Do you have a will?
Having a will serves as one of the surest ways to make sure your loved ones are taken care of after your death. While many people start considering wills as they approach death, it makes sense to make wills at other times in your life, too, just in case the unexpected happens.
Still, you sometimes change your mind about how your assets should be handled. In these cases, you need to make changes to your will. But you might be wondering how to change a will in a way that’s effective.
Below, we have compiled a family lawyer’s guide to changing a will. Keep reading below for more information!
How to Change a Will
When you know how to change a will, you have the ability to dictate how your estate is divided among your family members and loved ones after your death.
But if you’ve already made a will, you need to go through the proper process to change it in order for your wishes to be legally respected. Since a will is a legal document, you need to go through legal procedures to change it.
We’ll go into the details in the sections below!
Consider Whether or Not You Want an Attorney
When making changes to their wills, some people wonder if they should hire family law attorneys.
While many people hire lawyers when they create wills, they often hire a lawyer to provide advice. When you change a will, though, you don’t legally need a lawyer. Attorneys sometimes cost money people fear they can’t afford to spend.
Of course, if you have a legal question regarding a will, though, consult an attorney.
Writing a Codicil
One of the best ways to amend your will is to write a codicil.
What is a codicil? Think of it as a postscript that goes at the end of your will. You must be of clear mental understanding to make a codicil. This ensures that you are making your adjustment to the will of your own accord and are cognizant of your changes.
When you write a codicil, you should use the same legal language used in your will. For instance, begin your will by saying, “I, *insert name here*, hereby make the following changes to my will,” and then list your changes below.
Signing the Codicil
When you created your will, you had to sign it yourself and procure the additional signatures of two other witnesses. The same is true of a codicil.
While it seems inconvenient to have to get two additional signatures, it certifies that your will was made voluntarily and is thereby legitimate.
Once the codicil is signed, it is considered an amendment to your will, and the information contained in it will override any details in the original will.
Ready to Change Your Will?
Are you wondering how to change a will because you want to alter yours?
If you’ve been asking, “Can a will be changed?” the answer is yes! By writing a codicil and getting two witnesses to sign it, you can make legally-binding changes to your will.
Want more lifestyle advice? Check out the rest of our articles today!
A Guide to Criminal Laws in Canada
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime in Canada, it’s important to understand the criminal justice system. This guide will explain the basics of criminal law in Canada, including the types of crimes and their possible punishments. Understand your rights and what to expect if you’re facing a criminal charge.
What Are the Three Main Types of Crimes in Canada?
Crime takes many forms in Canada, with each type of offense varying in severity and consequences. The three main types of crimes are crimes against the person, property crimes, and public order offenses. Crime against the person encompasses a range of activities such as assault, sexual assault, and homicide.
Property crime includes theft, fraud, and mischief caused to any type of property. Lastly, public order violations refer to criminal activity which is disruptive to the community such as causing disturbances, uttering threats, and harboring criminals.
Different preventative measures have been put into places such as police enforcement and surveillance technology to counteract these kinds of offenses in Canadian society.
How Are Criminal Laws Made in Canada?
Canada has an established set of processes through which criminal laws are created, adopted, and enforced. The Law-Making Process begins when the Government of Canada sends a draft bill to Parliament to be debated and voted on by MPs. That same process is repeated in the Senate before the Governor General gives Royal Assent and the legislation becomes law.
Once enacted, laws are enforced by police agencies, Crown Prosecutors, and Justice Systems across provinces and territories. Canada’s legal system adopts a constructive approach to establishing new criminal laws that involve ongoing dialogue between existing stakeholders like lawmakers, judges, civil society groups, criminal defence lawyer, and other participants in the justice system.
This helps ensure that new or amended criminal laws reflect the values of Canadians while also meeting the needs of relevant communities.
Who Enforces Criminal Laws in Canada?
In Canada, criminal laws are enforced by the police force. Police departments across the country serve to ensure law and order and protect citizens from criminal activity. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is responsible for providing policing services in provinces and territories without their own provincial or territorial police forces.
