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Kenly North Carolina Legal Blog

Your Power of Attorney is an essential part of your estate plan

When you start estate planning, you may focus on the need for a will. After all, the will is the most common legal document that people say they need to have as they age.

The reality is that a will is not all you need, and your power of attorney designation could be even more important. A power of attorney is a legal document that designates another person who will act on your behalf when you're unable to do so. This person may make decisions for you when you're sick, disabled or after you pass away, so that you can rest easy knowing that they will take care of your estate and carry out your wishes.

Communication: 4 methods that work for divorcing couples

Going through a divorce is not easy. You and your estranged spouse may not get along well and have trouble communicating with one another. Fortunately, there are many options for communicating that will allow you to talk without being face-to-face.

You may need to communicate because of having children together, or you may have to discuss property division or other factors of your divorce. If you have trouble talking in person, you have some other options. Here are several of the ways you can communicate with the ability to save those conversations for use in court.

Does “staging” of a house pay off?

You have been living in your home for many years, but you've decided that it's time to move on to a new location. You want to downsize and eliminate stress in your life, so selling your home is a priority.

One of the things that your realtor may speak with you about is the importance of staging your house well. Staging your house well eliminates mess and removes certain possessions that would make it hard for others to concentrate on how the property looks. Staged correctly, a buyer can walk into a home and imagine themselves living there.

What is title insurance? Is it expensive?

If you are interested in buying a property, one thing you may want to look into having is title insurance. Title insurance is a kind of indemnity insurance that protects you against financial losses suffered as a result of defects in a property's title. There are several kinds of title insurance, with the most common being lender's title insurance. Owner's title insurance is also a possibility.

When you buy a property, the most important thing is that the title is clear. Without a clear title, it's impossible to know who has legal ownership of the property and there could be claims on the property that are not yet resolved. So-called "dirty" titles complicate purchases and are generally avoided by buyers.

Raising healthy kids: Here's how to help them respond to divorce

When children are going to be going through a divorce, one of the best things their parents can do is help them do so with grace and dignity. Parents can do this by upholding their values and making sure to treat their ex-partners with respect, even in the most volatile times.

When you think about your children, you need to remember that they are both yours and your ex-spouse's. They share your DNA, and that means that anything you say that is negative about the other parent reflects directly on your child. Even though this isn't the intention, it's how it could be perceived. That's why being respectful of your ex-spouse is among the most important steps to helping your children respond well to divorce.

Parenting plans 101: Getting the perfect plan in place

With parenting plans, there are always going to be changes. However, a great parenting plan will account for changes in the future and describe how you'll handle them.

Parenting plans are essential, because they explain how you'll raise your child, what to expect from the other parent and what the other parent expects from you. It can address things like what happens if your child is sick or what to do about religion or other activities that one parent may prefer for their child.

Custody exchanges in neutral locations can make things easier

Divorcing with children means you will inevitably have to interact with your ex when it's time for you to exchange custody. Those interactions may be brief, but they can be a source of significant issues for families going through divorce.

Despite your best intentions to stay calm, interacting during custody exchanges may lead to arguments in front of the children. In some circumstances, it could increase the likelihood of a violent outburst. Inviting your ex into your new home may also make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Lashing out: Belittling another parent isn't a great idea

You may not think it's a big deal to say negative things about your estranged spouse to your children. The truth is that doing so can be extremely harmful to your relationship with your kids and cause strain in other aspects of your divorce. Children are aware that they are made up of half of each parent. They know that they come from their mom and dad.

Imagine how you would feel if you suddenly heard that half of you was all bad. You'd be angry. Imagine hearing that someone you love hates someone who is also very important to you. You'd be conflicted.

Coparenting can work if you're willing to be flexible

Parenting plans usually have at least one fault, and that is that they can't account for every situation that occurs. Coparenting is difficult enough as it is, but when unexpected factors influence your life, they can make coparenting even harder.

The thing to remember about coparenting is that it can work well if you and your ex-spouse are willing to be flexible. In fact, if you think far enough in advance, you may even be able to build flexibility into your parenting plan.

Dividing your estate's jewelry: Tips and tricks

When you're planning your estate and thinking about the future, one of the things you may decide you want to do is to pass on your jewelry to your children. You may have valuable pieces combined with heirlooms and costume jewelry, all of which will need a home after you pass.

As the owner of the jewelry today, you have a few options. One is to allow the executor of the estate to dole out the jewelry after you pass away. Another option is to talk to those who may have an interest in the jewelry and ask which pieces they'd like to have. You can then gift it directly to them before your passing or opt to leave it to them in your will.

Lucas & Davis, P.A
209 West 2nd Street
PO Box 910
Kenly, NC 27542-5001
Phone: 919-284-5106
Fax: 919-284-6942
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