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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DUI Day! Welcome to Black Friday!

Every year there are more DUI charges on the Wednesday before and the Friday following Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Hiring a good DUI attorney is the most important thing you can do following an arrest. Many people believe that New Years Eve would be the busiest day, however that day is reserved for professionals and most people have a plan prior to the beginning of the evening.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, however, is generally last minute plans and over-imbibing. Many students come home for the first time since leaving for college. They see their old friends and have a newfound love for beer. Bars, pubs and restaurants run specials all night because most of them are closed on Thursday.

Having practiced law for 25 years, I have run a similar post many times. It almost always generates a few leads and at least one or two new clients. Of course, DUI and OVI charges occur throughout the year. If you were charged with DUI this week(end), get an experienced attorney to help you through the process. An attorney will discuss your chances of an acquittal as well as guide you through the process. This may include hardship license, Ignition Interlock or avoidance of incarceration. See also what to do if you get arrested.

For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE (859-581-6453) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com. Contact form LINK.

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JUUL Litigation Attorney

If you have been injured by the use of JUUL vaping products, you need to hire an attorney. In Kentucky and Ohio, contact Michael W. Bouldin and get yourself included in the federal class action litigation.

Injuries may include medical visits, asthma, problems breathing, hospitalization or death. If you have a child who has problems relating to vaping JUUL, you can file on their behalf.

If a settlement is reached or if litigation results in a plaintiff verdict, the class members will be compensated. Compensation will likely be based on the severity of the injury, but damages have yet to be determined.

There are currently lawsuits pending in both Ohio and Kentucky and they have been combined with federal class action in California. IT IS NOT TOO LATE! Call or email or fill out the contact information below. An attorney will be in touch with you very soon!

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What Is a DUI Aggravator?

Kentucky law allows enhancement of a DUI charge if there are one one of 6 aggravators. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a DUI, their sentence is enhanced (made worse) if any of these aggravators exist. On a first offense, an aggravating circumstance mandates 4 days in jail. On subsequent offense, the aggravator doubles the minimum jail sentence.

The basic aggravators are listed in KRS 189A.010, as follows: (11)

  • (a) Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • (b) Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
  • (c) Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in KRS 500.080 ;
  • (d) Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.15 or more as measured by a test or tests of a sample of the operator’s blood or breath taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle;
  • (e) Refusing to submit to any test or tests of one’s blood, breath, or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (1) of this section;  and
  • (f) Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.

It should be noted, that if there is a death or serious physical injury as in subsection (c), most police and prosecutors will also file additional charges. These are often FELONY charges and require additional legal work. Additionally, KRS 189A.010(11)(e) should not apply if the person is charged with a first offense dui. This is because the first offense apply to those aggravators that occur while driving the vehicle.

Most importantly, an attorney can work to try to dismiss the aggravator when entering a plea and/or discuss alternatives to incarceration.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other motor vehicle offense, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal/DUI defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 )581-MIKE.

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Prosecutor Bullying in Lori Loughlin Case

Having practiced criminal defense for 25 years, I am often asked about high profile cases. While they are often treated differently than more average cases, the general public can learn a lot from these types of cases. The current federal case of the United States v. Lori Loughlin is one such example.

The case pending involves allegedly paying bribes in order to obtain admission for the children into various universities. My initial take is that there is a great amount of pressure to plead guilty, which is generally the case with all criminal charges. I believe that Lori Loughlin and most of the others DO have a valid defense. The federal bribery statute prohibits corruptly giving, offering, or promising anything of value to a federal public official or appointee with the intent of influencing him or her to perform an official act or to commit fraud. . It seems to be a stretch that these universities qualify as a federal agency or official. Moreover, the bribes were not paid to the university but to an agent which the stars hired to assist with admission. It may also be interesting defense tactic to determine what is a legitimate gift to the university v. bribe, and can your child receive preferential treatment because of a gift?

The most current development regards the additional charges which the government has brought since they refused to plead guilty. THIS IS A COMMON TACTIC utilized by many prosecutors to force a plea and to punish those who wish to exercise their constitutional rights. Prosecutors ARE bullies. If they are out to protect the public, and they believe that this is a valid additional charge, then all of the defendants should have faced the same charges. The reality is that they are trying to unduly punish those that exercise their right to trial.

If you are a defendant in a criminal case, hire an experienced defense attorney who can advise you throughout the process. Do not assume that the prosecutor is purely interested in justice – they want a guilty verdict. If you are not guilty, the trial tactics are just that and stand up for your rights! For consultation and representation in Kentucky and Ohio, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE, that is 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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Co-Parenting Apps

Our Family Wizard, coParenter, AppClose and talkingParents are all personal cell phone apps today assist divorced parents in communications.

The apps cam also track and monitor communication, exchanged of shared expenses, child and shared calendars and even resolution or parenting disputes. These apps also have communication monitoring which suggest alternative language if a message is abusive, vulgar or insulting.

Many times use of these apps are court ordered if the parties have a history of trouble communicating or repeated need for court resolution of issues. As a divorce attorney for over 20 years, I can attest that even the best judges are seldom the best at making parenting decisions for others. Parents need to parent.

If you are divorcing or need advice about parenting disputes, contact a local family law attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 581-MIKE (859-581-6453)

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Cross Examination Can Secure Criminal Acquittal

I recently tried a case in felony court where 3 police officers had testified that the defendant made an admission to the charges. They defendant was charged with 2 counts of burglary and one count of felony tampering with evidence.

Despite the fact that the defendant did not testify at trial the jury still returned a verdict of not guilty after presentation of all evidence. The key to the acquittal was effective cross examination of the police officers.

Review of the police officers investigation revealed that they failed to obtain recording, video or written confession from the defendant. Discovery, discussion and independent investigation also revealed that the police officers did a very ineffective job of actually investigating anything.

The police officers did not check the story of the alleged victim, did not check the validity of the defendants ultimate claims, did not finger print any of the alleged crime scene nor did they photograph any part of the alleged crime scene which could have either exonerated completely the defendant or provided additional evidence for the prosecution.

If you have been charged with a serious crime you need an experienced attorney. For consultation call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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