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How to Apply for a Green Card: The Steps Explained

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How to Apply for a Green Card

Have you recently moved to the United States? If so, let us be the first to say welcome!

After all, America is a country of immigrants and has something to offer everyone. It’s a great place to raise a family, start a career, and become part of a community. The key to starting your life as a citizen of the U.S. is to apply for a Green Card so that you can legally live and work here.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for help. This article takes at how to apply for a Green Card, along with all the steps you’ll need to follow. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

You Must Be Eligible 

First of all, let’s talk about what you have to do to become eligible to receive a Green Card in the United States.

The immigration laws offer several ways to apply, therefore the eligibility requirements vary according to the application method you choose. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to make sure you pick the right application and follow the application steps very closely.

Get Sponsored

Next, an immigrant must complete at least two forms, include an immigrant petition and a Green Card application, and be sponsored by a current United States citizen. 

Your sponsor must file the citizenship application for you, although in some cases you can file on your own behalf. Again, it’s crucial that you fill out and submit the proper forms. It’s also a good idea to hire an experienced immigration attorney.

File a Green Card Application

Go ahead and file the initial petition. Again, this process will be completed either by your sponsor on by you and your own behalf. Then once the application has been submitted, the typical wait period is at least several months. 

Keep in mind that the wait time will fluctuate depending on how far the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services happens to be backed up.

Here’s a look at the N400 timeline.

Complete the Biometrics Process

You will also need to complete a series of biometrics. This includes getting fingerprinted, having your photo taken, and providing your signature.

Complete the Green Card Interview

Next is the interview process. Many people fear having to be interviewed for their Green Card, and yet this is a standard interview where the applicant will be asked a series of questions about their background, their reason for wanting to move to the United States, where they will be living, their employment situation, and their marital status.

Track the Results

Once you’ve successfully completed the entire application process, you’ll simply need to wait for the results to be processed. Fortunately, you can sign up to receive automatic case updates by creating a Case Status Online account.

An Immigrant’s Guide to How to Apply for a Green Card In the United States

Immigrating to the United States is an exciting event. Fortunately, these tips on how to apply for a Green Card will help make the process as easy as possible.

Keep scrolling to discover more great lifestyle advice on our blog.

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How to Locate a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston

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Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston

Criminal defense attorneys are professionals who specialize in defending individuals, firms, agencies, governments and other entities accused of criminal offences. The complex criminal justice system of Texas, and indeed every US state makes it necessary for persons or organizations charged with crimes to seek out the services of criminal defense lawyers. 

A criminal defense attorney will walk you through the details and implications of your charges, and defend you in court if need be. It’s common knowledge that criminal cases can get serious pretty quickly, and you need all the help you can get. Criminal defense attorneys have the experience and competence to get you out of trouble or help you obtain the best possible outcome.

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

A criminal defense attorney will research the facts of your case, and investigate the charges against you. The attorney will also interview witnesses and try to get relevant ones to testify in court. In some cases, the attorney may have to negotiate deals with prosecuting attorneys for reduced charges or sentences. 

In cases that go to trial, the criminal attorney will build a defense strategy, argue motions in court, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and provide a thorough assessment of the likely outcomes of the case. Fighting a criminal defense charge can be draining, especially in trials that go against the defendant. A criminal defense attorney may also offer emotional and psychological comfort, and file appeals where applicable.

At What Point Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

It’s best to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you discover you’re in legal trouble. If you’re arrested before you can get a lawyer, then you should request to speak to one at once. In situations where it’s not possible to get counsel immediately, consider calling a lawyer as soon as you’re let go on bail.

Cost of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston

Cost is the major reason people are reluctant to hire the services of a lawyer. criminal defense attorney houston may charge a fixed fee or charge by the hour. The cost of legal fees can vary based on the skill and experience of the attorney, the seriousness and complexity of the case, and whether the case goes to trial. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will appoint a government-paid public lawyer to handle your defense.

According to promatcher.com, criminal lawyers in Houston charge a fixed fee ranging from $1000 to $10,0000, and an hourly fee from $287 to $350 per hour. 

Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Defense Case?

Yes. You can opt to go without the services of a lawyer in a criminal defense case. However, choosing to represent yourself in a criminal defense case isn’t a wise idea. Pro se defendants, as they’re known often lack the skills and experience needed to go against a state prosecutor. The best course of action is to hire a lawyer or accept the services of a court-appointed one.

How do I Locate a Good Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston?

If you or a loved one in Houston has gotten in trouble with the law, then you want to quickly reach out to a criminal defense attorney. Before you decide on who to hire, consider their experience in handling the crime for which you’ve been charged and their familiarity with the courthouse where your case is being handled. 

