Wednesday, December 9, 2015

15 Items on a Divorce Checklist

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For people looking for oakland county lawyers, it's possible that divorce is on their minds. One of the major concerns of couples going through divorce is the ability to provide all the documents needed right away, so they don't have to worry about the divorce going slowly because of missing paperwork. Divorces can be very complicated. Legally, there are many documents that need to be filled out, court dates to attend, and arrangements to be made. Personally, emotions tend to run high during a divorce, making it a strain for those involved. Something that can help is having a checklist of items that people should bring to a divorce attorney, so they have everything they need to get the divorce moving smoothly.

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A Divorce Checklist Here is a list of 15 items that each party should give to his or her attorney. There may be more or less that can be brought, so speaking with the attorney directly and asking which documents they need is preferred. Start by bringing an individual tax return. The attorney may need the spouse's return as well, so the assets of the marriage can be properly calculated. Trust information. Are there any trusts held by either party? Stock options information.

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Credit card statements. It's not just money and investments that get split in divorce, debts are also divided. Bank statements. These statements show how much money the couple has saved or going out each month. Property tax information. Benefits statements. Benefits can sometimes be split during a divorce, depending on the type. A list of personal property. This list should be exhaustive. Things like clothing, jewelry, fur, office equipment, artwork, and other goods should be listed. Property appraisals. Loan documents, so the court can identify who is in charge of mortgages or student loan debt or if it is a shared debt.

Living wills and wills need to be brought to the office, because they may need to be changed or addressed during divorce. A list of property owned before the marriage by each spouse can be helpful when deciding on how to split assets.

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A list of contents in any safety deposit boxes is vital for asset division. Inheritances. Life insurance policy information.

Monday, November 2, 2015

When Hiring a Personal Attorney, Consider These Character Traits

Choosing the right attorney can be challenging, to say the least. With so many attorneys available at a person’s disposal, consumers should have a way of distinguishing those more likely to suit their needs. Good attorneys are worth holding out for, especially if they have the character traits consumers find essential to the trade, such as:

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Easy to Work With

A lawyer that’s personable, open and communicative will be easy to work with as they put clients at ease. Many people find it difficult to trust attorneys with personal information, even if it’s pertinent to their oakland county lawyers case. Establishing a good rapport with an attorney makes it easier to confide in him, receive his counsel and make decisions based on his recommendations. A good client-attorney relationship can make or break a client’s legal case and affect how people view legal representation in the future.

Attorney Record

Before hiring an attorney, consumers should do a background check on him to get a better idea of his service record. Most Oakland County lawyers have a website that provides information on their qualifications, experience and line of expertise. When possible, consumers should seek references from an attorney and ask former clients how they rate the attorney’s working relationship and services.

Smaller cases may not require an attorney with extensive experience if he or she meets other qualifications important to their client’s defense. For complex matters, however, consumers may prefer hiring a seasoned attorney to represent their interests in the case.

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Attorney Fees

A reputable attorney will be clear and upfront when it comes to discussing fees. Some attorneys charge by the hour while others charge a flat fee, which may or may not include additional charges for certain tasks. oakland county prosecuting attorney Knowing a lawyer’s fees in advance will enable consumers to include this extra expense in their monthly budget. Clarity in an attorney’s fee structure makes it easier for consumers to select an Oakland County lawyer within their financial means.


Nothing is more frustrating to consumers than not being able to get in touch with their attorney. Before hiring a lawyer, consumers should ensure their attorney has the time and interest to handle their case. Consumers can test a lawyer’s interest by emailing him questions after the initial consultation to see how long it takes for him to respond. Oakland County lawyers who respond quickly to their clients’ needs are worthy of a client's attention.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

No One Should Purchase Real Estate without a Lawyer

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Understanding the law surrounding real estate transactions is challenging to well-trained lawyers. To make matters worse, the laws are constantly changing. As a result, many well-trained professionals find it difficult to work through a real estate transaction. It’s even harder for everyday people to navigate the law. Anyone interested in purchasing a home must hire an attorney to assist them.

