Maselli Warren November Newsletter
Should I Bring a Friend to my Consultation?
We understand that facing legal problems can be stressful and prospective
clients often want to bring a friend or family member for moral support.
However, should you?
Even before a fee agreement is signed and a lawyer is formally retained, the
attorney-client privilege can be invoked. Having a third party in the room
waives that privilege.
While your friend can be there to hold your hand, give you feedback, think of
questions you didn’t think to ask, or even pass the tissues, if there’s
something you wish to tell the attorney in confidence, it’s okay to ask your
friend to step out of the room.
Can You Afford to Wait to File Bankruptcy?
It’s not uncommon that we meet with a prospect and then have them return a year
or two later to file for bankruptcy relief. Sometimes we meet with people who
know they’re in over their heads, but they are still making minimum payments or
their cards aren’t maxed out yet or the creditors have stopped calling, etc.
Maybe you don’t have lawsuits or judgments piled up against you yet and feel
you have a little breathing room, that bankruptcy will still be there waiting
for you when you need it. But is this really the case?
By waiting, you will continue to accumulate debt and interest will accrue. If
you can no longer make payments on your debts, you run the risk of having
lawsuits filed and judgments piled up against you. Once your creditors obtain
judgments, they may look to garnish your wages or levy upon your bank accounts.
If your income has changed, you can run the risk of no longer qualifying for a
Chapter 7, since most filings are subject to the income based means test. The
means test data changes every six months or so based upon the current median
Looking to start off the year with a fresh start? Contact our office today
for a free consultation and learn if bankruptcy can help rid you of your debt
Cross Border Estate Planning Woes
While most Americans don’t lose sleep over estate taxes, the current exemption
is $5.25 million and transfers to spouses are unlimited, this only holds true if
both spouses are citizens domiciled in the US. Domicile refers to where you
live and intend to be your home. If one spouse is not a US citizen, even if he
or she is a green card holder, you should plan your estate with care. The US
does have reciprocal tax treaties with 17 countries, including Canada, which may
provide more favorable treatment, if not, you may need to utilize a special type
of trust to minimize your tax burdens upon death.
Think your estate plan might need a tune up? We’re happy to help ensure
everything is in order!
Bankruptcy Update – Median Income Numbers are Changing
Consumers seeking the protections of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are subject to an
income based means test. The means test compares the debtors household income
against the median income and family size in the state where the debtor lives.
These numbers change twice a year in the Fall and Spring.
Effective November 15, 2013, the median incomes for New Jersey are as follows:
- One Person $60,317
- Two Person $70,150
- Three Person $85,575
- Four Person $103,946
- Add an additional $8,100 for each individual in excess of 4.
Are your bill problems keeping you up at night and do you have questions about
whether you would qualify for a Chapter 7? Contact us to set up a free
consultation with one of our friendly attorneys today. Have more bankruptcy
questions, check out our FAQs.
Meet Our Hamilton, NJ Attorneys!