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Geiger Mediation : Legal Services

Legal Services

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

Using estate planning tools such as wills and trusts provides peace of mind that your assets will be addressed how you desire. Moreover, with proper estate planning, there will be less burden on your family and loved ones when they address your estate.

A will directs the management and distribution of your assets which must go through the probate process. Your will becomes effective upon your death. A trust also directs the management and distribution of your assets. A trust can be established and operate during your lifetime and funded with the assets you select. With certain trusts, you can act as the trustee in managing the trust.

Once properly established, living trusts allow you to avoid probate of certain assets which could result in favorable gift or estate tax treatment. Instead of passing through the public probate process, trust assets could remain private. Trust assets could pass to beneficiaries immediately upon your death. Nonetheless, even when the bulk of your assets may be addressed through trusts, it remains imperative to maintain an up to date will to ensure distribution of all your assets per your instructions.

A wide range of estate planning devices can be utilized to achieve your goals relating to the management and distribution of assets. Geiger Law can assist with developing a comprehensive estate plan for your needs with the following tools, among others:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives
  • Living Wills

Probate Law

In Tennessee, if an estate holds real property (owns land) or is worth more than $25,000, it will go through the probate process.  Probate follows these steps:

  • The estate is “opened” with presentation and filing of the will;
  • An executor, or personal representative of the estate, is formally appointed with authority to act on behalf of the estate;
  • The executor creates an inventory of estate assets;
  • The executor places beneficiaries and creditors on notice of the probate process;
  • Debts of the estate are satisfied and assets distributed per the terms of the will before “closing” the estate.

It remains critical to understand which assets are included in the estate and subject to probate and which assets pass outside the estate. An asset made Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) immediately passes to named beneficiaries or joint asset owner without becoming part of the estate. Geiger Law can assist with such matters and ensure that the estate is properly administered. Our firm also assists beneficiaries seeking to ensure protection of their rights in these processes including challenges to wills and administration of estates.

Family Law

Family Law is an umbrella term to capture the legal issues which arise with separation, divorce and post-divorce issues. Every issue in Family Law remains emotionally charged and quite personal for the client. To reduce your anxiety and protect your rights, our firm can assist on these issues.

  • Divorce Whether dissolution of the marriage is amicable or highly contested and complex, your parental and property rights will be permanently impacted in divorce.  Our firm can explain and guide you through the processes so you understand the impacts of each decision along the way.
  • Property Division Division of marital assets and debts must be equitable, which means fair but not necessarily equal. It is crucial to identify and properly value assets to ensure a proper and fair division of property. Where possible, we seek to help spouses to agree on the division of assets. The alternative is for the court to rule on property division with an analysis of factors such as the financial positions of the parties, whether property was separately brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage, contributions to the marriage by each spouse, and future earnings potential. That public process quite often is an expensive undertaking.
  • Alimony A souse may seek alimony in order to maintain the standard of living as before the divorce. Whether alimony is appropriate and the amount of alimony become complicated issues where both spouses work and/or both spouses obtained higher education levels. Our firm will argue for the appropriate amount of alimony under the facts of your case.
  • Child Custody The current and anticipated needs of children must be fully and carefully evaluated to determine their best interest for custody and visitation. Clearly defined parenting agreements should address these matters as well as identify who makes financial and educational decisions. Geiger Law can assist in crafting these agreements which seek to maintain relationships with children while providing for the welfare of the children.
  • Child Support A court determines the amount of child support the non-custodial parent should pay. In addition to general living expenses, a child’s medical and educational expenses will be considered in light of parents’ incomes. Our firm can help in securing an order from the court which addresses needs of children based on the financial positions of the parties.

After a divorce, it is not uncommon for circumstances to change, and change significantly, for one party. Under certain circumstances, these changes may justify changes to the structure established at the time of the divorce. In those events, court approval is required for changes to matters set forth in a divorce decree or parenting arrangement. Our firm can assist with determining whether such relief is available and the process to achieve it.

Divorce Law

In Tennessee, there are two types of divorce proceedings: uncontested where the spouses agree on all terms; and contested where the spouses cannot agree on all terms and conditions in a proposed divorce decree. Regardless whether divorce is amicable or dispute exists on every issue, divorce remains one of the most emotional and stressful processes to be confronted. The challenges of divorce need to be met with knowledgeable and dedicated assistance which attorney Michael Geiger provides.

Divorce proceedings will impact your rights and your future. The consequences of your decisions and rulings to be made by a court should be fully and carefully explained to you. Issues in divorce are always complex in addressing division of property, allocation of debts, alimony awards, child custody, visitation and parental rights, and child support. In addition, there may be business and other financial entanglements which must be considered.

As a new start emerges after divorce, clients need to be aware of additional legal issues which may need attention such as revising estate planning documents and changing beneficiary designations. Geiger Law can ensure protection of your rights in divorce and assist in moving forward during this period of uncertainty and anxiety.

Elder Law

Elder Law has become shorthand for addressing the legal needs of older clients and those with disabilities. Elder Law services seek to anticipate potential circumstances and prepare clients and their families to address needs if or once they arise. Geiger Law can provide assistance with Elder Law services in the areas of:

  • Disability Planning
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Health and Financial Matters
  • Living Trusts and Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Conservatorships
  • Managed Care
  • Assisted Living Alternatives

Business Law

Whether it is a contract dispute, insurance coverage claim, liability issue or employment claim, business owners sometimes find themselves in the need of legal help in order to protect their business. Businesses do not plan for these events and they cannot be ignored once they arise. Michael Geiger brings vast experience to address these challenges in an efficient and cost-effective manner to allow the client to return focus on the business.

DUI

A driving under the influence (DUI) charge requires an attorney to defend against the claim while seeking to protect your future. DUI convictions result in immediate increased insurance premiums and will continue to appear on background checks impacting your foreseeable future.

DUI cases are complex and challenging. Each aspect of the stop and field evaluation must be carefully examined. State test results need to be fully vetted. The qualifications and actions of test administrators must be reviewed. Underlying potential influences such as medications or mouthwash could impact test results. To protect your interests, you require an advocate who will explore all issues in your defense and, when necessary, minimize the impacts of any conviction. Michael Geiger’s experiences in defending DUI charges will assist in your defense.