Divorce News

Finding a good attorney for your family law needs can be a challenge.  Just as every attorney is unique, so is every client and every case. Almost every case has one or more weaknesses. Even if you are fortunate enough to have the rare situation where all of the law and all of the facts line up, that does not mean that you will be happy with the process, and the pace that things move through the courts.  Even if you have all the time in the world, you probably don’t have all the money in the world.

Divorce News

So what’s the point we’re getting at?  Here it is, plain and simple –  almost every family law case has some bad news.  The only exception is a case where the parties all agree regarding what should happen, and they simply need an attorney to represent one of the parties, (it would be a conflict of interest for one attorney to represent all of the parties) draft the paperwork and get the court order or child support enforcement agency (CSEA) order they need.   When you meet with an attorney, if you aren’t hearing any bad news, and your case is contested, then maybe you need to discuss the matter a little more.  Your case is the sum of the good news and the bad news.  You should talk about both before you begin, and make a decision with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  You cannot help your attorney with your case if you don’t understand the strengths and weaknesses.

You may have a situation where your children’s life has become intolerable, but the financial cost and legal risk of going back to court seems unbearable too.  In that case, you need to sit down with an attorney that will answer your questions, in plain English, and give you the information you need to choose between a rock and a hard place.  A good attorney will give you that information, and then it’s up to you to take that information regarding the law, the discretion the court has in your situation, and work with your attorney to make the best decision.  At the end of the day, it’s your life, and you are going to have to live with it.

Beyond just getting the straight skinny on the good and bad news, you need to pick an attorney that you can talk to, and one that talks to you.  Clients have a right to know what is going on in their case and be involved in the decisions.  If you feel like your attorney is not treating you with respect, you either need to discuss it with your attorney and solve the problem, or find another attorney.  If your family law attorney cannot treat other attorneys with some respect as well, then you are more likely to pay higher legal fees and less likely to achieve what you want without an expensive trial and the risk of letting a judge decide your case without your participation.  If your attorney’s approach is keeping you from settling your case, it might be time for you to deliver some bad news of your own.  If you’re concerned, talk to your attorney about it.

Is every all or nothing with your lawyer?  Is that attitude coming from you as well?  That can be a risky and expensive approach.  Sometimes, with the help of your attorneys, you and the other party can agree on a few small issues, but the larger issues remain contested.  Guess what?  You can put on an Agreed Entry regarding the one or two things, and save both parties a bunch of money.  Guess what else?  Agreeing on little decisions often leads to agreeing on bigger decisions.  Maybe you do have some legitimate deal breakers, some issues that you cannot meet in the middle on.  You can still narrow down the issues.

For example, perhaps you cannot agree who should pay child support or how much it should be.  That does not mean that you cannot stipulate regarding each party’s income, cost of health insurance or any other issues that you have investigated and have no legitimate dispute about.   Why not turn a five day trial into a one day trial and save both parties a ton of money?  Unfortunately, some attorneys cannot accept this approach.  If this is something that makes sense to you, but not to your family law or Utah custody attorney, you may have a problem.  Perhaps you should have this discussion at your first meeting with your attorney to make sure that you see eye to eye on this issue.  It’s important, really important.

Divorce News Update February 2018

There is a new story that has developed about the Utah State Legislature lowering the waiting period from 90 days in Utah, down to 30 days. Click here to read the article. As a divorce lawyer, I would really would like to see this happen because it would speed up divorces and we could give our clients better and faster results.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171782217507


Which Visitation Schedule is Right?

Which visitation schedule is the right one for you and your child?

Which Visitation Schedule is Right

Visitation schedules are not “one size fits all”.

While each county has a local rule visitation schedule, these local rules are more of a guideline than a rule.  What this means is that each county must have a default schedule that the court considers as the least amount of time that the court generally awards to a fit parent.  This gives parents an idea regarding what to expect, and perhaps this will guide the parents toward agreement.

The schedule the court orders must be in best interest of the child.    Generally, Utah courts favor schedules that allow the child to see each parent frequently, especially when the child is very young.  The idea is that the child needs frequent contact with each parent to promote bonding.

