How to Know When to Hire a Lawyer and Save Money in the Process

How to know when you need a lawyre

How to know when you need a lawyre

There is a mindset out there which reasons that lawyers are much too expensive and all they do is complicate things.

This can be especially true in divorce matters, which can go round and round costing the participants vast amounts of money and delaying the final paperwork for years to come.

If your divorce is filled with quarrels, and there are lots of assets to be split up than common sense will tell you it will take more time and money to come to an agreeable conclusion.

However, there are some creative strategies you can use to get your fees reduced.

For example, if you and your soon to be ex-spouse can negotiate an agreement among yourselves and divvy up all the property and cash that you own then that would save time, money and reduce stress.

You could also think about hiring a mediator, it can lower costs and make the process go much smoother.

Have a conversation and decide whom all that money should go to, yourselves or the lawyer, that might help you decide to co-operate with each other.

Once you and the other party have decided how everything should be divided, your lawyer may agree to see the two of you at the same time. Then all that would need to be done is have you both sign the agreement and file the paperwork.

That should get you that coveted piece of paper entitled “Divorce Certificate” costing you much less in time and money. Remember the issue you are facing may be a highly emotional one for you, but for your attorney, it is just another file.

Here are a few other examples when doing it yourself may be just too complex:

Personal Injury Claims

I know you want to get the best possible settlement. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you decide how much compensation you should seek and whether you have a good chance of winning.

Dealing with an insurance company by yourself can be very intimidating especially since the adjuster is trained to save the company as much money as possible by reducing the amount of compensation rewarded to you.

The best case scenario would be settling out of court in which case a lawyer would have the ability to negotiate this for you.

Starting a Business

Yes, it is possible to start a business without hiring a lawyer. To start, make a visit to your local registry office. You will need to pick a name for your new business then do a search of the corporate registry to check and see if that name is available.

After registering your new name, you would need to set up a minute book, include by-laws, decide on your share structure and who your officers and directors will be.

Hiring a lawyer can make this process a lot easier though, because for most people it can be a complicated process.

Employment Disputes

Filing a case against an employer, such as wrongful dismissal is a tricky situation. To prove your case, you may need to produce witnesses and documents in court. A lawyer can advise you of the laws in your jurisdiction and whether you have a viable case.

Criminal Charges

Lawyers are the best-suited people to defend you against criminal charges; they can help you decide how to plead, they understand the rules of evidence, have access to private detectives and know their way around court procedure.

Estate Planning

You would probably be able to do a simple will on your own without too much difficulty. There is online software available for a much smaller fee than you would typically pay a professional.

When drafting a Will some things to consider are estate taxes, funeral expenses, and legal costs that your representative may have to deal with on their own, any instructions you are able to include in your Will could be very helpful.

When bequeathing a business or land, there are more things to consider than a simple form can give.

If you are planning on doing a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive, some law firms may offer these as a package and can save you a bit of money.

Real Estate

Again buying or selling a home without the guidance of a lawyer can be risky. If you are the buyer, the title would need to be changed into your name and any liens or mortgages recorded on the title need to be paid out and discharged, if there is a mortgage it has to be prepared and registered.

If you are the seller, then you want to make sure the Purchase Contract is correct, and the transfer to the new owner is properly executed and witnessed which is typically done by a law office.

Of course, you have the option of doing some or all the above without the help of a lawyer, but it doesn’t hurt to check out the alternatives.

Most lawyers will offer a half hour free consultation. At least then you can be armed with the knowledge of what your next move should be.

Keep in mind that lawyers charge for telephone calls, faxes, couriers, and searches. You may be able to save on these fees by doing some of the legwork yourself.

For instance, you could pick up and deliver documents saving on courier charges, and you can also limit the amount of phone calls you make to your lawyer’s office.

When you really need a lawyer’s help in solving a problem you are dealing with, and you don’t have the financial resources there are always options.

Most districts have Legal Aid available to help. Some law firms will allow you to make payments, and there may be agencies in your area that will help with paperwork for no or very little cost.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any money saving tips of your own, please share them by posting them in the comments.

5 Things you Need to Know When Buying Your First Home

5 things to know when buying your first home

home buying a home

Entering the Real Estate market and buying a home can be quite daunting.

It is an emotional,  stressful experience, especially if it is your first home.

Understanding the process will make it easier for you. Here are five things you will need to get started.

1.      Mortgage Lender

The first step is getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

When hunting for a mortgage it is to your advantage to approach your own bank first. Check mortgage lending rates online and then negotiate with your bank to secure the best rate. If you cannot come to an agreement with your bank, then you need to seek out a mortgage broker.

Check your local Mortgage Broker’s Association to get a recommendation. The broker can tell you how much you can spend on your purchase and the amount required for the down payment. They can also advise you of the interest rate and the rules involved in buying a home.

Mortgage brokers have many lenders to choose from when shopping for a mortgage but not all of these will stand the test of time and still be around in ten years. Therefore, a low-interest rate should not be your only criteria when selecting a lender.

