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  • Does a person have to pay for an initial consultation with the Law Offices of John Hardy?
    No. Every day the Law Offices of John Hardy receives calls seeking consultations. These initial consultations are provided free of charge.
  • Can I handle my own legal problems?
    "It is not illegal for you to represent yourself in court or to handle your own legal matters. There are also "kits" and "forms" which some people use for such matters as getting a divorce or making a will. Judges and court personnel are not allowed to give you any legal advice as your case proceeds. Attorneys are trained to provide professional legal assistance to you‚ to be aware of all court procedures‚ filing requirements‚ deadlines‚ and other details that a non-attorney easily could overlook." ( 9/4/2018)
  • What should my attorney expect from me?
    "Upon being retained as your legal counsel‚ your attorney should expect that you will: 

 Be completely honest about all facts concerning your case‚ whether or not they are favorable to you. 1. Be on time for appointments and not take up an excessive amount of time with visits or phone calls relating to minor details or petty matters. 2. Take his/her advice. 3. Understand that no lawyer can guarantee results in a contested matter. 4. Be patient and understand that legal matters are rarely "open and shut" cases; they require time and research. 5. Pay a reasonable fee for the work performed." ( 9/4/2018)
  • What is probate?
    In California, probate is the legal process to prove that a Will is the official Last Will and Testament of the deceased (a person that has died.) On average the probate process takes from 9 to 18 months, and may delay your family from accessing the assets they need after your death. In some cases, probate can last for years.In general, all steps in the administration of an estate are directed toward three goals: collection and management of assets, payment of debts and taxes, and distribution of the balance of the assets as provided in the will (or through intestacy law if there is no will)
  • How long does probate take?
    In California, the minimum amount of time for most probate cases is 7 months. Many can take as long as 18 months. It is advisable to begin the process as soon as possible.
  • How do I avoid the probate process?
    With proper preparation, families can minimize the need for the probate process. The Law Offices of John Hardy will work together with you to develop a personalized Will and Trust that allows you to determine the needs of your family. The key here is personalized. A Will is a necessary start; however, to avoid the state’s interference in your family’s affairs, you also need a Trust to avoid probate. No two families are the same, and neither are their finances. The Law Offices of John Hardy offers a personalized inter-vivos (living) trust, with a pour-over will, that is intelligently planned by an experienced attorney to meet your family’s unique needs.
  • What is a will and why do I need one?
    A Will, which is sometimes referred to as a “Last Will and Testament”, is a document that directs what will happen to your assets, and who will inherit your assets, after your death. Without a Will, your assets and your family is subject to California Intestacy Laws. Your loved ones may not get what you want them to have, without the proper planning before you die. You have worked hard, and you should be in charge of dictating where, and to whom, everything goes after you pass away.
  • What is a trust and why do I need one?
    A Trust allows a third party to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. In many cases, a Trust avoids the probate process which allows beneficiaries quicker access to assets and saves money in legal and court fees. To protect the wealth of your family, a trust is an integral part of the estate planning process.
  • What is an inter-vivos Trust and Pour-over Will, and do I need one?"
    An inter-vivos Trust, which is sometimes referred to as a living Trust, places your assets in to a Trust for your benefit during your lifetime. Trusts often prove stronger in the event that they are contested, because upon your death, any asset you direct, are not part of your estate - they are being held “in Trust,” for the benefit of whomever you decide. A pour-over Will addresses assets which are excluded, and not part of the Trust, or perhaps if they are acquired after the establishment of a living Trust.
  • What are personal injury cases?
    Personal Injury cases involve claims against a negligent individual or corporation, the result of which causes an innocent party to incur medical expenses, wage loss together with pain and suffering. Many times, personal injury cases are the result of automobile accidents.
  • Do I need to retain an attorney if I am injured in a motor vehicle accident?
    In many cases it is a good idea to retain an attorney if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. The early stages of the investigation of the accident are often the most important in resolving liability issues. The Law Offices of John Hardy know that you may be stressed during this time and want to help you concentrate on your recovery while we focus on the legal aspects of your case.
  • What damages might I receive in a personal injury case?
    Damages you may recover include: 1. Reimbursement for past and future medical treatment and lost wages 2. Reimbursement for damage to or loss of use of property that occurred as a result of the injury 3. Money for emotional distress and/or pain and suffering 4. Injury to reputation 5. Punitive damages (money given as punishment) 6. Loss of consortium (loss of services of your spouse, which includes income, companionship, child care, etc.)
  • What will it cost me to hire an attorney for a personal injury case?
    Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. We'll discuss your exact arrangements with you during your consultation.
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