Monthly Archives: March 2016

What a Business Lawyer in Sanford NC Can Do if Facing Litigation

Litigation is a scary topic for many business owners with its potential to lead to negative publicity and to financially cripple their businesses.  At the first sight of litigation, prudent business owners should contact a business lawyer in Sanford North Carolina.  An experienced business lawyer in Sanford North Carolina can assist with litigation in the following ways:

Pleadings

If a lawsuit has been filed against the business, it only has a limited amount of time to respond.  If the business is considering taking legal action, it must stay cognizant of any applicable statute of limitations, as well as any potential regarding laches or waivers for not taking action quickly enough.  In either event, a lawyer can help complete this necessary paperwork.

Explanation of Options

A business lawyer can explain the various legal avenues that are available in the situation.  This can vary based on the circumstances of the case.  However, some options may include negotiations between the lawyers, mediation in which the parties reach their own solution, a modification of a contract, a lawsuit or simply inaction.  There are pros and cons to each option, which a business lawyer can thoroughly explain so that you can make an informed decision about the best option available for your business.

Explanation of the Process Ahead

If you will be involved in litigation, a business lawyer can thoroughly explain the process that lies ahead so that you know what to expect.  You may have to preserve certain evidence for trial.  Additionally, a lawyer can explain the types of records that you may need to gather for discovery purposes.  There may be certain statements that you want to preserve from key members of your staff or witnesses to the controversy.

Types of Trusts a Trusts and Estates Attorney in Sanford NC Can Create

No two trusts are alike as a trusts and estates attorney in Sanford North Carolina can explain.  Although some people may not need a trust, many can benefit from the creation of a trust as it is an effective form to protect assets and avoid probate.  Some of the types of trusts a trusts and estates attorney in Sanford North Carolina may recommend include:

Living Revocable Trust

This is the most common type of trust.  It involves the maker of the trust designating a trustee to hold and manage assets on the beneficiaries’ behalf in accordance with the instructions in the trust document.  It can be changed at any point during the maker of the trust’s life.  The maker of the trust can add and remove property from the trust as he or she sees fit.  Since the trust is the owner of the property, this property does not pass through probate.

Irrevocable Trust 

An irrevocable trust cannot be changed absent extraordinary circumstances.  This type of trust establishes how the property in the trust will be managed.  This type of trust is often used as a way to spend down assets or limit the beneficiary’s access to the funds, such as with Medicaid planning or veterans’ benefits planning.  They may also be used for tax purposes to avoid estate taxes or to avoid life insurance being counted toward the decedent’s taxable estate.

Special Needs Trust

This type of trust provides funds for a person with a disability or other special needs.  Because public benefits are usually based on a person’s financial eligibility, specific planning must be put in place in order to assist the individual with the disability without affecting his or her benefits.

Asset Protection Trust

This trust is created with the intent to protect the trust maker’s assets from bankruptcy, creditors, divorce or professional liability claims.

How a Probate Attorney in Broadway NC Can Help with Small Estates

Not every family is required to go through the long and formal process of probate.  Many states, like North Carolina, have established shortcuts in transferring property after a decedent’s death.  A probate attorney in Broadway North Carolina can evaluate a case and determine whether the probate process is actually necessary.  In the case of small estates, a probate attorney in Broadway North Carolina may be able to help families more quickly inherit and sidestep the probate process.  

North Carolina allows a person to submit an affidavit if the estate is under a certain value.  A probate attorney can help prepare the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent.  On this form, he or she states that the decedent’s personal property is valued at less than $20,000 or less than $30,000 if the individual on the affidavit is the surviving spouse who has the right to inherit everything according to state law.  The affidavit must also state that it has been at least 30 days since the decedent’s death.  The lawyer also identifies assets and their value on the affidavit, along with a description of the legal reason for the inheritance, either through the will or through the laws of intestacy.

A probate attorney also assists in filing this affidavit with the appropriate county probate court.  The attorney can provide copies of this filing to the individual who stands to inherit.  The beneficiary then takes the form to the financial institution that is holding the asset or who is controlling the asset, such as a bank or department of motor vehicles.

Probate attorneys can assist with this process and with informing beneficiaries of other responsibilities that they have under this process.  They can also check to make sure that no one else has initiated a probate proceeding, which can invalidate this process.

How a Real Estate Attorney in Broadway NC Can Help with Eminent Domain

Eminent domain refers to the government’s power to take away someone’s private property for the use of the public.  This right extends to private developers who plan to use the property for public use.  However, a real estate attorney in Broadway North Carolina can explain that there are certain procedures that must be followed before you can have your private property taken.  Some of the ways that a real estate attorney in Broadway North Carolina include: 

Explanation of the Process

A real estate attorney can explain which forms of government and agencies have the right to take your land.  Additionally, he or she can explain the process of how your property’s value is assessed and how you will receive compensation for your property.  Additionally, a real estate attorney can explain how a partial condemnation affects your rights.

Assessment of Value

You and the party seeking to take your property are at odds and have different interests.  You will want to receive the maximum value for your property while the government will want to pay the minimum amount possible.  The government is required to offer you just compensation for your property.  This term requires the government to provide you with an offer that matches the fair market value of your property.  However, different experts can disagree about what constitutes the fair market value of your property.  If you do not believe that the government’s offer is fair and that it does not represent the fair market value, you have the option to challenge this figure in court.

Protection of Legal Rights

A real estate attorney can evaluate whether the government or private party has complied with all of the relevant requirements, including providing notice of the intent to take the property.