Insight Into Probate And Executor Role

Probate Lawyer

Probate is the process of filing the will of a deceased person to the court or a judge, in which they oversee the distribution of the estate that complies with state law and the jurisdiction. The court may partake in several aspects of probate, such as assessing if a will is valid, ensuring laws are abided by, properly distributing assets, and then closing the estate. As a top-rated probate lawyer explains, here is some insight that everyone should know about the probate process and the role of executor. 

An executor will either be appointed by the court, or if there is a will, the person the deceased chose as executor will fulfill this role. There are many tasks that an executor may handle, and this person has a fiduciary duty to abide by the terms expressed in the will. This duty puts personal liability on the executor if they do not perform their responsibilities as required. The executor is usually named in the will, but it will be the court that formally appoints this person to have this role.

If no name for an executor is written in the will, then the court chooses an administrator to do the same function. After being appointed by the court, the executor will assume power and comply with the terms of the will and requirements set by state law. Examples of duties an executor will have to complete include:

  • Paying costs to maintain assets
  • Locating assets of estate and safeguarding them
  • Paying estate taxes and income taxes that may still be owed
  • Handling termination of leases or other contracts
  • Notifying banks, government agencies, and other parties
  • Creating a bank accounts and brokerage accounts for the estate
  • Communicating with beneficiaries as needed
  • Supervising the handling of assets and submitting petitions to the court
  • Entity governance or maintaining commercial & business entities left behind by the decedent.

Not all property has to undergo probate. If two spouses share a joint bank account and one of them passes away, that account automatically becomes the other’s property. Likewise, if a spouse left behind a 401k, life insurance policy, IRA, or annuity in which the other spouse is named as beneficiary, there is no need to go through probate court to have access over these funds. The living spouse would just need to contact the institution for the policy or bank directly, and fill out paperwork so they gain access to proceeds. However, if these accounts were solely in one spouse’s name, then these assets will be probated. Anyone who has issues with probate or their role as executor, can benefit from getting help from a legal team, similar to the lawyers from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC.

If someone who passed away did not own any property, then probate is not necessary. The survivors of the deceased may open a probate case if there are debts still owed or there is a need to establish a deadline for creditors to come forward and make claims. If there is property to distribute, then the process allows for assets to be transferred to appropriate heirs of the deceased.



Commercial Level Litigation

At some point or another, you may run into a dispute while operating your business, and this can turn into a lawsuit if not settled with quick action. As  explains, as soon as you can tell that litigation may be on the horizon, it’s time to consult with a lawyer who can protect your best interests. As a business owner, you want to protect your company. After all, you have likely spent quite some time becoming a business owner, so the last thing you want to deal with is an issue that takes you away from the routine of daily business operation. Some common causes of litigation at the commercial level are discussed below. 


Breach of Contract
Throughout the time of running your business, you will have agreements with several parties, such as employees, licensees, vendors, and other business partners. One party may breach their side of the agreement, or there may be unfounded accusations of a breach where none actually happened. In breach of contract disputes, they often arise when a term was broken and it caused other parties to have their business or profit affected. Unresolved disputes of this nature may move on to courtroom litigation, which can be time-consuming and expensive. 


Infringement of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property, such as patents, trade secrets, copyrighted materials, and trademarks must be carefully protected. There are certain kinds of intellectual property that are licensed out to others for use in marketing or manufacturing, and these agreements must be controlled with detailed contract terms. In other times, for trade secrets in particular, those who have access to private information are bound by the confidentiality agreement. Intellectual property that is mishandled or misused in any way can result in a dispute, and an eventual lawsuit if not resolved right away.


Shareholder Disputes

Company partners, LLC members, shareholders, and others may not agree on policy or strategy, which can result in a dispute. Disagreements may happen from failing to abide by fiduciary duties, misusing funds of the company, and other kinds of mismanagement which impacts how the business runs. In all these scenarios, a dispute can be prevented with clear and concise bylaws and agreements. In this way, members, partners, and shareholders understand what is expected of them, and disputes that do happen can hopefully reach a solution promptly.

Employment Problems

Every new hire must sign an agreement that outlines their responsibilities as an employee of the company. However, despite signing on the dotted line, an employee may not keep these agreements. Or even worse, your own management team may be accused of engaging in discriminatory or unfair practices. These can lead to serious employment disputes, which can quickly develop into litigation. Carefully created agreements, in addition to enforcing solid policies and procedures, can reduce the burdens of employment disputes, while preventing them from arising to begin with.


