3 Times When You Need a Lawyer, Even If You Think You Don’t

There are times when you know that you need a lawyer, such as if you're being sued or facing criminal charges.

However, there are several other situations in which you may need one without realizing it. These are situations in which, depending on your jurisdiction and specific situation, an attorney may not be required, but the cost and likelihood of serious errors may be substantial.

Starting a Business

You may resist the idea of paying an attorney as you’re starting a business because you’re trying to save money, but mistakes in contracts or other types of paperwork can be expensive. An attorney may also be able to help you determine the best type of business entity in your particular situation. There may also be situations where you need to create a business for other reasons as well. You might be interested in real estate investing because of the excellent long-term potential for growing wealth. However, you may wonder how to manage such things as legal obligations, assets, and income. If you’re planning to purchase rental properties, one option is creating an LLC or a limited liability company. An attorney would be able to help you with the paperwork involved in this.

Estate Planning

Like many people, you may avoid estate planning because you don’t want to think about the issues it brings up. When you do get around to it, you might opt for a quick and inexpensive DIY package. The problem with this is that you may prepare those documents ambiguously or incorrectly. Working with an attorney can help you avoid that and can also help flag up issues you may not have considered. If you leave everything to your spouse in a second marriage, your assets might then be passed on to their children and not yours. You might fail to consider the role that beneficiary designations play in your estate plan, or you might think you can disinherit an immediate family member when your state does not permit it. An attorney can help guide you through this process.

Making a Prenup

As with estate planning, people often avoid making prenuptial or postnuptial agreements because they dislike the implications of doing so. However, creating such an agreement can protect valuable assets that each person is bringing into the marriage and can also prompt important conversations about finances. Couples may feel closer to one another after these conversations. Above all, this is an opportunity to work out how property will be divided in case of divorce at a time when you are focused on being fair and generous to one another. So why do you need an attorney for this? Prenups can get thrown out if they are improperly prepared. This includes putting items in it that are outside the remit of a prenup, such as a child custody arrangement. It could also be dismissed if it appears to be unfair to one person or if it seems to have been coerced. Working with an attorney can help ensure that the document is less vulnerable to these challenges.

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