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Trying to save money can often cost a lot — especially when you hire a lawyer who doesn’t suit your needs. Perhaps you’ve been served with divorce papers and your spouse assures you that it will be fair and friendly. Do you hire a lawyer? Absolutely! A family law attorney will be your advocate and ensure that your interests and concerns are addressed. What about when you receive a tax assessment that seems high? A tax lawyer will be able to aid in your appeal and potentially help you reduce costs over the entire time you own the home. Do you have children from a previous marriage who you want included in your will? Estate planning can help shelter funds, establish trusts, and sort through complicated inheritance issues.
It’s important to investigate your options and find an experienced attorney in the area of law that best meets your needs. There’s a reason why lawyers specialize in different areas, and it’s wise to consider a firm’s areas of expertise before you hire anyone from that practice. Can they deliver top-quality services while focusing on your individual situation? If the answer is yes, then you’re ready for anything.
Law Offices of Armene Kaye, P.C.
Q: My wife and I are getting divorced and we don’t have any kids. Do we really need a lawyer to split our property up for us, or am I just being naive?
A: Without question, a skilled negotiator is required to assist you in retaining desirable assets while preventing you from acquiring more than your fair share of debts; it isn’t an enviable position to discover that you were awarded more debt than assets in the judgment of divorce. And don’t forget that some people have won hard-fought battles, only to find out later that the tax consequences of winning weren’t taken into consideration. Financial security and independence can’t be achieved if you unwittingly give away the farm in the property settlement. If you need to make an informed decision before filing for divorce, call Armene Kaye at 248- 496-9500, and take advantage of a free divorce assessment.
Hoffert & Associates
Q: Why should I appeal my property taxes?
A: Once your taxable value is lowered, it can never go up more than 5 percent or the cost of living index, whichever is lower — so there always remains a cap on the value of what you pay taxes on. The amount of residential property tax you pay each year is directly related to the value placed on your property by the local assessor. When property is overvalued, you pay more tax. If you believe your residential property has been overvalued, you only have a short period of time to dispute the assessment. Your assessment can go up with no limitation, but the figure your taxes are based upon has the above limit. This can save you money for as long as you own the property. It’s important to find experienced tax professionals who can develop a strategic legal approach to obtain fair residential property tax assessments and reduce your property taxes.
The Cronin Law Firm, PLLC
Q: What are my rights as a co-owner of real property?
A: Your rights as a co-owner of real property depend on the nature of your ownership interest. The first step in determining what type of ownership interest you have is to review the deed. The deed should specify whether you and your co-owner are, for example, joint tenants, joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, tenants in common, or tenants by the entireties.
Each type of ownership interest has unique characteristics and gives each co-owner certain rights and limitations as to what he or she can do with his or her share of the real property, including the ability to transfer or sell the interest.
The type of ownership interest you have can also have significant implications on how your estate plan is organized. You should provide your estate planning attorney a copy of your deed so you can be advised of your options properly. The attorneys at The Cronin Law Firm are well-equipped to handle real estate and estate planning issues for you.
Please call us. We are here to help.
Carlson, Gaskey & Olds
Q: How can I protect my valuable business innovation?
A: Depending on the innovation, you have the option of treating it as a trade secret or applying for a patent. Generally, a trade secret is less expensive to maintain and has the advantage of remaining a secret. A patent, although public, can provide powerful protection (and large damages) if infringed; in addition, many companies believe a patent enhances their value.
Often, the answer to “trade secret versus patent” depends on your goals. If you have invented a key product or method that will be critical to your continuing success and that would be difficult to keep secret, a patent may be a good route. If you have an idea that will have a limited application and can be kept secret, implementing trade secret protection might be your best alternative.
Steingold/Dwyer Law Group
Q: Given your experience, what advice would you provide to an attorney handling a high-profile criminal case?
A: The first thing I would do is to meet with the client and his family and ensure that all requests for interviews and comments are referred to the lawyer’s office. Client control is essential. One offhand comment, manipulated by an unscrupulous reporter, could taint the jury pool.
Advise your client and anyone who might be seen with him not to hide their face or shun the media. Have them simply ignore the presence of the media, smile, and politely say, “No comment.”
Don’t court the press, but don’t shun them. In most cases of this sort, the simplest and best answer is to simply have no comment, other than to say that the facts will come out in court. If you’re going to make a comment, have a prepared sound byte. Answer no questions. There may be occasions when you, as the lawyer, may want to comment on the prosecution’s tactics, adverse publicity, or venue. These are rare instances. There are no instances, however, where having your clients speak to the media will aid your efforts. Just look at Robert Durst.