In addition, there are many local police forces in cities throughout Canada that cooperate with the RCMP to enforce criminal laws. Each province also has its own justice department which is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the criminal justice system, including creating and enforcing laws.
Through their coordinated efforts, these organizations work together to ensure national security and uphold Canadians’ rights and freedoms.
Difference Between an Indictable Offense and a Summary Offense
In Canada, criminal justice procedures distinguish between two types of offenses: summary offenses and indictable offenses. A summary offense is less serious than an indictable offense and therefore carries with it lighter penalties, such as a fine or shorter jail sentence.
Summary charges are tried in provincial court, whereas indictable offenses are handled in the higher-level supreme court. Generally speaking, the more serious the criminal charge (for example murder) the higher level of court it will be heard in; however, this can depend on individual jurisdictions or even cases.
The major determining factor for what kind of offense a crime falls under depends on the severity of the crime and whether it falls under federal or provincial laws.
Most Common Criminal Offenses in Canada
In Canada, criminal offenses vary from province to province and even among cities. But some of the most common offenses include offenses such as theft, impaired driving, obstructing a police officer, drug trafficking, assault, and remaining in a vehicle while intoxicated.
Depending on the nature of the crime and any prior convictions for the same offense, penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or parole restrictions.
Most provinces employ social services interventions like addiction counseling or rehabilitative programming as an alternative to jail time in lesser cases. Regardless of the penalty given for criminal activity, however, offenders are still answerable to Canadian law.
7 Questions to Ask an Immigration Lawyer at the First Meeting
Immigration law is complicated. This is why only experienced and professional immigration attorneys are the best fit. After you have chosen the right immigration lawyer to help you solve your issue, what is next? Next, prepare for the first meeting with the immigration lawyer.
One of the ways to ensure that you and the lawyer speak the same language is to ask the lawyer questions. So, read on to find several questions you can ask an immigration lawyer during the first meeting.
Ask about the previous experience
It is essential that your chosen lawyer is specialized in immigration law and has experience in cases similar to yours. This is a guarantee that you have selected the right lawyer. It is highly recommended that you choose an immigration lawyer with an immigration law specialization and rich experience because this will guarantee capability and expertise when handling your case.
For instance, if you live in Rochester, New York, and intend to choose a lawyer based on your visa issue, you have to seek out immigration lawyers in Rochester who are specialized in visa cases.
Excellent lawyers can refer you to similar cases and the outcomes they achieved for their clients. Additionally, ensure that your lawyer is board certified. You can do this by performing research.
Ask about the best strategy that fits your case
After you have asked the immigration lawyer questions that will show his specialization and are satisfied with the answer, you can proceed to questions regarding your immigration case. During the initial consultation, you can tell the immigration lawyer about your aims and the kind of support you need to get.
When you ask the lawyer about the best strategy that fits your case, the lawyer will ask questions about your immigration history and the documents needed for submitting your application. The immigration lawyer will also check your eligibility and also the possibility of getting the outcome that you desire.
The immigration lawyer would also explain the strategy and process to employ during your case. If you want to understand more, you can ask them the following questions:
- What are your thoughts concerning my case?
- What is my chance of succeeding?
- What is my case timeline?
- What do you need from me to work on my case?
Ask if the lawyer belongs to the American Immigration Lawyers Association
Immigration law is a specialized field. Therefore you must employ the services of a trustworthy and reputable immigration lawyer. This is why you must ask the lawyer if the lawyer is a member of The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). A lawyer who is part of this association understands the current immigration updates, regulations, and best practices.
Though the AILA can be an excellent place to get recommendations for an attorney, membership doesn’t equate to the lawyer’s success record or experience. You can also search for lawyers through websites that have essential information and clients’ testimonials for lawyers.
Ask for the language you can communicate with your lawyer
It will be understandable if you don’t feel comfortable speaking English. It can be pretty hard to understand law terminologies, and this can become more complicated if you cannot correctly communicate with your lawyer.
So, you can ask if your lawyer is fluent in your native language. If the lawyer doesn’t speak your language, they can provide you with a native speaker of your language who can help in the interpretation.
