Questions to Ask
Do I Always Need A Lawyer?
Not necessarily, each case is unique and we may be able to give you a few ideas, without charge, that would allow you to protect your rights without having to hire a lawyer. But, you can't know whether you need one or not until you find out the pros and cons. We offer a 30 minute free consultation with our attorneys; afterwards you decide whether we're the best team for you.
What Do I Do While Trying To Decide Whether I Need A Lawyer; Or Which Lawyer I Should Hire?
First, you must act as soon as you know there is, or may be, a legal matter or problem. There are time periods which arbitrarily cut off your rights if you don't act by a certain date, or before a certain date. You must find out if those deadlines effect your matter.
Second, put things in writing. Don't worry about spelling or punctuation, but if someone wants information from you, tell them, in writing, that you will cooperate but first are seeking the advice of a lawyer. Tell them, in writing, that you will "get back" to them within 7 days; and then call a lawyer, explain your situation, and decide. In addition, making notes for yourself as to WHAT happened? (as you understand it) WHEN did it happen? WHO was involved? And WHERE did it happen? These questions will enable the attorney you are consulting with to give you answers more quickly to protect your rights. Keep copies of everything you are sent, or that you send in response. If your problem is a criminal matter, you should "exercise" your right to speak with an attorney before speaking with law enforcement. Miscommunications happen under the best of circumstances. Stress increases the risk of miscommunication. After speaking with an attorney (and, if you cannot afford one, the government will provide one for you) you and she/he decide what to "volunteer" and what to "temporarily withhold."
How Much Does It Cost Me?
Our lawyers charge only for the time they actually spend helping you. Our fees are determined on an hourly basis, with charges starting at 1/10 of an hour. Any money you pay goes into a "trust account" and you get monthly computer driven reports telling you what we're doing, and how much time/expenses are involved. You must read our fee agreements (every lawyer should offer you a written fee agreement; do not rely on verbal discussions--they can lead to disagreements) and ask us if you have any questions, before you advance us any money. Any money you've paid into our "trust account" is refunded to you if we don't earn it or spend it on expenses relating to your legal matter. Working together as a team of very experienced lawyers, associate lawyers, paralegals and investigators, our goal is to keep your fees and expenses done while making you that your are given the best representation possible. ASK US for names of former clients; with their permission you may contact them and find out what their experience with us was; and their satisfaction on a "cost/benefit" analysis.
Everyone Should Have One!
If you don't know why these are imperative, you need to ask!
- A Will
- A Power of Attorney
- A Health Care Directive ("Living Will")
- An IRA/ROTH
- Retirement Savings
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Sexual Harrassment Advisories/Buy-sell Agreements
- Debt Consolidation and Elimination Plan
- Asset Allocation
- Special financial planning to give you and advantage in certain
legal situations, such as divorce.
Everyone Should Consider:
If you don't know the reasons why you should consider the following,
you need to ask!
- Long term care insurance or a plan to deal with catastrophic
nursing home costs, which average over $3,000 per month. Medicare
won't do it.
- A living trust to avoid probate or a different kind of trust
if estate tax is a concern.
- Tax-leveraged college savings plans.
- The most tax-efficient distribution choice from your retirement
- Protection of gifts and inheritances.
- Asset protection