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April 2014 Archives

Does My Child Need Estate Planning?

Does My Child Need Estate Planning? When your son or daughter reaches the age of majority — eighteen years old — you lose your legal ability to make any decisions regarding their finances or medical care. You even lose the ability to find this information out unless you have their expressed permission. It can be frustrating to discover that you are no longer able to access your child’s grades without their permission – but a medical emergency takes that frustration to an entirely new level. In the case of a medical emergency when your child is unable to make decisions for themselves, you will need to go to court to access their treatment information, finances, and make their medical decisions.It’s important to have legal documents in place to protect your child in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. These documents allow you, or someone they feel they trust, to make decisions for them in the event that they cannot. This conversation is very important and must be candid, your child is the one who needs to choose who they trust the most to make decisions for them. These legal documents are inexpensive and it is crucial that anyone over the age of majority have them.Parents should consider scheduling an appointment with their attorney after their child’s eighteenth birthday and encourage others to do the same. These documents will, ideally, never need to be used – but should always be in place in case disaster strikes. There are a number of scenarios that your child’s estate planning should include:IncapacityDurable Power of Attorney – HealthcareThis gives you or another person the authority to make all medical decisions (including decisions regarding life support) if your child is incapacitated.Durable Power of Attorney – FinancialThis document gives you the legal authority to manage your child’s assets should they become incapacitated. There are different types of powers of attorney, and ideally this one should be written for activation only if your child cannot make these decisions due to illness or injury.HIPAA AuthorizationsThese documents will allow your child’s doctors to discuss their medical history and condition with anyone named including you and other loved ones.DeathThe majority of young adults to do not possess substantial assets. A simple will is usually the most appropriate documentation to prepare for this possibility. A will allows your child to designate to whom their assets and belongings should be disseminated in the event of their demise. Without a will in place the laws of your child’s residing state will make the determination. Once these documents are signed, the work isn’t over yet – it’s important they your child keep a record of accounts and passwords, including their computer password, to be used in the event that they become injured or ill. Financial documents and this password record should be kept in a hard copy in a safe place to ensure they can be found in the event that they’re needed. Your child should also be aware that if there is something on their computer or in their home they don’t wish their parents to find, they should ensure they have a friend who is willing to remove or delete anything that they wish. Remind your child that these documents should be kept up to date and reviewed frequently for changes.If your child is at or close to the age of majority, schedule your free consultation today at 303-991-5200 to discuss what you can do to ensure your child’s rights are protected and their wishes are respected! : The Law Center PC

Top Five Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Top Five Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney The majority of people will only divorce once or twice in their entire lifetime, making this unfortunate event highly stressful and difficult to manage alone. In some cases it’s a mutual parting of the ways, and in others it’s tempered with bitterness. There are multiple reasons that it may be necessary to hire a divorce attorney to assist you in your case; note that it is not unusual for someone to try to handle their divorce on their own, and then need to pay even more money in the end for someone else to repair their mistakes.One: SpeedYour divorce attorney can expedite the process. The faster you and your spouse are able to get through the negotiation process the better. Both emotionally and financially. Lengthy court visits and mediation time can put a massive burden on a divorcing couple once the fees and expenses begin to add up along with lost time at work.Two: FairnessIn many cases, your spouse or their divorce attorney will offer you a settlement. It is in your best interest to have someone on your side who is well-versed in these affairs and can sit down with you and ensure the settlement offered is fair – and if it isn’t, offer you options to counter with.Three: ChildrenA highly contested issue during divorce is often child custody. Your divorce attorney can fight on your behalf to ensure you receive fair parental rights and that custody is split reasonably. This can be incredibly difficult to do on your own without understanding the nuances of what’s needed, in particular in a situation when your spouse is trying to claim full custody.Four: PaperworkYour divorce attorney will be able to help you understand the paperwork involved in a divorce. The amount of forms and documentation necessary in the case of a divorce that is not amicable is staggering and confusing, an expert can help you navigate it.Five: CommunicationDivorce is a highly emotionally charged situation, and some couples find it difficult to communicate during the process. Often negotiations may become too emotional and devolve into bickering. Your divorce attorney can intervene on your behalf and eliminate much of the necessary interaction with your spouse to ensure the negotiations stay professional.Divorce is a hard decision to make, and you deserve to have someone on your side who will fight to ensure it doesn’t tear your life apart. Call The Law Center, PC at 303-963-9216 and schedule your consultation today! Let us share the burden of your divorce, and ensure you receive everything you’re entitled to. : The Law Center PC

