Friday, July 29, 2016

Second Marriages & Estate Planning - A Brief Overview

Choosing to remarry is a big decision, and one to celebrate enthusiastically. A second marriage is a chance to start fresh, to put the troubles of the past behind you and celebrate a new chapter of your life with someone you love. In the midst of all the excitement, however, there are several details that need attention. Your estate plan provides a perfect example.


A second marriage can significantly impact your estate plan, and it's important to make sure the transition is executed effectively. Our estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you navigate the process. Below are a few of the steps you should take to update your estate plan after you remarry. (Note: these steps are not necessarily listed in order of importance.)

Discuss Your Financial Situation
Honesty is a crucial component of any successful marriage. As you enter into your new marital partnership, it's important to have an open conversation about your financial situation with your new spouse. Each of you should take inventory of the financial assets and debts you bring to the relationship. Properties owned, life insurance, retirement accounts, and outstanding loans are examples of factors that may need to be discussed.

Choose How To Manage Your Finances
Once you get an accurate picture of each other's financial situation, you can decide how you want to proceed. Some couples choose to combine their assets, and others choose to keep them relatively separate. Typically, we find that couples who marry later in life are more likely to keep their assets separate, especially if they have children from prior marriages, than younger couples are. Couples are also more likely to keep their assets separate when one of the spouses enter into the relationship with a stronger financial position.

Determine How To Distribute Your Assets
This is one of the most important conversations you will have with your new spouse. If one or both of you have children from a previous marriage, you may feel strongly about setting aside certain assets to be passed to those children. If you plan to have children together, you will need to plan which assets to leave to them and whether their inheritance will differ from your children from a previous marriage. Once you determine how you'd like to distribute your assets, your estate planning lawyer can help you determine which estate planning tools will best fit your unique situation.

Update Your Beneficiaries
Now that you are remarried, you may want to review and update the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies, investment and retirement accounts to reflect your new marriage. Other kinds of beneficiary designations to consider are transfer on death (TOD) for your boat and vehicles, pay on death (POD) for your accounts and a beneficiary deed for your real estate.  

Designate Your Power Of Attorney(s)
Life is unpredictable. In the event that you become incapacitated and/or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself, you will need someone to act on your behalf to make financial decisions and medical and healthcare decisions.
A properly written and executed durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney allows this to happen.  You and your new spouse will need to decide who to appoint in these role.  You may also want to designate back-up representatives, so you will have someone you trust acting on your behalf if the original person you appointed is unable to fulfill the responsibilities for any reason.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For All Your Estate Planning Needs!
If you are getting remarried and preparing to update your estate plan (or perhaps build a new one entirely), we would love to talk to you. Our estate planning experts in Osage Beach MO can help you navigate the specific details of your situation to build the estate plan that will best meet your unique needs. For more information about our estate planning services at the Lake of the Ozarks, call our Center at 573-552-0317.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Impact Of Having A Criminal Record

If you are facing criminal charges, your entire life could be about to change. Depending on your charges, you may have several months (or even years) of litigation ahead of you. Even after the trial process is finally over, you may continue to face challenges - especially if you are convicted.


As an experienced criminal attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, I have seen many people suffer the consequences of a criminal conviction. A conviction can result in several undesirable lifelong consequences. Keep reading to learn how having a criminal conviction may impact your life for years to come.

Consequences Of Having A Criminal Conviction

Being convicted of a crime will undoubtedly have a major impact on your life. At the very least, you may be required to pay steep fines, serve time in jail or prison, and possibly serve time on parole or probation. Even after you have paid your dues and gotten past these initial consequences, you will likely continue to see the impact of your criminal conviction. Here are a few examples of the situations you may continue to face for years into your future.

Difficulty Getting A Job
It is common for employers to ask candidates on the application or in the interview if they have ever been convicted of a crime. If your answer is yes, you may be passed over for the job. This not only happens in professional career positions - even some fast food restaurants ask about convictions.

Challenges Finding Housing
Depending on the crime or crimes for which you are convicted, you may find it almost impossible to rent from a large property management company that have a very strict, impersonal application process. You may have more success renting from an individual property owner by making a personal connection with him or her, and demonstrating your personality and character traits that make you a good tenant despite your record. But even this can be a challenge.

