Proy Law Firm - Carroll County, Maryland Small Business and Estate Lawyer Nicholas Proy

Proy Law Firm
PO Box 499
Finksburg, Maryland 21048

Telephone: (443) 352-8517
Fax: (443) 451-3345

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Main Page >> Frequently Asked Legal Questions


Frequently Asked Legal Questions


Question:  I think I can write my own estate planning documents and business contracts, why should I hire an attorney?

Answer: Do-it-yourself law is not new.  In fact, individuals have been preparing their own estate planning documents, business contracts and defending themselves in court for years.   Abraham Lincoln once said "a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."  The problem with do-it-yourself law is that you will miss something and it will cost both time and money to repair when it could have been prevented in the first place, which makes the money-saving aspect of do-it-yourself law self-defeating.  Also, an improperly drafted estate planning document, such as a will, power of attorney or trust can have disastrous consequences.


Question:  I work during the week and it is not convenient for me to meet with a lawyer during normal business hours, what should I do?

Answer: You should call the Proy Law Firm to schedule an after-hours or weekend appointment.


Question:  When should I think about updating my estate plan?

Answer: Optimally, you should update your estate plan once every other year.  However, this is not always practical, so at a minimum you should update your estate planning when you: (1) get married; (2) purchase a home; (3) purchase any large assets; (4) have children; and (5) experience a change in life circumstances such as divorce or death of a spouse.


Question:  My significant other and I purchased a house together before we got married, do we need to do anything special now?

Answer: Yes!  When a non-married couple purchases a home, or any other real property, they are not entitled to special privileges that exist only for married couples.  Many couples forget to re-title their house after they get married, depriving themselves of privileges they are entitled to by law after marriage.


Question: What exactly does a power of attorney do?

Answer: A power of attorney gives one person (the "agent") the full legal authority to act on another's (the "principal") behalf.  A power of attorney can become effective upon certain conditions, such as incapacity or disability, or immediately with no conditions.  However, all powers of attorney become null and void upon death of the principal.


Question: Why should I consider other business entities when I see many other small businesses using a limited liability company (LLC)?

Answer: Every business entity has its own advantages and disadvantages such as tax consequences, corporate governance and how you want the business to function.  You should always determine the best entity for your particular situation.


Question:  I have heard on the radio/television/newspaper that living trusts are much better than wills, why would I want to have a will?

Answer: A trust is not "better" than a will, a trust simply operates differently when it comes to distributing your estate's assets.  Estate assets passing through a will go through the Orphan's Court in probate proceedings whereas estate assets passing through a living trust are handled privately.  Even if you decide to utilize a living trust you will still need a will.


Question: I have a established a living trust and would like to title my vehicle into the trust, what do you recommend?

Answer: The decision whether or not to title your vehicle into your trust is a decision only you can make.  On the one hand titling your vehicle into your trust exposes your trust's assets to potential liability, and on the other hand the vehicle will have to go through probate proceedings if it is not titled into your trust.  I will not tell you if you should title a vehicle into your trust because only you know your driving habits and how comfortable you are with your insurance protection, but I will be more than happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of titling a vehicle into your trust with you.


Question: What is the difference between federal court and state court?

Answer:  Both the state and federal courts have trial courts to hear claims for the first time, just as they both have appellate courts to hear appeals from the trial courts.  At a state level, this trial court is either the District Court of Maryland or the Circuit Court of Maryland.  These state courts hear typical civil court claims (such as personal injury claims, landlord-tenant matters, contract disputes, etc...).  At the federal level, the trial court for Maryland is the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  This, like all federal courts, hears all cases involving the U.S. Constitution (such as Copyrights), matters relating to federal law (such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act) and matters between residents of different states (as long as the claim is large enough).




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