Attorneys Help People Understand the Meaning of Laws Oakland County lawyers
One aspect of the law that makes it extremely complex is the language used to compose laws. Much of the law isn’t written in everyday language. Additionally, real estate laws utilize complex sentence structures that can lose the reader. Fortunately, Oakland County lawyers read laws on a regular basis. They study these laws so that they can explain them to their clients. By partnering with a real estate lawyer, home buyers and sellers can make informed decisions about real estate.

Attorneys Expedite the Process Oakland County lawyers
Home buyers who use attorneys avoid many of the pitfalls home buyers make on their own. Attorneys can help them at the negotiating table if the home is overpriced. Additionally, attorneys can help home buyers with their contract. They can help them understand what is required of them to finalize the contract. Without the bumps in the road, home buyers can close on the house they want quickly, without losing it to someone else.

Lawyers Help Determine Ownership Oakland County lawyers
Buying a house requires people to research whether the home is available for purchase or not. Many people have been scammed by people selling property they can’t legally sell. With the help of a real estate attorney, home buyers don’t have to worry about getting scammed. Lawyers know exactly what to look for on deeds to ensure that the transaction is a legally-binding transaction. Researching the deed ensures that home buyers are subject to heartbreak after falling in love with their dream home.
Purchasing a home can be difficult. The best way for people to go through the process is with the assistance of a lawyer. Lawyers understand the law, and they can use their expertise to determine the best strategy for the buyer.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Navigating a Divorce

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Many people go through a divorce alone. They feel the need to keep the details from their close friends and family members because they think it’s personal. Divorce is personal, but navigating the process alone can become overwhelming. Fortunately, Oakland County lawyers can easily help divorcees determine their next steps, which makes coping with a divorce much easier.

Getting Through Legal Separation
After spending what seems like a lifetime with a spouse, getting through the requirement for legal separation can be challenging. Many people find it hard to do things that they used to do with their spouse, so they avoid common friends.
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Unfortunately, this isn’t the best way to wait for time to elapse. Since legal separation can take a year or longer, it’s important to begin preparing for the next steps. The next step will be petitioning the courts for a divorce.

Understanding the Original Petition for Divorce
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Once the timeframe for legal separation has elapsed, many lawyers file a document called the Original Petition. The petition is submitted by lawyers to the local clerk of courts to start the divorce process on behalf of their clients. This document contains the names of both parties involved, along with the names of their children. Included in the document are the reasons why the document was filed as well as remedies sought in the case. People can prepare for this part of the case by consulting with their attorney to ensure the paperwork is done properly so that they can move to the next stage.

Dealing with a Temporary Divorce Order
The next step in the process is dealing with temporary divorce orders. This step can easily become complex, depending on the details of the case. For instance, child custody and support and spousal support can make this step seem daunting for many people.  oakland county lawyers
Additionally, this is the step in the process when the discovery process begins. The courts are looking for information to validate many of the documents already submitted. Most lawyers work with their clients to ensure that they are able to retain the assets they want by submitting proof that their clients rely on these assets.
The process of getting divorce is quite daunting for many people. With the help of a professional divorce lawyer, many people can get through the process. Although lawyers can help their clients deal with the legal issues, the parties involved in a divorce must rely on close friends and family members to help them get through the process.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Understanding Who Needs Estate Planning

People generally believe unless they are very wealthy they do not need an estate plan. While this may sounds good in theory, anyone who owns property in their own name or has assets exceeding $15,000 would be well served by meeting with Oakland county lawyers who focus their practice on estate planning.

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Why Estate Planning Matters

When someone meets with an attorney to plan how their assets will be distributed at the time of their death, they maintain complete control over those distributions.  Those who have assets at the time of their death and die without any type of estate plan will have a personal representative appointed by the court and the court will determine the distribution of their assets. There are also some specific instances where a good estate plan should be considered including:

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  • Family Members With Special Needs – Family members with special needs can be cared for when an estate plan includes a trust as well as appointing conservators or drafting guardianship documents to care for them when they lose a parent or other caretaker.
  • Divorced Couples With Children – Generally speaking, most parents want to leave their assets divided equally among their children. This can be challenging when one or both parents remarry and have new spouses. An estate plan can ensure the children of the marriage are provided for after the death of a parent.
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Some of the other documents that should be part of a well thought out estate plan include powers of attorney in the event the maker becomes incapacitated, health care directives and life insurance trusts. Each person will have to work Oakland County lawyers who understand elder and estate issues to determine what type of plan they should set up to meet their needs.

