Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates

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When Should I Seriously Consider Filing for Bankruptcy?

A recent survey concluded that over 30 percent of Americans have trouble meeting their financial obligations. Whether you’re mired in student loan or credit card debt, have a mortgage or car loan, or perhaps don’t even have that much debt but still struggle to stay current due to the ever increasing cost of living, perhaps you’ve come to the conclusion that bankruptcy is the option for you. Before you take the first step, it’s important to know what you’re getting into with this extremely serious decision.

Bankruptcy in America:

The U.S. Congress had passed numerous bankruptcy bills since 1800, but the law was always repealed after a few years due to corruption and favoritism toward creditors or debtors. It wasn’t until 1898 that a lasting if not flawed bankruptcy bill was finally agreed upon. The Bankruptcy Act was reformed heavily in 1978 and again in 2005, but still remains intact and functioning.

What is Bankruptcy Exactly?

Bankruptcy is a legal process where you tell a judge that you’re unable to pay your debts. The judge then analyzes your assets and debts with a court trustee to determine whether to liquidate those debts. If they find that you have no reliable means to pay what you owe, you can declare bankruptcy. This declaration will cancel all or most of your debts but doesn’t help with things like student loans, back taxes, and luxury items bought immediately before filing.

Chapter 13, Chapter 7:

When you declare bankruptcy as a consumer, you’ll file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7, which stays on your credit report for 10 years, amounts to the court seizing all your assets so you can pay back as much debt as possible, after which the remaining unpaid balance is erased. This process could result in losing your home and your car at the judge’s discretion. Courts usually only allow Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they determine your income is too low to pay back your debts.

Chapter 13 is when the court supports a plan for you to pay back some of your debt over a 3 to 5 year period. Under this provision, you can keep your stuff and given time to bring your car payments and mortgage up to date. The court also organizes a strict budget for the consumer that’s monitored by the court throughout the repayment period. Chapter 13 stays on your credit report for 7 years.

Drawbacks and Benefits:

If you feel you have exhausted every other option and decide it’s in your best interest to pull the trigger on bankruptcy, it’s important to remember how much it will affect your life in the years to come. With bankruptcy on your credit report, potential employers, businesses, landlords, and basically anyone can see that you’ve declared because of its public domain. If you plan on buying a home, you’ll have to wait sometimes up to 4 years before you qualify for a loan again.

Bankruptcy will erase your debt, and depending on how underwater you are, that may be the best outcome for you overall. It is a way to start anew on a more sustainable financial path and provided you’re willing to be more fiscally responsible, it can drastically increase your standard of living in the long run.

Conclusion:

Bankruptcy is serious, and any professional would recommend financial coaching, fixing your budget, taking on a second job, or whatever it takes to avoid filing. Sometimes the circumstances call for drastic solutions. If you have come to the decision you’re going to declare bankruptcy, make a list of every debt you’ve incurred and talk to a reputable lawyer. Better yet, come by the offices of Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. We will gladly walk you through the process and manage your expectations along the way.

Why Should You Start a Trust?

While death isn’t fun to think about, it is still important to plan for those around you after you pass on. Starting a living trust is a great idea to protect your assets and property. A common debate is whether you should start a will or a trust. Today, we are going to discuss the benefits of starting a trust rather than a will.

 

Two Types of Trusts

First, there are two kinds of trusts. A revocable trust (also called a living trust) allows your assets to avoid probate after you pass, while allowing you control over these assets while you are alive. This trust offers flexibility, so you have the option to get rid of it at any time. It is not set in stone.

An irrevocable trust is more permanent and doesn’t allow you access to your assets while you are alive. It cannot be dissolved or altered until after you die. However, this makes your assets able to pass by probate and reduce the amount of estate taxes. Also, if your trust assets generate income, you are not subject to tax liability.Trust Fund

 

The Benefits of a Trust

Now that you know about the two types of trusts, let’s look at the benefits of having a trust. Trusts allow you to specify each and every term, so you can limit what distributions may be made and to whom. If you have a revocable trust, you still have access to your assets during your lifetime, so you have control in that aspect, too. Then, the remaining assets will be distributed accordingly after you pass on.

Trusts help your assets and estate avoid probate, meaning that it can be directly distributed after you pass without any taxes, fees or the hindrance from the court. Probate is public record, so a trust allows your assets to stay private. In addition, trusts protect your wealth and estate from creditors or beneficiaries who are not good at managing money or assets.

Revocable trusts allow you to name your family members or other trusted individuals to have authority over your assets if you somehow become unable to manage your estate – wills do not let you do this.

Conclusion

It is important to have either a trust or a will because without them, your property will be distributed according to the state laws that remain out of your control. However, a lot of people find that a trust works better for them and their specific situation. Your age, wealth, and marital status help determine whether or not you need a trust.

If you need help planning a trust, or if you are trying to figure out if a trust is right for you, contact us at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates!

