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Showing posts from 2020

If You Answer “Yes” to Any of These Questions, You May Need a Will

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Having a will isn’t just important during uncertain times, it is important during every season, phase, and transition in adult life. We’ve blogged about the stats before, but in short, it’s staggering how many people are going through significant stages in life without a will. Here are a few questions to ask yourself over the next few weeks, as you reorganize your lifestyle, reprioritize your relationships, and maybe even think about the unthinkable. If you answer ”yes” to any of these questions, then it may be the right time for you to get your will in order.


Q: Do you own any assets?You may own real estate, a savings and checking account, investments, a business, cars, boats, planes, or other personal property. With a Will, you can control who inherits your property after you are gone. If you die without a Will or any other kind of estate planning in place, such as a trust or non-probate transfers, then the Missouri state statutes will govern who inherits your property.

Q: Do you hav…

Estate Planning While Under Quarantine

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Chances are, you have been under a new quarantine-like schedule for several weeks now. Many are using this extended time at home to declutter and organize. While you are going through boxes and documents, why not kill two birds with one stone and gather together many of the documents your attorney will want to review in order to draft your estate plan? Doing so will help you check “estate planning” off your “to do” list and can bring a great sense of accomplishment and relief during this stressful and uncertain time.



Some of the documents that are helpful to review during your estate planning are:Life insurance policiesPension, annuity, and retirement account statementsChecking and savings account statementsMoney market accounts and certificates of deposit statementsStocks and bonds statementsReal estate deedsVehicle, boat and trailer titles

In addition to gathering up your documents, here are a few things to begin thinking about so you can discuss them with your estate planning att…

Co-Parenting and COVID

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Getting through a global pandemic is overwhelming enough without the stress of co-parenting difficulties between divorced or separated parents. Here are a few tips to keep in mind over the coming weeks as divorced or separated parents try to child-share during quarantine.


Maintain Safe and Healthy Routines Complying with all CDC, state and local stay at home orders is an important first step, along with implementing good handwashing, surface cleaning and social distancing. Stay informed and up to date with reliable news sources so that you know exactly what is happening around you and what the government sources expect of you.

Follow the Parenting Plan When Possible While the entire world is experiencing chaos, when possible, continue to follow your court-ordered parenting plan so as long as it doesn’t interfere with other government mandates or the safety of the children. If conflict occurs with your co-parent, try to enhance communication. At the end of the day, if a parent refuse…

Legal Assistance at the Lake of the Ozarks

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March 14th is Legal Assistance Day, and a wonderful time to celebrate what it can mean for you to have access to lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks. The day was established to help people understand the importance of what lawyers do for their communities everywhere, while also giving people a special opportunity to handle and resolve their legal needs. At O’Donnell Law Center, we are here to assist when you have hit a bump in the road, or even when you undertake a new adventure such as purchasing a home or starting a new business. Because our goal is to take the burden off of your shoulders and place it on ours, we want you to know exactly what services we offer in our law center at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here is a quick introduction to our center!


Family Law at the Lake of the Ozarks This can be a very broad category that includes divorce, custody, child support, adoption, adult orders of protection, child orders of protection, prenuptial agreements, and grandparents’ rights. Family …

4 Reasons Millennials Need a Family Lawyer

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When you first think of family law, it might seem a bit intimidating or maybe even unnecessary. Millennials are the up and coming generation, and if anyone needs to know about family law, it’s this age group. As a whole, Millennials are between 24 and 39 years old, which covers a wide range of needs in the family law department. Here are four reasons why millennials need family law, and even more so, a family lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks.


Getting To Know Millennials A big portion of family law is centered around marriage, relationships, and the people and things that come from that relationship. This means that it’s important to know how millennials are handing and approaching their relationships if you want to know why family law is so important for them.

In 1980, the average age for first marriages was 22 for women and 25 for men, however, in 2017, the numbers changed to 27 for women and 29 for men. This means that millennials are taking longer to marry if they marry at all (an …

Estate Planning FAQ’s

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Making end-of-life decisions is not everyone’s favorite topic, but it can help relieve the burden of tough decisions for your loved ones, after you pass. Ensure your wishes are carried out with a legally sound estate plan at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our estate planning attorney in Camden County, MO gets a lot of questions surrounding this sensitive topic and we’re here to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions.


What is my estate? The term “estate” is sometimes thought of as being your home – where you live, but that’s not entirely the case in the legal world of estate planning, where it is defined as being all property someone owns at the time of death. Whether it’s investments, real estate or personal property, there are many more items included in a probate estate than a home.

Should I hire an attorney to draft me estate planning documents? There are resources available to draft an estate plan but unfortunately, many of these documents don’t contain the necessary ite…

Upcoming Events You Won’t Want to Miss

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Spring will be here before we know it and it’s time to start gearing up for some late-winter and early-spring events at the Lake of the Ozarks! Our area has a number of events throughout the year. That means there’s tons of opportunities to get out and get more involved in the community. Our Lake of the Ozarks law center is here to help point out some of the exciting upcoming events you and your crew can enjoy.


Polar Plunge February 29th
Lake of the Ozarks State Park PB #2
This "unbearable" event is a unique opportunity to show your bravery as you support local Special Olympics athletes by plunging into the frigid winter waters. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Missouri. SOMO exists to provide year-round sports and training opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and our athletes need you to get involved. Participants must be at least 10 years old and raise a minimum of $75 by event day. The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run(R) …

The Difference Between a Traditional Burial and Cremation

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Many decisions should be made when planning for end of life. Among them, the type of burial you’d like should be included. You may or may not have thought about burial types before but our estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help compare the two most popular burial methods. Read on as we compare the difference between a traditional burial and cremation.


What is a Traditional Burial: A traditional burial is when a body is laid to rest in the ground. A body is placed into a casket and lowered into the ground to it’s final resting place. This is a more traditional form of body disposal.

Quick Comparison Points about Burial: Timeframe – burial is typically within a week after death. In recent years this has become a little more flexible, but the body usually needs to be laid to rest in the ground shortly after the time of death.

Paying Respects – traditional burial consists of a visitation in a funeral home or church, followed by a burial ceremony at a cemetery. Th…

Tips for Entering into Probate

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The probate process is put in place to address a deceased person’s final debts and distribute their remaining estate. Going into probate can seem overwhelming for many but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might think. With an experienced estate planning attorney near the Lake of the Ozarks on your side, you can feel better prepared for the obstacles that lie ahead. Learn some tips that can make preparing for probate a bit easier.


Be Transparent with Family The death of a loved one is an emotionally challenging time for those who have been left behind and adding the stresses of handling their estate to the mix can leave high tensions for the family. While you are still able to make an impact, it’s best to be open and up front with your family about your wishes and expectations. We understand each family has their own unique dynamics and the decisions are ultimately up to you, but we find it can be easier if key family members know in advance what’s happening with the estate.

Common Questions for Entering into a Divorce

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Divorce is one of the most common family law cases. Since it’s something many go through at some point in their lives, there are many common questions about divorce. Our divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the topic of divorce.


How long will the divorce take? The length of time required to complete the divorce process depends on many factors, such as the degree of animosity between spouses, the level of cooperation during settlement negotiations, and whether there are children or complex assets such as a business.

How will our marital property be divided? Marital property in Missouri must be divided in a way that is “fair” and “conscionable”, which does not necessarily mean a fifty-fifty split. If both parties cannot decide how to divide their property and liabilities, it will be up to the court to decide. The court will consider many factors to determine the property division. 

How much will it cost…