So what if the local visitation schedule is not the ideal schedule for your child?  Although Ohio courts often rely on the county’s local visitation schedule as a “jumping off point” so to speak, the court (or the parents, by agreement) may alter the schedule in any way which is in the best interest of the child.  The term “local rule” is sometimes misleading – there is NO RULE which REQUIRES a court to order the local rule visitation schedule as your visitation schedule.  It is simply a guideline.  Usually Utah Code 30-3-33 is used.  You should review that law.

So if the local rule visitation schedule does not work for you, then what schedule should you ask for?  What schedule would work best for you and your child, and be fair to both parents?  In other States, Supreme Courts have posted publications on about how to handle parent time and living apart.  You read the fine print (under “Limitations of this Guide”, it says that the guide only represents the opinions of the authors, and is does not represent the legal opinion of the Courts of any lawyers.  The Introduction to the guide presents the guide as a “resource for the creation of sensible parenting time schedules”.  The Introduction goes on to say that the guide “fosters fair and creative parenting time schedules based on children’s developmental milestones and best interests”.

That guide has 14 parenting schedules to choose from.  The guide also discusses the author’s opinions regarding parenting time needs of children at different ages.

It is better to think of local rule visitation schedules as a floor, rather than a ceiling.  A fit parent is going to get AT LEAST that much parenting time, probably more.  It may not be that exact schedule – not every family has the same work schedule.  Some families work second or third shift, some families live several states apart.

Is my spouse entitled to ½ of my retirement when we divorce?

Retirement plans are often the most significant asset of a marriage, often worth even more than the couple’s house.  Therefore, people are naturally worried about what is going to happen to that asset when the couple divorces.

In Utah, all assets are presumed to be marital, and therefore subject to division, UNLESS the husband or wife shows that some of the asset is separate property.  With retirement assets, an experienced family law attorney can help you show the Court what portion of the retirement was yours before marriage, which is called tracing.  The attorney can then help you retain your separate property, leaving the rest of the retirement, the portion that was acquired during the marriage, subject to division in the divorce.

There are different ways to trace different kinds of accounts, and it may require the assistance of a financial expert to testify for the court to preserve your pre-marital interest in a retirement account, but it can often be done.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171755245777

Divorce and Domestic Violence

Divоrсе саn sometimes be a ѕсаrу and confusing time fоr anybody, but what about if dоmеѕtiс viоlеnсе iѕ involved on tор оf it? Abuse hарреnѕ to реорlе оn mаnу different levels, such as рhуѕiсаl, еmоtiоnаl, and psychological abuse. Mаnу fасtоrѕ will help determine what should hарреn in your divоrсе. Luckily we саn hеlр уоu understand the divorce process when dоmеѕtiс violence iѕ involved and what tо еxресt from it.

Divorce and Domestic Violence

Understanding Divorce

Divоrсе is a separation where mаnу fасtоrѕ аrе determined. This саn include important matters like custody оf the children , child ѕuрроrt, parenting and viѕitаtiоn time, division of аѕѕеtѕ, alimony, and what hарреnѕ tо реrѕоnаl рrореrtу and the marital home. If your marriage involved dоmеѕtiс аbuѕе, уоu mау even be able tо receive an оrdеr fоr protection from аbuѕе from the judge. The court wants tо keep уоu frоm further hаrm еvеn though your marriage will be dissolved frоm hеrе оn out.

There аrе many tуреѕ оf аbuѕе that саn happen during a marriage. This саn include threatening to dеѕtrоу or hаrm ѕоmеthing that is valuable tо уоu, the victim. It саn аlѕо include causing harm or threatening tо hаrm the children оr аnу animals in the household to “get bасk at уоu.” If your marriage involves your children witness аbuѕе, prevent уоu from having thingѕ оf your own, оr obsessive соntrоl, уоu may be in a dоmеѕtiс viоlеnсе situation and need hеlр thrоugh уоur divоrсе, whеrе уоur spouse саn become еvеn more аgitаtеd аnd bе mоrе likеlу to play abuse tасtiсѕ.


