Great Tips For Anyone Searching For A Lawyer

There are many reasons you may need a lawyer. There are quite a few items to keep in mind, such as their fee structure, how to communicate with them, etc. The following tips will help you learn what sorts of things to expect with a lawyer more successfully.

You might not realize that you are entitled to have everything you’ve shared with a lawyer to be kept confidential. This means he can’t discuss it with your family, competitors or anyone else, cannot be shared with any other third party.

Don’t just accept the very first lawyer alphabetically in the Yellow Pages as your choice! You should do the proper research to make sure you make the best choice. You don’t want to find that you’ve hired a lawyer without a valid license or one who has been sued for malpractice.

You need to speak with your lawyer on a specific schedule. Many lawyers get paid and go without contacting their clients for a long time. You may be able to avoid this if you come up a schedule soon after you hire your attorney.

You must feel free to ask your lawyer numerous questions. A good lawyer will make sure to explain all of the details to you.

Business people that need lawyers probably have better information about them than the man on the street. For instance, if you’re dealing with small business law, you should speak with a banker, an estate broker, an accountant, etc. These people interact with lawyers and may give you informed judgements.

Research the costs of any lawyers you are considering. Sit and talk to them about your budget and whatever you wish to achieve. Know that cost overruns are possible.

When seeking out a lawyer, be sure that you find a lawyer who specializes in your type of case. Knowing this beforehand and researching your options can save a lot of unnecessary phone-call time.

It is very important that you and your attorney. If you’re not able to be at ease after meeting with a lawyer a couple of times, you won’t ever establish a good working relationship regardless of that lawyer’s experience and credentials. Trust your feelings and pick a lawyer.

Prepare yourself before you have with a lawyer. They charge hourly and can be expensive. Therefore, every time you call, call back for advice or talk about questions you have.

You should use the Internet when trying to find out more about different lawyers. Most attorneys will have a professional website online that you can read through. Look through the website for the firm to see how professional it is. If the site is clumsy or incomplete, skip that firm.

Know about your case inside and out before talking to a lawyer.If you aren’t aware of your issue, how can you adequately choose an attorney for your case? This will aid you in the best position to succeed.

You can always get a different second opinion if you feel your lawyer is not working out well. A second opinion can be a smart move before making any decisions.

Look into the school your attorney. A good school means hard courses and a variety of cases. Even though a lawyer may have graduated from a school that is not one of the top schools, they might be a great lawyer.

Always meet with a lawyer before hiring them. Hiring someone you’ve never met can be a good decision. You need to see how well you will get along.

Even if you need a lawyer for a simple matter, it is important to choose a lawyer carefully so everything has the best chance of going smoothly. Keep the advice above in mind when you are looking for a lawyer. Following this advice will do a lot to reduce the stress that may be involved and help you to feel confident in your choices.

California Estate Planning

You may think California Estate Planning is a bit different from Estate Planning in other parts of the US but one way it is the same as anywhere else is that California Estate Planning helps guarantee that an estate will be divided equitably between beneficiaries. The estate is composed of a person’s possessions accumulated during his life time which may include life insurance proceeds, pensions, retirement funds, bonds, shares of stock, bank accounts, real estate, automobiles, and even furniture and books. The will of an estate owner can be made as a holographic will, a form will, and a “third party” will.

The Estate Planning Law Firm you select must be an expert in the laws governing wills and trust in your state and area. Ask the firm what is the mandatory minimum legal age for creating wills and trust is for your location, which will dictate when you can start estate planning. Regardless of the kind of Estate Planning Law Firm you select, you must prove to them that you are of sound mind and have no mental disabilities that would prevent you from lawfully making a will or trust. If you are unsure about the laws governing estate planning in your situation, you should use the services of an Estate Planning Law Firm.

When searching for an Estate Planning Attorney, you can’t go wrong contacting the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys to get a shortlist of names of lawyers that specialize in Estate Planning in your area. The work of an Estate Planning Attorney is no longer limited to the drawing up of wills governing the estate of wealthy folk. Rather, the practice of Estate Planning has grown to include other areas too such as gift, legacy, disability, medical, charitable, business succession, retirement, and financial planning as well. Anyone who has an estate to protect can benefit from the services of an Estate Planning Attorney.

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Choosing An Elder Law Attorney – Determining The Right Questions To Ask

If you or a loved one is in need of an elder law attorney, you need to find a litigation lawyer who is not only experienced in negotiating settlements and handling court cases, but also has experience in the specific laws that affect the elderly and their families. Not all lawyers are adept at handling the complexities of elder law issues, which frequently change and require specialized knowledge. You’ll also want an attorney who has the unique blend of respect and compassion needed to work with you or your loved one. Asking the right questions at an initial consultation can help you choose the right representation for your needs.