Top Five Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Top Five Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney The majority of people will only divorce once or twice in their entire lifetime, making this unfortunate event highly stressful and difficult to manage alone. In some cases it’s a mutual parting of the ways, and in others it’s tempered with bitterness. There are multiple reasons that it may be necessary to hire a divorce attorney to assist you in your case; note that it is not unusual for someone to try to handle their divorce on their own, and then need to pay even more money in the end for someone else to repair their mistakes.One: SpeedYour divorce attorney can expedite the process. The faster you and your spouse are able to get through the negotiation process the better. Both emotionally and financially. Lengthy court visits and mediation time can put a massive burden on a divorcing couple once the fees and expenses begin to add up along with lost time at work.Two: FairnessIn many cases, your spouse or their divorce attorney will offer you a settlement. It is in your best interest to have someone on your side who is well-versed in these affairs and can sit down with you and ensure the settlement offered is fair – and if it isn’t, offer you options to counter with.Three: ChildrenA highly contested issue during divorce is often child custody. Your divorce attorney can fight on your behalf to ensure you receive fair parental rights and that custody is split reasonably. This can be incredibly difficult to do on your own without understanding the nuances of what’s needed, in particular in a situation when your spouse is trying to claim full custody.Four: PaperworkYour divorce attorney will be able to help you understand the paperwork involved in a divorce. The amount of forms and documentation necessary in the case of a divorce that is not amicable is staggering and confusing, an expert can help you navigate it.Five: CommunicationDivorce is a highly emotionally charged situation, and some couples find it difficult to communicate during the process. Often negotiations may become too emotional and devolve into bickering. Your divorce attorney can intervene on your behalf and eliminate much of the necessary interaction with your spouse to ensure the negotiations stay professional.Divorce is a hard decision to make, and you deserve to have someone on your side who will fight to ensure it doesn’t tear your life apart. Call The Law Center, PC at 303-963-9216 and schedule your consultation today! Let us share the burden of your divorce, and ensure you receive everything you’re entitled to. : The Law Center PC

Estate Planning for Women

Estate Planning for Women While Estate Planning is an important task for anyone, women most notably need an understanding of estate planning and need to have their own plan in place. Estate planning in Colorado should be of particular interest to women for numerous reasons:Incapacity. On average, women tend to live longer than men and therefore have an increased need to plan for any physical or mental incapacity that may occur in their later years. Long-term care insurance is a viable resource to help cover those costs and help women remain in their homes for as long as they can. It’s important to begin planning immediately to prevent the court from taking control of personal care and finances should a woman become incapacitated. At a minimum, women should be sure to have a durable attorney in place for both medical and financial decisions. A revocable living trust has the dual benefit of providing asset protection, as well as distribution instructions upon death.Dependents. Women with minor children should always have a will in place with a guardian named to prevent a judge from determining the caregiver. Some women may also want to make special provisions for aged parents, a special needs dependent, and pets. Some may also choose to obtain additional life insurance to provide financially for the future of these loved ones. Women may also choose to put a trust in place to provide education for dependents.Charity. Those women who want to will their assets to an educational or religious charity upon their passing must include this in their estate. Without a plan set into place, the assets will be distributed according to Colorado state law and it’s highly unlikely that any of the money will go to charity. Additionally, if a woman so chooses she may name a charity as the recipient of life insurance benefits.Assets. Women in a professional industry such as medicine or law should be particularly concerned with the protection of their assets in the event of a lawsuit. Women owning businesses must plan for what will happen to their business should they become incapacitated or die, succession planning should always be a part of estate planning in these situations.Marriage. Many women tend to select a husband who is older than they are, which increases their likelihood of becoming a widow. Forgoing proper estate planning may cause a decline in a woman’s standard of living as she becomes elderly. A woman in a second marriage will need to plan their estate in a way that does not disinherit any children they may have from their previous marriage. In addition, due to the fact that most married women survive their husband, they usually ultimately have final say over who will receive their assets. For this reason women must take an active role in any estate planning decisions, a widow without any knowledge of how to participate in the asset planning will find it overwhelming and will have difficulty making educated determinations.Unmarried. Lacking valid instructions, state law will prevent any friends or charities from inheriting a woman’s estate. Additionally, a woman will want to ensure she has updated documents if she is divorced to prevent her former husband from using any documentation from the marriage to make financial or medical decisions for her.You deserve to have your wishes respected in their entirety; if you’re looking for an estate planning attorney in Denver, contact The Law Center today at 303-991-5200 to schedule a free initial consultation and let our experts help with your estate planning today. : Tags: Colorado, Denver Estate Planning, Estate Planning The Law Center PC

