Probate Law

What It Takes to Be a Child Visitation Attorney Comments Off on What It Takes to Be a Child Visitation Attorney

What It Takes to Be a Child Visitation Attorney

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As a family lawyer, you deal with a lot of issues surrounding children and their safety. As a child visitation attorney, you’ve specialized even more. You’ve learned to detect the safest, legal, and fairest situations, and you’ve learned to take all the factors into consideration when building a case and presenting it for a decision. But how did you get there?

If you’re considering becoming a child visitation attorney, there’s a few things you can do to set yourself on the right path toward a successful future.

Start With an Education

First, to become an attorney of any type, you will need a college education and a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited university. Most people complete these studies in about 7 years total, although some can complete their degrees in less time, and some people take a bit longer. On average, an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree, takes about 4 years to complete, and a JD takes another three.

What to Study in Undergrad

You don’t need a pre-law undergraduate degree in order to become an attorney – or even to get accepted to law school. People from all types of undergraduate studies, including psychology, literature, business, and social work can go to law school. As long as you have studied hard and are able to show the law schools you apply to how your undergraduate education applies to the area of law you want to specialize in, you should have a good chance to get accepted.

If you’re considering a career as a child visitation attorney, you might pursue a bachelor’s in child psychology, family studies, or even history.

studying to become child visitation attorney

Do you need a Master’s?

That’s up to you and how much time you want to spend in school. No, you don’t need a Master’s degree after your undergraduate degree. You can apply to law school without one – and it may not even necessarily help you get into law school. But, if you want to undertake advanced studies in a specific field before you become a child visitation attorney, you can certainly pursue graduate education.

Study for the LSAT

One of the biggest factors that contributes to being accepted to law school is your performance on the standardized legal graduate test – the LSAT. Don’t take it lightly. Check into the law schools that interest you and find out what their acceptance standards are, including the average LSAT score of their recent students. This should give you a good idea of what you need to achieve.

Complete your Juris Doctorate

Once you’ve gotten into law school – don’t let your passion let up! You will have opportunities to take courses that expose you directly to the laws that a child visitation attorney needs to know. And you will also have opportunities to study areas of law that interest you, but you’re not going to directly pursue. The better you apply yourself to your studies in your JD program, the more likely you will be to enjoy success in your career.

Graduation from child visitation attorney schooling

Get Your License to Practice Law

In the states where you plan to practice as a licensed attorney, there will be specific requirements for you to present and market yourself as a full attorney. Generally, the licensing exams – commonly referred to as “the Bar” or “the Bar Exam” – are regularly scheduled and you will have ample time to study and prepare for the exam. You don’t need to work with a local attorney to prepare to become licensed in any particular state, but it can certainly help.

Child Visitation Attorney Experience

All the while, as you’re becoming educated, you will probably have many opportunities to directly work with legal clients. Perhaps you can get an internship or part-time employment in a law firm, social work office, or with a volunteer organization.

It’s not necessary to have this experience to get into law school after undergraduate school. And it’s not necessary to have this experience to pass the Bar after law school. And it’s not necessary to have this experience after passing the bar in order to start your career. But any step along the way, it is valuable to have experience you can apply to the next stage of your career.

To prepare for a career as a child visitation attorney, seek out experience working with children, their parents, and the legal system. You won’t regret it.

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What Is Probate? Comments Off on What Is Probate?

What Is Probate?

Posted by in Probate Law

Probate is a legal concept that many people have heard about, and many are even afraid of, without understanding exactly what process is, how it works, and how to prepare for it. If you’re asking yourself “What is probate?” there are a few key things you should know.

Probate is a legal process

You may have heard of “probate court” and immediately pictured people in handcuffs, dramatic scenes of relatives crying, and a judge who reads out legalese from a high podium. In trust, most probate legal proceedings are nothing like TV courtroom dramas.

For one, probate tends to be a rather dignified and restrained process. Since most people who are involved in probate court are going through a stressful emotional experience to begin with, the court is designed to make the process less dramatic.

Probate involves multiple steps through the legal system.
Probate involves multiple steps through the legal system.

That’s not to say that probate isn’t stressful – it requires legal documentations, scheduled hearings with attorneys, and can often involve intense emotions.

Probate doesn’t begin at death

When someone passes away, their properties and assets have to now legally belong to someone new. But who?

Many people expressly want their assets distributed in a specific way, and to prepare for the inevitability of death, they prepare a Last Will and Testament. Often, with the help of an estate planning attorney.

Last Will & Testament

When a person is still of legally sound mind, they can document their wishes for their property after their death in a formal document. Some people write a very simple will, leaving a lump total of their assets to one or a few people. Other people make detailed and explicit Wills that spell out particulars of accounts, real estate, stocks, physical property, and cash value that they want distributed to loved ones or charities.

A Last Will & Testament also often includes directions for a person’s burial, cremation, or other arrangements, as well as important information like passwords, PIN numbers, or other information to allow a person’s important data be accessed after their death.

Living Revocable Trust

In addition to a Last Will & Testament, there is another type of document that helps determine the legal ownership of property easier. Instead of, or in addition to, a Will, many people also choose to establish a Living Trust that places their assets under an umbrella. The person chooses a beneficiary (or several) or their assets, as well as a neutral third person to manage the assets within the trust.

We like to say that probate “doesn’t begin at death” because there are many things a person can do to well before they get close to death to prepare for asset ownership distribution in probate.

During grief is not the time you want to deal with estate management.
During grief is not the time you want to deal with estate management.

Probate is Costly

Many people are afraid of probate because they’ve heard that people can “lose everything” or that probate is so costly that there’s nothing left afterward.

While this is an exaggeration, there is some truth to the idea that probate costs a significant amount of money that you’d probably rather not pay, if you don’t have to.

By preparing for probate from the moment you own your first asset, you’ll reduce the cost of distributing your property after your death.

Probate involves legal fees

Probate involves lawyers. There’s really no way around it. At your death, if there is no direct and clear owner of your property, court-appointed lawyers will inventory your belongings, have them evaluated, determine who they should belong to, and distribute them accordingly. Your wishes, and your family’s wishes, may be given minimal consideration.

This is the most costly form of probate. In this situation, the court will repay itself for the trouble it goes through to evaluate and distribute your property. Often, this results in high court fees and extensive legal fees, especially if you had a lot of assets that take a long time to compile and distribute.

If you prepare your own legal documents in order to reduce the cost of probate court proceedings, you will still be paying legal fees, but it will be to an attorney that you trust, in order to make sure that your wishes are executed properly.

Probate involves taxes

Property taxes, estate taxes, inheritance taxes – oh my! There are many ways that your assets might be evaluated and taxed, depending on what types of assets you have and who is doing the evaluation. Don’t let someone who doesn’t know you, your situation, or the nuances of your finances, determine how everything you’ve worked your whole life for gets taxed.

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Does Estate Planning Law Intimidate You? Check Out The 8 Steps To Estate Planning Comments Off on Does Estate Planning Law Intimidate You? Check Out The 8 Steps To Estate Planning

Does Estate Planning Law Intimidate You? Check Out The 8 Steps To Estate Planning

Posted by in Probate Law

Some people will shell out money for material things but are not willing to spend for estate planning.

Your death will devastate your loved ones, but it will be tougher on them if you didn’t make plans in the event of your death. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can create an estate plan that ensures your family is cared for even after your death.

The best time to create an estate plan is now. So long as you have assets and properties and children who rely on you, this is an investment you should be making.

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