Whеn you аrе gоing thrоugh a divorce, there are ѕоmе mаin things that уоu рrоbаblу think about: сuѕtоdу, house аnd property division, and mоrе. Whаt happens if there iѕ a buѕinеѕѕ between you аnd уоur spouse? Then you рrоbаblу know thаt thеrе will соmе timе tо divide your business аnd thiѕ iѕ nоt аlwауѕ аѕ easy аѕ it ѕоundѕ. Eѕресiаllу in саѕеѕ where thе соurt determines thаt the business iѕ marital рrореrtу, you mау hаvе some ԛuеѕtiоnѕ. In Utаh, whiсh is a соmmunitу рrореrtу ѕtаtе, the vаluе mау bе ѕubjесt tо a 50-50 ѕрlit.

Vаluаtiоn of the Buѕinеѕѕ

Valuing the buѕinеѕѕ is thе first ѕtер in dеtеrmining how it should bе dividеd. In many саѕеѕ, your attorney will рrоbаblу tеll уоu to rеtаin a business valuation еxреrt, аnd in оthеr cases уоu and уоur ѕроuѕе may decide tо ѕрlit thе соѕt and аgrее tо ѕhаrе an expert. Hоwеvеr, if уоur spouse gоеѕ thrоugh with a buѕinеѕѕ vаluаtiоn оf their own, уоu don’t want tо entirely truѕt that оn уоur оwn because you nеvеr knоw if уоu аrе bеing dесеivеd, which iѕ ѕоmеthing уоu should tаlk to уоur attorney about.

There are many aspects thаt gо into business vаluаtiоn. Thе expert will lооk at thе finаnсiаl rесоrdѕ оf the business, which include рrоfit аnd lоѕѕ ѕtаtеmеntѕ over timе, аѕѕеtѕ, liabilities, саѕh flоw, оvеrhеаd, аnd customer gооd will. Many external fасtоrѕ will bе looked аt as well, including thе tуре аnd location of the buѕinеѕѕ, and есоnоmiс соnditiоnѕ thаt аffесt futurе рrоfitаbilitу.

You and your spouse will have tо work together tо communicate аftеr the buѕinеѕѕ has bееn evaluated. You muѕt ѕit down with your ѕроuѕе to dесidе оn how you want to deal with the buѕinеѕѕ such аѕ selling it for proceeds and dividing the amount between yourselves (you can also use our office or a neutral mediator to do this), or continuing to jоintlу run the buѕinеѕѕ following the divorce.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171745366817

Wrongful Incarceration

The criminal justice system is complex. On one hand, it aims to hold those who have committed criminal acts accountable for their behavior. On the other hand, it aims to hold ill-behaved law enforcement agencies and prosecutors accountable for their behavior. By ensuring that the rights of accused persons are respected, the system strives to achieve justice through fair and predictable means.

Wrongful Incarceration

Unfortunately, even a skillful criminal defense does not always lead to the acquittal of wrongfully accused and wrongfully convicted persons. Sometimes law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are not held accountable for illegal practices on their part and individuals who should otherwise be released are incarcerated.

In fact, data compiled by the highly esteemed advocacy group the Innocence Project indicates that as many as 110,000 individuals are currently wrongfully incarcerated. That translates practically to nearly 5 percent of the current prison population. Some of these individuals are completely innocent of wrongdoing and even more should have had their charges dropped due to having certain rights infringed upon during the investigation and prosecution of their cases.

It is critical that the justice system operates in a fair and predictable way. Otherwise, similarly situated individuals will have no idea whether or not they will be prosecuted or granted their rightful release at any given time. Judges, lawmakers and concerned advocacy groups should give the problem of wrongful incarceration in America the urgent attention it deserves. Such attention will benefit both those directly affected by the trend and the health of the system as a whole.

Woman Accused Of DUI Forms Criminal Defense Against More Charges

A woman who was initially pursued by Enoch police on suspicion of DUI has been arrested relating to additional charges. Upon her arrest, Utah police discovered that she had a warrant from another state relating to theft charges. The woman must now begin forming her criminal defense against the various charges that she faces.

According to the report, at around 6:15 p.m., Utah police responded to a call about a potentially impaired driver on Midvalley Road. The caller claimed that a Ford Ranger was driving on the wrong side of the road, and the vehicle’s headlights were not on. When police attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver supposedly initiated a brief chase before running into a light pole and coming to a halt.

