• Understanding Guardianship

    In family law in the Woodlands, guardianship refers to one individual’s legal ability to make important decisions for another person. Similar to, but not the same as power of attorney, a guardianship usually comes into play when a loved one is incapacitated due to age or special needs.

    The family law concept of guardianship has long enabled spouses or close family members to protect loved ones who are no longer able to make sound decisions. A family law firm regularly counsels clients who are concerned about aging relatives who have begun to lose their mental faculties. Sadly, seniors are often highly susceptible to fraud or being otherwise taken advantage of by unscrupulous criminals who prey on their infirmity. If you and your attorneys ask a court to grant a guardianship over one of your loved ones, it means you will make important decisions about his or her residence, medical care, and end-of-life procedures. The court will only remove the rights over which it believes the proposed person under guardianship is incapable of handling. As your law firm will explain, guardianship is a major responsibility, and you should only begin the process after seeking legal advice.

    Guardianship

  • Evaluating the Benefits of Separating Before Divorce

    Family law in the Woodlands is potentially complex, and therefore couples considering divorce should consult individually with a divorce lawyer. Even when a split is amicable, divorce is often a difficult and emotional process. Divorce lawyers sometimes advise couples who are considering splitting up to separate for a period of time before filing for divorce. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of separating before divorce, which includes allowing both parties to retain the benefits of marriage, giving each spouse emotional space to process the split, and allowing a couple to negotiate (rather than litigate) the terms of child support, child custody, and property division.

    Marital Benefits Separation
    Divorce lawyers regularly counsel clients that separating before divorce allows spouses to retain the benefits of marriage as they come to a final decision. So if you are unsure about whether or not you want to file divorce papers, you can consider meeting with attorneys to negotiate the terms of a separation instead. Because couples who have separated are still married in the eyes of the law, they continue to share benefits like health insurance coverage and perhaps tax benefits. For example, if one spouse does not have health insurance, a legal separation ensures that he or she will be covered for any medical problem.

    Emotional Space
    Family lawyers may also suggest separation before divorce so both parties can have the time and space they need to process the idea of a permanent split. The terms of a separation are not legally binding. After some physical and emotional distance, some couples decide to work on their marriage and never file divorce papers at all. Additionally, if one spouse has already come to terms with the idea of divorce, the other partner often needs time to reach the same conclusion.

    Negotiation Period
    When you and your spouse separate, you have more time to make difficult decisions about property, finances, and children. A divorce attorney may recommend separation before divorce to give couples time to negotiate such terms within their divorce. The decision to end a marriage is often painful and emotional, especially when children are involved so time can be a party’s best asset.

  • Hiring a Family Law Attorney

    If you are in the market for a family lawyer in The Woodlands, then you may be wondering what to look for in a family law attorney. As with any other attorney, the most important thing is to feel comfortable with the person whom you choose.

    When you hire a family law attorney, it’s important to insure that he or she has significant experience in family law practice. An experienced family lawyer can represent you no matter how complicated your case may turn out. He or she should know the state family law statutes and case law, as well as local courtroom procedures. A prospective attorney will also likely have handled many similar cases in the past and can advise you of possible outcomes.

    For a family law attorney in Conroe, TX, look no further than the office of Andrew J. Bolton, Esq. With nearly 25 years legal experience, Andrew J. Bolton is dedicated to protecting your assets and doing what is best in your family law matter. Call us at (936) 435-1908 to get started.

  • The Basics of Estate Planning

    Estate planning in the Woodlands can be complex, which is why you need assistance from a lawyer . While some people falsely believe that estates are reserved only for the very wealthy, anyone who owns something of value that they would like to pass on to a loved one upon death has an “estate.” Estate planning is the best way to maintain and enhance your financial security for the future. Continue reading to learn the basics of estate planning.

    Estate Planning

    Drafting a Will
    Wills are the cornerstone of estate plans . As your lawyer will explain, a will is a legally binding declaration of how you intend to dispose of your property upon death. A will can be changed at any time but allows you to control exactly how your finances are arranged. A properly drafted will contains explicit instructions for a personal representative to distribute your property following your death. You can choose anyone to be your executor, as long as that person is both mentally sound and not guilty of a felony.

    Establishing a Trust
    Under some scenarios, if you want to transfer assets to beneficiaries most efficiently, then a wills lawyer may suggest creating a trust. Trusts are established during an individual’s lifetime and involve the transfer of your property to an individual who manages your designated assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. An “inter vivos” or living trust is effective during your lifetime and can be made to be either revocable or irrevocable. A testamentary trust only becomes operative upon death.

    Understanding the Law
    A lawyer who understands estate planning is essential to helping you use the estate tax system to your advantage. The government allows a certain amount of property, known as the basic exclusion amount, to pass between individuals free of tax. Different laws apply depending on your relationship to the beneficiary. For example, your spouse is entitled to certain more lenient provisions.

    For all your estate planning needs in Spring, TX and Conroe, TX, contact will attorney Andrew J. Bolton, Esq. at (936) 435-1908. Our experienced attorneys offer a free confidential consultation, and we are dedicated to ensuring your current and future financial well-being. Call us today to speak directly to a lawyer.