What About Small Estates?

Even when someone has a small estate, there may be a need for a good estate plan. In fact, real estate, automobiles, jewelry and artwork can be left to heirs upon the death of the owner but if there is no will or other estate planning document, the court may determine the distribution of these assets which may involve selling them first.

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Regardless of the size of an estate, having a plan in place for end-of-life care, addressing special needs of family members or ensuring assets are distributed in accordance with the wishes of the owner is important. Working with Oakland County lawyers who are well-versed in elder issues and probate issues makes sense regardless of the size of an estate.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Clients Can Learn Their Rights with Oakland County Lawyers

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It's bad enough having to deal with a divorce, custody battle, personal injury, or even the death of a loved one. Soon enough, it will be time to seek out a lawyer, which can make these already pricy situations even more expensive. It can easily make anyone feel helpless. In times like these, seek out Oakland County lawyers that focus on a variety of practice areas. More affordable than other choices in California, a client can receive help when going through bankruptcy, a criminal defense matter, a divorce, a custody battle, a municipal issue, real estate troubles, and personal injury.

Bankruptcy can be distressing, as it almost feels like giving up. However, those in the Oakland County and Royal Oak, Clarkston, White Lake, Bloomfield Hills, Davisburg, Milford, Waterford, Highland, Holly, and Commerce Townships areas need not fret.
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A good lawyer can explain Chapters 7, 11, and 13 so that a client knows their rights and can figure out a way to get their finances in order.
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Criminal defense cases are common, but for a client experiencing one for the first time, it can be terrifying. Whether the client is guilty or the crime or being wrongfully accused, a lawyer can go to bat for the client in matters of stalking, white collar crimes, larceny, domestic violence, drunk driving, bond violations, home invasions, municipal ordinance violations, homicide, assault, sex crimes, felonies, criminal appeals, general misdemeanors, shoplifting, child abuse, traffic misdemeanors, drug possession, and violation of probation.

A lawyer that specializes in family law is necessary when a client is going through a divorce or fighting for child custody. A client can receive representation in areas like guardianships, annulments, divorce, real estate foreclosure, custody, prenuptials, postnuptials, child support, separations, cohabitation agreements, and paternity tests.

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Clients that do construction or commercial work on property around California should be aware of municipal law. Before any building begins, contact a lawyer in Oakland County to make sure that all zoning permits are approved, that all general ordinances are okayed, and that any assessments are green-lighted. These lawyers may also focus on real estate matters for clients that are going through a foreclosure or opening or closing a residential or commercial building.

Personal injuries can be terrifying and infuriating when the other party was responsible. Not only does a client have to pay for sudden medical bills and deal with the shock of what transpired, but they will want justice. Lawyers like these can possibly fight for the client to receive compensation.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Basics of California Probate Law

Probate cases involve handling the property, assets and/or liabilities of a deceased individual. Probate cases in California can take up to eighteen months to process, even if there are no complications such as no oakland county prosecuting attorney will, a contested will and/or various creditors laying claim to a deceased person's assets.

In some cases, a person does not even need to go to probate court to claim what is rightfully his or hers. If the total value of the estate is quite low and the will is clear regarding who should inherit what, then the process of transferring ownership and paying bills can be done outside court supervision. However, court involvement is necessary if there is no valid will, as an individual will need to be appointed as administrator of a deceased person's estate. The administrator handles the same tasks that an executor would take on; that is; he or she transfers ownership of property to heirs, pays taxes on the deceased person's properties and pays creditors what they are rightfully owed.

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Is Hiring a Lawyer Obligatory?

California, unlike some other states, does not require that Oakland County lawyers residents hire to handle the probate process. However, there are times oakland county lawyers when handling a lawyer is the best option. If numerous creditors are attempting to lay claim to a person's assets, then the executor of the will may want to retain a lawyer to ensure that the heirs receive what is rightfully theirs. If one or more heirs are contesting all or a part of the will, hiring a lawyer is in order. It can also be a good idea to hire a lawyer if the deceased individual left an ongoing business.

