Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Life Changes...And So Should Your Estate Plan!

Making changes to an estate plan is not something that many people think about. Once a plan is created, it is typically left alone. This is not always for the best though. A number of factors in your life should have a direct impact on your estate plan. It's important to keep this document updated as often as possible to ensure what you want to happen is carried out, after your time on earth. If you have gone through some recent life changes, take the time to update your estate plan with our Lake of the Ozarks law office. We can help you make amendments to your plan. Below you can find examples of life changes that may occur in which you should make changes to your existing estate plan at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Change in Marital Status

State in your plan who you specifically want to receive your belongings. If you have a change in marital status, be sure to update your estate plan as soon as possible. It's important to update your estate plan information whether you're recently married, getting remarried, or going through a divorce.

Birth of a Child

Don't forget about your estate plan as you welcome a new bundle of joy into the world. This can help protect your child or children, should something happen to you. An important piece of information in your estate plan is to designate guardians for your child if you and your spouse are not around. Ensure your wishes are carried out, especially when it comes to your children, by thoroughly updating your estate plan.

Increase or Decrease in Assets

Further changes may be required to update your estate plan if you experience a change in your assets or income. This increase can actually leave your beneficiaries with more tax burden and possible estate administration fee. You can help to minimize the taxation by structuring your estate plan differently. A legal professional can help share options with you and advise you as the best option for your unique situation.

Passing of a Beneficiary

Your estate plan may be the last thing on your mind as a loved one passes. Don't forget to make changes to your plan should something happen to a person listed as a beneficiary on your estate. Keep in mind you can designate the portion intended for the beneficiary who passed to go on to his or her children.

Relocation to Another State

Every state has a different set of estate laws. Many of them are consistent but minor changes may be required to execute your plan in a different state. Be sure to keep this document updated and follow any new changes in the law that may happen. Even if you are simply relocating to a new home in the same state, this property will need to be added to your plan while the old property will be removed.

Disability or Illness

Your care will need to be established in your estate plan, as well. Should an illness or disability incapacitate you or one of your beneficiaries, you will want to designate someone else to be in charge of that portion. State your desires on a regular basis, before a serious illness or disability renders you unable to do so.

An estate plan can help to make sure your wishes are carried out exactly how you intended them. It's an important document to have completed, no matter what your age. If you haven't established an estate plan for you and your family, take time to schedule an appointment with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm. We can help you create an estate plan to fit your wishes, should something happen to you.

The unexpected is the only thing you can expect in life. That's why planning ahead and keeping an estate plan updated on a regular basis is key. Protect your family and ensure your wishes are carried out when you make changes to your estate plan on an as-needed basis. If you're looking to make changes to your estate plan, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We can help you amend your existing plan and ensure your current wishes are carried out.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

4 Factors that Impact the Cost of Divorce

Did you know financial challenges are one of the most common causes for divorce in the United States? Although divorce does not have to be expensive, there are a number of factors that can drive up the cost of a divorce. Several factors can increase the financial stress for both parties involved in the divorce.

One of the most common questions our family law attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks gets asked is ”how expensive is a divorce.” Unfortunately, there is no set amount for each divorce. Each situation is different, making it impossible to provide a clear price estimate. There are certain factors that can influence how much a divorce will cost. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here to help explain some of the factors that may apply to your divorce and how these factors can impact the overall cost.

Factor #1: Children Involved in the Divorce

When there are children involved in a divorce, the cost of the divorce may rise. It can take more time to determine how to divide custody of your kids. A custody battle is often the most highly contested aspect of the divorce process. Each parent is typically passionate about their kids and are willing to fight for their rights, causing the cost of divorce to rise.

Factor #2: Amount of Cooperation between Spouses

Cooperation with your spouse also has a direct impact on the length of time involved to finalize the divorce. This factor also has a big impact on the money needed to complete the process. If you and your spouse cannot decide how things should be handled and divided, extensive and costly litigation fees may be involved. If the two parties can agree and cooperate, it can greatly impact the bottom line in a positive way.

Factor #3: Marital Assets Involved

If a large amount of assets are involved, the more work needed in dividing them between the two parties. Multiple properties or other assets can complicate the process, and drive the cost up. Other assets that can complicate the process are shared investments and retirement accounts that are listed in both of your names.

