Thursday, September 16, 2021

Looking out for your Kids - Estate Planning for Single Parents

With all you do for your child each day, it is not uncommon for a single parent to not really think about estate planning.  It is the last thing you want to think about and perhaps painful when you do. As a single parent, it never escapes your mind that your child depends on you for everything he or she needs.  You will always want the best for your child no matter what.  But parents don’t know where to start when it comes to estate planning and can become overwhelmed before they even get started.  

At Gibbons Law Firm in Lake Ozark, we want you do know that it doesn’t have to be complicated.  We have helped many single parents through the process, and we are here for you too.  So, we thought we would share 3 things to consider in this blog that we hope will make it easier for you to get started.

Guardianship

Deciding who will raise your children if you were to die may be the most difficult part of estate planning for single parents.  It also is extremely important. If your child’s other parent is not able or willing to raise your child, who would make decisions for him or her regarding medical care, education, religion, extracurricular activities, where they live and everything else? Often, a close family member will be chosen, like a parent or sibling of the late parent. But it also may be a close friend or someone who you trust to love your child like their own. It is good to consider things like parenting styles and philosophies, and your vision for your child’s home environment, safety, and future.  If those are congruous with yours it may be easier on your child to adjust to a new home, especially when they are already feeling disruption and loss. Whoever you choose, it is important to speak with them before making your decision, so you know they are willing and able to take on the responsibility of raising your child. 

Life Insurance

You bear the expenses of raising a child every day and you know better than anyone that it is not cheap.  A life insurance policy can make all the difference in your child’s future security and financial stability if you were to pass away before they are of age.  However, it is also important that any money there to provide for your child serves its purpose in going towards your child’s needs.  Gibbons Law Firm would be happy to talk with you about trusts and ways to dictate how and when the money will be available to your child. That way you can allow him or her to reach an age you feel they will be financially mature and self-responsible before having unrestricted access to the money. 

Will

Having a will is probably the most important thing in your estate plan as it can designate everything else. Without a will, the state will determine everything from who your child lives with to what they inherit.  Our attorneys are experienced in estate planning at the Lake of the Ozarks and can help you keep the state from making these critical decisions instead of you.

We know it is an uncomfortable subject, but we also know it is an important conversation to have.  At Gibbons Law Firm, we strive to make the process easy for you and have done so for many of our clients.  Our estate planning attorneys in Lake Ozark are happy to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction to a solid estate plan. Don’t wait to schedule your consultation.  Your first one is FREE, and we look forward to helping you!  If you found this blog helpful, you can catch regular tips and information by following our social media links below. 

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 9, 2021

Your Helpful Legal Guide to Family Law

When it comes to family law, emotions can run high. It may be more difficult to think clearly when you're feeling this emotional so it's important to turn to an experienced family law attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you're experiencing a tough time like this, whether you're going through a brutal divorce, child custody case, adoption, or other family law matter, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you. We can be reached at (573) 348-2211 for your free consultation. Keep reading this week's blog for a few helpful points when it comes to family law.



Your Helpful Legal Guide to Family Law


CHILD CUSTODY: IT'S BEST IF YOU CAN REACH AN AGREEMENT ON YOUR OWN.

Know if you and your spouse can come to an agreeable compromise regarding the division of custody, the court may respect your decision. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court will be required to make arrangements on your behalf. This will be done with the child's best interests in mind; your and your spouse's differing opinions may have little weight in the final decision.


CHILD SUPPORT: KNOW YOUR PLAN.

The individuals who are legally recognized to be a child's parent are generally both required to provide financial assistance if possible. If you were never married, you may be required to order a paternity test in order to legally identify the father. Once this has been achieved, you should be able to seek child support.


NO REASON HAS TO BE GIVEN FOR DIVORCE.

Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples do not have to have a specific reason for filing for divorce. All that is required is for at least one spouse to testify that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or that there are "irreconcilable differences" between spouses.


ASK YOUR ATTORNEY ABOUT CHILD SUPPORT IF YOUR SPOUSE REFUSES TO PAY IT.

If the court has ordered your spouse to pay child support, you can seek legal recourse through your attorney for missed payments. Do not retaliate directly by attempting to withhold visitation rights, as this type of action may be subject to legal consequences of its own.


YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A DIVORCE ATTORNEY, IT'S JUST STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.

When it comes to whether or not you will work with an attorney, you always have the right to make your own choice. However, we encourage you to consult with a family attorney in Camden County MO before moving forward with your divorce. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed in order to protect both your and your children's interests.



Our Family Law Attorneys Are Here For You!

Who's ready to get the legal help you deserve for your family law matters? That's where we come in. Gibbons Law Firm is here for you. We can answer all your questions in a consultation and we don't charge you ANYTHING for your first one. Give us a call today at the phone number listed below. You can also stay up to date on our latest announcements and legal tips by following us on our social media channels listed below.



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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Friday, September 3, 2021

What Does Divorce Demand Financially?