Managing the affairs of a deceased individual can be difficult, especially for a close friend or relative who is still mourning the loss of a loved one. Thankfully, many probate cases are relatively uncomplicated, especially if the deceased individual left a valid will. Even some cases without a valid will can be easily managed without professional legal help, as California law makes it clear which creditors get precedence and allows executors to make a number of decisions on their own.

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However, it is important for an executor or administrator to realize that here are times when getting help from a local lawyer is the best course of action. Professional legal help can save time, money and hassle, thus ensuring that the probate case is processed in a fair, speedy manner.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Receive the Right Representation from Oakland County Lawyers

When going through a divorce, selling or buying property, or looking for criminal defense, selecting a lawyer is a momentous occasion. While no lawyer can absolve a client of a crime that they committed, a good lawyer can take an innocent client and convince everyone else in the courtroom to feel the same way.

Those that need Oakland County lawyers should turn to a nearby Clarkson, Michigan firm that specializes in elder law, municipal law, family and divorce law, real estate, appeals, commercial litigation and business transactions, estate planning and probate, personal injury, and criminal defense.

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As a client nears retirement, they may need extra legal assistance getting their work matters squared away and setting up future payments through social security. The client may also need help finding affordable medical insurance. Before retiring, the client should reach out to lawyers in Oakland County to discuss all of these issues.

These lawyers may have been practicing municipal law for at least 20 years and can guide clients through office duties, zoning issues, general labor matters, special developments, general ordinances, and assessments.

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Going through a divorce can be a confusing and emotional time. Having a good lawyer on the client's side makes the process somewhat more bearable and certainly easier to navigate. If children are involved and a custody battle is underway, the client has chosen right with lawyers like these in Oakland County, as they focus on paternity, felony child support defense, bankruptcy during divorce, child support, prenuptial agreements, same-sex divorces, child support, cohabitation agreements, and annulments.

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Buying or selling property can be stressful, but with a lawyer on a client's side that deals with office development matters, residential real estate sales, foreclosures, real estate development, and commercial real estate sales, the pressure is off somewhat. When it comes to a client's professional life, these lawyers have great experience in business transactions like limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships, professional partnerships, and business reorganization.
If suffering from an injury or grieving the loss of a loved one that recently died from a fatal accident, it's possible to receive compensation if another party caused the injury or death. These lawyers can help the client sue.

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If a client needs representation from a criminal defense lawyer after being accused of stalking, sex crimes, assault, white collar crimes, robbery, homicide, felonies, drunk driving, larceny, traffic misdemeanors, drug possession, shoplifting, child abuse, fraud, and breaking and entering, they've chosen the right firm. Clients in all parts of Oakland County, including Commerce Township, Davisburg, Royal Oak, Highland, Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Milford, Waterford, Holly, and White Lake can work with lawyers like these.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Unique Factors Addressed by Law Firms in Oakland County, MI

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Oakland County, Michigan is a very unique area thanks to its massive economic and social diversity. This makes it so that Oakland County lawyers have to be able to handle a wider array of legal needs than those just one county over.
In some areas of the county, there is a high concentration of wealth that leads to a need for advanced estate planning, will development, high-asset divorce lawyers, and experts in commercial law. 

Going up the road apiece will take a person into areas more likely to have need for criminal defense attorneys, bankruptcies, and municipal law. In the middle, all of these legal needs will be found at once. Of course, each part of Oakland County will also have some exceptions to the rule, and they won't want to have to travel 50 miles to find the appropriate lawyer.

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Because of these things, it's a good idea for a multi-focus law firm to have enough attorneys to adequately cover all of these diverse needs. Surprisingly, it is possible for one firm to do it. Such firms typically have many lawyers on staff so that each one can focus on one type of cases or a cluster of related types. 

They also have large paralegal staffs in order to take care of all of the basic paperwork, trips to the courts to record updates, and other such aspects of keeping everything rolling on time.

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One important thing to pay attention to, especially in Oakland County, is the fee schedule of a law firm. Because of the presence of wealthy areas like West Bloomfield and Commerce Township, some firms have the idea that they can charge thousands of dollars for every kind of case and still get customers. 

