The significance of having a will drawn up
Wills are written documents that are designed to speak for their creators after death. It expresses the manner in which you wish your property and assets to be dispersed after your death. In the event that you should pass away before your children reach maturity, it appoints a guardian who will care for them. Additionally, it provides additional precise instructions, such as your desired burial preparations, in the will. All of these are significant choices that you shouldn’t leave up to a game of chance. Despite this, a survey conducted in 2018 by the Angus Reid Institute indicated that 51% of Canadians do not have a will.
The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think it is. Everything you need to know to get yours in order is provided here for your convenience.
Who has a need for a will?
Wills are essential for those who have dependent children, property, or other assets. In addition, after it has been created and signed, it has to be revisited every three to five years to verify that it still reflects your life and the wishes you have expressed. Because of this, it is now possible for it to be modified to reflect any changes that may occur in one’s life, such as getting married, having children, a death in the family, getting divorced, or purchasing property.
When writing a will, what are some important factors to keep in mind?
Wills can be drafted in a variety of ways, each reflecting the individual’s choices with regard to their possessions and their legacy; nonetheless, there are a few components that are standard in all wills. These are the following:
Choosing a guardian for the children under your care. Choosing a guardian (or guardians) for your children who are under the age of 18 is one of the most significant decisions you can make in your will. If your children are under the age of 18, they are considered minors. It is possible that the talk may be challenging. The alternative, however, is as follows: in the unfortunate event that both parents die away unexpectedly at the same time, or if you are a single parent and pass away at an early age, a judge in a family court will be left to make the decision on your behalf. Even though the parents’ choice in a written will is not legally enforceable, a judge will almost always choose that individual to be the formal guardian of the child in the event that the parents pass away. (It is important to keep in mind that the regulations for choosing a guardian might vary from province to province.)
The process of selecting an executor. An executor is a person (or many individuals) who is tasked with the responsibility of administering an estate and ensuring that all of the instructions given in a will are carried out in accordance with the law. If you have a will, you should choose an executor. If you would rather have a friend or a member of your family serve in that capacity, you are free to make that appointment. Keep in mind that this is a function that might come with obligations that are both specific and time-consuming; therefore, it is imperative that you pick wisely. As a result of this, some individuals may decide to designate a competent third party, such as a lawyer, an accountant, or a trust firm.
What takes place if there is no will to govern your estate?
According to Canadian law, passing away without leaving a will is referred to as “intestate.” In practise, it implies that there are no explicit guidelines to follow in order to split or transfer your assets in the appropriate manner. Remember that if a person passes away without leaving a will, the regulations for administering their estate vary depending on the province or territory they lived in. Nevertheless, the procedure is typically time-consuming and costly.
Do you have insurance on your life?
Having the appropriate insurance is a critical component of a successful estate settlement. There are varied requirements for life insurance at each period of one’s life, ranging from the replacement of lost income and the safeguarding of an estate’s growth to the payment of funeral costs and meeting immediate financial necessities upon one’s passing. If you already have life insurance, you should double check that the beneficiaries that you have specified in your policies are also represented in your will, and that both documents are up to date.
Are you prepared to write your will?
It is not necessary for the creation of a will to be complex or expensive. In the event that you are unfamiliar with the procedure, the following are two typical and uncomplicated strategies to make one:
Create one of your own. Wills are valid as long as they are penned in the testator’s own handwriting and signed by the testator. Even though it is not required, having it signed by witnesses is almost always a good idea. If you want to avoid misunderstandings, you should attempt to be as detailed as possible when expressing your desires so that they cannot be taken in a variety of different ways. In addition, your intentions could not be carried out if you are not conversant with the law and give instructions that go against what is permitted by the law in the event that you leave a will.
Get a lawyer to write it up for you. This is often the most secure course of action, particularly if you have a significant amount of assets. A will can be written by a lawyer in such a way that it expresses the testator’s desires unequivocally and leaves no room for ambiguity or confusion. There is no one standard fee that all lawyers will charge, and even the same lawyer may have varied rates for the same service depending on the degree of difficulty of the case.