During her arrest, officers learned that the woman was missing from California, and she was noted as suicidal. When the officers contacted California to report that the woman had been found and is in police custody, they learned that she also had a warrant out for her arrest on theft allegations. Utah police claim that they searched the car and found approximately $60,000, which they believe to have been stolen.

The woman was arrested on charges of DUI, attempting to evade police and failing to stop at a stop sign. She was also accused of failure to maintain the proper lane and driving on revocation. Utah police are working with law officials in California investigating her theft charges. Since the woman is from another state, it would be advisable for her to learn about our policies and procedures to strengthen her criminal defense as her proceedings move forward.

Free Consultation with a Criminal Lawyer

When you need a criminal defense attorney, please give our office a call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171721470912

Grandparents Rights in Utah for Custody and Visitation

Grandparents Rights in Utah for Custody and Visitation

What makes a parent unsuitable?  Well, a court must find by sufficient evidence, that the parent:

  • Abandoned the child, or
  • Contractually relinquished custody of the child, or
  • That the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child, or
  • That an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.

In addition, if the court makes a finding of unsuitability it must be based upon adverse impact upon the child.  The court’s finding cannot be based on society’s judgment of the parent.  In other words, if the parent is doing something that society does not approve of, but has no impact on the child, then a court cannot use that as a basis for awarding custodial rights a non-parent.

So what is the difference between what is detrimental to the child, and what is simply a matter of societal norms?  Essentially, the difference lies with the child, the perceptions of the child, the witnesses, the guardian ad litem and the Judge or Magistrate.  It is a fine line, but the starting point should be an objective look at the child – what does the child perceive as being detrimental?  The child’s perception alone is not determinative, and but it is significant.  The actions, behavior, preferences and well-being of the child will be closely scrutinized.  The child’s physical and mental health and behavior in both environments will be considered.  A good discussion of the fine line between adverse impact / harmful effect and societal norms can be find in the case In re Z.A.P.

In cases between a parent and a non-parent filed under Utah Code that says which Court has jurisdiction over children not already the ward of another court, except in Richland and Fairfield Counties – where matters are heard in the domestic relations court), a court may not award custodial rights to a non-parent without first finding that the parent is unsuitable to raise the child.


For example, the Hockstock court discussed a prior case,  Masitto, in which the natural father of the child, prior to divorcing the mother, had consented to the grandparents receiving guardianship of the child through the probate court.  The natural father and mother later divorced, and made no provision for parental rights in the divorce, but instead incorporated the guardianship order of the probate court.  The Supreme Court noted that in Masitto, the father had contractually agreed to the appointment of the grandparents as legal guardians, and that the Code requires unsuitability as a prerequisite for guardianship.  This means that any parent who gives guardianship of their children to grandparents (or someone else) in probate court has, by their own consent, established their unsuitability and has opened the door for custody to the person who received guardianship.


In the Supreme Court case, In re Hockstock, which arose out of state, the Court noted that there is a distinct difference between a parent granting temporary custody to a grandparent, and a parent granting legal custody to a grandparent.  Specifically, the Hockstock court found that a grant of temporary custody was not a “contractual relinquishment of custody of the child”, and in fact, the parent had contested the award every time the grandparents sought to obtain it. 

The Hockstock court also noted, that even when a parent has relinquished their custodial rights to a non-parent, the parent has residual legal rights, and the grant is NOT a termination of parental rights.  The Hockstock court noted the statutory definition found in the law specifically provides that there are residual parental rights, even when a parent has given up or lost custodial rights:

“Legal custody” means a legal status that vests in the custodian the right to have physical care and control of the child and to determine where and with whom the child shall live, and the right and duty to protect, train, and discipline the child and to provide the child with food, shelter, education, and medical care, all subject to any residual parental rights, privileges, and responsibilities. An individual granted legal custody shall exercise the rights and responsibilities personally unless otherwise authorized by any section of the Revised Code or by the court.