 

 

3 Reasons Why It’s Helpful to Have an Attorney Prepare Your Important Documents

Whether you’re currently going through a divorce or going through the process of estate planning, the documents you file will be the final and lasting note your case lands on. To make sure that your documents are all able to stand up in court, having a licensed attorney look them over for you can be truly beneficial to you and your case. Here are three reasons why we believe that you should trust an attorney rather than self-help to prepare your important documents.

Legal Language

When it comes to writing your court documents, the language means everything. Choosing one word over another can make or break your case; this is why having an attorney look over the language of your document can save you time and hassle in the court room later. An attorney is able to understand the language needed to present a strong and compelling case due to their experience.

Stronger Case

When you’re trying to get the results you desire from your court case, it all comes down to how strong the documents are. By using a self-help service you could be jeopardizing your chances at winning in your court case. An attorney will be able to find flaws and fix them in your documents because they’ll have the best understanding of what words work best to achieve the desired results.

Eases Divorce and Estate Planning

Going through a divorce can already be a stressful time, as can estate planning and making sure your final wishes will be carried out. Don’t add the extra stress of trying to format and craft your legal documents on top of it. By having an attorney look over and help you write the most compelling and accurate documents possible, you’ll not only be saving your time and money but also your sanity during an already stressful time.

Conclusion

So whether you’re working through a divorce or are in the process of making sure your final wishes are cared for, having some expert help in preparing your legal documents will seem like a blessing. Let an attorney help you craft the documents using the best language for the job so that your message is clearly conveyed.

Why It’s Important to Consider a Lawyer for Estate Planning

It can be extremely difficult to think about the future, particularly when it involves thinking about your eventual death, but it can be very important to put some actual hard thought behind it. Using a lawyer when you’re trying to go through the stages of estate planning can ensure that your assets end up where you want them and not given to the state.

Expressing Your Will

When it comes to making sure that your final wishes are recorded for your loved ones, ensuring that they are legally binding is incredibly useful. Having an attorney there to help you keep everything organized and legitimate can make the process ten times easier to understand and execute. There shouldn’t be any more hastily written notes on notebook paper, but instead well thought out and organized wishes for how you want your loved ones to care for your belongings after you’re gone.

Granting Power of Attorney

Power of attorney privileges should not be overlooked while estate planning with your lawyer. Choosing the right person to have this mighty power means choosing the person who will dictate your wishes to not only your family, but also medical personnel should you be unable to. Whether you choose someone close to you to exercise power of attorney or your lawyer, you should definitely spend some time considering all that it entails to entrust this power to someone. Don’t leave your loved ones guessing and fighting over what you would have wanted in the event of an accident that leaves you in a vegetative state or worse.

Being the Guardian of Important Guardianships

If you’re a parent and the most unfortunate event of your death occur while your child is still underage, then you truly need to think long and hard over who will be left in charge of their care. This is especially important to consider when you have either gone through or are going through a divorce; this is important if your spouse is not available to take over guardianship. As a parent you know how difficult it can be to entrust your children to someone else and using the services of an attorney can help you narrow down who it should be.

Conclusion

We understand that it’s never easy planning for the unknown future and yet we also know how incredibly important it is for protecting your loved ones from any further hurt. By employing the services of a lawyer with planning your estate, you’re guaranteeing a smoother grieving period for your family.

The Benefits of a Child Support Lawyer: Men Have Rights Too!

Traditionally, when a couple separates and a child is involved, the father pays child support to the mother. However, in modern times, courts are recognizing that giving the mother automatic custody of the child may not be for the best.

With this being said, sometimes it is the father who is granted custody and the mother pays child support. Many factors help to determine the outcome of child support cases. For men that are in need of great representation, help is out there. Read on for more information.

Fairness

A lawyer will ensure that things are fair. A legal professional will ensure that your case is heard properly and fairly. For instance, if the mother of the child earns a higher income, she may be ordered to pay child support instead of the father. In cases such as this, child support is paid to ensure that the child is well-taken care of. A legal professional will assess the facts of your case and help you make sense of your options. They will also defend you with excellence in a court of law.

Total Income

A child support attorney will determine whether or not both parties total income is accounted for. Income considerations for the purposes of child Your lawyer will keep an accurate record of all income. support vary from state to state. However, a skilled lawyer will review the earnings from each parent and ensure that all income is reported accurately.

Correct Calculations

Your lawyer will check accuracy of deductions. In legal proceedings, a qualified attorney can also ensure that deductions from your income are correct. Many times, mothers will take more than what they are entitled to from the father’s earnings. With the help of a professional, this can be prevented.

Child Support Order

A court may find that the child’s mother is required to pay child support. However, if the mother refuses to do so, your legal professional can step in. TheyYour lawyer can argue for a child support order. can place the wheels in motion to enforce a child support order. Should further issues arise, your attorney can negotiate terms with the mother or defend you in court.

Conclusion

Gone are the days of child custody automatically being granted to the mother. Now, men are being recognized as more fit to raise their children, which includes receiving child support payments. However, in situations where obtaining what you truly deserve becomes a problem, a skilled attorney will be there for you when you need them the most.

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