Tips For Managing A Personal Injury Case

As our personal injury lawyer will share, personal injury claims are the legal process that occurs after a person has been injured and suffered losses or injuries resulting from another party’s negligence. Injury recovery can be painful and time-consuming, often impacting the victim’s ability to continue working. Financial losses are sure to follow. Because of this, the victim will be looking to hold the negligent party accountable and retain compensation for what they have lost. The legal process can be difficult to endure when facing such challenges. Because of this, it may be necessary to consider help from professionals with experience like those from Ward & Ward Law Firm. The following are tips to keep in mind for receiving the best possible outcome following an accident that was the result of negligence:

Tip #1: Keep Clear Documentation

When seeking compensation for damages following an accident, evidence will play an integral role in receiving a settlement offer that covers the losses. One important aspect of initiating this process is gathering evidence and keeping clear documentation of the events that transpired at the time of the accident and in the days, weeks, and months moving forward.

Tip #2: Seek Medical Treatment

Medical treatment is likely necessary after experiencing an accident. However, some may delay treatment or choose to forgo it altogether. Medical treatment is imperative for several reasons; not only does it allow victims to receive much-needed medical treatment, but it also offers critical evidence for victims who choose to seek compensation for their losses. Failing to do so could not only impact the claim but may also result in worsening injuries.

Tip #3: Seek Consultation From A Lawyer

Most people who have suffered an accident may need clarification on whether they have a case. Some may not believe they can afford it, and others may not feel as though legal action is worth it. However, victims may be surprised to learn that the value of their losses may be more than they may have realized. Take the time to find an experienced area lawyer who can properly value the case and determine the proper course of action for moving forward.

Tip #4: Refrain From Social Media

Following an accident, social media can be incredibly dangerous. When a person posts to social media either discussing their accident or posting images appearing as though they have fully healed, it can give insurance adjusters and lawyers fuel to mitigate the losses the victim is experiencing. Because of this, victims should consider refraining from social media entirely.

Tip #5: Do Not Accept The First Settlement Offer

It’s not uncommon for victims to receive contact from an insurance adjuster with an initial settlement offer. Victims should proceed with caution for several reasons. While it may be enticing to settle quickly, by doing so, victims may agree to compensation that is far less than the actual value of their claim. Many will be tempted to accept this offer. However, with a lawyer by your side, it’s possible to receive a far better compensatory outcome.

While no person should ever have to experience an accident, unfortunately, they are common. To learn more about the services that an attorney can provide, consider contacting a lawyer.


When Contracts Result In Disputes

Most people enter into a contract with good intentions, and hope that it will all work out as planned. But unfortunately, even with risks considered and precautions taken, disputes between parties can happen. There are many reasons why a contract may fall through, such as breach of duty, non-compliance, contract error or omission, negligence, failure to fulfill terms, and more. When one or more parties do not agree on the definitions, responsibilities, and conditions contained in a contract, it may be contested in court. The parties may attempt to resolve the issue amongst themselves, but when that is not possible, they may have to attend court over the matter instead. 

The agreement wasn’t well written from the start.

Ideally, it’s best to have a lawyer help you devise a contract, or at least review it before all parties provide a signature. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a contract that causes plenty of problems, and actually becomes unenforceable. For instance, you may have a contract that uses too vague of language, to where it’s not possible to tell who is responsible for what. A contract that leaves too much room for interpretation can cause the parties to not fully understand what their terms are in the agreement. It also makes it easier for one party to avoid holding up their end of the bargain by developing excuses because of the contract inclarity. 

Someone breached their end of the contract.
Despite everyone having the best of intentions at the start of a contract creation, people breach their terms all the time, and they may not come forward and admit it outright. This can leave the other parties in the contract trying to demonstrate where, how, and when a contract was breached. A party may not realize that they have broken the contract, but in other cases, the breach is willful and intentional. EIther way, there’s not much that can be done besides fighting over the breach if one party is set on being uncooperative, in which a dispute ultimately begins.

