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Probate: What Is It and How Can It Be Avoided?

Oct 23

Probate is the process in which a court oversees the administration of a deceased person’s estate. Probate can be lengthy and expensive. It can also result in conflict between the deceased’s family members and creditors. The estate planning attorneys at Grayson & Grayson, LLC can help you create an estate plan to prevent the need for probate.

How Can You Avoid Probate?

Unless you already have a plan in place, probate is required to transfer title of your property and other assets. Some legal methods you can use to avoid probate include:

  • Creating a trust
  • Transferring real property via a life estate
  • Designating beneficiaries for non-probate assets
  • Bestowing assets as gifts

It is always best to contact an estate law attorney in regards to estate planning. Our estate planning attorneys will be able to advise you on the best method of transferring assets through estate planning to minimize issues in the future.

What Are the Benefits to Avoiding Probate?
By avoiding probate, your estate and heirs will have several benefits. These benefits may include:

  • Control over how assets are managed and distributed
  • Timely transfer of property
  • Decreased expense
  • Increased confidentiality
  • Limitation on creditor claims
  • Tax and financial benefits

How Can an Attorney Help?
Our attorneys can discuss with you the various estate planning tools that are available. They will help you develop an estate plan that is specific to your situation and that will accomplish your goals. If you have questions or need assistance with your estate planning, contact Grayson & Grayson, LLC today at 573-635-0308 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.

 

Estate Planning: How Our Attorneys Can Help

May 27

Have you ever had questions about estate planning, such as, what is estate planning? When do I need to begin the process? What types of documents do I need? Does a will suffice? Or should I set up a trust? If you have wondered about any of these things, then skilled Missouri estate planning attorneys can help.

Estate Planning: What Is It?

Estate planning is essentially a formal title for management of your property after your death. This includes all real estate, personal property, savings, checking, etc. Estate planning clearly delineates a plan of action for how you want family members to handle your affairs after you are gone.

Will or Trust: Which is Better?
One part of estate planning is to decide if you would like to create a will or trust. As its name implies, a will is your last will and testament and is a legal document that instructs how you want your assets distributed after your death. A trust is also a legal document but with the sole purpose of protecting your estate or assets. A trust is typically recommended for people who want to avoid probate or wish to keep their finances private. The main difference between a will and a trust is when it becomes in effect: a will is executed at the time of death while a trust can take immediate effect.

Why You Need an Expert Estate Attorney
-Expertise
Missouri Estate planning can be quite overwhelming with countless options available. One reason you should hire an estate law attorney, is for their expertise. A professional attorney will have the skills and knowledge to effectively guide you through the entire estate planning process, while keeping your best interests front and center. At Grayson and Grayson, LLC, you can rest assured that our attorneys will be able to advise you on the best course of action to meet your needs.

-Compliance
Another reason why you should hire a professional estate law attorney is to ensure that your estate plan is compliant with current state law. Laws concerning wills and trusts vary from state to state and can change over time. As such, your estate planning documents may need to be revised to remain compliant.

Don’t Wait to Start Planning
If you need help with estate planning, whether you are at the beginning of the process or need to update your documents, do not hesitate to contact Grayson and Grayson, LLC at 573-635-0308 to set up your consultation today. You can be confident in our attorneys’ abilities to create a unique plan that meets your needs.

Commonly Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims

Dec 16

When a person passes away as a result of another’s misconduct or negligence, this heartbreaking situation may give rise to a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death situations often raise questions for family members who wonder what options are available. A Missouri wrongful death attorney can help answer any of these questions and provide assistance with pursuing a claim.

1. What is required to pursue a wrongful death claim?
In general, to pursue a wrongful death claim, there must be evidence to show that a person’s death was caused by the negligence of another individual. This is not always easy to show and may require the assistance of expert witnesses to prove the cause of death was in fact due to negligence rather than another cause.

Wrongful death claims should be supported by documents and other records that can prove the necessary legal elements. Obtaining the right documents and making sure you have all of the correct information can be difficult, especially at a trying time after a loved one’s death. This is where a Missouri wrongful death attorney can help. An attorney can determine what evidence is needed to prove your case, and can help you obtain all such evidence.