Upcoming Seminar: A Realtor’s Guide to Estate Planning

Upcoming Seminar: A Realtor’s Guide to Estate Planning Join Catherine Ness on April 23rd from 11:30-12:30pm at the Highlands Ranch Library and learn about Realtor estate planning: how wills and living trusts affect property transfers, how to spot a potential title issue when transferring property, the benefits and burdens of tenants in common, joint tenancy, and beneficiary deeds.Although not required, RSVPs are appreciated. RSVP here to reserve your space at this seminar today! : Tags: Estate Planning Denver, Realtor Guide, Seminar The Law Center PC

Choosing the Right Trustee

Choosing the Right Trustee When you’re establishing a trust, it is necessary for you to name someone as your trustee. A trustee, or executor, is a person that you are comfortable with appointing as an agent to manage your financial affairs. This can include collecting your income, paying your taxes and your bills, investing your finances, buying and selling assets, providing for your loved ones and keeping accurate records. This is a person you trust to keep your finances organized and in good order.Important Notes1. You can be the executor of your own revocable living trust. Your spouse can be a co-executor2. It is unlikely that you will find an irrevocable trust that allows you to be the agent3. It may not be the best choice to name yourself as your own agent, even though you can do so4. Other options for an executor include an adult child, a trusted friend, or a professional agent.5. Naming a co-trustee allows you to help that person become familiar with your trust, how you wish it to operate, and has the added benefit of allowing you to evaluate their abilitiesWho Can Be My Trustee?If your trust is a revocable living trust, you can name yourself as the agent. Your spouse is also eligible to be your co-executor which offers the benefit of uninterrupted financial affairs in the unfortunate event of serious injury or death. It’s common for married couples, especially those with a long-term marriage, to be co-executors.You are not required to be your own agent. Some prefer to choose an adult child, trusted friend, or another relative. Some prefer to utilize the experience and skill of a professional executor (such as a bank trust department or a trust company). Naming someone else the agent or as your co-executor does not mean loss of control over your finances. Your agent must follow your instructions regarding your trust, and they must report to you. You are at any time free to replace your fiduciary should you be unhappy with your choice.Why Would I Use a Professional Trustee?For those who are elderly, have no children or trusted relatives, and/or are in declining health a professional agent may be preferential. You may not be able or willing to manage your own trust, and may not have another candidate that you feel is up to the task. Some irrevocable trusts, additionally, do not allow you to be your own trustee. A professional steward offers the benefit of experience, time, and resources to help you manage your financial goals. Be aware that a professional trustee will charge you a fee to manage your trust – but this fee is often reasonable considering the service provided.What Should I Consider When Choosing?1. Take the time to consider whether or not you are the best choice for your own executor. Another person or a company may be better qualified and have more experience managing finances appropriately.2. You should name your co-trustee now. Doing so will help your successor immediately start familiarizing themselves with your trust, assets, and your needs. This will also offer you the opportunity to evaluate them as a trustee.3. Evaluate all of your potential candidates realistically.4. If you have chosen to go with a professional executor, speak with several and evaluate them prior to making your choice. Compare services, fees, and investment returns.Call The Law Center at 303-991-5200 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your planning needs! : The Law Center PC

