Monthly Archives: February 2015

What Should I Do before Hiring a Family Law Attorney for My Divorce?

Although many people have the impression that you should only speak with a Lee County family lawyer after you have made the final decision to divorce or after you have received divorce papers from your spouse, it’s actually better for you if you speak to an attorney as soon as you intend to separate.  There are many misconceptions out there about what happens in a separation and divorce, so you should seek experienced counsel from a Lee County family lawyer sooner rather than later.

Do not rely on advice you receive from family and friends until you have had the opportunity to consult with a lawyer.  In order to avoid speculation based on anecdotal advice, it’s always in your best interests to hire an attorney at the outset so that you are clear about both your rights and responsibilities if you decide to move forward.

In order to get an accurate gauge of your divorce, the attorney may ask you some questions during an initial consultation.  He or she will be doing so for the purposes of learning what primary issues are at stake in your divorce, such as child custody, division of property, spousal support, and child support.  Meeting with an attorney for a consultation does not require that you hire him or her at the conclusion of the meeting, but it can give you a lot more accurate information about the specifics of separation and divorce in the state of North Carolina.  It is always better to be well-informed so that you can make an educated decision about your future.

Can I Handle Probate without a Probate Lawyer?

While no state, including North Carolina, requires that you hire a probate attorney to manage an estate, it can be extremely helpful to have this kind of legal guidance at your side.  Probate can be a complicated and lengthy process if you’re not familiar with it, and in some cases, you may be held personally liable in the event that you make a mistake.  This is one of the primary reasons that people choose to hire a Lee County probate lawyer at the outset of the case.

Even small mistakes like failing to send a copy of the petition or a deadline was missed and halt the probate process significantly.  It can also damage your relationship with beneficiaries, which is yet another reason why it makes sense to hire a Lee County probate lawyer.  While it might be okay to forge ahead without an attorney in the event that you are working with a relatively simple estate, it’s better to engage somebody early on in the event that questions or complications arise.  More often than not, people find probate is more complicated than expected.

You should certainly hire a Lee County probate attorney in cases where there is a complex tax situation, where a significant amount of property was left to a minor who requires the appointment of a guardian, situations in which the estate does not have adequate assets to cover debts, disputed claims regarding property, challenges related to unfinished contracts were disputed death, and lack of clarity in the language of the will itself.  The bottom line is that while you can handle probate on your own, it’s not recommended that you do so.

Why Would a Trusts and Estates Attorney Draft a Special Needs Trust?

As the parents of a child with special needs, you face a unique set of challenges when it comes to estate planning and managing the child’s care.  In general, a trust is used to manage property for another individual’s benefit.  Special needs trusts specifically address individuals who are mentally ill or otherwise disabled.

These beneficiaries may lack the mental capacity necessary to manage their own finances, but as their parent you may still be concerned about their future and well-being.  A special needs trust is created with the specific lifestyle, needs, and future of that beneficiary in mind.  In addition to providing critical assistance down the line managed by an outside person, a special needs trust can also help protect government benefits of the beneficiary receives.

There are several different kinds of individuals who can serve as a trustee on a special needs trust.  Usually it will be a family member, but a third party may also be appointed by the court if no trustworthy family member is available.  Choosing the right trustee is a critical decision, especially when the special needs trust is being used to help care for younger person.

To address the unique needs of an individual with special needs, the trustee may be empowered to purchase necessities for the beneficiary.  Services and products such as vacations, dental and medical expenses, education, home furnishings, personal care attendants, physical therapy, recreation, and vehicles are all examples of items that a trustee might purchase for the beneficiary’s use.

It’s in your best interest to consult with a Lee County trusts and estates attorney as soon as possible regarding the structure of the special needs trust.

Why You Need to Hire a Real Estate Attorney for a Construction Defect Case

Purchasing a home is one of the most important if not the most important purchase you will make throughout your life.  This is why it’s critical to know when you have a case for construction defects.  In some cases, you may be able to contact the contractor or builder directly and explain the defect in order to have it corrected.  However, more than likely there are numerous parties involved in the manufacturing in building of your home, so this can complicate your next steps significantly.

Defects can have many negative repercussions on your home.  Your investment can be undermined when a defect is revealed.  Furthermore, the value of your home may be much lower if there are defects within it.  This can be a bad situation whether you intend to live in the home or to sell it to somebody else.

There are numerous different kinds of construction defects such as defective materials, faulty design, or the actual construction work performed on the home.  It’s important to make this distinction because it will help you determine which party or parties are responsible for the damages done.  Regardless of the parties involved in your construction defects case, you need to retain a Lee County real estate attorney as soon as possible if you are unable to get the deficiency corrected on your own.

Even if your home is constructed well, insufficient design can put more structural integrity into question.  Architectural errors are just as serious as on-the-job construction defects, and you need to act swiftly by hiring a Lee County real estate attorney to get the issues corrected right away.  Protect your investment by taking deficiencies seriously.