles, anything and everything is fair game. Parents will often do whatever they can to get sole or primary custody of their children, including making accusations against the other parent, manipulating the children, and even hiring private investigators. Unfortunately, these custody battles can be very damaging to the children.

3. You May Have to Pay Alimony

One of the most dreaded aspects of divorce is the prospect of having to pay alimony. Alimony is essentially financial support that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. It’s not always required, but it’s often granted if one spouse earns significantly more than the other. However, state laws regarding alimony vary greatly, so it’s important to speak with an attorney to determine your specific rights and obligations.

4. You May Have to Pay Child Support

Along with alimony, you may also be required to pay child support. This is a monthly payment that helps support the children after the divorce. The amount of child support you’ll have to pay depends on several factors, including how many children you have, how much money you make, and who has custody of the children.

5. Your Divorce Lawyer is Your Biggest Ally

When going through a divorce, your divorce lawyer is your biggest ally. They can help you understand the process, negotiate with the other party, and protect your interests. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice or guidance throughout the process.

Divorce is a difficult process, both emotionally and financially. But by knowing what to expect, you can make the process a little easier. Speak with a divorce lawyer to learn more about your specific rights and obligations. They will guide you through the process and help you protect your interests.

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer? We can help you understand your rights and obligations and protect your interests during this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What Are The Leading Causes Of Divorce

A common critique of younger generations is that they don’t take marriage seriously enough. This is largely because there is a perception that divorce is on the rise, with about 40 to 50% of all American marriages ending in divorce. A better measurement may be the rate of divorce, which is 16.9 per 1,000 married women. Additionally, it should be noted that while it may seem like divorce is happening more often, it’s also true that divorce is more accessible. Where women were once more financially dependent on their husbands, and divorce was once more taboo, people now can leave unhappy marriages and live independently. That’s a good thing!

But what are the reasons why people reach out to a divorce attorney? Let’s look into the leading causes of divorce below.

1. Incompatability

While it may seem simple and vague, incompatibility is one of the main reasons why people get divorced. Perhaps you have different goals in life as a couple; maybe the two of you share different values or political beliefs. No matter what, incompatibility is a valid reason to get divorced. You shouldn’t feel bad about it.

2. Infidelity

It may be a cliche, but people do get divorced quite often due to infidelity. Many couples consider infidelity the one thing that they would not be able to forgive each other of. It’s not uncommon for people to put up with plenty of conflicts, but only call a divorce attorney after infidelity.

3. Financial Problems

Financial issues are often behind divorces. You may hear of couples fighting over money; just the stress of being unable to pay your bills can cause serious resentment, and push couples apart. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for couples to get divorced because they disagree on how to spend their money. These are valid reasons to end your marriage.

4. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is not uncommon, and it does destroy marriages. Whether an individual is addicted to illicit substances or something like alcohol, substance abuse can create conflict that can drive couples apart.

5. Domestic Abuse

Sadly, domestic abuse does occur within marriages. It is a major reason why couples get divorced, and in this case, divorce would be a positive thing. If it’s time for you to end a bad marriage, call a divorce attorney. This could begin a new, positive path.

The Surprising Custody Facts You Didn’t Know

Divorce is always tricky, even when people approach it with the best of intentions especially when children are involved. As any custody lawyer can tell you, divorce proceedings often become more contentious when people are dealing with matters related to custody. With that in mind, let’s look into some of the things you may not know about child custody.

1. You Don’t Have to Go To Court

While many couples do end up going to court over custody, it is not required that you do so when it comes to determining living arrangements. You and your ex can determine custody issues while working through your lawyers while avoiding the battles and fees that come with going to court. For example, in about 51% of all custody cases, both parents agreed that the mother should be the custodial parent.

2. Visitation and Child Support Are Separate Matters

Some parents believe that if they are unable to visit their children, they do not have to pay child support to their ex. This is not the case. Although this issue can vary from state to state, visitation generally isn’t linked to child support. Therefore, if a parent is keeping the person paying child support from their child, the child support still must be paid. Similarly, if someone is behind on child support, this doesn’t mean that their child can be kept from them.

3. There Are Different Types of Custody

Custody does not just refer to who the child lives with. A custody lawyer may help their client determine which type of custody is available: Physical custody determines where the child lives; legal custody determines who makes decisions about things like medical issues and religious upbringing; sole custody decides which parent takes full responsibility for the child, or joint custody where custody is shared by both parents. While custody cases can vary wildly depending on where you live, who your custody lawyer is, and other factors, everyone should keep the child’s best interests in mind. Custody isn’t about determining what is best for the parents; it’s about what is best for children.

How to Avoid Bankruptcy and What to Do If You Can’t

Filing for bankruptcy might seem like an easy way out, but before you do so, it’s important to consider other alternatives. That’s because there are certain consequences of declaring bankruptcy. For instance, if you have filed for bankruptcy, you have to attend credit counseling and financial management education. Let’s look at some ways to help you avoid bankruptcy.

Perform a Budget Overhaul

If you want to avoid bankruptcy, you need to take a close look at your budget. If you look at your spending history, you can easily figure out ways to downsize your budget. The whole point is to make sure that you’re spending way less than you earn. So, start by looking at your income while also keeping in mind that things like child support are considered as income. In fact, child support income accounted for over 70.3% or two-thirds of the average annual personal income for custodial parents below poverty who received full child support.

In any case, once you have figured out your income, the whole point is to spend less than that. Fortunately, there are ways to downsize your spending, including driving a cheaper car or eating out less.

Consolidate Or Pay Down Your Debts

Being over-indebted can leave you wondering if you should file for bankruptcy. Fortunately, there are other debt management options you can look into it. If you can, consider paying down your debts to the best of your abilities. This will be easier once you have managed to reduce your spending. You’ll have more disposable income that can go towards paying down your debt. If you keep it up long enough, you’ll be able to reduce the size of your debt. Similarly, debt consolidation combines all your debt into one account so that it’s easier to manage.

What to Do If You Can’t Avoid Bankruptcy

While it’s ideal to avoid bankruptcy, sometimes you might not have an option. In that case, the most important thing to do is hire a bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re filing for bankruptcy, there are many advantages to having a bankruptcy lawyer represent you. A bankruptcy lawyer will help you navigate the legal process, and they will also negotiate on your behalf with creditors. To make a long story short, a bankruptcy lawyer will make the process of filing for bankruptcy less stressful.

So, while you can avoid bankruptcy by reducing your spending and finding ways to manage your debt, this isn’t always feasible. If you can’t avoid bankruptcy, then it’s best to work with a bankruptcy attorney.