2. Who can pursue a wrongful death claim?
Generally, surviving family members can pursue wrongful death claims. Whether this is applicable or not depends on the surviving person’s relationship with the deceased individual. In some situations, the surviving person may also have a claim for certain damages as well. To determine whether you qualify as a person who can pursue a wrongful death claim as well as additional damages, contact a Missouri wrongful death lawyer.

3. How much money should you request in your claim?

The amount that should be claimed varies in each case and depends upon a variety of factors. To be certain you claim an amount that is appropriate under the circumstances, you should consult with a skilled professional who knows the applicable laws and has experience handling cases like yours. A skilled attorney will be able to help you determine the right amount for your specific circumstance.

4. What if I cannot afford an attorney?
In many wrongful death cases, the attorney will work on a contingent fee basis. This means that no upfront payment is required. Instead, the attorney receives a certain percentage from any settlement funds that are recovered when the case is finished. This gives the attorney an incentive to maximize the amount you receive as compensation under the claim.

If you have additional questions about wrongful death, would like more information, or would like to pursue a claim, our attorneys can help you. Contact Grayson & Grayson today to get the help you need.

4 Things You Should Know About Dog Bites

Oct 13

No one wants to be bitten by a dog. However, this type of situation happens more often than you may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 4.7 people are bitten by a dog every year. When a dog bites someone, a Missouri injury lawyer can assist the injured party in taking legal action to compensate for their injuries.

1. Each State has their own Laws for Dog Bites

Each state has common laws or statutory rules for dog bites. Keep in mind that states with dog bite statutes trump common law rules. A skilled attorney will know the specific laws for your state, which is why you should contact an attorney in the state of Missouri if you or a loved one have been bitten.

2. Owners are Responsible for their Dog’s Attacks on People

Under Missouri law, a dog’s owner may be held responsible for a dog who bites without provocation. Dog owners are required to control their dog, and are therefore responsible for the injuries and damages caused by the animal.

3.You Must Prove that an Owner’s Dog is Responsible for your Injury

If you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, you need proof in order to make a successful claim. There are different ways to prove someone’s pet has attacked you. A police report, hospital records, and witnesses can all provide valuable proof that a person’s pet is responsible for your injuries. A knowledgeable Missouri dog bite attorney will be able to determine what types of information is needed in your specific case and can help you attain it.

4. Some Insurance Policies have Clauses for Dog Bites

Some homeowner insurance policies have clauses for dog attacks occurring on the premises, or they may have other coverage applicable to dog bites. Rental or business insurance policies may also provide coverage for dog bites. If you are a victim of a dog bite, an insurance claim may help reimburse you for your injuries. Remember, the laws for dog bites can be complicated. An attorney can help determine if you should make an insurance claim, and can help ensure you receive compensation from any applicable insurance policies.

Injuries can be devastating and costly. If you or a loved one have suffered from a dog bite, it is important to get legal help. Contact a Missouri injury attorney at Grayson & Grayson to find out how they can help.

 

What types of damages can be recovered from a spinal cord injury?

Aug 27

Among the more devastating injuries a person can suffer are those affecting the spinal cord. Such injuries greatly affect the victim as well as their loved ones. If you or someone close to you suffered a spinal cord injury, there are certain damages you can claim in a personal injury case. In any case, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Skilled Missouri accident lawyers at Grayson & Grayson can help defend your rights and help you recover the damages you deserve.

Medical Expenses
Spinal cord injuries require extensive treatment, which means you will have enormous medical expenses. These expenses can include doctor’s bills, hospital visits, prescriptions for medication, special medical equipment, physical therapy, rehabilitation and ambulatory costs. In a personal injury claim, these expenses can be addressed and paid for by those responsible for the injury.

Lost Wages
With a spinal cord injury it is likely you will miss time from work and possibly be unable to work again.  Even if you are able to work, you may have limited abilities due to your injuries.

Assistance and Renovations in Your Home
With a spinal cord injury drastic life changes are often required including in-home medical assistance and renovations to your home. If you are unable to do basic daily tasks, you would need an aide to assist you. If you required the use of a wheelchair, renovations will be needed in your home to accommodate these changes.  The cost of these changes and assistances represent a portion of the harms caused to you and your family, which can be compensated back to you in a personal injury lawsuit.

Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is another damage which can be compensated in a spinal cord injury claim. The severity of pain and the harms experienced with a spinal cord injury are horrendous.  These losses can include the daily agony, loss of emotional and mental wellbeing, emotional distress, anxiety or depression.

Loss of Consortium
If a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury and is unable to live a normal life as a result, you may be entitled to loss of consortium damages in your claim. This is especially true if your relationship has suffered as a result of the injury.  Consortium claims address the losses suffered by the spouse or family member.

Punitive Damages
If the defendant’s actions or behavior were extremely outrageous in causing your injury, you can claim punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish the defendant for their behavior or actions related to causing your injury.

If you or a loved one have suffered from a spinal cord injury, you need an experienced Missouri injury attorney on your side. An aggressive attorney at Grayson & Grayson can help you in preparing a personal injury claim and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Contact a Missouri accident attorney right away and get the help you need.

 

Important Things to Know When Starting a Business

Jun 28

Starting a new business can be a challenging and overwhelming process. This is especially true for first time business owners. Addressing these initial filings can be stressful. The initial filings and paperwork form the foundation for your business, and it is critical to ensure the foundation is legally solid. A skilled Jefferson City business attorney at Grayson & Grayson can help you successfully and legally launch your new business with less stress and concern.

The following information are important items which will need to be addressed and discussed with an attorney at Grayson & Grayson when starting a business:

Ensure You Take the Proper Steps
When starting a business there are several things to take into consideration, such as paperwork, documents, laws, and regulations. You will likely need to register your business and obtain a business license. If starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) it is crucial to have an operating agreement. An operating agreement establishes the agreements and rules between the members. Many online sites fail to provide this document leaving people vulnerable to a multitude of legal problems.

Look at the Options
You will discuss with an attorney at Grayson & Grayson which type of business best suits your needs. Types of business examples include a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership. The type of business structure you choose will affect how you do your taxes and whether or not your personal assets will be affected if your company is sued

Get Professional Help
Opening your own company can be a very rewarding, exciting and lucrative venture. If you are unsure where to start or confused by the complicated concepts involved with opening your first company, it is best to utilize the services of a Jefferson City business attorney in order to ensure you are thorough in your approach. Grayson & Grayson business lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in successfully starting a company. The Jefferson City business lawyers at Grayson & Grayson will assist you through any difficult obstacles and ensure you avoid costly mistakes.

Ruff Stuff: How To Get Help For A Dog Bite

Sep 26

A dog attack can result in serious injuries. The type of damage inflicted will vary, but bruising, fractured bones, tissue loss, infections, scars, and lacerations are some of the most common dog bite injuries. If you have been hurt by a dog, you will need to seek medical attention right away. You will also need to call an experienced dog bite lawyer such as the attorneys at Grayson & Grayson.

Who can be Held Responsible for a Dog Attack?

In most cases, the dog owner is responsible for a dog attack. The owner is typically required to keep their dog on a leash in public places. An owner who violates the leash laws can be held responsible for injuries their dog causes, even if you are the first person the dog has ever attacked. Owners are responsible for taking precautions to ensure that their dog does not bite.

However, if you provoked the dog or were trespassing on private property, the owner may not be held responsible for the attack. Be prepared to show that you did neither.

Your Legal Rights And Why You Should Contact Grayson & Grayson:

You may be able to receive compensation for your pain, suffering, and medical bills if you have been bitten by a dog. You will need to show the severity of your injury. Taking photos of your injuries and obtaining appropriate medical care are therefore important steps to take.

Grayson & Grayson can help you gather all of the evidence you need in order to file a dog bite claim. The sooner you can contact a dog bite lawyer, the better.

Helpful Items When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Jul 09

Wrongful death claims and lawsuits exist to hold the individual responsible for a tragedy they caused. A verdict in the plaintiff’s favor can result in compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of consortium, loss of future wages, and other items. However, before filing a claim or suit for wrongful death, you need to understand the laws that govern such claims in your state. A wrongful death attorney at Grayson & Grayson can assist you though this loss.