Naturally, you’d also have to consider the cost of hiring the lawyer and how much you’re willing to spend on legal services. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the person you’re hiring and not hesitate to walk away if something feels off. You can get a Houston criminal defense attorney by checking online or offline resources such as the Houston Public Library.

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How Much Does It Cost to Create a Will?

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How Much Does It Cost to Create a Will

Over half of Americans don’t have a will

If you’re healthy, it might not seem like you need one any time soon, but disaster tends to strike when you least expect it. The problem with writing a will is that it takes money. 

Are you asking yourself, “How much does it cost to create a will?” The answer is probably not as much as you think. We’ve put together this guide to walk you through the average prices and help you pick the best method for your needs. 

So let’s get started! 

Do You Really Need a Will?

You don’t have to create a will before you pass away. However, if you don’t have one, things will get much more complicated (and expensive) for the people you leave behind. 

If you don’t have a will, your assets and estate will have to go through the probate process

This means the state will appoint a personal representative to handle your estate—a job that usually falls to the surviving spouse. If you don’t have a spouse or they don’t want to take on this responsibility, another family member can take it instead. 

But picking a personal representative isn’t always this simple. 

Things get more complicated if you’ve been married multiple times or have grown children. Your family members might also decide that no one wants to take on the job, which means the state will appoint a public trustee. This person will distribute your assets based on the law, which usually means your beneficiaries won’t get the things that are important to them. 

Before you can even get to this step, though, the state has to get around to actually assigning someone to do the job. That can take some time. While your family waits for them to make a decision, all your assets will be frozen. 

Learning how to write a will saves your loved ones a lot of stress and hassle later. 

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Will?

The answer to this question isn’t so simple. The amount of money you spend creating a will depends on a variety of factors, including how you choose to do it. You could end up paying anything between $25 to $1,000. 

Why is there such a wide gap?

It all comes down to whether you decide to hire a lawyer or write your will yourself. There are pros and cons to both options, so here’s a closer look at each choice and a more specific cost estimation. 

Hiring a Lawyer

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a lawyer is that they know what they’re doing. They’ve spent years studying and working with the specific regulations in your area, so you know any document they help you write will be accurate and valid. 

That said, lawyers are the most expensive way to create a will. It’s still difficult to put an exact price tag on the service, but the average dollar amount is about $300. However, the following considerations can make that number fluctuate on either end. 

Experience 

Lawyers who have been practicing for several years will charge more for their experience. If they’re just starting out, you can find more affordable rates. 

But that doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest option. 

You get what you pay for, after all. Hiring a lawyer who doesn’t have a lot of experience may leave you with a will that’s full of mistakes. Make sure you do your research to ensure a lawyer that fits your budget is also reputable. 

Location 

The average cost of hiring a lawyer changes based on where you live. For example, it’s more expensive to hire a lawyer in Las Angeles than it is to hire one in a small town. 

Size and Value of Your Estate 

If you have a large or valuable estate, it will take longer to go through your assets and write out a will. This means you’ll have to hand over more money to finish the job. 

Area of Practice 

Lawyers who specialize in estate planning tend to charge more for their will writing services than other law firms. This extra cost means you’re getting the best possible help, but it can also go over your budget. 

Type of Estate Documents You Need

Do you want more than just a will? There are several types of estate planning documents, you can discover more here, and the more you need, the more money you’ll have to spend. 

DIYing 

You can buy will templates and software from many different websites online. They only cost a small fee, about $25 to $50. Then you can download them and fill in the blanks yourself.

Most of these templates come with instructions, so even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can figure out what information to put where. 

Which Method of Writing a Will Is the Better Choice?

A DIY will is much cheaper, so that makes it the better choice, right?

Not quite. 

DIY wills can be helpful in a pinch, but they tend to be generic. Most people need a bit more personalization to get their will to match their needs. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble writing down your wishes correctly. 

It’s also easy to make mistakes if you’re doing it on your own. If this happens, your will might not be valid in the eyes of the state, so your estate will have to go through the probate process anyway. 

In most cases, it’s better to spend the extra money on a lawyer to ensure your will has everything you need and is valid. This way you can ensure everyone follows what you declare in the document after you’re gone. 

Always Stay Prepared 

It’s never too early to write a will. Now that you’ve answered the question, “How much does it cost to create a will?”, you should look into hiring a lawyer right away. You never know when you’ll leave, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared. 

Want to learn some other helpful estate planning tips? Make sure you take a look at the rest of our blog! 

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How to Maximize Your Compensation for a Car Accident

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How to Maximize Your Compensation for a Car Accident

Have you had a car accident that was not your fault? Are you seeking compensation? If so, you need to get the best payout you can, and that involves knowing how to maximize your claim. 