It is important to note that in the Hockstock case, the parent contested continued custody at every opportunity.  A parent who did not do that may experience a different legal result, and may have to prove a change in circumstances.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to enforce grandparents’ rights, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171711305007

Deal With Your Debt

For many, debt can be insidious. It sneaks into your budget before you realize what’s happening. It may have started innocently, or unforeseeably. Whatever the intentions that led to the debt, hoping for your situation to miraculously change isn’t going to solve the problem. In some cases, interest can accumulate so quickly it increases your balance faster than you’re able to pay it off. Delays in getting out of debt can be devastating, leading to legal action and loss of property. It’s important to deal with your debt before the situation spirals out of control. If you feel out of control, call a bankruptcy lawyer to help you right away.

Deal With Your Debt

Self Help

Take the first step to recovery by acknowledging there’s a problem. The immediate step to follow is to figure out what you can do about it. Gather your bills – everything you have to pay each month. Think about what you spend on groceries, dining, entertainment, clothes, and anything else you purchase each month. This will help clarify your financial picture. Getting out of debt could be as simple as rearranging your budget and prioritizing your lifestyle – even if it’s a temporary fix.


The solutions to financial struggles can be complex and overwhelming. Without knowing your options it’s easy to feel helpless and stuck. Financial solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all, the same solution doesn’t work for everyone. We will evaluate your income, assets, payments and debts, as well as your personal and financial goals. This will help us to gain a true understanding what you face and the best way to overcome your financial struggle.

Whether it’s budgeting advice, debt consolidation, credit counseling, or bankruptcy, we can recommended a solution and ultimately provide you with financial peace of mind.

You Are Not Alone

When struggling with debt, you may feel alone in your fears and frustrations—but you’re not. We have helped thousands of clients facing financial difficulties much like your own. There are programs available to help hard-working Americans find a fresh financial start, without losing everything (or anything) they own. We can lead you to and through those solutions.

5 Reasons to Look Forward to Your 341 Meeting

One of the most unnecessary stressors for a bankruptcy client is anxiety about the 341 meeting.  Here are five reasons to be excited about the 341 meeting.

  1. It won’t take long.Most 341 Meetings will only last 3-5 minutes. The trustee will usually ask a few (yes, only a few) questions regarding your case, most of which are routine.
  2. There’s only one of them.In chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is only one meeting that you will need to attend and after that, it will be a waiting process until you receive your discharge papers and say goodbye to your debts.
  3. Odds are,your creditors won’t show up.  They will miss their last chance toever talk to you about your debts. This meeting is a chance for creditors to ask any questions regarding your debt with them, but the good news is, they usually don’t show up. In the very rare times (less than3% of my cases) that they do show up you can feel safe because your attorney will be there to support you all the way.
  4. Your attorney will be there with you. If you have any questions, concerns, fears etc. there is no need to worry because your attorney will be there next to you supporting you with any issues that may come up. This is why you hired an attorney, remember? To help you relieve some stress and rely on your attorney for help.
  5. Its usually the last appointment in your case!After your short 341 meeting very few cases require any more appointments. You will simply wait another 2-3 months to receive your discharge and that’s it! Congratulations you have a fresh new start.

So take a deep breath and begin to get excited about the 341 Meeting!

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyers

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171688561992

Back Injury from a Car Accident

Because I’ve been a personal injury lawyer in West Jordan Utah for awhile now, I’ve seen some changes over the years. On thing that hasn’t changed is the back injuries you can get from being in a car accident.

Your spine is one of the more common areas to be injured during a car accident.  Even with technological and safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, you can still get a back injury from the impact of another car or object.

Today we will be taking a look at those most common types of back injury in auto accidents that you can suffer from.

Back Injury from a Car Accident


A whiplash is one of the more common types of an injury in a car accident.  This type of an injury occurs when the neck is snapped backward.  While whiplash will go away with rehab and rest, sometimes this can cause more severe issues down the line.  Whiplash will cause everything from a back injury to headaches, stiffness, even dizziness.

Spinal Fracture

While seatbelts are meant to keep us in place and safe when a car accident happens, they aren’t fool proof by any means.  A seatbelt, while it will keep you safer than not wearing one, still allows the top part of your chest and head to still move around.  Add in the force of another car hitting you, you hitting another car or an object and this can result in a back injury such as spinal compression fracture.

Often these will heal on their own, but sometimes they will require surgery and rehab.  A spinal fracture can cause muscle weakness, bladder issues, pain, and numbness.

