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Showing posts from May, 2017

Uncontested Divorce: Couple’s Divorce Finalized in 7 Months

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Divorce is never easy. Even in the best of circumstances, it requires time, a financial commitment, changing environments and sometimes circumstances–in many cases it means downsizing and losing the family home. If there are children, things quickly get more complicated as couples scramble to minimize the volatility for their kids. But Divorce doesn’t have to be chaotic and expensive. If a couple can agree on division of property and a parenting plan, they don’t need an attorney—we’ve helped hundreds of couples with uncontested Divorces since we opened our doors in 2010. We recently helped a couple, John and Susan, who came in to our office on a Friday morning. They’d been married for ten years and had a five-year old daughter and a seven-year old son; they both had good jobs and owned their own home. They’d grown apart over the years and quarreled constantly. They knew they were creating an unhealthy atmosphere for their children. When their son’s teacher called to tell them that he…

Pour Over Will: A Living Trust Safety Net

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There’s a perception that Living Trusts are just for old people. Granted, there’s a little more immediacy as we get older and need to be thinking about how we’re going to distribute our assets to our heirs. But the reality is that nearly everyone—especially those with dependents—should have a Trust. Yet for a younger couple, it can be daunting to think of everything that needs to be included in the Trust. These couples also know that they will accumulate more assets over the years. They also may worry that something will happen to them before they can transfer their assets into the Trust. A Pour-Over Will: A Way for the Trust to accommodate these assets You may have heard of a “Pour-Over Will” that is often used in conjunction with a Living Trust. Under the terms of a Pour-Over Will, all property that passes through the Will at your death is transferred to—or poured into–your Trust. It’s then distributed to those Trust beneficiaries you identified when you prepared your Trust. The adva…

Conservatorship for Aging Father on Madcap Spending Spree

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A woman recently came in to our office seeking assistance with a Conservatorship for her 83-year old father. He had moved into a nice retirement community in the East Bay after her mother died six years before. Our client visited her father often, and she was consistently impressed with the facility—the people who lived there were friendly and warm, the staff was helpful, kind and upbeat. They provided two healthy meals/day and activities that helped keep residents active and engaged. Her father was a nonparticipant, frail and alone Yet her father lived a solitary existence–he had made no friends and ate his meals alone. He had become very frail, was losing weight and had trouble with his balance. He’d had several bad falls, and while he had not broken any bones, he was badly bruised. She was afraid that if he fell and no one was around, he would not be able to get up. She suspected he was not eating and that he was drinking, sometimes heavily, which created a precarious balance with …

Hail-Mary Intervention Saves Immigration—and Unites Family

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A few months ago, “Joe” came in to our office, nearly desperate for our assistance. He’d been working with another immigration professional who had, unfortunately, overlooked his case for months. And when it comes to immigration, months can mean the difference between uniting a family and its continued separation—in some cases, for many years. Timing was critical to the success of this immigration case. Joe was a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) from Vietnam Joe came to the U.S. in 2014 under the sponsorship of his oldest daughter, a U.S. citizen. She had come to the U.S. as a student, married a U.S. citizen and became a citizen herself in 2013. Under this category of sponsorship, a beneficiary’s dependent is not allowed to accompany the parent, which meant that Joe’s 20-year old daughter, Lynn, had to stay behind in Vietnam. As an LPR, Joe was able to petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to bring his immediate family to the U.S.–his spouse, unmarried children …

The Economics of Divorce: Who Gets the Family Home?

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At DP Legal Solutions, we assist couples with uncontested divorce, which means they’re able to reach agreement about division of property and a parenting plan. California is a community property state: An equal division of property California is a community property state, so all property accumulated during marriage–including debt—is typically divided evenly when a couple gets divorced. When couples get ready to divide property, they need to look at their respective cash and savings accounts; investments; stock portfolios; 401k accounts, pension plans or other retirement accounts; and real property—the family home and any vacation property they may own. The wife should get the family home—or should she?   Many couples, when dividing their property, think that the family home with its significant amount of equity is a fair deal for the wife. Since the wife often has primary custody of the children, this often seems to make sense—the kids’ lives will be uninterrupted. They’ll remain in t…