Ask how frequently you and the lawyer would be in contact
After getting a lawyer, it is essential to follow your case and remain updated. Sometimes, the immigration process could take months or years before it can be successfully closed. This is another reason you must be able to communicate flawlessly with your lawyer.
You must understand that you are not only seeking a good immigration attorney but an available and approachable lawyer who doesn’t have many cases to deal with. The immigration lawyer should be able to spend time dealing with your case and getting feedback from you.
Ask the lawyer what your case will cost
This is another essential question you must ask your lawyer during the first meeting. When you consult with the lawyer, the lawyer will give you, in detail, an outline of what your case involves. This will enable you to understand the amount of work that is involved.
Therefore you will know the proper timeline of your expectation and what you should do. After this, your lawyer will discuss their charge and tell you what you are expected to pay. You can ask your lawyer to put this writing.
Usually, you cannot find out what it will cost before a consultation. The reason for this is that even immigration cases are usually different, and the level of work and the complexity will determine the price.
You can also ask your lawyer the following questions to understand the cost:
- What mode of payment do you charge? Installments or flat fees?
- What is the total cost of my case?
- Do you charge an additional fee for filing?
- Do you charge for emails, calls, or copies of documents?
When you have a clear understanding of the fee involved, you will be able to make informed decisions.
Ask the lawyer what actions or procedures he will undertake for your case
Another critical question to ask your immigration lawyer is who will file the paperwork and submit it for your case. You can also ask the lawyer who will attend the hearings or interviews for you.
This will let you remove any misunderstanding that might occur, and also, these actions and plans can be an essential part of your timeline.
During your first meeting with your lawyer, the aim is to discuss your case’s details and create a strategy to win your case. This is why you must build lawyer and client relationships and good communication. Additionally, you could make your case outline and get legal advice from an expert immigration lawyer.
But most people don’t know how to prepare for this first meeting. The first thing to do is choose the best lawyer that suits your case because immigration law is broad, and you would need an expert to get a chance of success. The above tips should help you choose the best lawyer for your case.
Oilfield Accident Lawyer: Fight For Your Right To Compensation
Nobody wants to be injured on the job, but sadly, this is an all too common occurrence in the drilling world. The oilfield industry is dangerous; accidents can lead to severe injuries and even death. One way to protect yourself is by partnering with a reputable law firm experienced in fighting for oilfield injury victims.
The Legal Process
If an oilfield accident has left you or a loved one hurt, it is essential to understand the legal process and what to expect. The first step is to contact an experienced oilfield accident lawyer who can assess your situation and inform you of your rights.
Personal injury cases are typically handled on a cost reimbursement basis, so unless we successfully get you compensation, no legal fees will need to be paid. Once the lawyer takes on your case to make a compelling claim, they will investigate the accident and gather information. It may include talking to eyewitnesses, reviewing medical records, and obtaining expert testimony.
Once we have gathered all the necessary evidence on your behalf, they will bargain with the insurance provider to try to reach a just settlement. They are prepared to take your case to trial if we cannot reach a settlement that adequately compensates you. At every step, they aim to get you the total and fair compensation you deserve under the law.
Picking the Right Lawyer
Choosing the best attorney to represent you is crucial if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an oilfield accident. Many personal injury lawyers are out there, but not all have oilfield accident experience. When selecting a lawyer to represent you, consider the following factors:
- Look for a lawyer who has experience handling oilfield injury cases. It will ensure they are familiar with the unique issues involved in these cases.
- Make sure the lawyer you choose will take your case on a contingency basis. It implies that they will only be paid if they succeed in your case.
- Choose a lawyer with a proven track record of success representing clients in personal injury cases. It implies that they will only be paid if they succeed in your case.
The Role of a Lawyer
If an oilfield accident has left you or a loved one hurt, you may wonder what role a lawyer can play in your case. A skilled oilfield injury lawyer can help you negotiate the convoluted legal system and fight for your due compensation.
Various factors, including negligence on the part of the oil company, faulty equipment, and dangerous working conditions, can cause oilfield accidents. If an oilfield accident has hurt you, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your suffering, loss of wages, and medical costs.
