Hello Everyone and welcome to our site. We know how confusing the law can seem, even something as simple as making a will can appear to be difficult, so we hope to simplify the law so that you can get the information you need when you want it. Speaking of wills, have you made one? It is quite actually quite important that you have one, even if you don’t have much or think that what you do have is not worth anything, making your wishes clear to your loved ones can make things easier for them.
I’m sure most of us have heard about the divorce from hell, whether first or second hand, you know the one where it is so acrimonious that arguments rage over the smallest most trivial thing, it takes a long time to resolve, costs a small fortune and ends up leaving the entire family traumatised. Divorce is never a pleasant experience but it can be made less painful by remaining civilised and choosing the right legal counsel to help you through it. The most important point that I can make here, is to keep the lines of communication open no matter how hurt you are feeling. It is possible to get through it without losing your integrity, dignity and finances. If there are children involved it is even more important to be civilised to your former spouse and do not, I repeat, do not try to turn the children against them. This is not only divisive, it is very unfair on the children.
When looking for a lawyer, remember that they are people too and as in every walk of life, there are good ones and there are not so good ones. Try to find a solicitor who will try to find resolution rather than one who creates conflict. The ones who create conflict won’t suffer but you and your family will because of the way that they act and this is completely beyond your control. Here are some tips to help you find the right divorce solicitor:
Use your common sense and intuition, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t go there. Try to be observant when you visit their office and have a list of questions to ask. See how these are answered and if you like what you hear. Find out if you can have a direct phone number for them, if you have to go through their secretary, you might have difficulty reaching them. Take a look at the state of the office, is it tidy and organised or is it a dishevelled untidy mess? If the office looks well organised, you can make an assumption that the lawyer is well organised. Make sure you get a written agreement regarding rights and obligations, fees, etc. so that you are made aware of what you have to do, what you will get and how much it will cost. Be aware of the jack of all trades solicitor, they might be doing conveyancing in the morning and sorting out a traffic offence in the afternoon, this would not be a good route to take as divorce can be a very complex procedure. Having an expert who only deals in family law is essential so that you get someone who is absolutely familiar with all the nuances of divorce law. Also, find out what their average caseload is, if they have too many cases going on at the same time, mistakes could be made and attention to detail is definitely not a priority.
Try not to let a judge decide for you. As soon as you go to court you essentially lose all control of the process. Try to negotiate, this is why I advised at the top of the page to keep the lines of communication open. Only go to court as a last possible resort. Even if you win in court, you will probably lose more than you bargained for as regards children, property, finances and so on. Unfortunately, some cases will end up in court but this is best avoided where possible.
Before deciding on divorce settlement, take proper legal advice from a fully qualified and specialist divorce lawyer. Even if your divorce is amicable and both parties agree on most things, know your rights. Mediation is an excellent solution however, unless the mediator is also a solicitor, they will be unable to give you legal advice.
Before signing any agreement with the solicitor, find out how much it is likely to cost. Do not just sign a blank cheque for hourly billing. Try to get a fixed fee but if you can’t, make sure you get regular updates on how much is being spent. Be wary of the lawyer who tells you that they could not possibly predict how much it will cost, they will have a ballpark figure that they can share with you.
Set your priorities and stick with them. It is an unfortunate fact that people who are divorcing get caught up in the mire of a variety of things that cause them to lose focus. Having a sensible set of priorities that you can share with your legal counsel will help you all get through it and get the result that you want so that you can then move on with your life.
Try to be flexible, one mistake that is commonly made by divorcing couples is that they must have this or that and no compromise is possible. There may well be things that you want but if you remain flexible and civilised, you are more likely to get them than if you are behaving like a mad grasping zealot. Be prepared to compromise and try to share possessions fairly.
Upon hiring a solicitor to handle your divorce, do not just hand them control and leave them to it. This is a very important time in your life and decisions made now can have repercussions that go way into the future. Use counsel that wants you to be involved and who keeps you informed of developments as they happen. Find out whether your file can be accessed on an extranet from your solicitor’s website. Many lawyers now use such technology to help their clients keep up to date and allow them control of their own destiny.
