Guardianship Versus Power of Attorney Designations: What’s the Difference?

A little while ago, we published a post here on the blog as part of our Complete Guide to Estate Planning series covering all of the most vital estate planning documentation you need to consider.

High on that list of essential documents is a power of attorney (POA) designation—or perhaps more than one—allowing you to designate a specific trusted individual or individuals, like family members or other loved ones, to be in charge of your affairs or help you make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, and more.

Today’s post focuses a little bit more closely on why experienced probate and estate lawyers strongly recommend setting up POA designations as part of your estate plan to be fully prepared for all eventualities as you age. In the question of guardianship vs. POA, you want to avoid your family needing to seek guardianship.

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Our Top Tips on How to Hire a Lawyer

Whether you’re working through estate administration for a friend or family member and have questions about probate, or you have been hurt in an accident or on the job and need assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney, hiring a lawyer can seem intimidating.

Typing “lawyers near me” into Google and calling the first law firm or solo practice attorney that pops up is risky, as you likely won’t know much about that lawyer’s expertise in the specific area of law you need. And, while most attorneys will be upfront with you about their legal specializations and types of cases they handle, there are some with little experience who may be less than transparent about their credentials.

Indeed, hiring a lawyer is a little bit like interviewing candidates for an essential job in your company. You want to choose a candidate who has the right experience and is an excellent fit for the job you’re offering. However, many people—unless they work in human resources or own their own business—have likely never conducted a hiring process.

That’s why today’s blog post offers some of our best tips on how to hire a lawyer.

Whether you decide to consult with one of our caring family law, estates and probate, or personal injury attorneys here at May, May & Zimmerman, or you go with another law firm, we want you to have confidence in the lawyer you ultimately hire so that your legal matter or case is handled with the proper care.

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Social Media as Evidence: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Whether your court case relates to personal injury or a family law matter like divorce or custody, posting the wrong things on social media—even if your account isn’t fully viewable by just anyone—could negatively impact your case.

In an earlier blog post, we talked about how video footage from the scene of an accident or fall can make or break your personal injury case potentially based on mobile device footage taken by someone else. Social media posts made by other parties—or by you yourself—can be harmful, too, whether or not those posts contain video.

The fact is, social media posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like can be found by insurance companies and investigators—and manipulated during litigation and used as evidence against you. And you don’t necessarily need to be in a formal court trial for these posts to reflect poorly on you. Even the most experienced attorneys may not be able to help you prevail if you post certain things online that present you in a negative light to a judge or jury.

Today’s blog post focuses just a little bit more closely on how social media as evidence may be brought to bear in your legal case.

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Estate Planning FAQ: What are Tenants in Common?

When it comes to estate planning, there are many legal terms involved that can cause confusion. If you are attempting to take a DIY approach without help from an experienced probates and estates attorney, you’re likely going to have a lot of questions.

The term “tenants in common,” as well as the term “joint tenancy”—both of which refer to ways real estate property ownership may be structured—are two that often raise questions for those outside the legal world. That’s why we’re dedicating today’s blog post to explaining this terminology in a little more detail. Both ownership structures have benefits and drawbacks, and they affect how property is transferred to heirs.

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What is the Process for Dealing with a Hit and Run Case?

Did you know that Pennsylvania stiffened penalties for hit and run drivers in September of 2012? For victims and their loved ones that may be seeking justice, this is great news. Of course, locating the guilty party in a hit and run traffic collision is not always an easy feat.

Additionally, just because a hit and run driver is facing criminal charges—as we’ve talked about in the past related to drunk drivers injuring innocent victims—it does not mean you will automatically receive compensation for your lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, or pain and suffering. You will need to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing civil action against the hit and run driver.

The to-do actions in today’s post represent the typical process for hit and run cases. However, you should know that these do not represent a step-by-step ordered list. Every car accident case is unique, and if you have been injured in a traffic collision, getting medical treatment as soon as possible is your top priority. Seeking assistance from authorities like law enforcement, insurance companies, and personal injury lawyers is also key to your recovery from a hit and run car accident.

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What are the Advantages of Hiring a Guardianship Attorney?

If you are thinking about seeking guardianship for a loved one in Pennsylvania, it is often an emotionally fraught situation. Sadly, minor children may need legal guardians because their biological parents have passed away suddenly or they are unable to care for them. Accidents and illnesses often lead previously capable adults—who never thought to put a power of attorney (POA) designation in place previously—needing someone else to handle their affairs.

Are you looking to become a guardian for a minor child who needs someone to assume duties of a natural parent, or do you have an adult family member who is no longer capable of managing their own affairs and who did not create a power of attorney? You will likely need professional, caring guidance to help you sort through the details and help you face your hearing in Orphans’ Court.

There is no reason you should attempt to handle guardianship concerns—under any circumstances—without guidance from an experienced guardianship attorney. Today’s blog post highlights three of the biggest reasons why.

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