Factor #4: The Attorneys You Choose

The attorneys used to represent you in the divorce process will have a significant impact on the overall cost. While the cost is a major factor, it's important to find a divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks that is trustworthy, reliable, and has your best interest in mind throughout the entire process.

If you are interested in filing for divorce, we hope you'll consider Gibbons Law Firm for a trustworthy and affordable attorney. It's important to find the right lawyer to represent your divorce case. Let us help you through the entire divorce process.

Along with divorce, our Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney has experience with all matters relating to family law. Child custody, spousal maintenance, child support, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, paternity cases, annulments, and legal separation are all matters we can assist with, as well. For more information about divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact our law firm today. Your first initial consultation is always free with us!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How to Identify Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a major challenge the workforce across America faces. This problem can have negative and lasting impact on the culture of your business. Everyone in your company can be affected by sexual harassment, from employees to the HR department to the business owner. The negative impacts not only affect your workforce, it can lead to legal consequences too. Sexual harassment should not be taken lightly and needs to be addressed right away to avoid lasting negative impacts.

It is essential that you be on the lookout for sexual harassment around your business, especially as a business owner. Action is required right away to help mitigate the situation and set an example to repair any damage that has been done to employee moral or security. Our Lake of the Ozarks attorney can help your business deal with a sexual harassment issue, should one arise within your workplace. It's important to create a safe and healthy environment for your employees and customers. A sexual harassment attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help if you experience a situation like this within your company.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Harassment in the workplace or other professional social setting that involves the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks is known as sexual harassment. There are several different forms of sexual harassment and can occur in a variety of situations. Sexual harassment is illegal and punishable by law, therefore, it's important for businesses to be aware of any harassment situation that is going on in the workplace. Women and men of all ages can be subject to sexual harassment advances. Not all sexual harassment involves physical contact - anytime a supervisor or employee is making another employee free uncomfortable in a sexual nature, sexual harassment is present. It's a good idea to train your employees to easily identify this type of harassment and let them know the company's policy on such acts. Swift action is required, should your business have a case of sexual harassment.

Types of Sexual Harassment:

Two primary forms of sexual harassment in the workplace are hostile work environment and quid pro quo. When an individual is made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace, it is known as a hostile work environment. This type of harassment does not have to involved any physical contact, although sometimes it does. Sexual or offensive jokes, images, and/or conversations can all be found under the hostile work environment category of sexual harassment. A quid pro quo category stems from a situation wherein the decision to hire, promote, or fire an individual is based upon their willingness to perform sexual favors or submit to sexual advances. Both types of sexual harassment are illegal, but are unfortunately common in the workforce today.

Identifying Sexual Harassment:

This type of harassment can take on a variety of different forms. Below are common examples of ways it can present itself in the workplace:
- Using pet names or inappropriate terms when referring to a coworker or employee.
- Making inappropriate noises (whistling, cat-calling, etc.).
- Giving a shoulder or neck massage to another individual in the office.
- Speaking provocatively or insultingly about someone's appearance.
- Touching someone inappropriately.
- Requesting sexual favors.
- Discussing sex or sexual acts with a coworker.
- Showing photographs or sexual objects to a fellow employee.
- Kissing, hugging, pinching, or grabbing another person in the workplace.
- Threatening someone's position within the company if they refuse sexual advances.

It's important to address a sexual harassment right away. If you notice any of the above signs or behaviors talk with your supervisor, Human Resources department, and/or attorney as soon as possible. Gibbons Law Firm is here to help! Our legal professional can help defend your sexual harassment case and present your side of the situation. For more information about our legal services at the Lake of the Ozarks, give our law firm a call at 573-348-2211 and remember your first consultation is always FREE!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

Types of crimes are divided between two categories – misdemeanor and felony. Felonies are punishable by death or lengthy incarceration while misdemeanors are less serious crimes where the punishment is not as steep as a felony. Being accused of a crime is a serious situation no matter if it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Our Lake of the Ozarks criminal defense attorney can help you understand the magnitude of your case. Below you can find more ways distinguish between a misdemeanor and a felony crime.


