What is “family law” and how do I know if I need legal counsel?

Family law involves legal issues that affect the day-to-day life of families. It is a challenging practice in today’s legally complex world, one that requires experienced professionals. If you or members of your family face one or more of the following challenges, discussing the problem with legal counsel
is your first step in easing the anguish and stress.

Below are the most common family law issues that may require the assistance of legal counsel:

Divorce (Contested and Uncontested)
Division of assets and liabilities due to divorce
Alimony
Spousal support
Paternity
Child support
Child custody
Grandparent custody rights
Name changes
Adoption
Protection from abuse

What is “wills and estates” and how do I know if I need legal counsel?

In short, “wills and estates” generally involves the body of law that governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation of the event of such person’s incapacity or death. Many trusts are created as an alternative to or in conjunction with a will
and other elements of estate planning.

Did you know that the area “wills and estates” can sometimes overlap with the area that has come to be known as “elder law” that deals not only with estate planning but other issues that face the elderly, such as home care, long term care insurance, or Social Security disability benefits? willsandestats.jpg

In 2007, Harris Interactive® for Martindale-Hubbell® conducted a research study and found that for the last three years, 55% of all adult Americans do not have a will. This is a frightening number. In most jurisdictions, if there is no will, the state then determines how a deceased person’s assets and liabilities are handled.

Are you prepared if something catastrophic happens to you? Is your family protected? Do you have a basic will, power of attorney and/or living will? If your answer is no, Gultanoff and Associates can help.

Do you know the answer to any of these estate law scenarios?
Your father passed away and you are the executor of his estate. He has a checking account and the bank refuses to give you any information on it. Can they withhold any information from you?
What can one do when you find that the property left to you in a will “disappears” once the executor of the estate became involved?
A lawyer is writing a will for someone, can the lawyer also be a beneficiary of that will?
How can you find out exactly who are the beneficiaries under a will?

What defines a”Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Traffic offense” and how do I know if I need legal counsel?

No arrest is a minor arrest if you, a family member, or friend is charged
with an offense. Therefore, it is
critical that you have an experienced
attorney who can speak for you.

In virtually all states, a conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) can have very severe and long-lasted consequences ranging from heavy fines and loss of driving privileges to an imposition of significant time in prison.

For example, in Pennsylvania, intoxication or impairment can be proven in one of two ways:

Blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08 for adults.
Blood alcohol level in excess of 0.04 for an individual driving a commercial vehicle.
Blood alcohol level in excess of 0.02 for an individual driving a school bus or school vehicle.
Blood alcohol level in excess of 0.02 for minors under the age of 21
Proof that the driver or operator was impaired from the use of alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs
You should not face a DUI arrest without experienced legal counsel. Do you know your rights? Gultanoff and Associates understands that your driver’s license is often essential to your life.

Traffic laws, however, vary from state to state; do you know what to do:

If you refuse to sign a traffic ticket?
After you receive a traffic ticket?
If you receive ‘points’ against your license?
If your license is revoked or suspended?
If you approach a checkpoint or roadblock?
If you are pulled over and the officer requests to search your vehicle?