Most attorneys will give you an initial consultation for free over the phone or in person. Before committing to anyone, ask the following questions:

Do You Specialize in Elder Law?

It may seem obvious, but many people don’t ask this first, crucial question. There are firms that will say they handle elder law cases, but they may not have specific lawyers who specialize in the complex issues surrounding the legal needs of the elderly. Ask about the firm’s attorneys. Is there someone who is strictly a Medicare or guardianship lawyer? Chicago has numerous laws affecting the elderly and you’ll want someone who is up to date on the most recent changes affecting you and your family.

What Areas of Law Does Your Firm Handle?

There are many issues involving the elderly. Be sure to ask about the firm’s experience in a variety of areas. Keep in mind that while you may be looking for a litigation lawyer to represent you for a specific task, it’s likely that you’ll want him or her to continue representing you in the future as your legal needs change. Down the road, you may not need litigation expertise, but need a guardianship lawyer. Chicago attorneys can be adept at both as part of their elder law experience.

Some areas of expertise might include:

• Guardianship issues

• Medicare and Medicaid issues

• Social security and/or disability issues

• Estate planning

• Durable powers of attorney

• Long term care needs

• Elder abuse

• Living wills

• Preservation of assets

• Management of estates and trusts

• Age discrimination

• Retirement, survivor benefits and pension issues

• Competency and mental health issues

Are You A Member Of Any Relevant Organizations?

There are numerous organizations that focus on elder law issues. The best elder litigation lawyers belong to at least one of these organizations in order to take advantage of the many benefits of membership, including advocacy and research opportunities. Two organizations that focus on the unique needs of the elderly include The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc, or NAELA, and the Special Needs Alliance. On the local level, ask if the law firm is an active member of the Area Agency on Aging or any equivalent group.

Are You a Super Lawyer?

The designation of “Super Lawyer” is a title granted to only the top 5% of all lawyers in a given area or expertise. Because Super Lawyers are chosen by their peers, this designation is especially impressive; it means that the elder law or litigation lawyer you are speaking to is a trusted professional that other attorneys will turn to when the need arises.

Do You Educate Others About Elder Law Issues?

If an attorney regularly gives lectures or has speaking engagements on various issues facing those 65 or older or is a litigation lawyer called upon to educate others through the Bar Association, you can be sure he or she has an in depth understanding of any issues facing the elderly. Look for attorneys who regularly teach others about retirement issues, estate planning, elder abuse, competency issues, and health care issues involving the elderly.

Kerry R. Peck is a litigation lawyer and the managing partner of the Chicago law firm Peck Bloom, LLC. Kerry concentrates his practice in Trust and Estate Litigation, Estate Planning, Guardianship and Fiduciary Litigation, and Elder Law. His clients include families, hospitals, banks, the State of Illinois, County of Cook, and City of Chicago.

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Trusts and Wills

Both a trust and a will are a means of channeling the distribution or transferring of wealth to one’s heirs or beneficiaries. When planned intelligently, they can prove to be effective in saving yours as well as your successors’ taxes as well. Trusts specifically work in the interest of safeguarding your rights and that of your beneficiaries. To further make the process of transferring your property to your family easier, you should always have a will in place.

Typically, wills are a written statement or an authorization that is legally binding. This statement clearly defines the rights of the various family members, friends and other associates of a deceased person on his or her assets and property. These ‘wills’ can be written by the person at any point of his life but generally comes into effect on his death thereby transferring the rights of his assets to the people stated in the will. To further secure the rights of the beneficiaries, the person can always entrust his property with a trust which will carry out the instructions as per the person’s ‘will’.

While the knowledge of wills is common today, a trust whether it is privately owned by the family or not is an efficient method of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries. Trusts are also considered very effective modes of income generation for family members and for the yet to be born members of the family.

Both wills and trusts by themselves have certain advantages, with the latter being a little more desirable than the former. However, when both function together, the benefits multiply manifold.  For instance, wills that have been challenged in a court can take years to get resolved and in the process a large amount of resources are wasted. On the other hand, by creating a trust, one can altogether avoid any friction among the family members. When the creation of a trust has a legal backing, namely a will, then the process of transferring wealth becomes all the more smooth and efficient. In addition, this also helps the creator of the will or trust to pass on his wealth to his heirs during his lifetime. Trusts and wills together will help in creating a conducive environment for reaping numerous before and after death advantages.

