Following are answers to questions that the lawyers at the Hancock Law Firm frequently encounter as we help people in the metro Jackson area…Read More »
Jackson Estate Planning Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Interests
At the Hancock Law Firm, we are dedicated to developing long-term relationships of trust with the people who seek our assistance. Most people will face serious situations at some point in their lives, during which legal advice and representation may be critical. Our attorneys understand that you expect us to listen to and understand your needs, and we recognize that you need cost-effective solutions that work to achieve your goals. We provide trustworthy legal services to residents of Jackson who need an estate planning lawyer or representation in a family law, personal injury, business formation, civil litigation, or Social Security Disability matter. We can assist you with an appeal or guide you through the mediation process if needed. Our firm also represents people in many other Mississippi communities, such as Ridgeland, Madison, Brandon, Clinton, Flowood, Flora, Vicksburg, Carthage, and Yazoo City.Crafting a Will or Trust
Our attorneys can give you sound estate planning advice and prepare the appropriate documents at any stage of your life. If you decide not to prepare a will or trust, your property will be distributed according to the state's intestacy laws. Many people would prefer to have some say about who gets their hard-earned assets after they pass away. Also, the probate process in Mississippi is expensive, so often it is important to prepare both a will and a trust. The will should be updated over time, particularly if you are young when you first draft it and have not accumulated a significant amount of property.
A will allows you to specify beneficiaries, or people whom you want to inherit specific items of property. You should also specify an executor who can make sure that your wishes as expressed in your will are carried out. A valid will in Mississippi must be signed in front of two witnesses, who must also sign the will. There is no need to notarize the will unless you want to make it self-proving to expedite the probate process.
In addition to a will, some people may wish to create a trust. This is an arrangement in which a trustee holds legal title to property for the benefit of specified beneficiaries. As a property owner, you will need to transfer property into the trust, which is then held for the benefit of beneficiaries. In many cases, the property owner serves as the trustee and has full control of the property, which allows family members to avoid the probate process and, in some cases, avoid estate taxes.Representation in Family Law Matters
Issues related to property and children may make a divorce especially complicated. The presumption is that all of the assets that your spouse and you have acquired during the marriage are marital property. Any property that you brought into the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage is your separate property, which you may be able to keep in its entirety if you leave the marriage. During longer marriages, however, marital and separate property may become commingled. Sometimes separate property may become marital property because of commingling. For example, a house purchased by one spouse before the marriage might become marital property if both spouses pay the mortgage.
Mississippi courts divide marital property equitably, which means the division is meant to be fair but not necessarily equal. The judge may consider many factors, including the value of the property, spousal contributions, spousal needs, tax consequences, whether alimony is being awarded, and whether a spouse has wasted any marital property.
In Mississippi, both parents have equal rights to a child. The primary issue in any custody dispute is the best interests of the child. Custody is divided into two parts: physical and legal. Physical custody specifies where a child lives, while legal custody specifies who may make significant decisions for a child in key areas such as education, medical care, and religion. Generally, if one parent receives both physical and legal custody, the other parent receives visitation, unless the other parent shows that it is not in the child's best interests to have visitation, which is relatively uncommon.Consult a Jackson Estate Planning Lawyer or Seek Guidance in Other Civil Matters
In addition to estate planning and family law, the attorneys at the Hancock Law Firm can guide accident victims in bringing a personal injury claim or seeking benefits through the federal Social Security Disability system. We also are skilled in litigation arising from contract disputes or other conflicts involving businesses, and we can help you set up a business entity that suits your needs. In addition to our trial prowess, our experience at the appellate level and in mediation may play a pivotal role in advancing your interests.
Our Jackson estate planning attorneys provide cost-effective, creative solutions for people who are seeking to protect their future and their family’s future. We are caring advocates, representing clients throughout their lives at each critical juncture. We have assisted individuals, families, and businesses in Ridgeland, Madison, Brandon, Clinton, Flowood, Carthage, Flora, Vicksburg, Yazoo City, and other Mississippi communities. Contact us online or call (601) 853-2223 to set up an appointment with a family law attorney, seek guidance in creating a will or trust, or pursue representation in a wide range of other legal matters.