• Estate Planning

Category Archives: Legal Services

How to Find a Lawyer

Once you have decided you need a lawyer, the next question is how do you find a lawyer? There are many different ways to find a lawyer, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common ways to find a lawyer:

Referrals from Friends and Family

By asking friends and family members for referrals, you are getting a recommendation from trusted people who know you, will know what you are looking for in a lawyer, and what personalities you “click” with. However, don’t let referrals from friends and family be the end all be all in finding your lawyer. Your parents’ nice estate planning attorney may not have the skills necessary for your discrimination lawsuit and your best friend’s business attorney may not be the best choice for your divorce.

The World Wide Web

The Internet is becoming the way we find information. It takes mere seconds to go to your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN) and find attorneys in your area. You’ll find attorneys’ websites as well as local listing information. Just keep in mind that lawyers and technology don’t always go hand in hand. Some excellent lawyers might not have websites, or might not rank high in the search rankings.

The Good Old Yellow Pages

Before the Internet, people used the phone book to find information. Just open up that great big book and look under “Attorneys.” However, as the Internet gains in popularity, the phone book fades away, and because fewer clients are turning to the phone book to find attorneys, fewer attorneys are spending their advertising money on a Yellow Pages ad.

Referrals from Organizations

Another place to find a lawyer is through referrals from different organizations. Contact your local chamber of commerce or bar association. Check with different social service organizations. Look at organizations related to the area of law you are dealing with. When using an organization for a referral, ask about the criteria they use. How do attorneys get on the referral list? Does the organization do any type of screening, or do they just keep a list of lawyers?

Remember, the lawyer you choose can greatly impact your case. Take the time to find the right lawyer for you.

I just want a cheap and easy divorce!

A common theme among many going through a divorce is the desire to have a “nice” divorce in the most cost-effective way possible. There are many different opinions on how to accomplish this. Today I will explain five options and give some pros/cons for each. I will start off with two general caveats. First ofContinue Reading

Do Your Family A Favor

The best thing you can ever give someone you love is peace of mind.  Stress and uncertainty can take a toll on all of us, the comfort and reassurance that comes from a well thought out plan can go a long way of relieving the burden. Update Your Will.  Hire an attorney who will reallyContinue Reading

Understanding Legal Fees

One of the most important things to understand when working with a lawyer (and one of the major deterrents in hiring a lawyer) is legal fees. Before hiring a lawyer it is important to understand the fee structure that is used, how much money is required upfront (also known as the retainer), what is coveredContinue Reading

Who Needs a Will?

While not everyone needs a will, most people could benefit from a will. You could use a will if: You would not want your property divided according to your state’s intestacy laws You would want to leave something to a person not recognized by your state’s intestacy laws (a non-marital partner, a stepchild, a bestContinue Reading

The Basic Estate Plan

Sometimes the term “estate plan” can be overwhelming. Or people think, “I don’t have very much, I don’t need an estate plan” Estate planning is just the concept planning for the care of our children, our families, and our assets in the event of our incapacity or death. You don’t need to have a millionContinue Reading

Estate Planning Without Anxiety

The term “estate planning” has a tendency to send many people in a panic -too complex, full of legal lingo and complicated tax concepts. In his article Estate Planning Without Anxiety Peter Keating with SmartMoney Magazine does a good job of explaining the basic concepts. There are four simple steps you should be aware ofContinue Reading

Think you’re saving money by not hiring a lawyer? Think again.

Just like all of you non-lawyers hear the horror stories of over-priced attorneys and expensive litigation (i.e. “I know someone who spent $50,000 on his divorce. All that for nothing!”), lawyers get to hear all of the horror stories of clients who think they can do it without a lawyer, and then suffer the consequences.Continue Reading

Minnesota Estate Planning Is For Everyone- Not Just The Very Wealthy

Minnesota estate planning lawyers regularly battle the misconception that estate planning is something that only wealthy people need to do.  They may hear about “trust funds” and “estate taxes” and falsely believe these things only apply to the super-rich.  Unfortunately, these folks often end up costing their heirs considerable time and money because they didn’tContinue Reading

It Is Never Too Early To Plan For The Future

Starting out in life can be an exciting time. Fresh out of college and starting a new job. Recently married and looking for a new house. A brand new baby. It’s these things that make you feel that you’re invincible. Many young couples and families do not make estate planning a priority in their livesContinue Reading

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