LAUREN C. HARUTUN JOINS THE LAW CENTER P.C. AS OF COUNSEL ATTORNEY

LAUREN C. HARUTUN JOINS THE LAW CENTER P.C. AS OF COUNSEL ATTORNEY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASELAUREN C. HARUTUN JOINS THE LAW CENTER P.C. AS OF COUNSEL ATTORNEYBroomfield, CO—Family law attorney Lauren C. Harutun, through her professional corporation Harutun Law Firm P.C., has joined The Law Center P.C. as an Of Counsel attorney, according to Robert B. Wareham, President and CEO of The Law Center P.C.“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Ms. Haruntun to join our firm. I have known Ms. Harutun for several years and she brings a wealth of family law experience and a sterling reputation with her to the firm,” said Wareham. Ms. Harutun will close her office in Erie, Colorado and base her practice from The Law Center’s Broomfield (Interlocken) office. Ms. Harutun’s entire caseload will be transferred to The Law Center P.C. and clients should see no interruption to their representation.Ms. Harutun said the time was right for her firm to join forces with The Law Center P.C. “I was faced with having to grow my firm and add payroll, or join forces with an established firm that could readily absorb the additional caseload and take my practice to the next level,” Harutun said. “Robert Wareham and Paul LeRoux are well known, highly regarded litigators and family law practitioners. I look forward to working with both of them,” she added. Wareham and LeRoux are shareholders and directors of The Law Center P.C.The Law Center P.C. is a full service law firm with three offices in two states. In addition to the Broomfield office, the firm has an office serving the Tri-State area from Goodland, KS; in addition to its headquarters location near C470 and Broadway in Highlands Ranch. The Law Center P.C. has been named over 8 times as “Best Law Firm” in reader polls conducted by Colorado Community Media and its predecessor companies. In addition to family law, The Law Center provides legal counsel in estate and tax planning, criminal justice, business transactions, civil litigation and bankruptcy.Renowned for its implementation of technology in the practice of law, The Law Center P.C. prides itself on providing superb client service at competitive rates. “We take the Colorado courts’ eFiling initiative to the next level by giving clients 24/7 secure access to their case files across the internet. Within minutes of a document being eFiled in their case, our clients have access to it,” Wareham said. “Not only is access faster and more efficient, but it saves our client’s money,” he added.Ms. Harutun is a 2001 graduate of University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. She has a passion for child advocacy, and is admitted to practice in all Colorado courts and before the United States District Court in Colorado. The mother of three girls, she is a fifth generation Colorado native. About The Law Center P.C. The Law Center P.C is an innovative law firm with eight attorneys serving all of Colorado from Highlands Ranch and Broomfield and the Tri State Region with their Goodland, Kansas office. The Law Center P.C. represents clients in Family Law, Criminal and DUI, Trust and Estate, Bankruptcy, Business and Tax Planning and Transactions, Civil Litigation, Firearms and Second Amendment Law.For a consultation with a top managing attorney or any member of The Law Center P.C. contact us a 303-991-5200 or visit www.TheLawCenterPC.com.Like on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheLawCenter Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheLawCenterPC Contact:The Law Center P.C.300 Plaza Drive, Suite 310Highlands Ranch, CO 80129303-991-5200E: [email protected]: www.TheLawCenterPC.com ### : NewPara

CEO Robert Wareham writes Letter to the Editor in response to coverage of the Douglas County Republican Assembly.

