I think I need a lawyer. Where do I start?
There are many times in our lives when difficult decisions and future planning brings up the question, "Should I get a lawyer for this situation?" The answer is not always, "Yes." Sometimes, you can handle the issue on your own, and likely do very well.
However, with certain matters, seeking the advice of a licensed attorney makes sense. Here are some examples of when an attorney may be needed: issue relates to substantial amounts of money (small business startup, estate planning, avoiding probate); issue relates to future financial and health care management (Power of Attorney, advance health care directives); and when you or a loved one has been injured by someone else (car wreck, dog bite, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse). Let's take a little deeper look at each of these and explore how the Law Office of Kevin White can help.
Estate Planning - Everyone has an estate, even while you are alive. Your estate is made up of everything you now or will ever own. This includes your personal property (cars, clothes, TV, collection of yard gnomes, etc.). Your estate also includes life insurance, stocks and bonds, IRA's, real estate, and anything else of value. We can help you create a comprehensive plan to define how you want your possessions distributed to family, friends, and charities on your death.
Important Legal Documents - If you cannot make decisions for yourself, perhaps because of an automobile accident, severe illness, or dementia (among many others), someone else has to make those decisions for you. If you do not have advanced-planning legal documents, the State of Indiana and the courts may choose the individual to make these decisions for you. By creating a Last Will and Testament, you decide how your possessions are distributed, assign a guardian for your underage children, choose the person(s) who will oversee your estate, and generally detail your final wishes. A Power of Attorney gives someone else the authority to carry on your business while you cannot make decisions for yourself. For instance, it may be as simple as getting your cable television turned off, but may be as serious as deciding whether to request or withhold health care that could artificially keep you alive. Creating these important legal documents allows YOU to make the decisions, ahead of time, so that your family and healthcare providers fully understand your wishes, based on your beliefs and desires.
Advance Health Care Directives - Only you truly know what you believe about how long you want to live. With advance healthcare directives, you can decide in advance when enough is enough, should you be severely ill. In some cases, you might want every available health care procedure to save your life. Some call these "heroic" measures. In other cases, you may want to withhold health care if it means you will have a poor quality of life. We can help you explore and document those instances where you would want your health care providers to be more or less aggressive in their procedures. For instance, if you can no longer recognize your family or friends, how aggressive should your doctor be to keep you alive? What if you require kidney dialysis? A breathing machine? Require 24-hour nursing home care? We will help you navigate these difficult decisions with caring compassion.
Small Business Startup - We have been in tough economic times recently. Quality employment can be tough to find. Many individuals have chosen to start their own small businesses. These include everything from lawn care services, to food vending, to small manufacturing and fabrication services. We can help you create a business structure to protect yourself, advise you on proper record-keeping requirements, construct or review contracts and leases, and guide you through the overwhelming amount of regulation and government oversight.
Personal Injury - You've been injured and some one else is at fault. It often occurs in automobile crashes, motorcycle crashes, dog bites, trip-and-fall, and physical assault. Not all injuries meet the requirements for a lawsuit. We can help you decide whether the facts of your injury suggest a lawsuit is appropriate.
Medical Malpractice - Most doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and nurses are good decent people. Almost never would one of them purposefully hurt you. However, despite being professionals, they are also human, and sometimes make mistakes. If you believe you have been injured by a licensed medical provider, including hospitals and clinics, contact us with your story and we can analyze whether the facts suggest medical malpractice or professional negligence.
Nursing Home Abuse - Your loved one has moved into a 24-hour care facility, nursing home, or assisted living. You begin to suspect he or she is not receiving the appropriate care. This can be evident from developing bed sores, falling, broken bones, unexplained bruising, and uncontrolled illnesses. We have a special passion to protect the abused residents of nursing homes. If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated, please call us to today with your suspicions and we can discuss steps you can take yourself and whether we need to get involved.