Divorce is such a hard time one everyone. Do you feel like your marriage is over? Are you putting off getting divorced because you're worried you can't afford it? We suggest knowing the facts before jumping into a hasty decision. Our divorce lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to give you a few different types of fees to think about when considering divorce, in this week's blog. If you have any questions, please call Gibbons Law Firm today at (573) 348-2211.



What Does Divorce Demand Financially?


Will there be litigation?

This factor will likely have the strongest influence on the overall cost of your divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on how you want to handle things, you will be able to sign agreements outside of the courtroom, which will likely save you thousands of dollars. If you cannot agree on things and instead decide to take various issues to court, you will be faced with expensive litigation fees.


Do you have children?

If you and your spouse share children, your divorce will almost inevitably become more challenging (and, consequently, more expensive) as you determine how to divide custody. Custody battles are often the most highly contested aspect of any divorce, and when spouses cannot agree on an issue, the overall cost inevitably goes up. 


Do you feel it will take a long time for you and your spouse to reach an agreement?

It probably goes without saying, but the attorney(s) you choose to represent you in the divorce process will significantly impact the overall cost. Some attorneys are much more expensive than others, and some are guided by significantly less integrity. When selecting which Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney you would like to represent you, it is important to choose a trustworthy individual you can rely on to keep your best interests at heart. The longer your divorce takes, the more legal fees there will likely be.


Do you have many assets between the two of you?

The more property and assets you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage, the more work will be involved in dividing them between you. If you only shared the marital residence, dividing the property shouldn't be too challenging. However, if you own multiple properties, share lucrative investments, and have both your names on extensive retirement accounts, the process may become much more involved.



We're Here For You During This Tough Time!

Are you ready to move on with your life? If you're ready to start this transition, we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney. Divorce is not a decision that should be made lightly. To get a better idea of what you'd be getting into, call Gibbons Law Firm today at the phone number listed below. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels below to stay up to date on our latest announcements.



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, August 26, 2021

3 Tips To Keep In Mind When Starting Your Dream Business

Why spend time making someone else's dream come true when you could become a business owner and make your own dreams come true? Stop working the 9-5 job and take that BIG step and start your own business. Our business lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to give you a few tips to keep in mind when starting your dream business, in this week's blog. Call Gibbons Law Firm today at (573) 348-2211 for your free consultation.



3 Tips To Keep In Mind When Starting Your Dream Business


1. You can't keep enough records!

We can't say it enough - documentation is vital to the legal protection of your business. Whether it's a new employee being hired, contracts with customers, or outsourcing your marketing - keep good documentation of all agreements. This can help to protect you and your business, should a conflict arise. If you have everything documented well, you can easily prove your side via the paperwork you have on hand.

Many small business owners utilize friends and family, especially when getting started. While this can be of great benefit to the business owner, it's important to ensure you treat these employees just like everyone else. It's also vital to keep good documentation when letting an employee go. Document the reasoning and conversation that takes place, when firing an employee.


2. Make sure employees understand confidentiality!

Intellectual property is a BIG deal for any business but can have a devastating impact on a small business. Be sure you protect this property well. Consult legal assistance when it comes to safeguarding your intelligence. Trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and confidentiality are all examples of intellectual property. When hiring a new employee, be sure they are clear as to what information they are privileged to and what they are not allowed to disclose to others outside the business. This can help to keep your vital information safe and help you legally protect this property.


3. Update your contracts when necessary!

Once you have your legal contracts reviewed and ready to go, that's not the end of the road. On a regular basis try to have your business lawyer review these documents. With each year, you may need to make updates to your contracts in order to stay up with any loopholes that may come about. It's also important to update any dates or other information to ensure they are still relevant.



Ready To Start Your Dream Business?

Getting it started right and hiring an experienced business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can only benefit you! For more legal tips for business owners, call Gibbons Law Firm today. We can be reached at the phone number listed below. You can also follow us on our social media channels listed below to stay up to date on our latest legal tips.


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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Friday, August 20, 2021

5 Items You NEED For Your Estate Plan

Estate Planning is rarely anyone's favorite topic of conversation. Who likes talking about what will happen when they die? It sounds morbid, but at the same time, it's truly important that you get these important matters taken care of now, while you still have a say. Ensure your assets go to who YOU want them to. Our estate planning lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to tell you about 5 items you should have ready when it comes to your estate plan. If you have any questions, please call Gibbons Law Firm today at (573) 348-2211.



5 Items You NEED For Your Estate Plan


1. BRING YOUR LIFE INSURANCE DOCUMENTS.

Any life insurance information is helpful as you are planning your estate. Bring your policies along with you so that we can accurately assign someone to take ownership.


2. BRING A LIST OF BENEFICIARIES YOU PLAN TO LEAVE YOUR ASSETS TO.

As you decide who to leave your estate with, gather their updated address and other contact information. This can make the transfer of your assets much easier after you pass. The exact name and address of the individuals or institutions that you plan to name in your will are necessary.


3. BRING A LIST OF GUARDIANS YOU ARE CONSIDERING.

If you have children who are under the age of 18, it is important to have specific individuals named to take over the guardianship of your children. You may also want to have an alternative guardian in mind as well. When children are involved, it’s best to have someone named as the guardian to avoid a child going into government care.