While they may well get customers from those places, they will price themselves out of the market for people from the more modest areas of the county. Not only that, even wealthy people don't like paying extra just for the sake of it! Therefore, a good law firm in the area will have reasonable rates that are attainable by people who either aren't moguls or don't want to spend money as if they are.

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Finally, it's important to find out whether the firm is an aggressive one that will focus on litigation or if it is more interested in negotiations. If negotiations have already been tried without success, a litigation-oriented firm is the way to go.

Friday, March 13, 2015

What to Expect in a New Client Consult

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Many Oakland county lawyers offer potential clients a new client consult. Unfortunately, people often lack understanding of what to should expect in a new client consult. They may be unhappy with its outcome. Learning what to expect as part of a new client consult can help all parties remain satisfied and get the biggest benefit out of the exchange.

The true purpose of a new client consultation
For both the client and the attorney, the true purpose of a new client consultation is to discuss the legal matter at hand. The client should come prepared to discuss the facts of the case. The attorney will be prepared to hear the details and apprise the client on relevant legal issues. 

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For example, a divorced parent seeking an attorney for custody modification agreements would come prepared to discuss custody issues at hand, such as child behavioral issues or problems with the current arrangement. The attorney would then explain what the client could expect in trying to renegotiate child custody agreements through the county court system. 

It is not the purpose of the new client consultation for the attorney to offer free advice, so a client should not expect to leave the consultation with the matter resolved. Potential clients should expect an attorney to discuss state laws that apply to the situation, or lay out a potential course of action.

How clients can get the most out of a new client consultation
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To get the biggest benefits from a consultation, a client should gather beforehand relevant materials, such as letters or physical copies of voice mail messages that are relevant to the matter at hand. Writing out a brief timeline can also help to keep the client focused during the consultation and allow the attorney to deliver the most relevant advice. 

Additionally, clients should show up to the consultation on time, since arriving late curtails the amount of time that the attorney may have to discuss matters. The attorney should also take care to wrap up other business so that he or she can devote full attention to the potential client. 

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As the consultation wraps up, the lawyer should provide updated information regarding attorney's fees, legal contracts, and next steps. This will allow the potential client to determine whether he or she wants to hire the attorney for legal representation in the matter at hand.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

5 Denver Events No One Should Miss

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Colorado is a fun and fascinating state where visitors and residents can enjoy a huge variety of activities and events. It's possible to spend the day simply enjoying life in a wildflower strewn mountain meadow and spend the evening under a sky strewn with bright stars while listening to an outdoor concert at the Red Rock Amphitheater. Following are five more things to do in Denver that offer fabulous experiences. 

A Taste of Colorado A 

Taste of Colorado offers residents and visitors alike an opportunity to experience the best of Colorado fine cuisine and beverages while enjoying quality musical performances by talented local artists as well as national and international acts. Held annually on Labor Day weekend, many people consider this to be the city's way of saying farewell to summer. It attracts over a half-million people and features over 250 artisans.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival 

Held every year during the middle of the month of July, the dragon boat races provide a vibrant, colorful look at the rich cultural influence of Denver's Pacific Rim heritage.
things to do in Denver
This festival lasts for two days and features the fascinating dragon boat races along with a eclectic mixture of food, beverages, performance art, and arts-and-crafts.
things to do in Denver
Colorado Cowboy Gathering Held each winter at the end of January, the Colorado Cowboy Gathering celebrates cowboy culture with award-winning cowboy poetry, music, food, art, and storytelling. Even those who don't share a heritage of riding the range will find fun and magic here. Cowboys and cowgirls come from as far away as Australia and Argentina to enjoy this traditional gathering. 

The Higher Ground Music Festival 

The Higher Ground music Festival specializes in showcasing emerging artists as well as brining internationally renowned acts to Denver. Held annually on the third weekend in August, the festival appeals to a wide variety of music lovers.

16th Street Fair 

Lasting from the last week in June until the middle of August, Denver's 16th Street Fair is a Colorado classic that combines fine art, fun, music, good food, and a variety of other offerings to create the ultimate street festival.
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Admission is always free, and the wide variety of vendors ensures that there will be something to suit all tastes, budgets, and preferences.