Once you have a will, you should store it someplace secure (for example, in a box that is resistant to fire, along with other vital documents), and you should also ensure that your executor is aware of its whereabouts. If you have an attorney draught it for you, they will normally maintain a signed original of the document even if you don’t want them to.
The most important reasons to draught a will
We take a look at some of the most compelling arguments in favour of writing a will, as well as the consequences for those left behind if you pass away without leaving a testament.
- Draft a will that specifies who will take care of your children if you pass away.
When you write a will, your primary responsibility is not to decide how your estate will be split. You also have the ability to choose who will be responsible for the care of your dependents. You have the ability to choose legal guardians for them if they are under the age of 18.
In the event that you do not, the choice may be handed over to the family courts, which may select a person with whom you would disagree.
It’s possible that you’ve asked close friends or family members to stand in as godparents for your kids, but this doesn’t tie them in any way legally.
Learn more about the importance of creating a will for new parents.
- Make sure that your kids have enough money to live comfortably.
You can establish arrangements to care for your children financially in the future, in addition to deciding who will be responsible for raising your children. This may involve setting aside funds for their schooling, ensuring that they receive a predetermined amount each year for clothing or hobbies, or building up a savings account for them to use when they are ready to purchase a home.
You should give some thought to establishing a trust in order to provide for your children since this enables you to exercise some degree of control over the circumstances under which your children get the money and how they spend it.
You can form a trust in one of two ways: either while you are still alive and do it while you are alive, or you can leave instructions for it to be established after your death and have it done after your death. Check out our comprehensive guide to will trusts to discover more about the many alternatives available to you, as well as how they operate and the potential costs involved.
- Ensure the financial well-being of your dependents, including any stepchildren
The law specifies that only spouses or blood relations can automatically inherit if there is no will, thus even if your step-children are an important part of your life or even if they are the only children you have, they cannot inherit automatically.
You will need to include your step-children in your will if you intend to provide for them financially in the event that you pass away. The same rule applies to children you have taken in as foster care or any other dependents who could rely on you for financial assistance.
- Protect your partner if you’re unmarried
No of how long you’ve been together, unmarried partners have no legal claim to anything from your inheritance unless it’s clearly specified in the will of the deceased person.
The creation of a will assures that your spouse will get their rightful portion of your inheritance upon your passing.
- Ensure the safety of your house for your family.
In the event that you pass away without leaving a will, your unmarried partner and stepchildren do not immediately become eligible to inherit the family home if the property is in your name. This means that they run the risk of being evicted from the property.
You have the option of include them in your will and leaving them either a portion of the property or the right to continue living in the home.
- Put an end to arguments within the family
If there is no will or if your preferences aren’t made clear, the process of dividing up an inheritance can unfortunately occasionally lead to squabbles and conflicts among the survivors of the deceased.
Contested wills may be harmful to the relationships that you have within your family, and they can also be costly if the decisions that are made regarding your estate are challenged in court.
If you have a will that is well-prepared, it can help you avoid these disagreements and prevent your passing from causing your survivors any further hardship.
- Stay away from paying more inheritance tax than is absolutely necessary.
The amount of inheritance tax that will be levied on your estate is determined not only by the size of your estate but also by the beneficiaries you choose in your will.
Anything that is bequeathed to a person who is married to you or your civil partner is immediately free from inheritance tax. When compared to leaving property to other people, including your children and grandchildren as beneficiaries of your estate is likely to result in a lesser inheritance tax liability.
Discover more about inheritance tax, including its criteria, rates, and payers here.
- If you’ve been married for a short time, you should draw out a will.
If you get married in England or Wales, your previous marriage will immediately be deemed null and void. This implies that, according to the rules of intestacy, your inheritance might wind up being shared between your new spouse and children from a prior marriage, which could lead to problems in the future.
If you get married in Scotland, however, your previous will is not instantly invalidated. This means that if you pass away, your new spouse may not inherit anything from your estate if you did not include them in your previous will.
Additionally, getting divorced does not nullify your will, which means that even after the divorce, your ex-spouse may still be eligible to receive from your inheritance.