A non-written agreement was made.
Depending on the state you live in, you can create an implied or verbal contract. Sometimes you may not realize that an implication of an agreement was made, even if you did not acknowledge that there is one. For instance, maybe you sent emails back and forth between you and another party. This can create an implied contract due to the pattern of dealings that was exchanged in the conversation. If one party ignores this agreement or breaches their side, then it has to be proven that a contract, albeit unwritten, existed. As a contract dispute lawyer residents trust at Eric Lindh Foster Law, LLC explains, not all verbal or implied agreements are enforceable, but this is an issue that is best handled with guidance from a lawyer. 


Factors To Consider: Choosing Business Type

Starting a new business is one of the most exciting ventures you can undertake. But in the midst of all the excitement, you should carefully choose what type of business you form. Your main choices include the following:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Factors To Consider

As a commercial litigation lawyer from Silverman Law Office, PLLC explains, the main factors you should seriously contemplate when setting up your business consist of the following:

  • Do you want to share ownership in your business?
  • How much personal liability do you want to assume for your business’s debts and any unfavorable judgments others may obtain against it?
  • How much ongoing paperwork and compliance issues do you want to engage in?
  • How do you want your income taxes and those of your business computed?

Sole Proprietorship

If you intend to own your business all by yourself, a sole proprietorship is the simplest business form. In fact, you need to do nothing in order to establish one. Simply start selling your product or services. In a sole proprietorship, you and your business are one and the same. This means, however, that you are personally responsible for paying income tax on whatever profits your business makes and must add a Schedule C to your 1040 federal tax return. It also means that you are personally responsible for paying all of your business’s expenses, debts and judgments.


If you want or need to share ownership with one or more additional people, forming a partnership is one way to go. Here you will need a written partnership agreement setting forth each partner’s ownership interest, as well as what responsibilities and liabilities he or she will have. Keep in mind that, although a partnership must file an annual informational federal income tax return, its profits and losses pass through to the partners. Each one pays his or her own percentage of tax.


If limited personal liability is one of your major goals, forming a corporation can achieve it. Why? Because a corporation is a separate legal entity, distinct from the shareholders who own it. Consequently, no shareholder bears responsibility or liability for paying the corporation’s expenses, debts, or judgments. On the other hand, a corporation subjects you to double taxation, first at the corporate level and subsequently on the individual level. In addition, virtually all states require your corporation to hold, at minimum, an annual meeting and to keep minutes of all your meetings.

Limited Liability Company

An LLC combines the advantages of both a partnership and a corporation. With this business form you avoid double taxation while preserving your limited liability.


Tips For Preparing Your Children For Divorce

Going through a divorce in any scenario can be extremely stressful. You were with the person you thought you would spend the rest of your life with and suddenly you are splitting up your dinner sets and deciding who will get to keep the house. However, divorce can be significantly more complicated when you share children and need to determine who gets custody. Something else that can make this harder is knowing the right way to talk about your divorce with your children. The way you decide to talk with them will depend on how certain things will get divided up and how old your children are. When you begin working with a lawyer for your divorce, they may be helpful in bringing up different ways to talk about the separation and divorce with your children.


Top Tips For Parenting Your Children Through Divorce


It can be difficult to know how to tell anyone you are getting a divorce, let alone the children you share with your spouse. However, a lawyer, like a family lawyer from a law firm like The McKinney Law Group knows that there are a few ways that will help your children come to terms with what is happening. 


  • Practice makes perfect. When you are talking with your kids, you want to know what you are going to say ahead of time. You do not want to blurt out what is happening in anger (at your spouse) and you do not want to give them too much information. If your divorce is amicable enough, you may want to discuss this with your spouse and sit down with your kids together. Make notes on what you want to say and come up with answers to questions they may ask. 
  • Prepare for an array of reactions. Your kids may give you many different reactions to this news, ranging from indifference to anger. Your younger kids may not fully understand what is going on while older children may immediately take sides or need time to process. Whatever the situation is, make sure they have a safe space to come to terms with their emotions as they learn what their new lives may look like. 
  • Consider waiting to talk until the divorce is finalized. Bringing your children into adult arguments is unwise. Many relationships go through good and bad times and threatening your spouse with divorce (or vice versa) in front of your kids can only do more harm than good. It is best to wait until you and your spouse have agreed that this is the best next step for your family and you are moving forward with the legal process. 
  • Make sure they know they are not responsible. Many kids grow up thinking that they are the ones who are responsible for their parents’ divorce. It is a good decision to remind them that this is not the truth, that you love them, and that this will be the best thing for your family. 


