Do I Need a Lawyer?

Do I Need a Lawyer?

My grandmother lived in the same small South Dakota town since the end of World War II and died at the age of 92 in 2013. My mother was tasked with administering her estate. Even I assumed the process would be relatively easy. My grandmother had a small amount of assets and had a will. Wrong! South Dakota required the personal representative of the estate (i.e. the “executor”) to hire an attorney. When another family member died in late 2016, a brief inquiry by his personal representative revealed that the law in South Dakota remains unchanged. To administer even a small … Read more

5 Advantages of Settlement

5 Advantages of Settlement

1.  You remain in charge of the settlement instead of giving it over to a 3rd party decision maker. Who knows the most about your relationship history and your family? The answer to this question is always the two parties involved in the dispute. A judicial officer will never understand your family the way you do. Clients often say, “I want my day in court,” and sometimes continue to insist on that when they could achieve a better and more satisfying outcome by negotiating in good faith. 2.  You save the cost of having to go to court. Even a very … Read more

Assisted Self-Representation… Unbundled Legal Services…. Rule 11(b) Representation… Limited Scope Representation…

Assisted Self-Representation…  Unbundled Legal Services…. Rule 11(b) Representation… Limited Scope Representation…

Confused Yet? All of the terms above refer to the same thing in Colorado. Unbundled Legal Services is a way for an individual to obtain legal services and/or legal advice without hiring an attorney for full representation. There is a component of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct which allows a lawyer to provide limited representation to self-represented parties. This is permitted by Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b). Legal services can be “unbundled” so that an individual can obtain just the services needed. If you are thinking, “I am representing myself. Why in the world would I want an attorney involved at all?” … Read more

Estate Planning When You Own a Second Home

Estate Planning When You Own a Second Home

What should you do with that vacation home in Florida, your little cabin in the woods of Michigan, your timeshare at the Las Vegas Casino, or your sunbird condo in Arizona when you are planning your estate or writing your will? With the decrease in the need for tax planning trusts, and the relatively streamlined probate process in Colorado, many clients are choosing not to use a trust when they visit us about their estate planning needs. One pesky issue usually remains: their out-of-state second home. If they do not attend to it prior to their death, ancillary probate will … Read more

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Colorado

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Colorado

10 Things to Consider When Scouting for Legal Representation It can be difficult to try to choose a lawyer during the emotional upheaval that often accompanies the start of a divorce. It might be the first time you have really needed to hire an attorney and you may have no idea of what is reasonable for a rate. How will you afford an attorney? How will you find one? What questions should you ask? Choosing the right attorney is important to assure your matter moves forward smoothly and efficiently and at a reasonable cost. This article has some strategies to get you … Read more

Mediation – How to Prepare

Mediation – How to Prepare

Reset your thinking Resolve to get the most out of this mediation. Be positive and optimistic. Really, try hard! Be realistic Don’t ask for the moon. Manage expectations. Envision a good outcome, not a perfect one. Go into mediation as an interest based negotiator not as a positional bargainer. Think about to how to communicate what is important about an issue rather than arguing for a specific position or solution. Try to communicate your underlying concerns, needs and interests. This will allow your mediator to look for ways to create a win-win solution. Write out a confidential statement This is a … Read more