A Good Lawyer Helps Prevent Trouble

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Many people who have never experienced working with a lawyer often think that Oakland County lawyers are people to call when they are in trouble or when something has gone wrong. In many ways, this assumption is correct. Depending on their area of expertise, lawyers might help someone accused of a crime, or someone who is being sued for one reason or another, or someone involved in a messy divorce or custody battle. But these are just a few situations where hiring an attorney is recommended. A good lawyer can often work with clients to anticipate possible bumps in their path and help them make provisions to protect themselves before anything bad can happen. Here's a few examples.

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Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements 

When a couple get's married it's nice to think that they are going to live happily ever after, but life isn't a fairytale, and couples only need to look at divorce statistics to realize this. For many "till death do us part" has become a strong hope rather than an expectation. These people will often work with Oakland County lawyers to set up a prenuptial agreement before they say their vows or early in their marriage when conflict is limited. These agreements not only provide financial reassurance to both parties, but it can also shed light on what each person expects from the marriage. In some cases issues are presented that may not have come to light if the couple had not sought out that arrangement, and they are able to be addressed and resolved in the protected environment of their lawyer's office.
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Business Contracts 

Just like a marriage, people who are in business with one another need to know what to expect. This applies whether there are partners who are starting a new business, or if a business hires a new employee, or if two businesses are about to begin or change their working relationship. Having written contracts drawn up by Oakland County lawyers prevents many "he-said, she said" situations from occurring, and if problems still happen those contracts provide a clear look at what the participants agreed to in the first place.

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Estate Planning and Probate 

Many people don't like to think about what will happen to their assets when they die, or what might happen if they find themselves in very sick and living with tremendous pain or if their life becomes severely limited and dependent on machines. Oakland County lawyers can help people address these potential, and sometimes inevitable situations by drawing up wills, living wills, trusts, or agreements over who would take over medical or financial power of attorney if they were to one day become incapable of making these decisions on their own. By making these decisions while of "sound mind" it prevents the wrong people from trying to step into these roles and possibly abusing them.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seeing Two Sides to Every Story

Almost daily, the top story in any newscast or the front page story in the paper has something to do with a crime that has been committed. The story goes on to say if the suspect is in custody or if they are still being pursued by local, state, or federal police. While the word used is "suspect" the word that many people hear is "criminal." A two minute news report suddenly turns into a trial of public opinion, and in many cases the suspect is "convicted" right then and their through the television sets of America.

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Those who remember basic high school civics will recall that the word suspect is not supposed to be the same as criminal. In fact, every suspect is supposed to be presumed innocent until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the committed the crime that they are accused of. In theory, it is primarily the job of the Oakland County prosecuting attorney to prove their case. In reality, much of that task is transferred over to the defense. 

When a person is arrested, it can be tempting for them to tell police officers and/or a judge their side of the story right away in order to set the record straight. This isn't always the best decision. Police officers are trained to interrogate so that the suspect will reveal information that will help prosecutors obtain a conviction. Miranda rights should always be read to any suspect, whether the crime in question involves shoplifting a small item or they are accused of first degree murder.

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While Miranda right are something police officers just rattle off, the words are important and built into them is good advice for anyone who ever finds himself on the wrong side of the law, whether he is guilty or not. First the suspect is reminded that they have "the right to remain silent" and then immediately the suspect is warned that if they do talk, their words can ultimately be used against them. They are then told that they have the right to an attorney that will defend them in any criminal proceedings that may follow and will stand head to head against the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney so that the suspect's point of view can be heard. 

There is an advantage to talking to a criminal defense attorney before revealing any knowledge of the crime committed to the police. A suspects own attorney is tasked with being on their side. They can make a case for an appropriate bail amount, advise their client on how to respond to or avoid the media, and how to present their testimony whether they are pleading not guilty or are working out some sort of plea bargain with the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney.

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The Miranda rights statement also informs a suspect that they will be given a lawyer by the state if they cannot afford to hire one on their own. This public defender should not be a suspects first choice. If the suspect takes the time to look, they will likely be able to find a defense attorney that is willing to work with their client's financial resources in order assure that they are provided the best possible representation.