Some consider a misdemeanor a “middle-of-the-road crime”. This type of crime has a more serious consequence than an infraction and lesser than that of a felony.  Misdemeanors are typically punishable by fines and/or up to one year in county or local jail.

See a few examples of a misdemeanor crime below:
Petty Theft
Possession of small amounts of marijuana
Disturbance of the peace
Illegal gambling

Note that some misdemeanor charges can be moved up to a felony, depending on the severity of the crime. For example, punching someone in a bar would be punished as a misdemeanor but hitting someone with brass knuckles would qualify as a felony charge. In addition, being in possession of a large amount of marijuana can be charged as a felony, whereas a smaller amount may be punished as a misdemeanor.


According to the American Judicial System, a felony is the most serious classification of crime that can be committed. This classification is reserved for the most heinous crimes.  Convicted felons may be subject to the maximum punishment allowable by the state in which they are committed. This can include steep fines, multiple years in prison (including up to life), and the potential for the death penalty (depending on the state).

See a few examples of felonies below:
Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
Grand theft
Identity theft
Possession and/or distribution of a controlled substance

Quality Representation Can Make All The Difference:

Misdemeanor and felony convictions can greatly impact every aspect of your life. The thought itself can be overwhelming. Even if you are not punished to life in prison, the conviction can follow you around for many years. The right representation on your side can help you reach the best outcome possible. It’s important to find an attorney who can help best represent your misdemeanor or felony case.

When being accused of a crime, securing an experienced defense is essential. Our criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks has experience defending against a wide range of criminal allegations. If you have been accused of a criminal offense, it’s important to seek legal counsel to discuss your options. Contact Gibbons Law Firm to schedule your initial consultation today. At our Lake of the Ozarks law firm, your first consultation is always free!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

6 Common Personal Injury Legal Questions

People are injured on a daily basis and in some of these cases the injury is caused by another individual. The person who caused the injury may be at fault, whether the incident was intentional or not. Although the injury may not be have been on purpose, there may be steep medical bills that add up. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm can help you seek compensation for injuries you have sustained due to someone else’s negligence. To help you better understand the services we offer, we’ve dedicated this week’s blog to answer common questions people have about personal injury cases in Mid-Missouri.

Question #1

How do I know if I have a valid Case?
If you feel like you can prove that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you most likely have grounds for a valid personal injury case. Seek professional legal counsel if you are questioning the validity of your personal injury situation.

Question #2

How can I get compensation from an injury caused by an uninsured driver?
American motorists are legally required to purchase insurance coverage for vehicle accidents. Although this is required, many drivers are NOT properly insured. If you are injured due to an uninsured motorist who is unknown, you can contact your insurance company for compensation under the uninsured motorist policy.

Question #3

I have received damage releases from the insurance company, should I sign them?
It’s best to not sign any paperwork regarding your case without your attorney looking at the document. Sometimes an insurance adjustor or other involved party may try to convince you to sign a damage release form without having a legal professional present.  You should never sign off on a paper if you are not sure of the exact purpose of the document.

Question #4

How do I know if an offer to settle my case is reasonable?
It can be difficult to tell if an offer is reasonable. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you distinguish if your settlement offer is fair. Seek legal help if you are unsure if the offer will be enough to cover damages caused by someone else’s negligence.

Question #5

Can my case be resolved without an attorney?
A case can be resolved without an attorney; however, the goal of the insurance company is to minimize what they are required to pay out. If you wish to seek damages to cover the injuries sustained, a lawyer may be the best option for you!

Question #6

How much is my case worth?
This is one of the top questions on the minds of anyone considering a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest questions to answer. A personal injury case needs to be carefully evaluated by a legal professional to get an idea of what damages you may be able to receive. A number of factors come into play when coming up with an answer to this question. Medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, associated pain and suffering are all factors that need to be evaluated when estimating a damage amount.