Disc Herniation

The discs between your vertebrae can absorb a lot of pressure and force when you’re in a car accident.  It’s no surprise that these discs can shift out of place an when that happens the discs can actually compress your nerves.  Most all of the disc herniation cases can be fixed with natural home remedies and conservative care such as applying hot or cold packs to the area.  However, in some special cases, surgery will be needed.

Onset Symptoms From A Previous Back Injury

You can also have worsening symptoms from previous injuries which can cause things like spinal stenosis.  Special stenosis isn’t usually caused by a car accident, but if you already had issues with your back or had a back injury prior to the car accident, the accident can actually bring onset symptoms.  Spinal stenosis can create symptoms such as pain, balance issues, loss of bladder control, stiffness or weakness.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident and have a back injury, whether it’s minor or severe, you will need to consider treatment options.  If the car accident was the fault of someone else, you can receive compensation to help pay for things like surgery, rehab, acupuncture or even Chiropractic care.

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t just ignore a back injury, go an see a doctor immediately so that they can have a record as to what issues you are having, how the back injury was caused and what treatment options you will need.

This will, in turn, be on record so if down the line you need to hire a lawyer, you will have valid proof that you were indeed hurt in the car accident.  You can also receive temporary or permanent loss of income compensation as well.  This works well for people that need a few weeks or months off for rest and rehab or are permanently hurt and cannot work for X amount of years – or the rest of their life.

Free Initial Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171678898342

Salt Lake City Probate Lawyer

As a probate lawyer I’m frequently asked estate law questions in Utah. Here are some of those questions and their answers.

The Person Who Provides for You Suddenly Dies. What Happens to You?

When the primary breadwinner dies, his or her surviving spouse, domestic partner and minor children can find themselves without the necessary resources to maintain their current lifestyle. If you find yourself in this position, you do have options.

Salt Lake City Probate Lawyer

Under Utah laws, you have entitlements in regard to a place to live, use of personal property, and a family allowance. A family allowance is a court-authorized payment to dependent loved ones of the person who has passed. To receive the allowance, the person must have been dependent on the resources of the deceased prior to his or her death. This can include parents and adult children of the deceased. The allowance can be paid during the Salt Lake City probate process, and it can be paid from any asset within the estate. If you are in need of a family allowance, contact a qualified Salt Lake City probate lawyer today for help.

Here are a few things you should know about the Family Allowance Benefit:

  • A spouse, minor children, or an adult dependent child or a dependent parent of the deceased may be eligible.
    • There is often a set time period for the allowance; typically, 12 months.
    • Known creditors must be notified of the petition for family allowance.
    • Any petition more than $1,000 per month must include an itemized estimate of anticipated monthly expenses.
    • The petition must also include the estimated gross and net estate and an estimate of unpaid claims.
    • Unless the person named in the petition is incapacitated, the petition must list income from all sources outside of the estate as well as the person’s personal property.

Can Beneficiaries Demand a Formal Accounting of an Estate?

An estate administrator has a duty to manage the estate and do so in the best interest of the beneficiaries. However, not every administrator acts in good faith, and even when they do, disputes and discrepancies can make a beneficiary want to know exactly where the assets are and where they’re going.

What duty does an administrator owe to the beneficiaries of an estate?

An administrator of an estate in Salt Lake City has what’s called a fiduciary duty to the estate’s beneficiaries. To have a fiduciary duty means to have a duty to act in good faith at all times when it comes to administering something on behalf of another person. Fiduciary duty requires the administrator to act according to a set of rules or laws, and a person with a fiduciary duty may not break those rules even if the beneficiaries ask them to do so. In Salt Lake City, an administrator of an estate must only spend or reallocate assets for the benefit of the estate. There may be civil consequences for breaching fiduciary duty.

However, if an administrator is suspected of acting in bad faith, as in acting against the interests of the beneficiaries, or suspected of being negligent, the beneficiaries have a right to ask for an accounting.

Salt Lake City Probate Lawyer on Accounting

An accounting is a detailed explanation of how the assets in an estate are controlled, how money is spent, why money has been spent, and what assets remain. An accounting shows who the estate’s creditors may be, how and when they’re paid, and what debts remain.

