Why You Should Designate a Power of Attorney

Life throws us many unexpected challenges, and sometimes, those challenges leave us unable to make important decisions about our own health and well being. Rather than be put at the mercy of strangers in the court system, or medical professionals, it simply makes good sense to appoint a power of attorney who can manage your various affairs if you become incapacitated for any reason.

You can designate anyone you trust to act as a power of attorney, including a friend, a relative, or an actual attorney. The power of attorney lasts until you pass away or you make changes that cancel the terms of the agreement.

There Are Many Types of Power of Attorney Agreements

You should be aware that there are many different types of power of attorney agreements. Each designates certain legal boundaries that the power of attorney designee can perform on your behalf.

A general power of attorney gives sweeping powers to the person you select. This allows them to handle all of your financial and business affairs, pay bills, settle claims, make business decisions, and retain the services of others to help manage your affairs until you are able to do so, or you pass away. In some instances, a General Power of Attorney will also cover any health care decisions that need to be made on your behalf as well.

A durable power of attorney is an agreement that is already in place that allows agents to act on the principal’s behalf before they become incapacitated, handling predefined tasks. The agreement allows the agent to also keep acting on a person’s behalf after they become unable to handle their own affairs, possibly changing the scope of the powers to meet more broadly defined concerns. For a durable power of attorney in Arlington to go into effect, it’s best to specify that you will want a doctor to certify that you are no longer competent to manage your own affairs.

A health care power of attorney gives your agent the authority only to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf if you are physically or mentally unable to do so on your own. This is different than an advanced health care directive, but when combined, the two will spell out very specific directions for crucial medical decisions.

Just as a Health Care Power of Attorney is limited in scope, so to is a financial power of attorney. This limits your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf, including paying mortgages and other bills, managing your investments, and protecting any and all of your business interests.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.

johnlaw_admin Feb 28, 2018 Comments (0)

Using Mechanics Law to Collect on Unpaid Debts

There are instances when property owners fail to pay contractors, subcontractors, construction workers, and others in related trades after work has been completed on a property. Rather than stop work on a project, tear down what they have already done, or seek other kinds of remedies, members of the building trades can rely on Mechanics Law in Arlington. Also known as a mechanic’s lien or a materialmen’s lien, this powerful legal device gives workers the ability to file a lien against a property to compel an owner to make good on what they owe the workers.

When a lien is filed, information about the debt becomes public record, but there are many more actions that are activated.

What Happens When a Mechanic’s Lien Is Filed

A mechanic’s lien covers almost all labor, materials, supplies, and equipment involved in making improvements to real property. The lien can be filed before the project begins, and removed after all payments have been made. It also can be filed as a way to get paid for work already done. For people in the building trades, a mechanic’s lien is often the least expensive and most effective option way to get paid.

A lien carries the threat of foreclosure with it. In extreme cases, a creditor can file a lawsuit that can force the sale of the property with proceeds from the sale then being used to satisfy the debt. Most property owners would much rather pay the lien that have their property foreclosed.

Because liens are public documents, they can create a cloud on the title. In turn, this means a property owner could have trouble either refinancing or selling the property until the lien is satisfied. It is not unusual to have several liens filed against the same property, and in those cases, the law determines in which order each lien is paid.

It should also be noted for a builder or contractor that the work only needs to be substantially complete for a lien to be valid.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.

johnlaw_admin Feb 21, 2018 Comments (0)

The Differences Between Civil Lawsuits and Criminal Cases

A civil lawsuit may be brought against a person or a business for any number of reasons. A criminal case will seek to punish a defendant by doing time in jail or prison, as well as possibly paying fines, or maybe performing community service. By contrast, in a civil suit, a plaintiff brings the action with the intention of being awarded compensation for the harm that resulted from the defendant’s actions. In essence, a criminal case seeks the outcome of punishing the wrongdoer for a crime, but a civil case seeks to pay restitution to a victim.

Civil lawsuits in Grand Prairie, as well as in other Texas communities, may be brought by anyone for a number of reasons. This could include a breach of contract, a broken lease, payment for pain and suffering in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, injuries resulting from defective products, or any other number of circumstances.

While a criminal case must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof is much less in a civil case. In this instance, an attorney must only show that there is liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This essentially means that it is more than likely that the facts of the case are true, which is a lesser standard than in a criminal case.

Also, while a criminal charge must be filed by a prosecutor, a civil case can be instigated by anyone, including a private party who is claiming that they suffered some kind of damage.

What Happens in Most Civil Lawsuits

While an attorney and their client must be prepared at all times to seek a civil lawsuit through to a trial, the reality is that the vast majority of civil suits will be settled long before they reach the courts. Both sides are often forced to partake in mandatory settlement negotiations in an attempt to reach agreement, thus avoiding the expense, time, and stress that a trial can produce. Settlements are also beneficial because they guarantee a plaintiff will win their case, removing the prospect that they could walk away without any kind of remuneration.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.

johnlaw_admin Feb 14, 2018 Comments (0)

Sooner or Later, Most People Require the Services of a Family Law Attorney

Like it or not, every family goes through a number of changes over the years. Some are easy to deal with, and others can test the bonds and strength of everyone who is involved. Some issues are personal, and some require more than just sitting down and talking things out. In those cases, it may be advisable to bring in an outside entity to help you in the form of a family law attorney in Mansfield.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help You

There are many possible times when you will want to consult a family law attorney. By their very nature, family law attorneys are generalists, equipped to handle a variety of matters. This may include the preparation of wills and living trusts, contested and uncontested divorces, property disputes, challenges to the disbursement of an estate, tax concerns, alimony and child support issues, child custody, and many other related legal matters.

One barrier that people perceive as a stumbling block when it comes to hiring a family law attorney is cost. But the reality is, hiring an attorney may actually save you money in the long run. For example, if a couple has decided to divorce, an attorney may be able to mediate a settlement, instead of both parties remaining angry at each other and pushing their battle into the courtroom – where costs can rise significantly. Finding common ground before going into court makes sense instead of putting yourself at the mercy of the court, where a judge may or may not give one or both parties what they really want.

A family law attorney can also remove much of the emotion in a situation, and provide factual counsel, instead of letting a client fly off the handle because they are angry. Rational decision making not only saves emotional stress, it can also prevent a person from making a spiteful financial mistake as well.

The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.

johnlaw_admin Feb 07, 2018 Comments (0)

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