Working With The Right Attorney

Options For Avoiding Challenges To A Will

Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Options For Avoiding Challenges To A Will

Your estate’s executor is responsible for carrying out the wishes that are stated in your will. Unfortunately, some family members might not agree with those wishes and challenge the will. If you believe that there might be challenges to the will, there are some legal actions you can take now to avoid this.  Include a No-Contest Clause A no-contest clause is used to discourage relatives from challenging your will. With the clause, anyone who challenges the will in court and loses, will be cut from receiving any inheritance. Even if you had designated that he or she was entitled to receive an inheritance, it is forfeited once the challenge is filed.  The no-contest clause does not apply if someone does not receive an inheritance. For instance, if you leave nothing to your sister and she challenges the will, she is not at risk of losing anything.  The specifics of the no-contest clause can differ from state to state. Check with your state’s laws to find out whether or not the clause is allowed and under what circumstances.  Validate Your Will Before Death Normally, the will is validated in probate court following the death of the will maker. However, if you fear challenges to your will, you can have it validated in court before you die.  There are many reasons to validate your will, including proving you are of sound mind. Instead of the executor having to fight to prove that you were mentally sound when you created the will, you can talk directly to the judge and inform him of your wishes.  Validating your will now is also a good idea if one of your family members is likely to claim that you have been unduly influenced in your estate planning. For instance, if your children are arguing that your caregiver is manipulating you into leaving part of your estate to him or her, you can inform the court otherwise. It is important to note that even if you validate your will now, you still have the option of changing it later. If you do make changes to the will, you need to file a petition with the court to have the validated will removed. You can also choose to validate the new will.    Consult with an estate planning attorney such as Hamilton Michaelson & Hilty LLP to learn of other ways you can avoid challenges to your will. Since some methods can be state-specific, working with an attorney is imperative....

read more

FAQs About Filing An Emergency Bankruptcy Petition

Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FAQs About Filing An Emergency Bankruptcy Petition

A bankruptcy filing can provide a certain amount of protection from your creditors once you file the documents with the court. If you are in need of immediate protection, you will need to file for an emergency bankruptcy. Before filing, here is what you need to know.  What Is the Benefit of Emergency Filing? There are a number of benefits to filing for an emergency bankruptcy, but one of the most important is the automatic stay. The stay stops your creditors from taking any legal actions against you. For instance, if your mortgage lender has scheduled a foreclosure sale of your home, the stay would stop the sale for a period of time.  Your creditors receive notification as soon as the necessary documents are filed with the court. It is important to note that your creditors can go to court at any time and ask the court to lift the stay. If the judge agrees that the stay should be lifted, you could once again face legal actions from your creditors.   How Do You File? Before you can file your petition for an emergency bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling class. Depending on the state in which you live, it is usually possible to take the class online. The local court clerk can provide you with a list of classes that have been approved.  Once you complete the class, you will be provided with a certificate. The certificate must be turned into the court with your emergency filing documentation. The filing documentation is limited to the voluntary petition, creditor matrix, and Exhibit D form. The voluntary petition is a declaration of your income and your total debts. The creditor matrix is a detailed listing of your creditors. Exhibit D verifies that you completed the credit counseling class.  What Happens Next? After the documents are filed with your local clerk’s office, a stay will be issued. Depending on the state in which you live, you have 7 or 14 days after the filing to complete and turn in the remaining papers that are needed to file for bankruptcy. If you fail to turn in those forms, you could lose the protection of the stay and the court could dismiss your filing altogether.  If you considering an emergency bankruptcy filing, consult with an attorney. He or she can help you with completing the forms needed for the filing and also ensure you are prepared to turn in your remaining documentation within the period allowed. For a bankruptcy attorney, contact a lawyer such as D Derk Demaree Attorney at...

read more