Monthly Archives: May 2015

Do I Need a Family Lawyer for Divorce From Bed and Board?

North Carolina is a unique state—from its gorgeous beaches to its amazing barbecue, there are a few things that really set the Tar Heel State apart and North Carolina’s divorce laws are among them.

North Carolina is among the states that require a married couple seeking a divorce to live under a separation for one year before a divorce can be granted, which requires both spouses to file paperwork and agree on when the separation began and when it will end.

In the case of an uncooperative spouse that refuses to actively participate in a divorce, North Carolina offers what’s known as a divorce from bed and board.

It is a fault-based legal action that does not dissolve a marriage, but will official recognize and begin the separation “clock,” if you will. In essence, it’s a court-ordered decree of separation.

Divorce from bed and board filings must be fault-based and North Carolina family courts recognize the following six criteria in granting the decree:

  • Abandonment
  • Maliciously turns the other out of doors.
  • By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other
  • Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
  • Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.
  • Commits adultery

Have you attempted to file for legal separation from your spouse in North Carolina and find yourself getting nowhere? You’re likely a candidate for a divorce from bed and board decree and your best plan of action is to hire a North Carolina family lawyer to help you best protect yourself and your family moving forward.

Three Common Challenges Warranting a Probate Lawyer

While no state in the U. S. legally requires a probate lawyer when handling the estate of a loved one, people often find themselves facing difficult and complex matters when unraveling the possessions, assets and desires of a loved one who has recently passed away.

What are some of the common instances that a qualified Harnett County probate attorney would be a good idea? A few situations include:

Complicated tax issues

These situations add another complicated layer to an already emotional time. If your loved one’s estate is riddled with tax codes and requirements that you can’t decipher without significant assistance, a probate lawyer is the way to go. When handled incorrectly, tax issues are complications that not only ever go away, but only increase in complexity and severity over time. Getting the matter resolved quickly and correctly in the beginning is the surest way to avoid a legal headache down the road.

Unclear wording in wills and other legal documents

If certain mandates and passages in a will or other document are unclear, instead of guessing or assuming what the estate’s holder desired, contact a lawyer with probate expertise to help you navigate the murky language. While it was probably not your loved one’s intent to be unclear about their wishes in relation to their estate, issues do arise and if not handled properly, they can

Disputed claims among surviving family members

While contested wills are rare, they do happen. Often the result of unclear communication while the estate holder was still alive, this sort of complications can cause rifts in families that last lifetimes if handled incorrectly. If your loved one’s final wishes are being contested, a probate lawyer will be your best advocate in fulfilling their final wishes.

Determining Whether You Need a Trust

It used to be that you needed to have a Rockefeller last name to even consider needing a trust, but times have changed. These days, more and more people look to establishing trusts in lieu of having a will when planning their legacies.

The expenses associated with establishing a trust can be significant so a good rule of thumb to follow is that if you have at least $100,000 and have significant assets in real estate, a trust can be a great idea. Trusts also have the benefit of being flexible and varied and can minimize estate taxes while at the same time protecting your estate from lawsuits and creditors.

Another major benefit of establishing a living trust is bypassing the time and cost of probate—that costly process of administering your estate that costs thousands of dollars and can take years to finalize.

In many U. S. states, you are able to name beneficiaries to a living trust to avoid probate and establish them as “payable on death,” ensuring that your loved ones will receive their inheritance just as they would under a legal will but without the increased risk of disputes and lawsuits.

Working with an expert trust lawyer, be sure you take as many steps as possible to avoid probate—establishing up-to-date beneficiaries and establishing durable financial power of attorney in the event that you’re incapacitated for any reason and unable to make important decisions related to your estate.

If you think a trust is a good idea for your family and estate, be sure to find a qualified Sanford trust attorney to help you through the process. No matter which way you go when planning your estate, maintain regular contact with your trust attorney to make sure your estate is protected.

What to Do When You Have a Real Estate Disclosure Dispute

A disclosure statement is a real estate buyer’s chance to learn as much about the property they are considering from the seller. Seller disclosures can include anything from drafty hallways, loud neighbors or high-traffic intersections nearby. Disclosure statements serve to major purposes—they inform potential buyers of any and all issues the property might have and they protect the seller from future legal actions.

As millions of real estate transactions occur each year, all parties hope and pray that disclosure statements are honest and bring to light any potential issues for both parties’ sake.

But what happens when there’s a dispute surrounding a real estate disclosure statement? There are a few steps you can take.

Review the disclosure statement

Go through the document with a fine-toothed comb and document any discrepancies as quickly as possible.

Make the seller aware

If the issue is serious and was not included on the disclosure statement, using your real estate agents for a communication channel, gives the buyer ample opportunity to respond to the issue. Alert the seller and make them aware that the issue was left out of the disclosure and that you’d like it rectified.

Document all communication

Keep communications civil and keep records of them, preferably via e-mail. While you might not get the answer you’re seeking at the outset of the issue, patience is key.

Find expert legal help

As soon as you realize you have a problem with the property you purchased on your hands, contact a Broadway real estate attorney. Disclosure disputes are among the most common reasons for real estate law suits—an experienced attorney will know the proper steps to take moving forward and will help guide you toward rectifying your problem with the property.