As a result, it is important to examine your will on a frequent basis to ensure that it continues to accurately represent your circumstances, particularly after major life changes like as marriage or divorce.
- Determine with whom you would feel most comfortable settling your estate.
You have the ability to appoint an executor, or many executors, inside your will. These individuals will be responsible for following out your last directives.
When you choose your executor in advance, you have the ability to pick the one who is most qualified for the job. In addition to this, it provides the executor with advance notice so that they can get ready.
Have a look at our guide to the probate process if you want to find out more about the duties that come with serving as an executor.
- Specify the people you want to take care of your animals.
In the event that you die away, your pets, whether they be dogs, cats, or any other kind, would likely need to be cared for.
Only a few dogs have been known to inherit significant wealth, such as the German Shepherd Gunther IV, who was given a sum in the nine figures after his owner passed away in 1992. However, a more frequent practise is to choose a caretaker for them and set aside some funds to ensure that they have adequate nutrition and medical attention.
- Take precautions to safeguard your digital assets.
These days, money in the bank and material possessions aren’t the only things that might be considered assets. Your digital accounts and online purchases, such as music, images, or websites, are also considered part of your belongings; nevertheless, if you do not account for them in your will, they may be lost forever.
Things like email accounts and social media profiles are also a part of your legacy; ask yourself whether you want the material to be safeguarded or deleted, and consider whether or not your executor will need access to any passwords, Direct wills UK.
You may find further information on this topic in our guide on the things you should include in your will, will writing service milton keynes.
- Donate to a good cause.
If you are a donor to a charitable organisation, you could consider leaving anything to that organisation in your will.
If you leave more than 10 percent of your assets to a charitable organisation after you pass away, your heirs may be eligible for a reduction in the amount of inheritance tax they are required to pay as a result of your estate.
Shoplifting In Austin: How To Find An Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Shoplifting is a behavior that can affect almost anyone—kids, superstars, teens, and sleep-deprived new parents alike. It can be easy to forget that you’ve picked something up and then leave the store, only to be asked to follow a security professional to a small room for questioning. Virtually anyone can find themselves facing shoplifting charges for the first time.
If you have recently been accused of shoplifting, it is important not to let the commonplace nature of your situation lull you into a false sense of security. A conviction for shoplifting could affect your reputation, your criminal record, and even your freedom temporarily. This is one situation in which a “do it yourself” approach will not cut it. The time to contact an experienced shoplifting lawyer in Austin is now.
Shoplifting Penalties In Austin, Texas
Whether you were caught shoplifting at The Domain, the 2nd Street District, or your neighborhood convenience store, the potential penalties you’ll face in the event of a conviction are the same. The category of charges by which your alleged wrongdoing will be punishable is determined by the value of the goods that you have been accused of shoplifting.
- Class C Misdemeanor if the value of the shoplifted property is worth $100 or less – Punishable by a fine up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor if the value of the shoplifted property is more than $100 but less than $750 – Punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor if the value of the shoplifted property is $750 or more but less than $2,500 – Punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
- State Jail Felony if the value of the shoplifted property is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 – Punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third Degree Felony if the value of the shoplifted property is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 – Punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony if the value of the shoplifted property is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 – Punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony if the value of the shoplifted property is more than $300,000 – Punishable by five to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Because the stakes of a shoplifting conviction risk a term of imprisonment for any crime that involves shoplifting more than $100 worth of property, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being accused of shoplifting.
How To Find An Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you’re searching for an Austin misdemeanor lawyer, a secondary shoplifting defense lawyer in Austin, or an Austin felony theft defense lawyer, you’ll need to seek out a law firm that is highly reputable, has a track record of success, and has extensive experience with shoplifting cases specifically.
Not all criminal defense lawyers approach their practices in the same way. Don’t work with a criminal defense mill that is more concerned about representing as many clients as their lawyers can handle than securing each client the most favorable outcome possible under their unique circumstances. The outcome of your case could affect everything from your ability to get schooling, a job, or your ability to remain free from jail. Don’t settle for subpar representation. Research your options and meet with any attorney you’re interested in working with to ensure their approach meets your needs.
