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Lawyers who practice family law often become skilled in navigating family feuds. If your family is involved in serious disputes that have legal implications, it's probably time to contact an attorney for help.
Tough topics -- like death or money -- make people uncomfortable and emotional. Add to that deeply entrenched family dynamics and you have a recipe for disaster. Having an attorney handle a personal matter may seem, well, impersonal, but it's actually a way to avoid having destructive exchanges that will be difficult for you and your family to recover from.
Of course, there are many situations in which a legal problem creates family issues and hiring a lawyer can help. Obviously, if someone is arrested and charged with a crime, it strains family relations and requires expert advice. But what about less extreme scenes - when do you call in an attorney?
Having counsel mediate financial negotiations is often as important in family as in a business. Whether you are planning your own estate or talking to your parents about planning theirs, consult with counsel and consider having your representative convey concerns and decisions to other parties or their representatives.
Emotions can run high in families. Simple chats can turn in to fights quickly. Letting counsel handle discussions, answer questions, and convey concerns, keeps a healthy distance between you and relatives and ensures that planning for the future doesn't turn into a shouting match about past mistakes made.
Hiring an attorney to handle all estate planning can prevent a lot of family feuding. A lawyer can also help get discussions back on track when the feud has gone too far.
More generally speaking, it always makes sense to get the help of an attorney when trying to take care of business, even family business. Lawyers are trained negotiators. A good one will be able to mediate between disputing family members, or exchange with another attorney to reach a resolution, without destroying everyone emotionally.
Apart from business, wills, trusts, and estates, you can speak to counsel about family drug or drinking problems, dissolution issues, adopting a child, or pretty much anything else that needs research and resolution.
Sometimes the best solution to a problem, even a personal problem, is seeking outside help. Get guidance from someone whose business it is to resolve other people's problems.