Monthly Archives: January 2015

Does A Parent Who Doesn’t Get Custody Have Any Rights?

If a parent is not awarded custody of the children in a divorce or other hearing in Harnett County, the judge will enter an Order that will specify the terms under which this individual can visit with his or her children.  Most parents who live reasonably close to the children will have some kind of visitation with the kids.  More often than not, this will mean a minimum of every other weekend and holidays and school breaks split between that parent and the other parent. Of course, these are just guidelines and judges are given a fair amount of latitude in determining what kind of visitation represents the best interests of the children.  There are no specific laws that require a judge to give particular time to the non-custodial parent, so the amount of visitation can vary greatly between cases.  A judge gets this leeway when parents are not at all able to agree on custody or visitation issues of their own. To the extent which you can cooperate with the other parent, you may be able to reduce the chances that a judge makes decisions about you and your children.  If you can come to terms with the other parent regarding an agreeable visitation schedule, discuss this with your Lee County family law attorney to establishment an arrangement of your own.  The court usually tends to prefer that parents are able to agree on these issues on their own, anyways.  See if you can come to a compromise that represents a fair and reasonable schedule for you to be able to visit with your children if you are not awarded custody.  Attempting to do these things in a non-adversarial manner may be better for you and the children anyways.

How Does a Will Contest Influence Probate?

If a person believes that there is a reason to contest a will in Lee County, that person will need to file a will contest, also known as a Caveat Proceeding.  This person might allege a number of things that would make the will invalid, such as a claim that it’s not the deceased’s most recent will or that the will was not executed according to the law.  Another common reason for a will contest is that one person believes that the individual signing the will did not have the mental capacity to do so at the time.

When this happens, the other party has the responsibility for demonstrating that the will was executed according to the law and that it should be considered legally valid.  If the individual successfully demonstrates that the person signing the will appeared to have mental capacity to do so, the burden of proof shifts back to the person contesting the will.  This individual has to show at least one of the following things about the will in order to be successful: that the will was procured by fraud or undue influence, that the will in question was revoked by a later and valid will, or that there is evidence to rebut the “showing of capacity”.

If a will contest emerges in an estate, it’s important to speak directly with a Lee county probate attorney about your next steps.  While it can cause snags in a probate situation, simply knowing what your options are and the best way to proceed is critical.

A will contest might delay the probate of an estate, but you can increase the chances of success by having legal counsel of your own to guide you in preparation for important hearings in the case.

Should I Use a Gun Trust?

There are many different types of trusts that might make sense for your estate plan, but writing down your goals for your assets and for the transfer of these assets can help you identify the right selection.  If you have a large collection of guns, you may want to investigate a special trust specifically for firearms.  This can help to provide for clear guidelines about how to handle your collection when you pass away and prevent your beneficiaries from violating the law.

Gun trusts are most often used for weapons that are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 or Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968.  They include short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, silences, grenades, machine guns, and several other types of weapons.

There are several key benefits of having a gun trust, such as allowing more than one individual to own and use the weapons held in the trust, keeping the gun inside of the trust after the owner’s death to help avoid current transfer requirements, avoiding probate, and preventing some possible future restrictions on the transfer of guns.

A gun trust is not the same as a revocable living trust.  In fact, a gun trust can be more complex than a simple living trust because more elements are allowed.  For example, a gun trust might have multiple trustees and be established with the purpose of lasting more than one generation.  A gun trust will also be based on laws in North Carolina and should be compliant with federal restrictions, so contact a Sanford trust attorney sooner rather than later to get started with your new gun trust.

If you have a special collection of guns, a gun trust may help to provide clear and legal guidelines for firearm transfer.

Should I Have an Attorney Present at Closing?

Looking into purchasing the home of your dreams? While this can be an exciting process, it can also be an overwhelming one and one that is filled with details.  If you are looking to purchase a home in Sanford, you’d do well to get an attorney to represent you from the outset.  An experienced real estate attorney helps to look out for your rights for the duration of the home purchase process.  There are many possible pitfalls and complex legal issues that can arise during a home purchase, and one of the most important processes is officially closing on your new home.

The closing process along generates a lot of questions to do with negotiations over repairs, legal interpretations of survey concerns and title issues, inspection problems, and interpretation of contract terms.  While these may give you a headache, an attorney with a background in real estate will be familiar with the possible missteps and can be on hand to help you prevent them.

There are also specific North Carolina laws that govern why it’s essential to have an attorney present at your closing.  Title insurance can only be issued under the legal opinion of a licensed attorney in the state, which is why real estate closings will nearly always have an attorney present.

Gaining peace of mind, getting additional questions answered, and making sure that you are prepared for what happens at a closing are all reasons to engage an attorney prior to the closing itself.  Come prepared by making a checklist of all the requests from your lender and your realtor, but give your attorney time to review the necessary documents before the house officially becomes yours.  An attorney can be critical for ensuring a seamless transition for your home.