Some mortgage lenders place a demanding amount of rules to follow when finalizing the paperwork. This makes the process more difficult than it needs to be.

2.     Real Estate Agent

Now that you’re armed with mortgage pre-approval it is time to get a realtor to show you the homes that meet your needs. Most realtors can show you any home that interests you.

It is imperative to choose an experienced, knowledgeable realtor that can guide you through the home buying process and any pitfalls which may be encountered. Speak with recent clients, find out how long the agent has practiced and check out their current listings.

You want a realtor who can negotiate the best price and who has your best interests in mind. If you choose a realtor who is also working for the seller, you may not get the best possible outcome.

3.      Real Property Report (RPR) or Title Insurance

Once you’ve decided on your future home, and your realtor has negotiated the best possible price and conditions you will need to decide whether to choose an RPR or go with Title Insurance. The mortgage lender will require one of these two before they will go ahead with funding.

Sometimes the seller already has an RPR available, if so it has to be current and not older than ten years. The seller usually pays for one of these options or will give you a credit towards the purchase price of the home to pay for it.

The RPR will show you where your property lines are located and if anything is encroaching on a neighbor or municipality.  It will also show any structures such as decks, additions, and fences and if they were permitted by the municipality.

Title Insurance is available for both owners and lenders and insures against loss from any defects in the title and provides protection for the enforceability of mortgage loans.

4.      Home Inspector

Once you have found that perfect property then it’s time to get it inspected. When choosing a home inspector, make sure they are licensed and experienced.

An incompetent home inspector can make or break the deal if he does not know what he is doing or not up to date with all the new procedures and technology to make sure that your new home is safe and sound. Get at least three references from other homeowners with first-hand knowledge of the practices of your inspector.

The last thing you need to find out after you’ve moved into your home is that the furnace is on its last legs, or the roof needs to be replaced, or heaven forbid the foundation is cracked and leaking. Most of these issues can be fixed, but they are a lot more expensive than the original cost of the home inspector.

5.      Lawyer

Choosing a good lawyer depends on a couple of factors, mainly price and locality. Most lawyers know how to handle a real estate deal although you still want one with an honest reputation.

You can call around and check fees and choose one who is within your comfort zone on pricing and is familiar with the local area. Your lawyer will make sure that the purchase contract is correct and all the terms set out are followed by the seller. They will also make sure that the property has no issues, such as any existing loans or liens registered on title.

So you see buying your first home isn’t really that scary now that you know some of the procedures to follow. Hopefully, I have answered some of your questions and taken away the mystery of it all.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when purchasing a home not just the five I have mentioned but these are the main issues to consider.

Before you leave please share your thoughts and experiences on this topic in the comment section, I would love to hear from you.

5 Ways to Combat Ageism at Work

You wouldn’t think that employers still discriminate against older workers, even though phrases like 60 is the new 40 are commonplace.

Oftentimes on social media, there are no shortages of people in their eighties and beyond running marathons and dancing pirouettes. Unfortunately, this good news has not caught on with everyone.

The reality of today’s workforce is that most people even at the magical age of 65 cannot afford to retire and must continue to work right up into their 70s.

Baby boomers and even those years’ younger may be shocked to discover that they are considered “too old” to be employed.

To some being aged is not appealing unless you’re Helen Mirren or a good bottle of wine, certain employers want youthful attractive employees to represent their companies.

Losing your job and finding yourself back in the job market can be extremely difficult for someone in their 50’s or 60’s.

If you are an older employee and are worried about the possibility of this happening to you these 5 simple suggestions might help.

1: Stay Proactive.

Present a professionally polished image.

Be open to learning new things and taking courses so as to remain in the loop.

Don’t be afraid of change and remain eager to do so when necessary.

2: Maintain positive relationships.

Remaining on excellent terms with your colleagues can help you be on the receiving end of confidential information and ensure that they always feel comfortable and at ease in your presence.

Co-workers may also be more willing to come forward as witnesses or provide written confirmation if they have seen or heard anything that indicates age discrimination has taken place.

3: Promote yourself.

It doesn’t hurt to let employers know that statistics show that older workers have strong work ethics, good problem-solving skills, higher productivity and tend to have fewer sick days.

4: Know your rights.

Becoming familiar with the law regarding age discrimination in employment is always a help. You have the right to file charges if you feel you have been discriminated against.

5: Don’t assume anything.

Don’t assume that being a hard worker will provide protection.

Maintain an updated resume and revise it weekly.

When a tough economy is forcing employers to lay off workers and they must make a choice between which employee to lay off sometimes the choice lies between a younger worker just starting or an older worker who has been there much longer there is no guarantee that seniority will help you keep your place.

Finally, if the worst should happen and you do become unemployed consider applying at companies that have a reputation for hiring and keeping older workers. Alternatively, you can always check into self-employment opportunities.

Remember It is illegal to ask for an employee’s age but be cautious on your social media sites and refrain from including your birth date as some employers will peruse these sites to find information about you.

Has age discrimination happened to you? Please reply in the comments and tell us your story.