There are a number of things you can do to get the best claim and increase your chances of a payout. Read on for our must-know guide on compensation for a car accident. 

Compensation for a Car Accident Evidence

The more evidence you have about the crash and the damage it has caused, the more likely you are to get a higher car accident settlement. In doing this, you also provide your attorney with more leverage to push for a higher settlement. 

Police and medical reports are all imperative. You should be able to collect these after any accident. If it is possible to get witness statements after the accident, then you should include them. 

If it is possible, then try to provide pictures of the accident. It is unlikely the emergency services will take photographs unless it is in extreme circumstances. Show the damage caused to the vehicle and yourself. 

Finally, collect documents that show the loss you have suffered. This can be a self-created medical log of daily injuries. It can also be financial information to show loss of earnings and proof of any expenses such as medical bills. 

Get Treatment Quickly

Delaying any sort of medical treatment is a big no when claiming for a car accident injury. Firstly, it tells people that you were not that seriously injured. Even if you had a bad injury but did not at first realize it, it shows that you were able to carry on with your life for some time. 

Secondly, the defense can argue that the injuries were sustained after the accident. This brings down the likelihood of success even further. 

Be Proactive

Aside from evidence, there are a number of ways you can increase the amount of a car accident settlement by being proactive. Firstly, have a set amount in mind going into negotiations. Discuss this with an accident attorney and see if they believe it is reasonable. 

Do not disclose this to an insurance adjuster. Never take the first personal injury settlement you are offered. 

After this, try to show how the injuries have impacted your life. You must be willing to talk about the pain you have suffered and the long-term impact of the accidents. You should have evidence to back this up. 

Try to Continue Working

You should always try to continue working. The first reason for this is that you have a legal duty to keep damages to a minimum. If it is decided you could have worked, then it can look unfavorable in front of a jury. 

Secondly, you need to keep an income coming in until you get the settlement. You may have a mortgage to pay along with loans. You will be paid after the case in one lump sum. 

Find Representation

Once you know how to maximize compensation for a car accident, you need to take the next step and find great legal representation. Contact a reputable accident attorney and start your case sooner rather than later. 

If you enjoyed our handy blog, you will love the rest our our articles. We have all the legal advice you could need. Visit us today so we can help you in all life’s trials and tribulations starting today!

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How Can A Personal Injury Attorney Make A Difference In Your Case?

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If you have been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of some other person, you are entitled to get compensated. However, establishing negligence and getting the right amount of compensation is not always easy. You may have to resort to legal action against the injuring party to get what you rightfully deserve.

Even insurance companies often try to shrug off the responsibility from their shoulder or pay an amount far below what you deserve. In such situations, too, it becomes necessary to approach the court. While some people may claim that you can handle your personal injury case yourself, it is not entirely true.

Having qualified local accident attorneys to assist you can make a huge difference right from the way you file your case to the outcome. Take a look at some of the most critical aspects in which attorneys make a difference:

Proper Investigation

The backbone of any personal injury case is the investigation. With proper investigation, many of the facts and pieces of evidence that can help you in establishing your claims can come to the fore. A qualified attorney can help you with exactly that. They can investigate the case further, talk to witnesses and gather the information that can throw additional light into the case.

Sometimes qualified attorneys even recreate the accident scene just to get additional insight into the case. So, pieces of evidence missed out in the primary investigation come out with such a thorough examination.

Negotiation

Another aspect in which personal injury attorneys are especially needed is negotiation. For you, this may be the first injury case that you are going through. But attorneys who specialize in this particular area go through several hundreds of such cases in a year. So they know exactly how much compensation their client deserves.

They will push the injuring party or your insurance company to pay you the maximum amount of compensation. Since the attorneys are professionally trained to carry out the negotiations, you can expect better results.

Drafting Demand Letters

If your personal injury case is against your insurance company, then a well-drafted demand letter becomes very important. A demand letter uses materials such as an investigation report and medical inferences to support your claim. Through this letter, you can give the insurance company the particulars of our accident and demand the amount that you actually deserve.

Mental Support

Above all, having a qualified attorney by your side gives you a significant amount of mental support. The reliable attorneys understand that you are going through a tremendous amount of mental turmoil. That is why; they always ensure that they take off at least some of the pressure from their clients’ shoulders.

Indeed nothing is quite as relieving as having a professional looking after your case. In fact, the outcome of your case is also likely to be more favorable with an attorney’s support and service. So wait no more, contact a qualified attorney today and see the difference it can have on your case.

