Monthly Archives: July 2016

Lemon Springs Real Estate Attorney: Trouble with Covenants

One of the ways that a Lemon Springs real estate attorney helps clients is by assisting with separate contracts that affect their ownership interest.  While a purchase agreement is an important document, covenant agreements and agreements with property owners associations can have a daily impact on the client’s ownership and lifestyle.  A Lemon Springs real estate attorney can provide the following services:

Amending Restrictive Covenants

Neighborhoods and communities may have extensive restrictive covenants that specify the color the house can be, yard ornaments that can be displayed, types of buildings that can be erected and activities that cannot be completed on the grounds.  Often homeowners are required to pay dues to maintain the neighborhood, common grounds and their own properties.  If a homeowner feels that there are restrictive covenants that are too – well, restrictive – a real estate attorney may be able to help draft revisions to these covenants for the homeowners association’s consideration.

Protection of Rights

A real estate attorney can raise valid arguments to protect the homeowner’s rights from an overzealous association.  This may be by showing that the homeowners association has not enforced action against property owners who have committed similar violations or by analyzing the contract language for instances of ambiguity.

Explanation of Options

A real estate attorney can explain the options that are available to his or her client.  In some cases, a simple conversation between the lawyer and the association may be able to resolve the issue.  In other cases, negotiations between the respective lawyers may yield a result.  Mediation may be recommended if the lawyer believes that the parties may be able to work through a solution with the help of a neutral facilitator.  Litigation may be necessary in some situations.

Lemon Springs Family Law Attorney: How Debt Is Affected by Divorce

While much of a divorce case centers on how property will be divided between the parties, a Lemon Springs family law attorney can recommend taking a careful look at the debt that is involved in the case.  By tending to this aspect of the case, a Lemon Springs family law attorney can help his or her client start off on firmer financial footing after the divorce.

If a person is legally responsible for a debt, this does not change simply because they got divorced.  Even if an ex agrees to pay for a debt that is in the other spouse’s name, the family court does not have jurisdiction over creditors.  Some spouses may agree to take on additional debts and then decide after the divorce that they want to get back at the spouse and do so by wrecking his or her credit.  Creditors generally have the legal right to pursue the indebted spouse regardless of what the divorce decree states.

In order to avoid some financial issues related to divorce, some spouses may close out joint accounts or by removing the other spouse’s name from the account if he or she is no longer responsible for it.  This can help prevent last minute charges that are made on the accounts and help the spouse start to re-establish credit in his or her own name.  If a spouse misses a payment on a joint account or an account that is in the other spouse’s name, this will impact the spouse’s credit.  A divorce lawyer may make recommendations specific to the case, such as selling off property to pay off joint debt or refinancing the mortgage in the spouse’s sole name.

Sanford Trusts and Estates Attorney Explains Requirements for Modification

Many individuals establish a trust with the help of a Sanford trusts and estates attorney to effectuate important goals.  They may want to ensure that the next generation has funds available for their basic needs and education.  They may reserve funds for a child with special needs to use.  They may establish a trust for a charitable purpose.  However, in some cases a Sanford trusts and estates attorney may need to be consulted because a modification to an existing trust may need to be made.

North Carolina allows trust modifications for a variety of reasons.  A trust can be modified due to unanticipated circumstances or because the trust is not being administered effectively.  If a modification or termination of the trust would better effectuate the purposes of the trust, the court can make such an order.  If a trust has a value under $50,000, the trustee can move to terminate the trust if the value in the trust does not justify the cost of administration.   If there were mistakes made in the construction of the trust, these mistakes can be remedied through a modification.  Charitable trusts can also be modified.

Depending on the circumstances, a trustee, beneficiary or the settlor can make modifications to the trust in question.   Many modifications require that a proceeding be brought in order for the court to approve or disapprove a modification or termination of the trust.   The court may also have the power to remove the named trustee and appoint a different trustee.  A trust may also provide specific information regarding other ways to modify the trust and the grounds necessary to make such changes.  A trusts and estates attorney can explain what the options are in a given situation.

Probate Attorney in Lee County Helps with Litigation Avoidance

While many people may worry about how taxes will impact their estate plan, given the high exemption limits, a probate attorney in Lee County can explain that the more practical concern is how litigation will impact the estate plan.  After a person dies, heirs at law or beneficiaries in the will or trust may come to the conclusion that the testator was unduly influenced and may commence with expensive litigation.  A probate attorney in Lee County can explain possible arguments that can be raised in litigation and how to protect against them.

Some of the drawbacks of probate litigation are that the testator’s wishes may be undermined, people in the community can hear about it and the litigation can erode the estate’s funds so little or nothing is left after the battle is over.

While there is no guaranty that someone will not contest the will or trust, there are preventative planning techniques that can be employed to reduce this possibility.  For example, if the testator believes that his or her competence may be questioned, a health provider’s assessment at the time the documents are executed that the testator was of sound mind at the time of execution of the estate documents can serve as powerful evidence especially when memorialized in a stand-alone affidavit.  Witnesses can also attest to their belief of the testator’s capacity when they observe him or her signing the will.

Another way to help avoid such will or trust contests is to include clear language in the estate planning documents and a disincentive for such claims.  For example, if the testator anticipates a will contest by a particular person, he or she may include a clause in the will that states that the beneficiary will lose the interest afforded him or her in the will if he or she brings such litigation.  Additionally, the testator should include clear language in the will or other document that explains any possible disparities so that the beneficiaries will understand the reasoning behind these decisions.