A lawyer can help you investigate the cause of your accident and build a strong compensation case. A knowledgeable attorney can also bargain with insurance providers to secure your best settlement.
If an oilfield accident has hurt you or a loved one, don’t wait to contact a knowledgeable oilfield injury attorney today.
Severance, Disability, Lost Wages: What to Do?
When an oilfield worker is injured, they may be entitled to compensation for their losses. It can include severance pay, disability benefits, and lost wages.
Severance pay is typically given to workers who are laid off or fired for no fault. It is a way for the employer to help the worker transition to a new job.
Disability benefits are available to workers who cannot work due to injuries. These benefits cover the cost of medical bills and living expenses.
Lost wages are another form of compensation that may be available to injured workers. It covers the earnings lost while the worker is unable to work.
Oilfield injury lawyers can help workers get the compensation they deserve. They will review the details of the accident and determine what type of compensation may be available.
If you have been hurt in an oilfield accident, you should know your legal options and who can support your efforts to obtain the settlement you are due. At Zehl & Associates, the team of experienced oilfield injury lawyers has a proven track record of success fighting for the rights of injured workers.
They understand the unique challenges that oilfield workers face, and we are dedicated to protecting their rights.
What is the First Step in Getting a Divorce in Canada?
The ultimate success of any process depends on the first step. So does the divorce process. Although getting a divorce is a pretty straightforward procedure, sometimes it can be complex.
Moreover, many people are not familiar with the procedural things of court. Therefore, divorce might appear difficult for them, although the law is pretty straightforward.
If you think of separation right, you are desperate to know the first step of getting a divorce. Let’s move forward to know all the ins and outs regarding the first step of divorce.
What is the First of Getting a Divorce in Canada?
Before that, it’s important to know how long does a divorce take in Canada? Generally, the process takes 4-6 months. Hence the earlier you initiate the process, it will complete faster.
We can divide the first step of getting a divorce is divided into many phases. Everything is part of the first step, from the decision-making to the divorce application submission. Thereby completing the first step of divorce rightly is very crucial.
Let’s know the different phases of the first step of divorce in Canada from this section.
Phase 1: Decide on Divorce
Deciding for divorce is the most deceptive phase of the first step. As rightful divorce is your right, it is always your decision.
Most of the time, deciding on divorce is not easy. As property issues, children’s custody issues are very relevant with divorce, it’s not always a straightforward decision.
Only in the case of mutual divorce, the beginning phase of divorce seems easy enough. Overall, deciding on divorce is the most decisive phase of getting a divorce.
Phase 2: Discussion Part (optional)
Sometimes discussion with your spouse works very well for divorce matters. However, on some occasions, the decision to divorce should be made very silently.
Discussion for divorce can be done with family members or close people. But in most cases, you cannot share such crucial things with others. Therefore, discussion with a good divorce lawyer is also a good option.
Phase 3: Prepare the Grounds of Divorce
About 80% of divorce is the consequence of domestic violence—moreover, children’s custody, property distribution, and more big personal life issues related to divorce. Hence, it is so related to rights, duty, and obligation that preparing the genuine grounds is very important.
Therefore, the grounds need to be set to get relief from any problems. If you are a victim of any unlawful actions, set proper reasons to make the wrongdoer liable.
In cases of one-sided divorce, set the genuine grounds with the assistance of a professional lawyer.
Phase 4: Hire a lawyer (optional)
If you think you are a victim of domestic or other violence, talk with a lawyer. A professional divorce lawyer helps to establish claims in favour of victims.
If setting up a divorce with a wrongdoer hiring a professional lawyer will be perfect. However, if both husband and wife don’t know the actual divorce process, they can hire a divorce lawyer to avoid further complexities.
Phase 5: Submit Divorce Application to the Court
Getting done with all the previously mentioned phases of divorce, now it is time to apply to the court. On the divorce, the application adds proper grounds of divorce so that you can establish your claims.
The application submission is considered the last part of the first natural step of going for a divorce.