Your Shoplifting Case: What To Expect
Every shoplifting case is unique. As a result, your lawyer will need to carefully examine the circumstances of your situation to build the most vigorous possible defense on your behalf. Depending on the severity of your charges, this strategy will begin to play out as soon as your arraignment.
Texas law indicates that only someone who has unlawfully appropriated property with intent to deprive the owner of that property can rightfully be convicted of theft. This means that unless a prosecutor can prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that you intended to steal the property in question, you can’t properly be convicted of shoplifting. Your lawyer will likely engage in significant negotiations with the prosecution to get your case dismissed or to mitigate the consequences that you would face in the event of a conviction when you did not intend to steal the property that you allegedly shoplifted.
If initial negotiations don’t result in the prosecution dropping the charges against you, your lawyer will explore the possibility of filing pretrial motions to suppress any evidence that may have been collected in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. If relevant evidence can be successfully suppressed, the prosecution may have no choice but to drop or minimize the charges, as they may be unable to make their case successfully without that evidence.
Finally, if these efforts haven’t produced their desired results and taking a plea deal isn’t in your best interests, your attorney will vigorously fight for your rights in court.
Contact A Knowledgeable Austin Criminal Defense Attorney For Personalized Guidance
To learn more about shoplifting laws in Austin, Texas, and how these laws will apply to your case uniquely, schedule a confidential, risk-free case evaluation with Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, by calling 512-991-0576 or contacting the firm online. This reputable law firm is well-known for its knowledgeable legal practitioners and their ability to secure favorable client outcomes. They have more than 65 years of combined experience aggressively defending the rights of Texans like you.
Shoplifting may be a commonplace crime, but that doesn’t mean that the effects of a conviction will manifest in your life in simple, uncomplicated ways. Because your reputation, well-being, and even your freedom could be on the line, the time to seek experienced, professional legal guidance is right now.
Guide to Dealing with a Car Accident Incident
Even for the most seasoned drivers, being involved in a car accident may be terrifying and frightening. Regrettably, there are thousands of incidents involving cars every day on our roadways, and the National Safety Council estimates over 4.5 million automobile accidents annually in the United States alone. Understanding how to react appropriately in case of an automobile accident is crucial. In this article, we’ll walk you through the procedures to take after a vehicle accident.
7 Ways to Deal with Car Accident Incident
Knowing how many car accidents per year occur, emphasize the importance of being prepared to deal with such an incident. Here are some ways you can deal with a car accident:
1. Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
Be cool and look for injuries as soon as possible after an automobile collision. Make an instant call for medical assistance if someone is hurt. If you’re not injured, check on the other people involved in the accident and see if they need medical assistance.
2. Move to a Safe Location
If your car is in the way of traffic, turn on your hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road. If the accident is minor and both cars are drivable, move to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot. If the cars are not drivable, do not attempt to move them and wait for the authorities to arrive.
3. Call the Police
No matter how serious the collision is, you should still call the police. An accident report will be filed by the police, which might be useful when handling insurance claims. Be sure to give the police an accurate account of what happened and avoid admitting fault.
4. Exchange Information
It is important to exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. Inquire about their name, contact information, and insurance. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with anyone who could have witnessed the crash.
5. Document the Accident
Photograph the accident scene and the damage to both vehicles. While handling insurance claims, these images can be helpful. Also, recording any injuries you or the other motorist experienced during the collision is crucial.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible following the incident. Explain what happened and provide the other driver’s contact information if you have it. You can rely on your insurance provider’s full support throughout the claims filing and repair scheduling processes.
7. Seek Legal Advice
There may be a need for legal representation if you sustained injuries in the collision or if the other driver accused you of causing the incident. If the matter ends in court, a lawyer can explain your options and argue on your behalf.
Things to Be Careful While Dealing with a Car Accident Incident
The consequences of a car crash can be incredibly demanding and distressing. As well as taking the above-mentioned measures, you should also keep in mind the following details:
- The first rule of signing anything is ensuring you fully grasp and agree with its contents.
- Refrain from discussing the incident on social media, as doing so could hurt your case.