If you are preparing to go through a divorce and you have children, reach out to a law firm you can trust to help you with the legal process and help you understand how to proceed with your kids. 


Which Bankruptcy is For Who?


For a lot of people, there is quite a bit of confusion surrounding bankruptcy and what it really means. There is also confusion about which type of bankruptcy is right for people. It’s important to understand that bankruptcy can be filed by both individuals and by companies or other organizations. Bankruptcy serves as a way for companies or individuals that are unable to pay their debts a way to get past this. Filing for bankruptcy, in many cases, either see assets sold off to pay off debts or a repayment plan established to repay debts. Let’s take a look at the different types of bankruptcies and who should for which one according to a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.

Which Bankruptcy is For Who?

There are 2 different bankruptcy types that are filed by individuals that go by the name of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are both filed by individuals but have a key difference that separates them. Chapter 7 is the ‘liquidation’ bankruptcy where individuals sell off assets to repay debts. They generally are able to keep things that they primarily need like a car or a house but this is not always the case. Chapter 13 differs from chapter 7 in that the debtor is placed on a 3-5 year debt repayment plan that is established with creditors. A certain monthly amount will be found that the person can repay that is based on their income and other factors.

Other Types of Bankruptcy

There are 3 other types of bankruptcy that are used by companies, local governments, or other organizations. A Chapter 9 bankruptcy is filed by municipalities in financial trouble. This could be for cities, school districts, townships, or counties and has them work with creditors to have a repayment plan established. Chapter 12 is used by fishermen and Farmers. They can keep their assets without having to liquidate them but are placed on a repayment plan by creditors with certain stipulations. Chapter 11 is used by companies and other organizations to reorganize and restructure the company’s debt and finances. They can continue operating but must follow the rulings and guidelines of the repayment plan laid out by creditors.

Are There Negative Aspects of Filing For Bankruptcy?

There are certain negative consequences that may arise from going into bankruptcy. If a major company has to file for chapter 11, then the associated fees with filing for this type may be quite high. Individuals filing for bankruptcy will have a hard time being approved for a loan and if they do get approved for a loan, they will be hit with a quite high APR. Other negative consequences may also occur like certain creditors continuing to bother debtors over repayment for years. For assistance with bankruptcy-related matters or to learn more about how a professional can help, consider reaching out to a lawyer for help.


Are You Headed For A Divorce? Here’s How You Can Tell…

Find A Divorce Lawyer

Nobody wants a divorce to take them by surprise. Unfortunately, many people completely ignore the red flags that could give them some much-needed time to prepare for the worst. Of course, you can’t see those red flags unless you know what to watch out for in the first place.

If you think you need to find a divorce lawyer, you need to know the warning signs of divorce. Fortunately, our friends at the Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC have shed some light on what to look out for. If your marriage is on the rocks, here’s how you can tell there might be a major problem on the horizon…

  • You Just Aren’t Talking Anymore.

You’ve heard it a million times before, but communication is the key to every successful relationship. If you and your spouse have completely cut off contact with each other – whether it’s because you’re just tired of arguing all the time or whether it’s because you just aren’t interested in hearing from each other – your marriage might be in for some trouble.

  • You’re Lacking Intimacy.

Love and sex are an important part of every marriage. If you and your spouse have lost that special spark, it’s up to you to work together to rekindle it. Otherwise, either you or your spouse might start feeling unfulfilled, and this can lead to some toxic thinking further down the line.

  • You’re Considering an Affair.

A lack of intimacy is a warning sign, and it can lead to an even more severe hint that your relationship is troubled. If you give serious thought to the prospect of an extramarital affair – if you’re really thinking of having an affair with someone else – it’s not a healthy mindset to have if you’re already married. It’s hard to tell whether your spouse feels the same way, but if you’re considering an affair, you need to recognize that it could be because your marriage is unsatisfying.

  • You’re Fighting All the Time.

Arguing is a part of every relationship, but there’s a difference between a “healthy amount” of disagreement and “just fighting all the time”. If you and your spouse can’t go a day without arguing – and your arguments go well beyond simple disagreement – there could be something else going on beneath the surface.

  • You Can’t Stand the Sight of Each Other.

