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True or False: Do I Need an Attorney for This?

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True or False: Do I Need an Attorney for This?

Knowing when you need an attorney can be tricky. Here’s a rundown of some common issues and whether or not you need an attorney’s assistance.

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Wills and trusts

After your death, your will is filed with the court and open to public inspection. If you plan on creating a will, make sure an attorney is assisting you or you are using a template prepared by an attorney in your state. You don’t want to make an error that you won’t be around to fix when the will is read after your death.

There are multiple kinds of trusts. Irrevocable trusts have tax advantages, but as the name suggests they cannot be modified, amended, or revoked. You want all of your legal options considered before creating one. Revocable trusts, also known as living trusts, can be revoked or amended at any time. Still, it’s smart to get legal advice to make sure you’re doing everything right on the first try.

Speeding tickets

If you get a ticket for going over the speed limit by a few miles an hour, you probably don’t need to get an attorney involved. However, if you receive a ticket for excess speeding or reckless driving you could face jail time or have your license suspended. It could affect your insurance rates as well and you will want to get a lawyer involved. You can fight the ticket yourself in court, but a qualified attorney will mount the best defense.

DUI/DWI

If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence (also known as driving while intoxicated), you definitely want legal representation. The fines, along with the possibility of having your license suspended or even facing jail time, can have major financial repercussions. Even if you avoid jail time, not being able to drive could seriously affect your work and family life. Get an attorney involved early to make sure you’re protected as much as possible.

Divorce

Even in no-contest states, divorce is a messy situation. If you have children, there may be custody issues, and the division of assets and property can be just as complicated. You can try to reach a compromise outside of litigation, but seeking the advice of an attorney early on will help you avoid costly mistakes during the process.

Fender benders

Things can get complicated here. If you and a neighbor back into each other, you’re probably fine exchanging insurance information and letting the insurance companies sort things out. But if either of you is experiencing physical pain or notices any lingering issues after the accident, you might need to consider further options.

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