Most often, these wills are irrevocable during the lifetime or so long as the creator is mentally competent, unless of course the creator himself wants to make some amendments in his will. Some will even remain irrevocable after the death of the creator.

Trusts are becoming increasingly preferred by people as they remain within the family within a private capacity. Trusts, unlike wills, do not become a part of the public records unless desired by a trustee or beneficiary of the trust.

In addition, trusts are most often formed to fulfill the circumstantial demands. Wills on the other hand, while being less expensive and complicated than a trust, serve the interests of the people’s relatively humble estates.

How to make a will, Danielle & Andy Mayoras are dynamic keynote speakers, estate planning attorney, probate attorney,legacy expert attorneys, and authors of the acclaimed book Trial and Heirs Famous Fortune Fights.

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Pet Trusts

Leaving money to take care of pets is usually the stuff of Hollywood stories; however, it is a real issue for pet lovers. Leona Helmsley left her beloved pet twelve million dollars. Prior to the adoption of pet trust statutes bequests by pet owners to the pet in a will or trust would be the source of litigation because pets are considered chattel property and legally could not be a beneficiary of a trust. It is easier to do today because 44 of the 50 states have enacted pet trust legislation that allows a person to provide for the care of their pet if the pet outlives them. Most of these statutes are based on the Uniform Trust Code and have the following features.

The trust may be created to care for an animal during the settlors lifetime. It terminates on the death of the animal or if there was more than one animal on the death of the last surviving animal.
The trust may be enforced by a person named by the settlor or if none was appointed by a person appointed by the court.
Property of the trust can only be used for the purposes intended by the trust except to the extent the court determines the value of the trust is more than what is needed to care for the pet.

The only states that do not have pet trust legislation are Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Many persons who set up pet trusts stipulate that after the death of the pet remaining proceeds should go to an organization concerned about the welfare of animals such as the humane society.

This is complicated area of the law not really suited for self-help. See the counsel of an attorney familiar with your states trust laws to ensure a pet trust will accomplish your goals of taking care of your family member who is least able to take care of himself

Ryan Hicks Cumpton & Cumpton LLP is a leading provider of expert estate planning guidance in Mobile, AL. For more information on pet trusts and other estate planning services, visit our website.

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Aspects of Elder Law

In Law, there are many areas of specialization, but the main aim is to serve justice between two parties, mostly. Elder Law is a less common, yet very vital type of legal process that is gradually becoming popular in the recent times. For an attorney who specializes in this type of law, they deal with more complex issues, in comparison to a similar attorney dealing with the standard criminal cases.

What Is Elder Law?
Basically, it is a legal branch that covers a scope of legal practices that emphasizes on matters that affect the increasing elderly population. The attorney that take care of this branch are well equipped with information about the mental and physical difficulties that are related to the process of aging. This branch of law covers a number of aspects related to counseling, planning, advocating and education of the clients.

What It Covers

The attorneys of Elder Law cover a number of aspects including:

Estate Planning
In this area, the attorney will prepare the necessary documents that are needed to pass the estate of an old person to their heirs. Mostly, the trust or will agreement preparation will be covered. The main aim here is to avoid the probate and estate tax and to make sure that the property goes to the suitable person.

Medicaid Preparation
Typically, the nursing home care is costly and it is not under the Medicare. However, Medicaid pays for a patient who is short of money. Also, you must lack money completely in order to qualify for the cover. The rules of the Medicaid are always very complicated and they need a professional who will take care of them in the right way. The attorneys here will assist families in planning for the appropriate care for the aging persons.

Nursing Home Neglect
The elderly usually need a lot of care, especially when they are ailing. There are a number of nursing homes that take care of the given situation. Nevertheless, there are some that are negligent and for that, the elderly patient might end up dying, due to lack of necessary care. Some ignore the need of proper medication, and examination, which lead to sudden death of the patient. The lawyers involved take responsibilities in understanding the common elderly-associated diseases. Once they have full information, they will follow up to ensure that the aging population is well served in the nursing homes. If any death occurs, due to the nursing home negligence, the attorney will ensure the case is fully settled and necessary compensations are made.

Guardianship
Most of the seniors tend to find it difficult to make necessary decisions. The court normally needs a well able person, who can help the old person to make rational decisions. If the senior is disabled in a way, the court will appoint an attorney, to take care of the decision making.

Basically, the Elder Law attorney takes care of the necessary aspects that relate to the aging population. The main aim in it is to ensure that the elder persons are not manipulated in any way by the younger population. This is in relation to the financial, mental or physical manipulation.