It sounds dramatic, and it really is. But if you and your significant other suddenly can’t stand being in the same room with one another, it’s one of the most serious signs that a divorce is coming. It’s not healthy to feel disgust whenever you see your spouse, and if every little thing he or she does makes you resent them even more, it’s a sure sign that your marriage needs work.

Don’t Get Caught By Surprise

Knowing the warning signs of divorce can give you some much-needed time to prepare accordingly. Every divorce is a painful, expensive process, but with the help of the right lawyer on your side, you can make your divorce go just a bit more smoothly.


Why Do I Need A Lawyer For Business Contracts?

Breach of Contract Lawyer

Starting your own business is an exciting time, but it can also sometimes feel overwhelming with all the decisions you need to make. It is also important to ensure that you put all the safeguards in place to protect your business legally and financially. Failure to have skilled legal representation overseeing all contracts and other legal documents that involve your business can end up resulting in not only needing a breach of contract lawyer but also causing significant damage to your business.

Fortunately, by consulting with a business lawyer, you can greatly increase your chances for success and limit any legal liability.

Choosing the Correct Business Structure

When you are forming your business, one of the most critical decisions is choosing a structure that will provide limit any personal liability should issues come up. However, it is also important to look at other factors that may come up in the future that the structure you have chosen can impact, especially if investors are something you will be actively pursuing in the future.

Intellectual Property Issues

One of the most valuable assets of your business is the product or service you will be offering. For many companies first starting out, this asset is often just in the “idea” stages. This is usually referred to as a company’s “intellectual property.” It is crucial to take the legal steps to protect your intellectual property, otherwise, someone can come along and steal them and you would have no legal recourse.

Protection for a company’s intellectual property is done through copyrights, patents, trademarks, and more. Some people try to go through this process with legal help, which often turns into a legal nightmare for them. This is a very complicated process and one seemingly minor mistake can end up in expensive litigation or even the loss of your intellectual property.


Most businesses use contracts as an essential tool when it comes to the service or products they offer, as well as contracts for services or products they may need from other companies. No matter what the reason for entering into the contract is, keep in mind that this agreement – whether written or verbal – is legally binding. This is why you should always have a lawyer assist in drafting and/or reviewing any contacts you are considering entering into.

Contact a Business Law Firm

Always have a lawyer look over any contract you are considering signing. Your attorney will make sure that your company’s best interests are protected. If you are dealing with a contract issue, contact an experienced attorney, like a Des Moines IA breach of contract lawyer from the Law Group of Iowa.


Why Talk to a Divorce Lawyer 

Why Talk to a Divorce Lawyer 

Talking to a divorce lawyer early on is critical if you have any kind of questions about divorce. A skilled divorce lawyer understands the situation that you are going through. Doing what is best for yourself and family is not easy, and unfortunately divorce may be the choice that you must make. It can be hard to know what to expect from the divorce process unless you talk to a trusted lawyer. Here are some of the many reasons why you should talk to the lawyer right away if you are considering divorce or are looking to explore alternatives to it.

Receive Constant Legal Advice

An experienced divorce lawyer can give you advice whenever you need it. They can explain the complex divorce laws to you and how they are relevant to your specific situation. A divorce lawyer will always be there to support you so that you are making the most informed and appropriate decision for you and your family’s best interests. 

Get Help With Paperwork

Divorce involves going through a lot of legal paperwork.  This part of the process can be tough to sort out because of the volume of documents that you have to fill out and submit. A qualified and competent divorce lawyer like one at Robinson & Hadeed can help you organize your legal forms and make sure that they are filled out correctly. They are aware of the deadlines that you need to be mindful of so that you do not submit anything late. You can have them check your form for accuracy before you can submit them before the deadline.

They Will Help You Stay Focused 

Staying objective while you are going through divorce is a challenge for many couples. You may feel tempted to take actions that are purely based on getting back at your ex for their decisions, or the ways that they have wronged you. However, a divorce should be finalized as smoothly as possible without any complications, especially if you have children. A divorce lawyer will help you stay focused and impartial throughout the entire process. 

Going through a difficult legal issue affecting your family such as divorce is never easy. Even if you are in the early stages of your decision making it is a challenging experience to go through. However, speaking with a trusted and experienced lawyer can shed light on your situation. For more information, schedule an appointment with a top-rated divorce lawyer as soon as possible.