If you’ve been injured at the fault of someone else, it’s important to know all of your options. Contact our personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks to help with your case. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call today if you have any other questions pertaining to personal injury cases! Look at our website to learn more about our personal injury services. Remember, your first consultation with our law firm is free.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

5 Tips for a Less Stressful Divorce

A divorce will be a stressful situation for you, your spouse, and your family. Some of the stress can be alleviated with some actions that you can control. The bottom line with your divorce is to limit the amount of conflict and stress during this difficult period of your life. Our family law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is here for all of your needs when ending a marriage. Find some tips below to help limit the amount of stress during a divorce, courtesy of Gibbons Law Firm

1. Allow Open Lines of Communication

Emotions typically run high as a marriage is ending. Try to keep the lines of communication open and honest between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. The ability to calmly navigate through the divorce process together can make all the difference in your experience. Making decisions together can help speed along the process tremendously. Clear communication is the key to an easy, successful divorce.

2. Ensure Your Kids are the Top Priority

If children are involved, keep them at the top of the priority list, especially during your divorce proceedings. Try to avoid a situation in which your kids are put in the middle of you and your spouse’s divorce. This can lead to tension for the children and an unpleasant situation for everyone. When it’s appropriate, encourage your kids to have a solid relationship with both parents. Set a good example and help create a less stressful situation for your entire family.

3. Seek Professional Therapy

The emotional toll of a divorce can be difficult to deal with at times. Seek help from a therapist if you need someone to talk to or help you work through the emotional side of the process. Talking things out during therapy can help give you a new perspective on the entire divorce and help you cope with the changes that are taking place. 

4. Keep Your Finances In Check

In addition to the expense of a divorce alone, you will want to think ahead to future expenses that you will now be tackling on your own. Try to avoid racking up debt as you work through the divorce process. Consider creating a new budget for your household to help stay on top of expenses. 

5. Find the Right Divorce Lawyer for YOU

The right lawyer can make all the difference in your divorce. It’s important to find someone who you are comfortable with. Ease the strain of the situation with the right divorce attorney on your side. A supportive and cooperative legal professional can help ease some of the worry involved during your divorce proceedings. 

Making the divorce process less stressful can be a challenging task, but it can be done. Stay positive and focus on the end result when you struggle during the process. By starting with the advice of a professional Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, you can get the divorce process going in a positive direction. If you are preparing for a divorce, consult our divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks today. We are honored to help with your divorce in any way. Remember, the first consultation is always free at our law firm!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

5 Legal Tips for Your Small Business

As a business owner, you want to help protect your small business from legal issues. Protecting your small business from possible legal issues requires some preparation and prevention. As your Lake of the Ozarks law firm, we have provided some tips to help your small business avoid unnecessary time in the court room - we know your time can be better spent focused on your business. Here are some legal tips to help protect your small business at the Lake of the Ozarks.   

1) Keep Good Documentation

As a business owner, it's important to put everything in writing. Document your formal activities like hiring, firing, accounting information, and other internal decisions. It is vital to protect what you've worked so hard to create. Keep good records of anything that happens pertaining to your business, and keep these documents organized. Time is important with legal business issues, so finding the proper documentation quickly is important.

2) Treat All Partners and Customers the Same

Many small business owners conduct business with friends and family. While this is usually beneficial for your business, it’s important to keep it professional. If you have a family member working for you or are doing a project for a close friend, treat the situation like a typical employee or client, and keep your documentation in order. Think ahead for if and when this partnership or working relationship will dissolve or come to an end.  

3) Guard Your Intellectual Property

Safeguard your trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and confidentiality. Ensure your intellectual property is properly protected. When hiring a new employee, be sure your documentation is worded accurately and you have a lawyer conduct a review of your confidentiality and non-compete agreements. Much time, money, and effort may be required to protect your business without this proper documentation. 

4) Make Solid Agreements with Employees

Before hiring someone on, communicate clearly your expectations. An employment agreement is a document to establish straightforward expectations and rules for everyone to follow. Company policies are another piece of information that should be included with this agreement. 

5) Seek Out Legal Representation

While you are the expert of your own business, the legal world is a whole different arena. It's important to have a legal professional help you set up these documents to ensure you have your bases are covered. Your lawyer can also keep copies of your legal documents in case you need them! 

Hopefully you’ve learned more about some ways to protect your small business. We can help you implement these legal protections that your business may need. While taking these steps can help keep your business out of legal turmoil, Gibbons Law Firm can help to represent your small business should a situation arise. Remember, your first consultation with our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is free! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to legally represent your small business venture. 

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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