Homeschooling Has Advantages; Critics Say Kids Will Lack Socialization

Homeschooling has its obvious advantages especially considering the problems in public schools and the lack of discipline. You see, Home schooling has its advantages as the modern day US classroom is more like a giant babysitting endeavor and it hardly teaches kids what they need to know at rate they are capable of absorbing it.

Recently this debate came up in an online think tank and one homeschooling brilliant parent stated; “I disagree that homeschooling leads to isolation and/or an unrealistic view of the world. A common misconception is that with homeschooling, the child(ren) is isolated and starved for social contacts with peers – this is untrue.”

Well if it is not done correctly it surely could be a problem in that regard, social interaction is part of understanding the reality of things. And for those parents who do field trips, involve their kids in team sports and other activities then these problems can be over come quite easily and actually become an increased benefit as the schools lack the funds for many meaningful field trips.

Many parents if they have the time may opt for the homeschooling advantage while other parents who are the product of the public school system may assume that it was good enough for them, so it is good enough for their kids too. I hope you will consider both sides of this issue and think it through before you make you decision. Check it out, you might like what you find out. Consider all this in 2006.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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Elderly Law Care

Florida Elder Law Attorney

As our State’s population ages, more families will want to have a clear understanding of Florida Elder Law.  This area of the law deals with the complicated legal issues common to the elderly and their families. Florida Elder Law Attorneys work to protect the rights of senior citizens and their children. At Mortellaro and Sindadinos we assist families with legal planning for all aspects of life of the elderly and their family. This legal area may include Nursing home care and contracts with nursing homes and other types of long term care facilities.  Our law firm reviews health insurance and Florida Medicaid eligibility. Other areas important to Florida Elder Law are wills and trust, Guardianship, Estate Planning and Florida Probate.

Long term Care

Seniors at some point usually need help from others to conduct their daily affairs.  At first it may simply take the form of advice and gradually may evolve to the point that a full time care taker is needed. One of the first concerns of seniors as they face advancing age is “what will happen if I get sick?”  By planning for the eventuality of long term care, seniors are able to have the best care available, preserve their assets and avoid unnecessary legal issues.

Most long term care is provided at home by a spouse or other family member.  This traditional arrangement is more challenging today for children of the elderly as both husband’s and wife’s are usually in the workplace.  A paid care giver may also be brought into the home to provide care for the elderly.  An unwanted result of these circumstances is that a family member or care giver may be in a position to use undue influence on a senior to their detriment and the detriment of family members causing the senior to make decisions that would harm themselves their assets, estate and their family.  When a Florida Elder Law attorney is there to help with long term care planning the chance of this occurring is greatly reduced.

It is important to plan ahead for the changes that naturally take place as people face the challenges of advancing age. Mortellaro and Sindadinos are experienced Florida Elder Law attorneys in Tampa serving the Tampa Bay cities of Clearwater, St Pete, New Port Richey, Bradenton and Sarasota. 

There are many requirements to qualify for Medicaid and nursing home care.  Some individuals may require the knowledge of a Florida Elder Law attorney to guild the children of seniors in Florida to a full understand of these requirements so that the parent is able to best benefit and qualify for the long term care they need. Mortellaro and Sindadinos can assist with Florida Medicaid nursing home planning, Home health care Medicaid planning, assisted living facility contracts and even the preparation of Medicaid applications.

Asset Protection

A Florida Elder attorney will be able to help seniors answer these important questions:

Will I have enough money for my long term care?
How do I get Medicare?
Will I be able to afford assisted living?
Will I be able to afford a nursing home?
How do I preserve my assets?
How do I leave money to my children but still control my assets?
Should I buy long term care insurance?
Do I need a Living Will?
Do I need a Durable Power of Attorney?

Mortellaro and Sindadinos can assist seniors and their children in answering these questions. We advise families and individuals in long term care options that meet their needs and help them understand the options available to preserve and protect assets.

You can speak to a Florida Elder Law Attorney at Mortellaro and Sindadinos

In Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Sarasota County or Manatee County Florida call: 813-367-1500 to speak will a Florida Elder Law Attorney about long term care for seniors, wills and trusts, Florida Medicaid planning, Guardianships, Durable Power of Attorney, Medicaid benefits, Florida Probate law, nursing home Medicaid benefits, assisted living facilities contracts and nursing home contracts, nursing home issues as well as estate planning.  We serve the following cities in Tampa Bay for clients who need a Florida Elder Law Attorney: Tampa, Clearwater, St Pete, Palm Harbor, Brandon, Lakeland, New Port Richey, Bradenton and Sarasota Florida.