PREPARE TO MEET WITH YOUR ATTORNEY

By | Child Support, Co-Parenting, Community Property, Custody and Conservatorship, Divorce, Just and Right, Marital Property Division, Separate Property, Wellness

I am here to help you.    Very simply, a large part of what I do is to ask questions and receive information.   Once I have sufficient information, I am then able to strategize with you and move forward to solve your problem.

Many of you have never met with an attorney, so you don’t really know what to expect.    I am going to tell you some things you can anticipate.  I hope that having this knowledge will put you at ease.  I want you to feel relaxed and comfortable for your first meeting.

Typically, during my initial meeting the first thing I want to do is to hear from you.    I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly of what has brought you to my office.   I want to hear about your children and about their relationships with you and the opposing party.  I want to hear about your property – what assets and liabilities do you have.

After you have told me about your situation, I will explain the legal process to you and strategize with you to develop a plan.   I will not have all of the answers at this point.

VERY IMPORTANT – ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WORRY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION.   I have found that if you have made a list containing the following and have made copies of financial documents, we can spend less time talking about the basics and more time strategizing.

Information pertaining to your children

  • Full name, sex, and date of birth for each of your children
  • Names of school(s) your children attend and the name of the child care provider(s)
  • Activities in which your children participate
  • Special needs (if any) of your children

Financial Information:

  • Information about your income such as tax returns and/or most recent paystubs for you and the opposing party
  • Bank accounts (name of bank and account numbers)
  • Credit cards (name of credit card, account numbers, and amount owed)
  • Year, make, and model of all vehicles
  • Amount of mortgage or rent

Personal Information

  • Your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and email address
  • Opposing party’s full name, address, phone number, date of birth, and email address
  • Name of your employer (if any)
  • Opposing party’s employer (if any)

I strongly encourage you to make a list of questions to ask.

If you are modifying a prior court order, please bring a copy of the court order with you to the meeting.

If you have been served with a lawsuit, please bring a copy of the papers to the meeting with you.

Remember, I am here to help you!

 

BE PREPARED!!

By | Estate Planning

“BE PREPARED!”   My brother was an Eagle Scout, and I heard that phrase many times. As an uber planner, I’m all over preparation.  But, even procrastinators need to plan for the future (like when you about to have a medical procedure or are ill or when there’s a world pandemic).

NEWS FLASH – having a plan gives us control and when we have control, we feel better.      A little preparation also helps our family and friends.   The “little preparation” I suggest is to have a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a Directive to Physician.

I have personal experience with the benefits these documents provide because my mother signed these documents.  When she was no longer able to make decisions for herself, these documents made caring for my mother much easier and less stressful.

  1. Statutory Durable Power of Attorney is a written document in which you give someone the authority to conduct business on your behalf – banking, paying bills, dealing with health insurance, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare issues, etc….
  2. Health Care Power of Attorney is a written document, prepared by an attorney, in which you give a trusted person the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf.      The medical decisions this person makes cannot contradict your Directive to Physician.
  3. Directive to Physician  is a written document in which you decide whether to be put on life support in the event you become terminally ill.    This document is different from a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order).   A DNR is an instruction to health care providers not to do CPR if your breathing stops or if your heart stops beating.

What happens if you become incapacitated (i.e. unable to make decisions and/or to care for yourself) and you do not have these documents?   Most likely, a family member will have to hire an attorney and request that the Court appoint a guardian for you.   That process is very expensive and time consuming.

So, to quote Tony Rea – “Being prepared is about anticipating what comes next and getting ready for it.   If there is a barrier to the next step or some action that needs to happen, it’s you who has to make sure it does.”