- Retain all accident-related paperwork, such as doctor’s notes, police reports, and insurance policies.
Tips to Get Consultation for This Incident
If you’re unsure of what to do after a car accident or have questions about the legal process, there are several ways to get advice:
● Talk to a personal injury attorney
Many attorneys offer free consultations, where you can discuss your case and get advice on how to proceed.
● Talk to a legal aid organization
Some organizations offer free or low-cost legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford an attorney.
● Research online
Many online resources can provide information on the legal process and what to do after a car accident. However, be sure to verify the credibility of any sources you use.
Over 4.5 million accidents occur annually in the United States due to automobiles. Maintaining composure and taking the necessary actions after an automobile collision are paramount. Check for injuries, get to safety, report the incident to the authorities, swap information, take pictures, call your insurance company, and consult an attorney. Following the advice in this manual, you may go back on the road as soon as possible after an auto accident and in better condition.
What Qualities to Look For When Choosing a Personal Injury Law Firm
No one knows when we may be victims of an accident. Unfortunately, we sustain injuries and end up in hospitals. During recovery, one should engage the services of a well-versed personal injury law firm. The right attorneys will help you navigate the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies and help you get the compensation you deserve. This article will discuss the factors you should consider before settling on that law firm.
Experience and Expertise
One of the most important qualities to look for in a personal injury law firm is experience. Having long-term experience enables lawyers to anticipate and maneuver the challenges of each personal injury claim. This experience may be a combination of the general years of practice, experience in the courtroom, and experience with personal injury claims.
Look for a personal injury law firm with a team of lawyers with expertise in handling claims like yours; a good law firm will have attorneys ranging from those specialized in construction accidents, boat accidents, pedestrian accidents, or other personal injuries you may have suffered. This experience enables them to negotiate with insurance companies or build a strong lawsuit on your behalf.
A good personal injury law firm should have a good reputation and track record of success with personal injury claims. You can also ask them about the law firms’ relevant accreditation and credentials.
Location of the Law Firm
Find a personal injury law firm within your locality. Litigation can be daunting, and several attorney-client meetings may occur during the trial. Therefore it is important to consider the law firm’s location for reasons such as traveling expenses and saving time.
Reputation and Reviews
Testimonials from the legal community and former clients will give you a clear picture of the personal injury law firm you intend to settle on. These reviews are mostly on the law firm’s website. A good law firm should have positive reviews and testimonials from former clients.
Flexibility in Mediation and Litigation
A good personal injury law firm should be flexible to settle the claim out of court or go to full trial, depending on the circumstances of the case. Your attorney’s negotiation skills will determine the compensation you end up with. Often, the insurance will negotiate higher to avoid the trial process if they believe your claim will cost them if it goes to trial. Weigh the options together and settle on what is best in relation to your case.
Terms of Payment
A good personal injury law firm operates on a no-win, no-fee basis, otherwise known as a contingency fee. Ensure you have read through the terms and ask for clarification from the attorneys in cases where something is unclear; the initial consultation is usually free. A good personal injury law firm will be willing to explain everything to you in detail.
Look for a personal injury law firm with resources, as this increases the chances of a successful outcome for your case. Ask yourself the following questions first: Does the law firm have investigators? Are there expert witnesses? Can the law firm handle your case’s complex paperwork and documents? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you can settle for that law firm.
Personal injury cases can be emotionally taxing, but a good personal injury law firm should be willing to listen to your concerns and be supportive throughout the legal process. Evaluate their communication skills from how the personal injury law firm is willing to share information, address your concerns, and answer your questions.
There should be systems in place to update you on your case’s progress; this will also tell you more about the transparency of the law firm. Therefore a good attorney should communicate persuasively with colleagues, judges, and juries.
Attention to Detail
A good personal injury law firm should be detail-oriented. They should be able to identify the smallest details that could affect your case. Their focus should be fighting for your rights and getting you the best possible outcome.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer is crucial if you’ve been involved in an accident. With this knowledge we have shared, you’ll be in the best position to recover compensation for your damages by finding a lawyer with these qualities.
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