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What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

Five Goals for 2022 That May Require Legal Help

It’s a new year, full of opportunity and promise! But some of those big dreams you have may turn out to be more complicated than you think. That's why reaching out to a well-rounded general practice legal team you can trust should be on that list of resolutions.

Here are five common goals that may require legal assistance, and the team at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren is ready and waiting to serve you in 2022.

1. Buy that first place.

When purchasing property in the Peach State, trusted legal counsel is essential. Lawyers are utilized in Georgia as soon as the deal is made between agents. Legal professionals prepare all critical documentation, acting as a safety net and go-between for the seller and buyer.

At Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren, one of the first interactions real estate clients have is with the firm’s real estate assistant, Linda Cauley.

“We’re involved from the very beginning of the real estate transaction process,” says Cauley. “Whether it’s by email, telephone conference, or information provided to us by bankers and realtors, we’re in the loop early on. We try to make it as convenient as possible for our clients and their lifestyles.”

Lawyers and legal professionals can also be excellent resources for newcomers to the area. From home improvement recommendations to where to find the best coffee, these individuals know and love their community.

2. Get your finances in order.

Declaring bankruptcy can make you feel like a failure. For most of us, we try everything we can to avoid making this life changing decision. From maxing out credit cards to selling off belongings, we’re never willing to give up hope that soon our streak of financial bad luck will come to an end.

According to Attorney Bruce Warren, partner at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren, being overly optimistic about the future of your financial situation can dig you further into debt.

“The error people make in their financial lives is that they don’t give up hope soon enough,” said Warren. “They just dig the hole deeper and deeper until there really is no way out except bankruptcy.”

The signs that financial doom is eminent can look different for everyone. If you aren’t able to pay your bills for more than three months though, it might be time to give your attorney a call so you can begin mending your finances in 2022.

3. Fix relationship struggles.

Splitting up is hard. Ending a relationship and dividing the assets is a grueling process. But it does have a finite ending – no matter how long it takes.

Co-parenting, on the other hand, is not so finite. It’s an ongoing process that affects parents, children, and even extended family members. So, how do you make the process easier?

WBW Partner Bill Blackburn and Family Law Paralegal Leslie Akridge believe that knowing your legal rights is a good start to a productive co-parenting situation.

If you need direction in your divorce and co-parenting situation, let our team of family law experts help. WBW covers multiple areas of family law including child support and custody, legitimation, paternity issues, and third-party visitation rights.

"When you come in, we don't pass judgement – we're here to help,” says Akridge. “Our goal is to look at what your story will be when it's over, not what we think of your situation now. We always want to make you feel comfortable."

4. State your name. Officially.

Life events like marriage and divorce can prompt the need for a legal name change. Typically, the name change process in situations like these is straightforward. However, when you must change your name on your birth certificate, the procedure is more complex.

Samantha Freeman, Legal Assistant at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren outlines scenarios where legal name changes are required and describes how to navigate that process.

“In my year and a half at WBW, I have helped with a legal name change at least four or five times,” Freeman says. “In nearly all of these scenarios, the client’s name as it appears on their birth certificate differs from how it is spelled on their driver’s license.”

No matter the reason behind the name differences in the forms of identification, here are the steps to follow to rectify the problem:

  • Create a petition to change your name.

  • Electronically file the petition with the court.

  • Publish a notice in the newspaper.

  • File a proposed order for the judge to review and sign.

  • Update your records.

5. Plan for the future – for you and your kids.

If you die tomorrow, your loved ones will need to be provided for.

WBW attorney Bruce Warren has spent much of his career perfecting the process of estate planning for his clients in the Red Hills Region and beyond, and WBW’s newest attorney Drew Tuggle hopes to make estate planning one of his legal specialties at the firm.

“I enjoy helping people get their ducks in row about finances and keeping their assets and property protected,” Tuggle says.

If a potential client is unsure whether now is the right time to begin drafting such a document, Warren says he starts the conversation with three simple questions:

  • Do you have children?

  • Do you have a spouse or partner?

  • Do you own property or other valuable assets?

If you answered yes to even one of these three questions, creating an estate plan is likely the right step for you.

Putting Your Resolutions in Action

Does all this sound overwhelming? We promise it won’t be. As the first touch point both by phone and in person, WBW receptionist Victoria Parker strives to make a client’s visit as easy as possible.

“It can be intimidating and stressful to walk into a law office for the first time, so I do my best to put clients at ease,” says Parker.

Attorney Joe Cargile encourages future clients to prepare questions for their first meeting with their potential legal representative.

“It’s okay to interview us when we sit down in the initial meeting. As attorneys, we are used to doing the questioning,” says Cargile. “We’re both navigating a new relationship at the client consultation though. There are questions you need answered. You should ask them.”

To schedule your no cost, no obligation consultation and put your 2022 goals in motion, call WBW at 229-226-2161.

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