Answers to today's legal questions through blogs and articles

Family Law

Trusts and Estate Planning

A trust is a legal arrangement which can be a very important tool for either a business or an individual. There are several different types of trusts that can be formed and they each have their own benefit. In order to understand the benefits of a trust, it is important to first understand exactly what it means legally. It is also important to know precisely how a trust works.

What is a Trust?

Living Trust
Living Trust

Many people do not have a good understanding of what a trust is; or how it is different from a will. There are many different types of trusts but the main purpose and benefit of having a trust is to keep a person’s estate out of probate after they have died. The biggest difference between a trust and a will is that upon death the property will not enter probate.

Even with a will in place, property has to go through probate, the court system, to determine all the different legalities of the will and how the properties are being dispersed. During the process of probate a lot of the estate will be consumed by taxes and sometimes by attorneys. By creating a trust, you transfer property, assets, securities, bank accounts and real estate to someone you “trust” while you are still living and it will carry over when you die.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract between two people who are intending to get married. The main purpose of this type of premarital contract determines the control of property, child-rearing or financial assets should the couple face a divorce. Typically, a prenuptial agreement is used by one or both spouses in order to keep income and personal property separate during the marriage. In many states an individual who brings a large amount of cash or property into the marriage may lose much of it to the other spouse in the event of a divorce. This is because it becomes marital property which must be shared if the couple divorces at a later time.

When to Hire a Lawyer

Lawyer in Court
Lawyer in Court

There are some times when it is appropriate to handle legal matters on your own. But there are also some times when it can be detrimental to try and handle matters yourself. It can be difficult to determine which instances are better handled by a legal expert and in which circumstances it is adequate to them yourself. Even though we know that legal representation can be expensive, it can be much more costly to have inadequate representation or expert legal knowledge on our side in some cases. There are sometimes when it is simply best to consult with an attorney who can provide legal assistance.

Types of Lawyers

Attorneys
Lawyers

At one time or another during your lifetime it is likely that you will need a lawyer for a legal matter. When you need an attorney it is important to know what type will be needed. Lawyers are not generic, they have specific areas of the law in which they are an expert and have experience. They choose one area of the law to concentrate on and then continue their studies in that practice area in order to provide the best representation for their clients. The type of lawyer that is needed will depend solely on the types of legal matter is being handled. Here are just a few of the most commonly needed types of lawyer.

Employment Law - Sexual Harassment

Difference between Criminal Law and Civil Law

State circuit courts and federal district courts handle both criminal and civil cases. Criminal law and civil law have some very distinct differences. If a person is accused of any sort of crime, they will need to hire a criminal lawyer or a civil lawyer. In general, civil law deals with actions that are non-criminal such as contracts, divorce, etc. It is possible to be charged under both types of proceedings, criminal and civil. A good example is OJ Simpson. He was acquitted of all criminal charges, but he was still found guilty according to civil law.