4. BRING BANK STATEMENTS.

Gather the financial statements from your investments and bank accounts to your meeting when planning your estate. These documents will help show where your financial assets are located. You can also start thinking about who you intend to take over ownership of these financial accounts in the time leading up to your meeting.


5. BRING A LIST OF THE VALUABLE ASSETS YOU PLAN TO PASS DOWN.

Similar to your financial statements, assets and liability information should be brought to the meeting as well. The list will be helpful when dividing up assets and liabilities to pass on to the person of your choosing.



Let's Get Your Estate Plan Taken Care of Together!

If you've been dreading the conversation about what happens to your assets when you pass away but know that it needs to be taken care of before it's too late, give us a call. Our attorneys at Gibbons Law Firm can make the process of creating your estate plan easy and stress-free for you. Give us a call today at the phone number listed below to set up your free consultation. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below to stay up to date on our latest announcements.


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

Follow us on...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

3 Tips On How To Divide Marital Property

You don't expect to have to divide your assets eventually with the person you chose to marry. Divorce isn't something you see coming. It's tough and can catch you by surprise. That being said, you CAN get through it. Our divorce lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to give you 3 tips on how to divide marital property, in this week's blog. If you have questions regarding divorce, please call Gibbons Law Firm today for your free consultation. Call (573) 348-2211.



3 Tips On How To Divide Marital Property


1. DO YOUR BEST TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON YOUR OWN.

If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement, the only alternative is to allow the Court to decide. The Court will divide your marital assets in an equitable (but not necessarily equal) manner. When determining how to divide the assets, the Court will consider a variety of different factors including both spouses' current income, both spouses' earning potential, and how each spouse handled their finances during the marriage. Based on these (and other) factors, the Court will determine an arrangement that will meet each spouse's needs in a way that is fair and equitable.


2. BE MINDFUL AND TREAT THIS LIKE A BUSINESS MEETING.

Your emotions are clearly running high. So take your emotions out of the equation and treat this like a business meeting. Be professional and fair. Generally, couples who are facing divorce have two primary options for dividing their property. They can either reach an agreement on their own, or they can let the Court decide. If you can reach a decision on your own, then this process can become much easier and shorter.


3. CREATE A PLAN THAT MEETS BOTH YOUR NEEDS.

If you and your spouse are able to be amicable and cooperative, designating your own plan for dividing assets may be an ideal solution. This is generally the most desirable option since it allows both you and your spouse to have complete control over the division of your property. You can work together to devise an agreement that will accommodate both of your needs.



Need Expert Legal Guidance To Get Through Your Divorce?


Divorce is an emotional time. As human beings, we don't always think clearly when our emotions are running high. You can really benefit from some expert advice from someone who can be legal guide throughout this tough time. That's us. Gibbons Law Firm has the expertise to get you through this. Give us a call at the phone number listed below for your free consultation today.


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

Follow us on...

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Divorce: What You Should Absolutely NOT Do

Is there really a RIGHT way to go about a divorce? No matter what divorce is emotionally painful, there's no doubting that. HOWEVER, there are a TON of wrong ways to go about the divorce process. Our divorce lawyers at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to give you a few pointers on how NOT to handle your divorce, in this week's blog. If you're struggling to get through your divorce and need the advice from an experienced divorce attorney in Lake Ozark, call Gibbons Law Firm today. We can be reached at 573-348-2211.



Divorce: What You Should Absolutely NOT Do


DO NOT:


GO INTO DEBT BY SPENDING MONEY WHEN YOU DON'T NEED TO BE.

Divorce can be an expensive time for the parties involved. You are typically going from two incomes down to supporting yourself (and your family) on your own. Any debt that is accrued while you are still married may be brought into the divorce process. Try to avoid racking up unnecessary debt while you are getting divorced.


LIE ABOUT ASSETS YOU HAVE.

Hiding assets is a bad idea. Once the lawyers/court/judge finds out about the asset, it is going to be involved in the division anyway. This can also make you look bad if you try to sneak away with unaccounted for assets. It's best to be upfront and honest during the entire divorce process.


BRING YOUR CHILDREN INTO THE DRAMA.

It's important to remember your divorce is between the two adults, not the kids. Try to limit talking about your split in front of the children, if you have any. This could end up driving a wedge between one parent and the kids. Try to stay as involved as possible in your kids' lives, as well. It can be a tough time for children as their parents split apart and they need as much love and support during this time as possible.


MAKE THINGS HARDER THAN THEY NEED TO BE BY FIGHTING.

While most divorces you hear about end up in a large dispute, it does not have to be that way. Matters can often be handled in a civil manner. This can actually help the process go much smoother and quicker. If both parties can decide on how to split property and time with kids (if there are children from the marriage), it does not have to be a drawn-out process.



You Can Get Through This!


Like we said, divorce is tough on anyone, we get that. That's why you deserve to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side throughout this difficult time. That's where we come in. Gibbons Law Firm can help you through this and make sure you are not being taken advantage of. Give us a call today at the number listed below.  You can also follow us on our social media channels listed below to stay up to date on our latest announcements and legal tips.


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

Follow us on...