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Grief and Loss Resources: How to Cope After Losing Someone You Love

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Grief and Loss Resources

Are you struggling to cope after losing a loved one?

Grieving a loved one is never easy, it can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. So, despite your grief, it’s important to remember you’re still here. But when you’re consumed by grief, it can be hard to find a way to keep going forward.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for these grief and loss resources to help you cope with your loss.

Take the Time You Need

Grief is a very individual process, it’ll affect everyone differently. There is no hard and fast rule for how people deal with grief. It might take you a longer amount of time to move on compared to others around you. But that’s ok, spend that time and take as long as you need.

There is no time limit to grief, you must give yourself what you need to heal. If you think that your grief might be turning destructive, then reach out to those around you for support. But, whether it’s a week, a month, or a year, give yourself the time.

Practice Self Care

Take this time of healing to give yourself some love and attention. Focusing on your emotional and physical health can help manage your grief.

Stress has a huge impact on our bodies, mixed in with grief it’s easy to neglect yourself. Even if you don’t have an appetite, eat a little and make sure you take some vitamins to supplement it.

Try to get out for a walk too for exercise and some fresh air. Visiting a natural area of beauty and nature can help relax and calm your mind.

The same goes for sleeping, it might not be easy, but you should try to stick to your normal sleeping pattern. Reading books on grief and loss can help you clear your mind and make sleep come easier.

Avoid Destructive Behavior

Having a glass of wine or whiskey after the funeral might relax you. Or if you’re struggling to come to terms with the death of your loved one, or how they died.

Dealing with grief will vary from person to person, but be careful! Using drinking in excess or other ways to numb your pain is destructive in the long run.

It also doesn’t help you come to terms with your grief or mourn properly. There may be a time where you one day realize that you’ve given yourself a bigger issue to deal with on top of your grief.

Seeking help and support is a better long-term solution. If you do have concerns over the manner of your loved one’s death, it’s an idea to talk to a wrongful death attorney. They’ll be able to listen and guide you to get the answers you deserve.

Don’t Ignore Your Finances

This might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to stay on top of the finances. There are going to be financial matters in the weeks following your loved one’s death to deal with.

It’s going to be hard, but stay organized where you can. And avoid any major financial decisions for around a year to give yourself time to clear your head.

Seek Support When You Need It

The pain of grieving can make you want to isolate yourself and retreat into your bubble. It’s ok to do this for a while when you need to, but don’t make it a habit.

There are many ways to deal with grief, but personal, human contact is a vital part of healing. Even for those who don’t like sharing their feelings, in a time of grief, it’s important to do so.

You’re not alone, and those around you want to help you and share the burden of your grief. Let them take the weight for a while, and take comfort from their love and support.

Lean on Friends and Family

Now is the time to put self-sufficiency and pride to one side, and lean on those around you. Don’t avoid them, let them in, let them offer help and accept it.

Use the time to reaffirm your bond with your friends and family. You’re not a burden, they wouldn’t offer their time and aid if they didn’t want to. Tell them what you need, they’ll be there for you.

Let Your Faith Comfort You

If you’re an active part of a religion, let its mourning rituals comfort you. Take part in spiritual activities that mean something to you. Be that prayer, meditation, or going to your place of worship.

If you find yourself questioning your faith, reach out to your religious community. Speak with a pastor or religious leader you’re comfortable with, let them guide you.

Find a Support Group

Even surrounded by family, it’s easy to feel lonely when you lose someone you love. Sharing your grief with others going through the same thing can help you stop feeling so alone.

You can find support groups near you by checking your local:

  • hospice
  • funeral home
  • hospital
  • counseling center

Go to a Grief Counselor or Therapist

If you feel your grief is getting too hard to handle, then reach out to a mental health professional. A grief counselor can help you work through your intense feelings, and give you a way to push forward.

When You’re Ready Start Moving Forward

While your grieving, the idea of accepting a loss will feel impossible. But one day, you’ll make your way through the five stages of grief and get to the other side.

When you’re ready to move on, take it as slow and gentle as you need to. Listen to your mind and your body, let them guide you. Relish in the positives around you, do activities you love, and spend time with the people you love too.

You’ll find a path in this new chapter of your life, and new people to walk it with too. Be with people who accept and appreciate you, and what makes your story unique.

Grief and Loss Resources You Won’t Want to Miss

Losing a loved one is never easy, but our grief and loss resources can help you handle your grief. Grief is an individual journey, a different path for us all.

Remember, there is no one way for how to deal with loss. It’s important to avoid destructive influences, and try to focus on the positives in your life.

There is no shame in asking for help, and those around you want to give it. Let them in, and together you’ll get through your shared loss.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other posts.

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