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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.


A Majority of Americans Don’t Have a Will. Do You?

by J. Branden Snyder

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A majority of Americans (55 percent) admit they don’t have a will, according to a 2016 Gallop poll, and other surveys suggest even fewer Americans have estate planning documents in place. Nobody wants to think about planning for his or her own death, but it’s something every adult should consider—sooner, rather than later.

Writing your will helps to ensure your wishes for dependents, property and assets are followed, and to help avoid long, costly legal proceedings over the distribution of assets.

According to Gallop, “Americans’ likelihood of having a will depends largely on their age and socioeconomic status. Sixty-eight percent of those aged 65 and older have a will, compared with just 14 percent of those younger than age 30. Of Americans whose annual household income is $75,000 or greater, 55 percent have a will, compared with 31 percent of those with incomes of less than $30,000. And while 61 percent of those with a postgraduate education have a will, only 32 percent with a high school education or less do.”

Even if you think you don’t have enough assets, writing a will is still important and can spare your family the difficulty of dividing what property and assets you do own.  Here are are five things you should know about writing a will:

Everyone needs 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. Writing a will alleviates the burden placed on your family after you die. A will also allows you to specify funeral arrangements and to predetermine who will take care of your children—this is the primary reason even young adults who have children should have a will.

Work with an attorney. Every state has different rules and regulations regarding wills. It is in your best interest to work with an attorney who fully understands the legalities surrounding writing a will in your state and is experienced in estate planning and death taxes. Hiring an attorney to help you write your will ensures that you have a properly created legal document.

Carefully select the executor of your will. This is the person you will assign to carry out your final affairs after your death. Choose someone you trust who you know will be up to the task. You may also want to choose a backup executor in the event your first choice is unable to serve as executor upon your death.

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.

Consider a trust as well. Unlike a will, a trust can go 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 into the trust. 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.

An experienced wills and trusts 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 drafted 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.  We can prepare your will and/or trust quickly, with minimal hassle to you.

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


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

By : Tim O'Hare /July 29, 2017 /Family Law, General Civil Law /0 Comment Read More

Have Minor Children? Have Assets? You Need a Will.

by J. Branden Snyder

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At least 50 percent of all Americans don’t have a will to protect their dependents and assets. Are you one of them? Should you pass away without a will, the state will determine who gets what of your assets, who is in charge of your estate, and most importantly, who is responsible for children under 18.

It isn’t fun to think about death and dying, but preparing your will isn’t just something that would be nice to do, it’s truly essential, particularly if you have minor children. Having a will can save your loved ones stress and additional heartache should something happen to you.

In the event that something happens to you, your children should be cared for by individuals you choose. Don’t let the state determine where your children will live. In addition, dying without a will means your assets could go to places you had no intention of them going.

There are many reasons every adult should have a will, children or no children. Here are some of the most important reasons you need a will:

A will allows you to determine who your beneficiaries will be. If you die without a will, the State of Texas will determine the division of your property and who your beneficiaries will be. If you have children, or children from a previous marriage, the division of your assets can be a complicated process. By executing your will, you will be able to clearly identify your beneficiaries and how you want your property to be divided.

A will allows you to designate a guardian for your children. In the event that you pass away while your children are minors, your will can designate who will care for your children after your passing. If you die without a will, the court will appoint a person to serve as guardian for any minor children.

In your will, you can nominate an executor for your estate. In your will, you can also designate who should serve as executor of your estate. This is the person who will be responsible for dividing your assets and property according to your wishes.

By preparing your will, you will make things as simple as possible for your surviving family. This may be the most important reason everyone needs a will. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard enough, but that loss can be compounded by the stress of administering the deceased’s estate. Drawing up a proper will, and letting your spouse, children and family members know what your wishes are will help ease the added burden they would otherwise experience upon your death.

To prepare your will, you should work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. Your attorney will explain the legal terms and ensure that your will is drafted 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 to prepare your will or update an existing will? Contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a reputable Dallas – Ft. Worth attorney who can help you draw up your will.

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

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

 

 

By : Tim O'Hare /February 10, 2017 /Blog, Family Law /0 Comment Read More

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 : Tim O'Hare /July 18, 2014 /Blog, Family Law /0 Comment Read More

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 : Tim O'Hare /May 02, 2014 /Blog, Family Law /0 Comment Read More
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