The O’Hare Blog

  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Understanding Texas Child Custody Laws

by J. Branden Snyder

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Dallas child custody lawyerIf you are facing a battle for custody of your child or children, it can be a very stressful, frustrating, and emotional time for you. Although there may not be any guarantees in your case, it is important to understand Texas child custody laws and how they may affect your case.

First, let’s break down the terminology.

The term “custody” refers to the legal relationship between a parent and child. The “custodial parent” is the parent with whom the child or children in question live. The “non-custodial” parent is the individual who may or may not have been granted visitation with the child, but does not provide the primary residence for the child.

Who gets custody?

Custody is often determined in court and is granted to the parent the court deems most fit for the child or children based on the best interests of the child. This is the guiding principle by which the courts determine which parent shall be granted custody. There are a number of factors (called the “Holley Factors”) that the courts may use to determine the best interests of the child. These include (but are not limited to):

• the desires of the child
• present and future emotional and physical needs/potential dangers of the child
• parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody
• stability of both parents’ homes
• acts or omission of the parent which may indicate an improper existing parent-child relationship
• who has been making educational decisions of the child and meeting with the child’s teachers
• who has been making medical-related decisions
• who generally prepares food and feeds the children
• if one parent has alienated the child from the other parent
• which parent gets up with the child in the morning and puts him/her to bed at night
• any court appointed child custody expert recommendations

What about visitation?

The parent who is not awarded primary custody of the child will generally be given a set visitation schedule by the court. While Texas has a standard visitation schedule for children over three years old, the courts may alter this schedule based on the best interests of the child, or if the two parents agree on an alternative schedule.

Who pays child support?

Typically, the parent who is not awarded primary custody, or who has possession and access of the child the least amount of time is the parent who pays child support. If both parties agree on an equal possession and access schedule, neither parent may be required to pay child support. Visitation with the child cannot be denied on account of unpaid child support.

Once set, custody of a child can be modified if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child and if certain conditions exist, such as agreement of both parents, a child over 12 years old requesting to live with the other parent, or a significant change in the custodial parent’s financial situation.

We do not handle divorce cases, but, if you are facing a child custody battle or other family law issues, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.  Regardless, we urge you to always do what is right by the child, and not put a child in the middle of a battle between yourself and the child’s other parent.  Show your child the right way to live, by example.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /July 18, 2014 /Blog, Family Law /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

4 Things You Should Know About Estate Planning

by J. Branden Snyder

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Dallas wills and trust lawyerIt may not be a fun topic to discuss, but taking steps to plan your estate now will help ensure your family, property, and finances are taken care of after you die. There are several components of estate planning, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

 
Here are a few things you should know about estate planning:

1. Everyone needs a will. In your will, you can direct a person (or persons) as your legal representative(s) to carry out your wishes and designate who will receive your property and assets upon your death. A will must pass through probate. In other words, a court will oversee the administration of your will and ensure that it is carried out the way you wanted. As such, a will becomes public record.

A will also allows you to predetermine who will take care of your kids — this is the primary reason even young adults who have children should have a will. If you die without a will, it can be very costly to your family and heirs, and you will have no say over the division of your assets. State heirship laws take over.

For more on wills, read this blog: Top 4 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Will
2. You don’t have to be wealthy to benefit a trust. A trust is often used when dealing with minors. If you have a trust, you can ensure that assets left behind that are to be used by and for your children are not spent by someone else. Trusts can also be beneficial if you are leaving money to someone who may not be mature enough to handle it appropriately. Finally, trusts can also reduce the taxes your heirs might otherwise have to pay and provide greater protection of your assets from creditors and lawsuits.

3. Discuss your plans with your family. After you plan your estate, take time to discuss those plans with your heirs to help prevent confusion or disputes down the road. Family conflicts are unfortunately common when dealing with a loved one’s estate, but by planning ahead, you can help reduce or eliminate any potential arguments among your family and children after you die.

4. Estate Taxes (also known as the Death Tax). The Federal estate tax exemption is set at $5,340,000 this year for an individual. That means, any estates under $5.34 million are exempt from Federal taxes. Amounts over $5.34 million will be taxed up to 40 percent.

You can leave an unlimited amount to your spouse tax-free, but doing so increases your spouse’s taxable estate, meaning your children will likely pay more in estate taxes upon your spouse’s death. Also, by filing an estate tax return upon the death of a spouse, you can increase the surviving spouse’s estate tax exemption to $10,680,000.

Navigating through the estate planning process can be confusing, but an experienced wills and trust attorney can help you plan your estate and guide you through the process. An attorney will explain the legal terms and help ensure that your will or trust is prepared properly so there are no questions in the event of your death. Your attorney can also help review your financial assets and double check whom can receive what from your retirement accounts.

Do you need a will or trust? Contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a reputable attorney who can help you with estate planning needs.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation

972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /July 11, 2014 /Blog, General Civil Law /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

8 Things you need to know if you’re in a car accident

by Tim O’Hare

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Man on the phone after colliding carA car accident occurs on Texas roadways approximately every 83 seconds, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s more than 1,040 accidents every day. Last year, at least one person was killed in a car accident in Texas every day; more than 441,000 accidents occurred last year, 3,039 of them were fatal.

Even with preventative measures to reduce the number of fatal car accidents, such as cracking down on drunk driving and distracted driving, the reality is, car accidents do happen. Do you know what to do if you are in a car accident?

8 things to do if you are in a car accident:

  1. Turn your car engine off and turn on hazard lights. Leaving your car running increases the chances of a fire sparking. Hazard lights should be used to warn other drivers.
  2. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Get all passengers out of the vehicle and stand as far off the roadway as possible. Stay calm and avoid arguing with or accusing anyone else who was involved in the accident. It’s also important that you not make any admission of blame in the accident.
  3. Call 9-1-1. Report any injuries immediately and ask for a law enforcement officer and EMT to come to the scene. When a law enforcement officer arrives, get the officer’s name, badge number, police station address and phone number. Ask how you can get a copy of the accident report and when the report will be filed.
  4. Exchange information. After an accident, exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance companies, policy numbers, driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers with any other drivers involved in the accident. Be sure to note the relationship between the individual driving and the owner of the vehicle if their names don’t match.
  5. Photograph and document the accident. Make note of the year, make, model and color of all cars involved in the collision. Use your camera to document any damage to all vehicles, as well as the position of cars and scene of the accident.
  6. Do not accept offers to settle on the spot. Individuals who are not carrying car insurance or have another reason to avoid legal trouble may attempt to get you to settle by offering cash payment on the scene. Do not accept any settlements on the scene, as you may be liable for the damages to your car later on.
  7. Keep a list of contact numbers in your phone and in your car. Designate an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact in your phone. Enter your emergency contact into your phone book with ICE before his or her name.
  8. Call a personal injury lawyer. If you are injured in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you recover financial losses due to medical bills and lost wages. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better, so do so after you have received medical attention and law enforcement has been notified of the accident.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident case can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your injury or loss before the state’s statute of limitations runs out. In Texas, the statute of limitations in personal injury claims is two years. The clock starts ticking at the time of the car accident (or other incident), and after two years, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit.

Tim O’Hare is a Dallas personal injury attorney who practices with integrity. If you have been injured in a car accident, or suffered injury on someone else’s property, or experienced any other injury through no fault of your own, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation
972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /July 02, 2014 /Blog, Dallas Personal Injury Attorney /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Faulty Ignition Switch Leads to 13 Deaths in General Motors Vehicle Recall Controversy

by Tim O’Hare

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Tim O'Hare, Dallas personal injury lawyer, Dallas personal injury attorney, car recall, auto recall, automobile recall, personal injury lawyer, personal injury attorney, Dallas personal injury lawyer, Dallas personal injury attorney, Tim O'HareThe General Motors recall controversy is in the news again as GM CEO Mary T. Barra indicated the possibility that the death tally from faulty ignition switches could rise. Yesterday, June 16, GM recalled an additional 3.16 million vehicles; the total of cars recalled by GM now topping 20 million.

Currently, a faulty ignition switch is to blame for 54 accidents and 13 deaths. The defective switch can shut off suddenly, cutting engine power and deactivating air bags in millions of cars including Chevy Cobalts.

Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney hired by GM, is doing his own investigation to determine whether or not there are any more deaths that can be attributed to the faulty ignition switch.

“Right now the information we have indicates the number is 13,” Ms. Barra said at a June 10 news conference. “At the end of Mr. Feinberg’s work we will know.”

General Motors has admitted to knowing about the problem with the ignition switches for more than 12 years before a vehicle recall was ordered. As a result, at least 13 people have lost their lives, including Amber Marie Rose and Natasha Weigel, two young women with their whole lives ahead of them.

What is most tragic is that the small part that needs to be replaced on recalled vehicles costs just 57 cents.

The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare is now accepting cases related to vehicle recalls. If you own a car that has recently been recalled by GM (or any other company), you may be entitled to legal remedies including economic damages, manufacturer reimbursement, class action lawsuits (if the recall has affected enough consumers) and personal injury recovery.

If you have been injured due to a defect with your vehicle, you may be entitled to recover financial losses associated with your injury. Furthermore, if you have lost a loved one due to a vehicle defect, you may be entitled to financial restitution.

Though no amount of money can replace a loved one, or even cover the true losses associated with a severe physical injury, all automakers must be held accountable. The GM issue reaffirms that the safety of vehicles manufactured should be the top priority of any automaker.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident caused by a vehicle defect or recalled car, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

By : Melody Harstine Foster /June 18, 2014 /Dallas Personal Injury Attorney /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Wrong-Way Car Accidents a Growing Concern in Texas

by Tim O’Hare

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Dallas personal injury lawyerEach year, more than 300 wrong-way crashes occur on Texas roadways. This week alone, two people were killed and at least three others injured in two separate wrong-way car accidents on Dallas-Fort Worth highways. Last month, a wrong way accident involving five vehicles took the life of one person and hospitalized several others. A wrong-way crash in South Dallas last August killed four people.

The National Transportation Safety Board estimates that wrong-way driving accounts for about three percent of all high-speed highway accidents. Wrong-way crashes on highways are particularly deadly, as they involve a head-on collision between two vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. According to Federal data, approximately 350 people die every year as the result of a wrong-way accident.

The Texas Department of Transportation has been looking at ways to prevent wrong-way driving, including flashing wrong-way signs, and warning others of a wrong-way driver via digital highway signs. In some parts of the state, law enforcement agencies are using radars to detect wrong way drivers in hopes of stopping them before an accident occurs.

Following the most recent wrong-way accidents, TxDOT has announced a study to begin in September to determine what, if any, further safety precautions can be taken to help reduce the number of wrong-way crashes on Texas roadways.

Although some wrong-way car accidents can be attributed to driver confusion or medical conditions, many of these accidents are caused by drunk driving. It is easy to see how someone who is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could mistake a highway exit ramp for an entrance ramp. An NTSB special investigation report states that nearly two-thirds of wrong-way drivers in fatal collisions were driving under the influence of alcohol, and at lest 57 percent had a blood-alcohol level above .15 percent.

Reduce your risk of becoming the victim of a wrong-way crash with these tips:

Drive in the right lane. Most drivers drive in the right lane, which means someone who is driving the wrong way is more likely to be traveling in the left lane of oncoming traffic (the lane to the wrong-way driver’s right).

Avoid driving late at night. Many wrong-way and drunk driving accidents occur in the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning. Whether you are on a road trip or simply traveling home from an evening out with friends, make a point to avoid driving late at night.

Report wrong-way drivers. If you see somebody driving the wrong-way, call 911 immediately. The sooner law enforcement is notified the greater the chance the wrong-way driver will be stopped before causing a deadly accident.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of drunk driving or a wrong-way car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /June 05, 2014 /Blog, Dallas Personal Injury Attorney /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

by Tim O’Hare

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personal injury lawyer, personal injury attorney, Dallas personal injury lawyer, Dallas personal injury attorney, Tim O'HareIf you have been injured as the result of a car accident, a defective or recalled product, a fall or injury at work or on another person’s property, you may face a long legal battle to receive any due compensation for your injury.

Navigating the maze of insurance laws and dealing with insurance companies is often a frustrating and anxiety-filled ordeal, and yet, many people assume they can handle their injury claim on their own, without the help of an attorney.

There are many reasons one might need to hire a personal injury lawyer, here are a few examples of common personal injury claims:

Motor vehicle accident — If you are injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident such as a car, bus, boat, or motorcycle accident that was caused by another person, perhaps due to drunk driving or distracted driving, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim. A lawsuit may help you recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and/or loss of companionship, for example.

Wrongful death –
Have you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person? If so, you may be entitled to make a wrongful death claim. Surviving beneficiaries of the deceased, including the surviving spouse, children and parents may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Injury suffered on another person’s property —
If you have suffered an injury while on another person’s property, you may have grounds to make a premises liability claim. Premises liability cases, like many other personal injury cases, can be complicated, as it has to be proven that the property owner was negligent and the injury suffered was a result of that negligence.

Injury suffered by a defective or recalled product –
Products liability is another common category of personal injury cases, as thousands of product recalls are issued every year on items determined to be of potential danger to consumers.

Medical Malpractice —
Have you experienced illness or injury as a result of a doctor or medical professional’s negligence? Mistakes made by medical professionals due to negligence can result in serious injury or even death. Medical malpractice cases can be especially challenging without an experienced personal injury attorney.

How a personal injury lawyer can help you

Hiring a personal injury attorney for any of the reasons listed above should not be considered an unnecessary expense. Doing so can pay back multiple dividends, decreasing your stress level and helping you recover more money than you ever could on your own to help you pay for medical bills, recover your lost wages and be compensated for your pain, hassle and scarring.

Here are several practical ways a personal injury lawyer can save you time, money and frustration:

Avoid the hassle of dealing with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters can be tricky. They often strive to get individuals to settle for far less than what they are entitled to. A personal injury attorney will work for you, dealing with insurance companies and the law, to ensure you are treated fairly and receive what the law says you are due.

A personal injury lawyer will be familiar with all the laws pertaining to your case. Laws that often vary by state, but an experienced attorney will know your state’s laws and how the laws affect your case. They will also have the necessary knowledge to help you receive fair compensation. If your case for any reason needs to be disputed in court, a personal injury attorney will provide the best representation to handle your case.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer allows you to focus on your own healing rather than being consumed by your case. Being injured in a car accident or in a work-related accident can be life changing. Don’t take on the unnecessary burden of dealing with the insurance companies on your own. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney to focus on your case so that you can focus on yourself.  While it may seem costly at first, it will pay off in the end when you receive the full amount owed to you, rather than only a portion of that, which is likely what you would receive if working without an attorney.

If you have been injured in a car accident, suffered injury on another person’s property, or suffered an injury through no fault of your own in another manner, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will help you in your time of need and make sure you are not taken advantage of.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /May 28, 2014 /Blog, Dallas Personal Injury Attorney, Medical Malpractice, wrongful death /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Business Formation: LLC or Corporation?

by J. Branden Snyder

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business formation, small business formation, small business, llc, corporation, limited liability company, small business lawyer, small business attorney, Dallas small business lawyer, Dallas small business attorney, J. Branden SnyderThe decision to start a new company can be both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. There are many decisions that need to be made regarding the new business, including how to legally structure the business.

Determining how to best structure your business can be tricky. What is the best legal structure to protect your interests and assets? The answer to that question is dependent on a number of factors. If you are trying to decide between an LLC and a corporation, here are a few things you should know about the differences between the two.

LLC — A Limited Liability Company (LLC) can protect your personal assets from lawsuits or debts that arise from your business. For example, if you own a business that has public traffic, an LLC can protect your personal assets from lawsuits in a potential slip-and-fall situation. Additionally, an LLC can protect you from being personally liable for business debts or unpaid bills.

LLCs are ideal for small businesses and businesses that hold property — such as real estate — that is expected to increase in value. Some businesses cannot operate as an LLC. For example, businesses in the banking, trust and insurance industry are generally prohibited from forming an LLC.

Corporation — A corporation can also provide limited liability for the business owner while offering additional benefits. A corporation may be a better fit for your business if:

• You plan to have multiple investors in your business or plan to raise money from the public.
• You’d like to provide fringe benefits to owners, such as health insurance.
• You want to offer stock options and stock bonus incentives to employees.

Determining what type of business structure is best can be a difficult and complex decision. Need more help determining the best fit for your business? Hire a small business lawyer to help you make the right choice. Contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for help with your business formation decisions.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation

972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /May 20, 2014 /Blog, Small Business Law /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Farmers Branch Joins Arlington and Grand Prairie in Outlawing Texting While Driving

by Tim O’Hare

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distracted driving, texting while driving, text and drive, distracted driving lawsDespite some lawmakers’ best intents, a statewide ban on texting while driving has yet to be made law. That fact hasn’t stopped several municipalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from passing their own laws. Most recently, Farmers Branch has joined Arlington and Grand Prairie in making it illegal to text while driving.

The distracted driving ordinance, which includes a ban on reading, writing and sending emails or texts, posting to social media sites, using the Internet or using any other applications on a smartphone other than voice activated GPS directions passed through Farmers Branch city council with no trouble in March. In an effort to encourage drivers to change their driving behavior, the ordinance will be combined with an educational program to make drivers aware of the dangers of texting while driving.

Texas is one of only a handful of states that does not have a statewide ban of texting while driving. Whether or not the use of handheld mobile devices and texting while driving is outlawed in Texas doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 people were injured in crashes related to distracted driving. Ten percent of all drivers under age 20 who were involved in fatal accidents were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.

According to www.distraction.gov, text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Although you may think you are only taking your eyes off the road for a split second, studies have found that the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds. That’s long enough for a vehicle traveling at 55mph to cover the length of a football field.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident caused by distracted driving or drunk driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

By : Melody Harstine Foster /May 16, 2014 /Blog, Dallas Personal Injury Attorney /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

Wills and Trusts: What’s the difference?

by J. Branden Snyder

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Dallas living will attorney, Dallas living will lawyer, Dallas trust attorney, Dallas trust lawyer, Dallas estate attorney, Dallas estate lawyer, Dallas will and trust attorney, Dallas will and trust lawyer, do I need a will, do I need a trust, difference between wills and trustsYou have probably heard of wills and trusts in terms of estate planning but do you know the difference? Although the two serve different purposes, they can easily be confused. Here is a simple breakdown of the differences between a will and a trust.

What is a will?

A will is an estate plan that goes into effect after you die. In your will, you can direct a person (or persons) as your legal representative(s) to carry out your wishes and designate who will receive your property and assets upon your death. A will does not cover any property that is held in a trust or joint tenancy, but only property that is held in your name. A will must pass through probate. In other words, a court will oversee the administration of your will and ensure that it is carried out the way you wanted. As such, a will becomes public record.

For more on wills, read this blog: Top 4 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Will

What is a trust?

Unlike a will, a trust goes into effect as soon as you create it. It is a legal arrangement in which you designate an individual or an institution (such as a bank or law firm) as your “trustee” to hold the title to your property. You can also designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive what is left of your estate after you die. A trust will only cover property that has been transferred to the trustee. Any property you wish to be included in your trust must be put in the name of the trust. A trust does not pass through probate, which can save both time and money. Because a trust is not probated, it can remain private.

Do I need a will or a trust?

Both wills and trusts can be beneficial. In a will, you can also specify funeral arrangements and name a guardian for your children. A trust can save you money on taxes and help you plan for disability.

An experienced will and trust attorney can help you determine if you need to set up a will or a trust to handle your estate and guide you through the process. An attorney will explain the legal terms and help ensure that your will or trust is set properly so there are no questions in the event of your death. Your attorney can also help review your financial assets and double check who can receive what from your retirement accounts.

Do you need a will or trust? Contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a referral to a reputable attorney who can help you draw up your will or trust.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation

972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

By : Melody Harstine Foster /May 07, 2014 /Blog, General Civil Law /0 Comment Read More
  O'Hare Blog Check out all the latest news and updates from The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in our blog. From tips about pursuing legal action to news about Personal Injury Cases, we offer a variety of insights about Personal Injury Law. We can help you understand the world of Injury, Wrongful Death and Insurance Law, so be sure to check back frequently to read our posts. Do you have questions about our posts or have you suffered an injury from someone else’s negligence? Contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare today to find out how we can help.

FAQs About Texas Child Custody Laws

by J. Branden Snyder

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Texas child custody laws, child custody, Dallas child custody lawyer, Dallas family law lawyerIf you are not married to your child’s other parent, you may have questions about how child custody laws work in the State of Texas. Below are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about child custody.

What is conservatorship vs. possession and access?

The rights and responsibilities of a parent to make decisions on behalf of his or her child is known as conservatorship. These decisions may range from where the child will go to school to medical decisions. Sole Managing Conservatorship is when one parent is allowed to make all decisions concerning the child. Joint Managing Conservatorship is when both parents jointly make these decisions.

Possession and access refers to the physical custody of the child and visitation with the child. In Texas, there are two statutory possession and access schedules: standard and extended standard. The court will default to one of these schedules dictating the time each parent will spend with the child based on the best interest of the child, unless both parents agree on a different schedule based on their needs and the child’s needs.

When the child reaches 12 years of age, the court can consider the child’s wishes regarding which parent he/she would prefer to live with.

What factors will the court consider in determining custody?

Custody decisions are made based on the best interest of the child. Some factors the courts may consider include:

• physical and emotional needs of the child
• potential physical or emotional danger to the child
• stability of the home
• parenting skills
• keeping siblings together
• geographic proximity of the children
• any false reports of child abuse that one parent may have made against the other
• child’s preferences (if the child is over 12)

Can custody be modified?

Custody of a child can be modified if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child and if one or more of the following conditions exists:

• both parents agree
• the child is 12 years old and tells the court he/she wants to live with the other parent
• the parent who was awarded primary custody/residence relinquishes care and possession of the child for at least six months
• there has been a substantial material or financial change in circumstances for the child or the parent.

Who pays child support?

Typically, the parent who is not awarded primary custody, or who has possession and access to the child the least amount of time is the parent who pays child support. If both parties agree on an equal possession and access schedule, neither parent may be required to pay child support. Visitation with the child cannot be denied on account of unpaid child support.

We do not handle divorce cases, but, if you are facing a child custody battle or other family law issues, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.  Regardless, we urge you to always do what is right by the child, and not put a child in the middle of a battle between yourself and the child’s other parent.  Show your child the right way to live, by example.

Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 


972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020

 

By : Melody Harstine Foster /May 02, 2014 /Blog, Family Law /0 Comment Read More
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