When Should You Seek Legal Counsel?

With this country's complex system of laws and regulations, situations will occur where the advice and guidance of an attorney can be helpful in protecting your rights. An attorney will analyze the matter and advise you how to guard your interests. Below is a sampling of when seeking legal advice is helpful.

Wills and trusts should be prepared by a lawyer to ensure the proper division of your estate. Not only could an improperly drafted will lead to your estate going to the wrong people, but also the will or trust could be adversely affected by federal and state tax laws. An attorney can prepare the proper documents to ensure your property goes to your chosen heirs with minimal tax effects.

The purchase of a home or other real estate can be one of the largest investments a person makes.  Having an attorney review the sales contract as well as prepare the closing documents can help ensure your rights concerning the property and transfer of ownership.

Marriage and divorce have legal ramifications that may call for the advice of a lawyer. Couples getting married may seek legal counsel to learn its legal affects on creditors, dependents, and other obligations or to draft a pre-marital agreement. When a couple separates or divorces, attorneys represent each party to reach a fair settlement and resolve such issues as child custody and support.

If financial problems arise, an attorney can help you consider your options in settling your debts. Many laws exist concerning credit arrangements, payment options, debt collection, repayment plans, financing, and bankruptcy, and the attorney can advise the best method to resolve the situation.

Of course, you should contact an attorney immediately if you are involved in any criminal or civil action. The lawyer will advise you of your rights and represent you in the proceedings.

Legal counsel is also helpful when starting a business. Deciding whether to form a partnership or corporation and abiding by all the business laws can be made easier with legal guidance.

Consumer and landlord/tenant problems sometimes call for the assistance of an attorney, who can advise you of your rights under those statutes.

The Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project sponsor a telephone hot line to provide free general information on basic legal issues. Call the "Legal Line" Monday through Thursday afternoons at 1-800-682-6423.