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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: The Legal Corner: Legal Tips for the New Year 2010

January 5, 2010

At the beginning of each year, it is a good time to review (or create) important legal documents that will provide security both in the present and in the future. In this article, I will discuss some of these documents and suggest that you try and accomplish this review before the end of January.
Estate Planning: Create or review your will and power of attorney documents to ensure that the documents are accurate. Who will be making health care decisions for you if you are unable? Who do you want to take care of your children if you should pass away? How do you want your assets divided? These are not pleasant thoughts; however, ensuring that your intent is clear and that the documents are prepared correctly is one of the best ways to provide for your family both at present and in the future.
Evaluate your current mortgage: For most people, a home is their largest and most treasured asset. You should look at your mortgage obligation carefully. Can you refinance to take advantage of low rates? Are you having difficulty making payments? At this time, mortgage companies are more willing to work with homeowners than ever before. While banks have become much more careful with how they extend credit, many mortgage companies have no desire to foreclose on homeowners, and are willing to work with homeowners.
Review your financial situation: Whether you are wealthy or struggling, one of the most important things that you should do each year is to review your financial picture. This means reviewing both your assets and your debts. If you are in a good position financially, you should consider whether your assets are allocated properly.
If you are struggling to pay your bills, you should consider negotiating with debtors to establish a payment plan or a reduction in your debt. You should consider whether bankruptcy is a viable option. If you have debts that you cannot realistically pay, filing for bankruptcy will enable you to stop creditors from calling and may enable you to discharge your debt entirely.
In addition, you should review your insurance. Do you have all the insurance that you want? You may be able to obtain a better insurance rate through an umbrella policy wherein all of your insurance is through one company rather than spread out through a number of companies
Family law issues: If you are divorced or separated, you should review the court documents to ensure that all of the payments information is correct (i.e. child support, alimony, etc.). In addition, you should make sure that all of your custody times and arrangements are in order for the upcoming year.
Taxes: Now is the time to start preparing for April 15. You can avoid needless headaches by getting your tax information in order. Employers are required to provide you with your W-2 by the end of this month. If you can file your taxes early, you should do so. If you are going to receive a refund, the quicker you get it, the better. At the very least, filing early will avoid needless aggravation come April.
Everyone’s legal and financial situation is different. The above listed items are just a few examples of things that should be reviewed. You may have other items that need attention. In any case, reviewing your important legal, financial and personal information at the beginning of the year is important. It enables you to determine where you are at present and how to best plan for the future.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay