Estate Planning & Wills

When people think of estate planning they often think that is only for rich people that need an elaborate plan. While there are those people that need financial, tax planning, succession as well as legal advice, many need simple documents such as a will, power of attorney, health care POA and possible a trust.

Most also incorrectly believe that the state will handle things the way you envision. The laws of probate when a person dies without a will vary widely from state to state and often are not what most people think will happen. For example, in Kentucky, if a person dies without a will, the order of heirs is as follows: (1) their children; (2) their parents; (3) their siblings; then (4) spouse.

While there are certain allowances for spouses, often the bulk of an estate will pass to children in favor of a spouse. This can lead to financially devastating and unintended consequences. Additionally, the estate plan should include discussion of beneficiaries of life insurance and retirement assets as well as documents for living will/health care and power of attorney (POA).

If you need a simple will or complex estate plan, contact a legal professional. We will begin with a questionnaire to get started. In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Attorney Referrals

Most all attorneys have both a client base as well as a specialty area of practice. When a client comes to you and needs help, it is important to figure out how to best assist. With 25 years experience and nod of respect from SuperLawyers, a large part of my practice comes from attorney referrals.

My main areas of practice are divorce and criminal defense, including DUI. As such, much of my DUI practice comes as referrals from other attorneys. I will not steal your client. Since the attorney already has the relationship with the client, I generally continue to utilize their assistance, especially with client communication, as much or as little as the attorney wants to remain involved.

I have seen many family law attorneys make the mistake of trying to help their client by “handling” their DUI. Often they give poor advice and do not explore how to potentially win the case or when to take a plea. Moreover, they do not know the difference between a good or bad plea deal.

The best advice is to let me help solve your client’s problem. If you email me at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com, I will call or text back to discuss the urgency and temporary advice. I can meet with the client alone or with the other attorney to make for a seamless transition and assure the client that they have the best possible representation.

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What To Do If Served Divorce Papers

I’m often asked what to do if you are served divorce papers. First, READ all of the documents fully and don’t panic. The summons that accompanied the divorce papers will set forth some obligations, for example you will have 20-30 days to file a response.

Use that time wisely. Talk to trusted friends and others that have gone through the process. Call and speak to the attorneys that those trusted friends have referred to you. After talking to a couple of attorneys, schedule and appointment with at least one of them to discuss representation.

Note: many divorce attorneys do not do free consultations. That is OK – you get what you pay for. Most of the top attorneys do not have the time, nor do they need to offer free consultations. Invest some time and money in yourself and your future.

A response to a Petition for Dissolution is relatively simple and straightforward. The responding party generally answers each allegation, most of which are admitted. Since most Petitions ask for custody and division of property, an answer/response should suggest your request for relief. An attorney can typically prepare and file a Response within 24 hours of undertaking representation.

DON’TS:

  1. Do not let the time lapse. A default judgment can be taken against you if you do not respond to the Petition. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, hand write your response and file it with the court.
  2. Do not believe everything your spouse says. Every attorney has horror stories of the spouse that said, “you don’t have to respond” only to get a default judgement; or “I only want joint custody” only to go to court without the other party and get a judge of sole custody.
  3. Don’t stick your head in the sand. This case is not going away. Speak to a professional who is trained and regularly handles this type of case.
  4. Don’t assume the worst. Often the initial filing overstates the case. Many cases do resolve with joint custody and without payment of the other’s legal fees, despite an initial filing requesting something different.

If you have been served, contact a local family law/divorce attorney who regularly practices in the county of filing. For consultation in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties, contact Michael Bouldin by following link or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Divorce and Collaborative Law

Having practiced divorce law for 25 years, there is a better way to divorce. The Collaborative Process has assisted thousands of parties throughout the nation in settling their cases with class and dignity through cooperative decision making and in confidential setting.

I have been a member of the Collaborative Law group in Northern Kentucky for over 10 years and have participated in many cases as counselor in both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Collaborative training teaches problem solving techniques and methods to resolve differences, in both straightforward and difficult cases.

Collaborative dissolution allows the parties to set their own schedules, set their own goals and objectives and to try to achieve those goals through discussion, negotiation and the use of other professionals.

For more information regarding collaborative law, see our group’s website at this LINK. for consultation regarding divorce/dissolution, call a collaborative attorney and schedule today. For consultation, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com or follow this link for information.

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