Attorneys provide clients a basic understanding of bankruptcy law protections for homestead, insurances, pensions, and other public benefits. Bankruptcy proceedings are handled by federal courts under U.S. Bankruptcy Code and include legal actions involving a person, or business entity that is unable to repay outstanding debts. Experienced bankruptcy lawyers can perform a means test to determine the appropriate bankruptcy action to undertake, based on a client’s needs. Common types of bankruptcy actions include Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. A bankruptcy attorney can offer advice on additional ways to resolve overwhelming debt, when concerns of a negative credit report are an issue for the client. Once an asset determination is made, lawyers can prepare the necessary documents for filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Skilled attorneys are essential in bankruptcy actions as they are acutely aware of what is at stake if clients do not take the prescribed steps to reduce the invasive conduct of creditors who are determined to achieve payment from individuals who cannot pay them.
An experienced foreclosure attorney may exercise all available legal options to save a client’s home, or delay its sale. If a homeowner is facing impending foreclosure action and wants to find a means to defend their rights to a property, it is best to speak with an experienced foreclosure attorney, who may be able to assist with legal alternatives to the foreclosure action, based on the state laws and the financial position of a homeowner. Lawyers understand the difference between a judicial foreclosure (28 USC § 2410), utilizing the court system moving more slowly than a non-judicial foreclosure (26 USC § 7425(b) where actions can be completed within months. Knowledgeable legal counsel can take the necessary steps to move the needle in the direction that is most advantageous to the requests of the homeowner, allowing them to stay in their homes longer, and offering suggestions to save funds, while awaiting formal foreclosure actions.
A tax attorney is helpful to clients when they have issues with either local, state, and federal tax agencies. Tax attorneys can help individuals and businesses set up their finances properly so that audits will not pose problems to individuals via additional costs, fines, and other penalties. They are also instrumental in setting up repayment schedules when taxes are due to be paid, representing clients for formal audits, and defending individuals and businesses from tax fraud.
Estate planning attorneys are beneficial to clients who wish to prepare end-of-life directives, plan for incapacity and reduce, or eliminate uncertainties over the administration of probate while maximizing the value of an estate, utilizing best legal practices with regard to tax laws, investment mechanisms, real estate transactions and other asset protections. Assistance with establishing powers of attorney is one of the more important tasks charged to an estate planning attorney, along with drafting and filing estate planning documents, probate documents, and transfer documents when assets are divided after a probate is approved. They can pre-emptively make sure certain assets are compartmentalized in situations that would prove to be effective for tax benefit and smooth transition of real estate property transfer to loved ones, depending on probate laws in the state.
Probate is the legal process of proving a last will and testament, which means verifying that the will is legal and the deceased person’s intentions are carried out. Probate also occurs when there is no will and a probate court must decide how to distribute the assets of the deceased’s estate to his, or her loved ones. A probate attorney will do their best to protect real and personal property, distribute assets to beneficiaries and pay creditors and taxes from estate proceeds.
An elder law attorney may assist in the process of recovering damages for any imposed harm to residents of a nursing home, or skilled care facility as well as facilitating interventions when family members, or other individuals threaten the livelihood of an elder person. They can also be of assistance in helping individuals set up elder guardianships when an individual has not appointed a formal power of attorney for health care, or finances but needs someone to oversee their affairs when they become temporarily, or permanently incapacitated because of aging, illness and/or disability. A guardianship is a legal proceeding guided by state law in the court system. An elder law attorney will know who can petition a court to designate a guardian, and draft the documents necessary to have is successfully approved by the proper court. Elder law attorneys are helpful to the safety and wellbeing of older people if they are threatened by criminal acts, or other illegal activities that may rob them of their assets, and endanger their health.