Difficulty Getting A Mortgage Loan
Home-ownership is a laudable goal and privilege, but if you have a criminal record, you may have difficulty getting approved for the mortgage loan you need to purchase a home. Though mortgage lenders do not typically conduct background checks, they will perform a thorough investigation of your financial status: your credit score, your outstanding debts, your current income and recent earning history, etc. Since your financial standing may have suffered as you served your sentence, it may be difficult to get approved for a loan.

Inability To Purchase A Firearm
Our state and federal gun control laws are designed to keep our country safe by preventing firearms from falling into the hands of individuals who may abuse their power. Having a criminal conviction (even for a relatively innocuous crime) may throw up red flags that make you seem unsafe to carry a weapon. If you are hunter, it is easy to see how this can severely impact your life and recreational activities.

Challenges Traveling To Foreign Countries
There is a reason going through customs is such a time-consuming process. It is up to each country's leaders and security personnel to keep their citizens safe and protected however they may deem necessary - and that may include refusing entry to individuals with certain criminal convictions on their records. 

And More...
The impact a criminal conviction carries does not stop there. Individuals with a criminal record may also have trouble getting into good educational institutions, for example, or being approved for certain types of insurance.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For Criminal Representation At The Lake

Because of the potential for ongoing stressors, consequences, and challenges, it is important that you hire a strong criminal defense attorney if you find yourself faced with criminal charges. The team at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm will be here to defend your rights do everything we can to ensure you receive the best outcome possible. To learn more about our criminal defense services and the types of charges we defend against, visit our website.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, July 15, 2016

Understanding Criminal Defense Lingo

You've probably heard the words "arrested," "charged," "convicted," and "sentenced" multiple times, but are you familiar with what each word means? Though they are sometimes used rather interchangeably by laypersons, each of these words has its own specific definition and application. Your criminal defense attorney is here to help you understand the unique distinctions between these criminal defense terms.



Arrested

To be "arrested" means to be taken into custody, usually to a county or municipal jail, by law enforcement and not being free to leave. Being arrested is not the same as being charged with a crime; once an individual has been arrested, the prosecuting attorney has a short period of time to file charges with the court. If charges are not filed, the arrested individual is usually released from custody.

Charged

To be "charged" with a crime means you have been named as a criminal defendant and an official and specific accusation of a specific crime has been made by a prosecution attorney and filed against you. You must be charged with a crime before you can be convicted of one. A charge, particularly a more serious one, is often followed by a preliminary determination by a judge if you will be confined in jail pending trial or if you will be released from jail, possibly on a bond, and allowed to remain free while awaiting trial or other resolution of the criminal charge.  

Convicted

To be "convicted" of a crime means that a legal process has taken place, a judge or a jury has determined that you are "guilty" of a crime, and either a jail sentence or a fine has been imposed on you as a punishment. Criminal conviction can make it more difficult to obtain housing, employment, and loans.

Sentenced

The "sentence" is the consequence rendered against someone who has been convicted of a crime. Depending on the level of the crime the individual was convicted of and the specifics of the case, the sentence may include a fine, confinement in jail or prison, or a combination of fine and confinement. In extreme cases, a sentence can include capital punishment. 

Our Criminal Defense Attorney Will Be Here To Defend Your Rights

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, our criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks wants you to know that you have rights that are worth defending. Our legal team in Camden County MO is dedicated to protecting those charged with a crime and working hard to ensure that defendants are treated fairly and justly throughout the legal process. If you have questions about our criminal defense services at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit our website or call our center directly at 573-552-0317.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Common Types Of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury law is a unique legal discipline with a set of challenges and potential setbacks all its own. Individuals seeking personal injury representation are not only suffering from the injuries they have received; if you are seeking legal representation, it most likely means that you have suffered from the neglect of another. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, company, or organization, hiring a personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.