Doing the first step of divorce has to be done correctly. Therefore, follow all those previously mentioned phases of the first steps of getting a divorce. If you complete the first step correctly, the subsequent stages of getting a divorce will be more manageable for you.
Moreover, you can take the assistance of a lawyer to lead you to get a successful divorce.
Visa Options for Immigrants in the US
Many people immigrate to the United States each year, especially since it’s a popular destination for immigrants and tourists alike. However, if you’re planning on residing in the United States for good, you’ll need a visa to be allowed entry to the country.
A US visa refers to a stamp that you typically receive on your passport or travel document, which signifies that you’re qualified to enter the US. However, this does not solely mean that you will enter the country since the final discretion will be up to the Customs and Borders Protection (CPB) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspectors.
Because of this, you will need to apply for a visa to gain entry into the US. Seeking the assistance of US Total Law immigration services will especially help make the process easier for you. Apart from that, they will also assist you in exploring possible visa options you can consider applying for to acquire a residence in the United States and the required documents that come alongside it.
That being said, listed below are some of the visa options for immigrants in the United States.
Immigrant visa options
The US issues visas to foreign individuals traveling to the country through their respective consulates or embassies. Your purpose for entering the country will determine what kind of visa you need to be applying for. Immigrant visas also come in various types, taking on different categories based on obtaining the permanent visa. These can either be Employer-Sponsored visas or family Sponsored visas.
Here are your options:
1. Family and Immediate Relative Sponsored Visas
This visa means that you want to join your immediate family or relative and live in the US with them permanently. These can either be your spouse, parents, or fiance. If you have a spouse or family in the US, you are eligible for this particular category of US immigrant visa. Here are subcategories under Family-sponsored visas and a brief description for each.
- K-1 Fiance Visa USA
This is issued to a person who is engaged to a US resident and can be permitted to go to the US for 90 days. Within this time frame, the couple should get married to begin filing a petition for a spouse visa.
- CR-1, IR-1 US Spouse Visas
These are bestowed to individuals already married legally to a US citizen. Living together does not qualify for this visa, so you must prove your marriage through legal documents.
- K-3 Visa
This visa is made to significantly shorten the time that a married couple is physically away from each other. K3 visa processing allows them to get together in the US while waiting for the approval of their petition for a spouse visa.
- F-2A, F-2B for Family members of Lawful Permanent US Residents
The F-2 visa caters to unmarried or minor children and spouses of individuals with immigrant visas. They are also classified into two categories: the F2A being for children and spouses and the F2B being for unmarried daughters and sons.
2. Employment-Sponsored Visas
US visas sponsored by employers are also a kind of immigrant visa that permits holders to work in the country permanently. The US government typically sets a limit on the number of employment visas that they offer to approximately 140,000 every fiscal year. Here are some of your options:
- EB-1 for First Priority Workers
This is for individuals who have the EB1 visa and can be considered in three groups. These include outstanding researchers and professors who have international acclaim, persons who possess extraordinary abilities in the fields of education, business, athletics, science or arts, or for multinational managers of the executive who have worked for at least one out of three years overseas for a branch or parent company in the US.
- EB-2 for Second Priority Workers
This is for professionals who possess an advanced degree: either a Bachelor’s degree or five years of job experience in that particular profession and those who have finished a higher degree than a Bachelor’s degree. This also includes individuals who have exceptional talent or abilities in business, sciences, or the arts.
- EB-3, EW-3 for Third priority Workers
These include professional workers who require a Bachelor’s degree or a US equivalent to start working in their profession, EB3 visa for skilled workers who possess at least two years of training or experience in their profession and are not temporary, or EW3 visa for unskilled workers who do not need these.
- EB-4 for Fourth Priority Workers
These include a variety of visas for people who are religious workers, former or current employees of the US government, Iraqi or Afghan employees, foreign medical graduates, family members of international organization employees, and more.
These are only some of the visa options you can apply for as an immigrant in the US. However, you may opt to seek US immigration total law services to be sure of what the right visa is for you to ensure a smooth application process to your new home.
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