    1. Medical Records
      Emergency care records and other medical records can play a large role in wrongful death cases. If your loved one received medical care before passing away, these records will document the care and help your attorney clearly present the facts of your case. These records may also include an autopsy report. Autopsy reports are very helpful in establishing the cause of the death. This report shows the time the incident occurred and the probable cause of death. Therefore, if you lose a loved one due to another’s actions or inaction, you should collect the names of hospitals, doctors, and others who provided medical care to your loved one so your attorney can help you collect these records.

 

    1. Police Reports
      When an accident occurs, police officers usually arrive at the scene to evaluate the situation and make reports. Police reports generally will describe the date, location, and statements made at the scene. If police were called, note the name of the department so your attorney can help you obtain the accident report. These reports help track down all the witnesses interviewed by the police and provide a general overview of what occurred. They can also help prove causation and negligence.

 

  1. An Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
    A qualified attorney is key in wrongful death claims because such claims can be quite complex. An attorney can ensure the action is filed within the appropriate statute of limitations and prosecuted properly. An attorney can also advise you on the strength of your case, and whether it is advisable to file a lawsuit in the first place. Whenever you have a question regarding a possible lawsuit, it is advisable to consult a reputable lawyer to help you gather evidence and evaluate your reports.

The attorneys at Grayson & Grayson will help you understand wrongful death claims, file your case, evaluate your evidence, and represent your interests.

Still hurt, but your boss wants you back at work?

Jun 15

Injured workers who are receiving worker’s compensation benefits can often get caught in the middle of competing legal interests. Without your own attorney, you have little say in these competing interests. For instance, the employer may demand the worker come back to work while the doctor refuses to release the injured worker to unrestricted job duties. Or more often, the doctor may release the employee back to work before the worker can physically perform her job.

Often the treating doctors are hired by the employer or the employer’s insurance company. This means that the doctors have an incentive to release the worker back to full duty as quickly and cheaply as possible. For an injured worker, this means that even when your employer tells you that your claim is being handled according to the program, you still need legal assistance from an experienced workers compensation attorney like the legal pros at Grayson & Grayson in order to have a say in your medical treatment.

Even if a doctor and an employer agree to a light duty restriction, the definition of light duty is different for each worker and employers can still assign standard duties after the employee returns to work. Workers and employers often disagree what light duty actually means in the work environment.

Usually the worker’s compensation insurance company providing the benefits urges the employer to make requests that are financially beneficial to the insurance company – not the worker. This could mean substandard treatment, rushing the worker back to work before they are ready, or ignoring the worker’s injuries altogether.

Never let an employer or their worker’s compensation insurance carrier force you back to work before you are have received the treatment you need from a workplace injury. Always consult an aggressive workers compensation attorney like the legal representatives at Grayson & Grayson who can investigate your case and ensure you are receiving all the necessary help you need to get back to work and be compensated for your injury. The lawyer you choose does make a difference. Let us put our experience to work for you.

In a truck wreck? Steps to take when you are injured by a truck!

Mar 08

Legal Assistance for the Victims of Truck Accidents

The sheer size and weight of big rigs increase the likelihood of a serious injury in the event of a collision with a smaller vehicle. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you will probably require financial compensation, but you will need help from a personal injury attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly under Missouri laws. This type of assistance is available from The Law Office Grayson & Grayson.

What You Should do After a Truck Accident

Your first priority is to seek treatment for any injuries have suffered. If you were not seriously injured, begin collecting evidence and information about collision. Photographic evidence of skid marks, accident debris or damaged vehicles can be particularly useful in trying to establish the cause of the crash. You should also obtain the names and numbers of the truck driver, the trucking company and any others who may have witnessed the accident.

What You Should Not to do After a Truck Accident

You should never make statements that could later be used against you. You will also want to avoid accepting an immediate financial settlement, which may not be sufficient to cover the damages you suffer. Instead, seek the services of a personal injury lawyer, who will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is most culpable for damages. You may even be able to collect damages where you were partially responsible for the accident. The Law Office of Grayson & Grayson can provide you with the type of representation you will need throughout the legal process.

The Need for Financial Compensation

Damages may be sought to cover medical expenses, to replace lost income and to compensate for the pain and suffering related to the physical injury. A personal injury attorney will take action to achieve the best possible outcome of your case. If you have been injured in a truck accident, get the help you need by contacting The Law Office of Grayson & Grayson at 573-635-0308.