Types Of Personal Injury Cases

There are several different reasons someone may need to seek legal representation for their injuries. Below are a few of the most common types of personal injury cases at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Work Related Injuries
Despite everyone's best intentions to create and maintain a safe working environment, accidents at work can (and do) happen. Workers' compensation is a type of insurance many employers are legally required to maintain, and if their employees are injured with a work-related injury, this insurance is intended to provide coverage for medical treatment, lost wages, and temporary and partial disability. Unfortunately, injured workers sometimes have difficulty getting their injuries covered by this insurance. A strong legal advocate can be very helpful in getting the compensation you deserve.

Car Accidents
Every car accident is stressful, with some being worse than others. Depending on the severity of the accident, the driver/passengers in one or multiple vehicles may be seriously injured. Steep medical bills, missed time from work, and reduced quality of life are just a few of the things these injured individuals may experience as a result of an accident. Even if you have automobile insurance, it may be important for the at-fault driver's insurance to pay for your damages.  A car accident attorney can fight for the compensation that you deserve so that you don't have to.

Medical Malpractice
We rely heavily on doctors and other healthcare providers to know what's best for us and to look out for our best interests. However, healthcare providers do make mistake from time to time.  Unfortunately, their mistakes may result in dire consequences. If patients are misdiagnosed or not given the treatment(s) they need, they can experience serious repercussions (including, in some cases, death). If a patient suffers unnecessarily at the hands of a healthcare professional, that patient may be eligible to receive significant financial compensation. If the patient passes away due to the healthcare provider's negligence, the surviving family members may still be able to seek compensation.

Premises Liability Accidents
Companies, businesses, and home and land owners have a certain duty to keep their premises safe for customers, clients, and guests entering their property. If you are injured while on someone else's property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Premises liability cases can be challenging, but having a personal injury attorney represent you may be a huge asset.

Remember O'Donnell Law Center For All Your Personal Injury Needs

While these four instances are examples of some of the common types of personal injury cases, personal injury law does not stop there. People also seek legal representation for wrongful death, boating accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, burn injuries, and more. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Osage Beach MO, we would love to talk to you. Please give us a call at 573-552-0317 to schedule your initial consultation.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, July 8, 2016

Things To Consider When Building Your Estate Plan

End of life decisions can be hard to make, but they are critical. If you do not properly organize your affairs before passing, state statutes may direct the division of your property. Fortunately, planning your estate becomes a lot easier when you have an estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks to guide you through the process. Here are a few things you will want to consider when you build your estate plan.


Determine How To Pay For Your Burial
Do you have a plan for how your funeral and burial will be paid for? After you pass away, your personal representative will likely be expected to satisfy this cost from the assets of your estate. If there is not enough cash in your estate to satisfy this debt, property and other assets may have to be sold.

Decide When To Distribute Assets To Your Heirs
When do you wish for your assets to be distributed to your heirs? If your children are under the age of eighteen, you may want to establish a trust that will allow you to designate the age your children must be before they have control over their inheritance, and a trustee who can manage the assets until that time.

Decide Who To Distribute Your Real And Personal Property To
Your savings account and financial investments may only be part of the picture. It is also important to consider who gets your real and personal property, such as your home, condo, land, cars, collections, etc.  Wills, trusts, and non-probate transfer designations are perfect tools for assisting you with directing who will inherit these assets.

Designate Who You Want To Be Guardian For Your Children
If you have children under the age of eighteen, this will probably be one of the most important decisions you make when it comes to estate planning. You will want to nominate the person (in your will) that you would like to serve as guardian of your children in the event that something should happen to you before they become adults. We recommend that parents begin this conversation with one another even before they have kids, as it may take some time to arrive at a decision.

Appoint A Power Of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for your financial affairs gives someone else the authority to make financial decisions and take care of your affairs in the event that you become unable to do so. A medical power of attorney appoint someone else to carry out your end of life and  healthcare decisions when you are unable to do so.

O'Donnell Law Center Is Here To Make The Process Easier
In order to make things easier on the loved ones you leave behind, you will want to ensure that your estate plan is properly constructed. End of life decisions and conversations aren't always easy, but that doesn't make them any less critical. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here to facilitate the discussion and answer any questions you have about the process.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065