Lonich & Patton Co-Sponsors Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes

Posted July 29, 2011 in Estate Planning by Lonich and Patton.

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July 29, 2011
Lonich & Patton Co-Sponsors Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes
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In the past seventeen years, Lonich & Patton (L&P) has proudly served the needs of thousands of clients and become one of the most respected firms in Northern California.  L&P’s commitment, however, extends beyond the needs of its clients and into the South Bay community.

Lonich & Patton is proud to co-sponsor the fortieth annual Fiesta de Artes at the Los Gatos Civic Center grounds on Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14, 2011.  Fiesta de Artes is the town’s one and only art and wine festival and will feature 150 artists, gourmet food wine and beer, and live music.  For over thirty years, the Fiesta de Artes has drawn visitors from all over the San Francisco Bay Area and L&P is proud to be part of an event that benefits the community.

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Single? Time to Start Your Estate Planning

Posted July 26, 2011 in Estate Planning by Michael Lonich.

When most people think of estate planning, they think of the later stages of life—perhaps when a family is established or in preparing for the end of life in old age.  It is probably the last thing on a young, single person’s to-do list; but it should be at the top.

Single people are out on their own and need to understand how important it is to have estate matters squared away in case of death.  If not, tragedy may be followed by unnecessary trauma for the person who ends up managing the estate.  Singlehood is not reserved just for the young and carefree; it can happen to anyone at any stage in life.  According to U.S. Census Bureau data, singles have overtaken married couples as the majority population.  In 2010, singles represented fifty-two percent of all households.

There are a number of complex and emotional issues that could be avoided simply by planning ahead.  With couples, the law dictates that the spouse takes care of most issues, whereas singles have no option unless they so designate.  It gets especially complicated if minor children are involved as they cannot inherit until they turn eighteen.  Singles could benefit from establishing a will (to establish what would happen to assets), a durable financial power of attorney (to designate a person to handle financial affairs in case of incapacity), a medical power of attorney (to appoint a person to make medical care decisions), a living will (to specify what measures can be taken to sustain life in case of incapacity).

If you are interested in learning more about individual estate planning or creating a comprehensive plan to ensure that your family members are well-prepared to handle your estate, please contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Divorce Today: Navigating through Divorce Lawyers Online

Posted July 25, 2011 in Family Law by Michael Lonich.

It used to be the case that people would turn to phonebooks to find an attorney.  Based on little more than an affinity for the particular lawyer’s ad—from an appealing graphic or clever quote—people would hire a lawyer.  Today, in the world of websites, ratings, and reviews, the landscape is much different.  With websites like Yelp and Avvo, providing clients with the opportunity to review their experience with an attorney, finding a qualified lawyer is only a few clicks away.

On Yelp, reviewers may review everything from cemeteries to restaurants to baby furniture.  Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that lawyers and law firms are frequently reviewed as well.  In an official blog, Yelp recently summarized what percent of reviews in each business category on Yelp were written by people within five year ranges.  Not surprisingly, searches and reviews for divorce lawyers are heaviest in the range of 30s all the way up to the mid-50s, an incredibly wide range of clients.

http://officialblog.yelp.com/2011/06/ages-of-yelp.html

When searching for a lawyer online, it is important to not only keep in mind what legal services you need but the source of the information posted.  A younger client does not necessarily seek the same attributes in a lawyer as an older client might.  Further, our legal system is adversarial and there is almost always a loser.  Clients who are upset with the outcome of their case may take it upon themselves to post overly negative reviews even though it is not an accurate reflection of the representation received.  Many times, reviews are not even written by an actual client.  So while online ratings and reviews may be incredibly helpful, it is important to be aware of who may be writing them.

The Certified Family Law Specialists as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, at Lonich & Patton have decades of experience handling divorce issues for clients in different stages of life.  If you are contemplating divorce or separation, please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization at Lonich & Patton, who can provide you with an in depth analysis of your issues.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

 

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Estate Planning Bucket List: Managing Important Documents in Case of Death

Posted July 19, 2011 in Estate Planning by Jennifer Mispagel.

The last thing surviving relatives want to think about when a loved one passes away is managing the affairs of the deceased’s estate.  Amid the grief and sorrow, a comprehensive estate plan can help to eliminate these uncertainties and confusion over the probate administration and assist surviving relatives in handling their painful loss.

It is also imperative that family members are aware of where to find an estate plan and other important documents.  The Wall Street Journal’s “25 Documents You Need Before You Die” highlights the ramifications of unorganized estate planning documents and notes the most important documents to keep handy.  It provides a thorough guide on the steps to take to ensure your estate plan is carried out.

If you are interested in learning more about individual estate planning documents or creating a comprehensive plan to ensure that your family members are well-prepared to handle your estate, please contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Wyoming Supreme Court Grants Same-Sex Divorce

Posted July 18, 2011 in Family Law by Julia Lemon.

Last month, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that the state’s courts have jurisdiction to grant the divorce of a same-sex Wyoming couple who legally married in Canada.

This decision slightly enhanced the rights of same-sex couples in Wyoming, but does not address the more controversial issue of whether Wyoming will permit same-sex couples to marry. Wyoming law defines marriage, in part, as a civil contract between a male and a female person.  It also provides that all valid, out-of-state marriage contracts are valid in Wyoming.  However, this rule is not absolute and is subject to certain recognized exceptions, such as marriages that are deemed contrary to the law of nature, such as polygamous and incestuous marriages, and those which the legislature of the state has declared shall not be allowed any validity because they are contrary to the policy of its laws.

In its opinion, the Wyoming Supreme Court took great care in ensuring the decision was sufficiently narrow, and expressly limited its decision to the issue of divorce in a footnote: “Nothing in this opinion should be taken as applying to the recognition of same-sex marriages legally solemnized in a foreign jurisdiction in any context other than divorce. The question of recognition of such same-sex marriages for any other reason, being not properly before us, is left for another day.”  Christiansen v. Christiansen, 2011 WY 90 (2011).  Recognizing a valid foreign same-sex marriage for the limited purpose of divorce, however, does not negate the law or policy in Wyoming against allowing the creation of same-sex marriages.

Same-sex marriage was, and continues to be a developing area of family law.  New York first considered a similar case in early 2008 when a judge granted a divorce to a same-sex couple married in Canada.

In an effort to simplify the separation process for same-sex couples, the California Legislature recently made significant amendments to the governing law.  The State Assembly adopted the Separation Equity Act of 2010 which clarified that same sex couples married outside the state are able to dissolve their marriage in California.  Additionally, same-sex couples who married during the brief period in 2008 when it was legal will have the rights and benefits of married couples, including divorce.

If you have a family law matter and are interested in learning more on the law governing same-sex marriage or divorce in California, please contact the experienced Family Law attorneys at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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