Educate yourself before making an initial visit. Yes, a little knowledge can be dangerous but being completely ignorant is worse. You can get some really good information freely online as well as learning about the peculiarities of divorce law in your country/state/region. Learning a few basics will help you interact with your solicitor.
An intestacy, which happens when someone dies without having made a Will, could cost your estate (and eventually your household) several times the legal costs which would otherwise be sustained to obtain probate and administer a well-drafted Will. This can be particularly essential if you pass away all of a sudden, leaving debts or company interests which have to be resolved quickly, as executors and trustees called in your Will are able to step in and make important decisions to safeguard your estate. Likewise, upon your death a attorney will normally be engaged to help administer your estate, formulating the files required for probate or letters of administration ( wherein administrators, trustees or administrators are licensed to deal with the assets of your estate), and finishing all elements of distributing and winding up the estate in due course. If there is no Will held at your lawyer’s workplace, extra legal steps, and relevant expenses, are normally required prior to administrators can be designated to take care of your estate.
2. Wills Decrease Tension On Your Family
If you leave a Will when you pass away, your household quickly finds out basically exactly what is offered for them. Otherwise, if there is no Will (an intestacy), or your will can not be found rapidly, they may not feel able to plan for their future without you till your estate is distributed. Without a Will, it might be many more months, or, sometimes years, prior to your estate is lastly settled. Throughout this time, your household might struggle for money, and could even have to outlay money for legal expenses, such as to money an application for letters of administration ( released by the Court when there is no Will), or to oppose the claims of other prospective beneficiaries.
3. Wills Mention to People You Cared
The truth that you have offered correct factor to consider to the requirements of your household and other beneficiaries is itself a comfort to those you leave. While recipients of your estate will certainly expect a measure of fairness, they are almost inevitably grateful to learn they was very important to you in your life. Even irritated recipients might be appeased by a cautious explanation ( generally in the Will itself, however sometimes by way of a different document) regarding why you reached the choices shown in your Will. Making a Will is also your chance to say what you want to happen with your body or ashes, and to put in place guardianship plans for dependent youngsters ( depending upon the guidelines applying in the nation or state where the Will is signed).
4. Wills Help You Order Your Affairs
In preparing for the possibility of your death, even if it is unlikely to take place for many years, you must take a photo of your life as it is now – your family, your possessions, your debts, and your concerns. This is typically an unforeseen, and sobering, advantage of the Will-making process. You may not alter your way of life as a result, but sometimes people in this situation will certainly consider methods to produce better results for dependents, such as by re-arranging company affairs, positioning possessions into trusts, or producing testamentary wealth through using insurance coverage.
5. Wills Give Impact To Your Objectives
It is a typical misunderstanding that Wills are commonly rescinded by the Court. In fact, relatively couple of wills are challenged, and most estates wind up being dispersed exactly as the testator (the person making the Will) intended. A well-drafted Will takes into account the needs of your dependents, while also prioritizing individuals and interests you hold most dear in your life time. Even if your Will is challenged, the Court has to offer suitable weight to your objectives, as revealed in your Will, before deciding the case.
6. Wills Expense Hardly any To Make
A lot of attorneys charge far less for a Will than the typical per hour rate applying to other work they carry out. We advise you review your Will at least as soon as every two or 3 years. In most cases, making a will is a reasonably simple process: a lawyer meets you, takes your guidelines, and prepares the will certainly record for your signature. If you are worried about expenses, there are means to bring the cost down – for example, making use of a diy Will kit. Nevertheless, special care is required to guarantee your Will certainly is valid, and the signed document needs to be stored securely, generally in your legal representative’s safe, up until it is needed.
Note: If your estate is substantial, Will-making might be part of an recurring succession and estate-planning procedure, which will certainly involve greater costs than those suggested here.
In summary, by making a Will you have the opportunity to analyze your life and concerns, and interact your objectives to those you appreciate. When there is no will, an intestacy will certainly result, triggering uncertainty and additional cost. Making a Will is a basic and inexpensive process for most people.