CEO Robert Wareham writes Letter to the Editor in response to coverage of the Douglas County Republican Assembly. The attached document is the letter written by CEO Robert Wareham to the Editor of the Highlands Ranch Herald in response to the coverage of the Douglas County Republican Assembly.Please click the highlighted link below to read the full response.140403_HRHerald : The Law Center PC

Robert Wareham to Present at Douglas Elbert Bar Association on April 9th

Robert Wareham to Present at Douglas Elbert Bar Association on April 9th Robert Wareham to Present at Douglas Elbert Bar Association on April 9th CASTLE ROCK, CO– CEO of The Law Center P.C. Robert Wareham will be presenting at the monthly meeting of the Douglas Elbert Bar Association on April 9th in Castle Rock, CO. Wareham will be discussing the topic of Civil Protection Orders which underwent major revisions in 2013 in addition to the topic of myrid gun control laws also enacted last year. Robert Wareham authored the 2014 update to the Colorado Bar Association’s The Practioner’s Guide to Colorado Domestic Relations Law, Second Edition on Civil Protection orders, which is schedule for release next month.The Douglas Elbert Bar Association is made up of attorneys and judges living or working in Douglas and Elbert counties. In addition to providing Continuing Legal Education for lawyers and judges, the association serves the community by providing legal clinics for low income individuals and sponsors moot court competitions for high school students.About The Law Center P.C. The Law Center P.C is an innovative law firm with eight attorneys serving all of Colorado from Highlands Ranch and Broomfield and the Tri State Region with their Goodland, Kansas office. The Law Center P.C. represents clients in Family Law, Criminal and DUI, Trust and Estate, Bankruptcy, Business and Tax Planning and Transactions, Civil Litigation, Firearms and Second Amendment Law.For a consultation with a top managing attorney or any member of The Law Center P.C. contact us a 303-991-5200 or visit www.TheLawCenterPC.com.Like on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheLawCenter Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheLawCenterPC Contact:The Law Center P.C.300 Plaza Drive, Suite 310Highlands Ranch, CO 80129303-991-5200E: [email protected]: www.TheLawCenterPC.com : NewPara

Cell Phone Tracking in Divorce and Family Law

Cell Phone Tracking in Divorce and Family Law Apple’s “Find my iPhone” app has been very helpful and convenient for me, in order to determine where my iPhone and iPad are located in my house, or whether I have inadvertently left them at the office. If I ever lose my phone by leaving it somewhere else, I’ll be grateful to have the app installed at that time, too. Android or Windows Phone users have similar options for logging in remotely to determine the locations of their devices. As I also imagine is common, my wife and I know each other’s typical passwords and I have, on occasion, used her login and password to help her find her phone.The ability to locate a smartphone with only a user name and a password can be used for more nefarious purposes, however. As a Family Law attorney, I frequently hear from clients with situations involving domestic violence, controlling behavior, stalking, or suspicions of infidelity. Spouses or partners may have (or be able to easily obtain) all the information they need to be able to track the other party’s phone. In these situations, the ability of another person to log in remotely at any time and determine the precise location of a spouse or partner’s phone can have unwanted or even dangerous ramifications.To make matters worse, several companies now sell “Spyware” which can be quickly and invisibly installed on any phone to which someone has access and which will, from that point forward, allow them to remotely monitor calls, texts, emails, and web usage from the phone, and even to remotely turn on the microphone and record conversations going on around the phone, all without any notice to the phone’s user. Use of these methods without the consent of the phone’s user would almost certainly constitute criminal offenses under Colorado’s wiretapping, computer crime, and stalking statutes, but such violations can be difficult to detect or prove.In order to protect against this kind of surveillance, I recommend to clients that they employ a security code for access to their phone and electronic devices, and regularly change their security code, as well as their passwords to email accounts and other web services. In particular, at the outset of a dissolution of marriage case or other domestic problems, I recommend that clients change all their passwords, using secure passwords that the other party would not be able to guess. If someone suspects that their phone or device has already been compromised, or spyware has been installed, then they should seek the assistance of a computer security professional who can assist in detecting and eliminating any breaches. They should also consult with their attorney regarding sanctions which may be sought in their case. : NewPara

The Law Center P.C.

One of Colorado’s premier one-stop legal firms for major life transitions.

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