A beneficiary may seek an accounting to know the current status of an estate. A beneficiary may be suspicious of an administrator’s ability to administer the estate and about what they’ve done so far. For example, a beneficiary stands to inherit a house, but it goes into foreclosure because there weren’t enough assets in the estate to pay the mortgage. The beneficiary didn’t know that, or was sure there were enough assets to pay the mortgage, so the beneficiary wants an accounting to show why there was no money to pay the mortgage.

How do I get an accounting?

In Utah, a formal accounting is an accounting granted through the court. An informal accounting can be made upon request. If a beneficiary requests an informal accounting directly from the administrator, the administrator is obligated to give one. It may not be extremely detailed, but it should at least offer an overview of what’s happening.

A formal accounting is granted by the court, and may be requested by the court if there’s suspicion that the administrator has mismanaged the estate, or if there’s a legal dispute over the estate. Utah has specific laws regarding formal accountings.

It’s best to consult your own probate lawyer in Salt Lake City if you’re a beneficiary seeking an accounting. An experienced Salt Lake City probate lawyer can help you get an accounting and protect your assets if they’re being mismanaged by the estate administrator.

Free Consultation with a Salt Lake City Probate Attorney

When you need help with a probate or estate case, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171644555812

File Your Claim Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

Many times, after a tragic car accident or other accidental injury or death, claimants delay on filing a lawsuit because they are busy focusing on the chaos and turmoil the accident has happened.   While immediate medical attention, comforting of family and friends, and getting your life back into some semblance of order must be first priorities, you shouldn’t delay too long on contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer after a Utah accident.

File Your Claim Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

Utah Statutes of Limitations

In Utah, as in all other U.S. states, there is a specific time period in which a claim must be filed for various types of accidental property damage, injury, or death. These rules vary from state to state, so it is important to hire a lawyer fully familiar with the way the system works in Utah.

Here is the statute of limitations breakdown relevant to possible tort actions in Utah:

  • For medical malpractice injuries, product liability lawsuits, and wrongful death suits the statute of limitations is 2 years.
  • For property damage lawsuits, the statute of limitations is 3 years.
  • For personal injury actions, your claim must be filed within 4 years of the date of injury.

In most cases, the clock starts running from the date of the injury, but there are times when it will begin on the date of discovery of the injury or could be delayed (“tolled”) for other reasons. A good injury lawyer will know all of these details and will also know how to go through the legal process of properly filing your lawsuit with speed.

Note that when the liable party for an injury is the Utah state government or a state of Utah employee, you only have 1 year to file your claim or lose that right forever.  If the claim is initially declined, you have 1 more year to file an appeal.

Other Factors in Utah Personal Injury Suits

In addition to the statute of limitations, there are other important legal matters that will affect your ability to be fairly compensated for your injury.

Utah is a no-fault auto insurance state.  This means there are limitations placed on filing claims for auto insurance. If the cost of the injury is low or the injury not very serious, your own insurance must cover the claim regardless of who was at fault. This would force you to pay a portion of your medical expenses and lost income out of pocket and not collect for pain and suffering (“non-economic”) damages.

But a good Utah injury lawyer can help you get past the no-fault rule in many cases by showing that your injury was serious, debilitating, or permanent and by showing the true costs inflicted on you were sufficiently high.

You should also be aware that Utah is a “modified comparative fault state.”  This means your claim will be reduced by the percentage of fault for the accident/injury that is assigned to you (if any). If your fault is deemed at 50% or higher, you cannot collect anything.

Not that non-economic damages in Utah are capped at $450,000 in cases of medical malpractice, but not for car accidents or any other cause of injury.

Free Initial Consultation with Personal Injury Lawyer

When you need legal help, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171644415097

Commercial Real Estate Lawyer

Commercial real estate transactions are often complicated and can involve many moving parts, which makes commission disputes a challenge. Even when a listing agreement is written out in detail, legal disputes can arise during or after the sale of a property. This is why it is always a good idea to have a commercial real estate lawyer in your back pocket when issues arise. The confusion around procuring cause is a common source of disputes in real estate sales, and commercial brokers can easily find themselves embroiled in contentious litigation as a result.

Commercial Real Estate Lawyer

Commercial Real Estate Matters

Procuring cause is a party that is responsible for successfully securing the sale. This concept is often at the heart of real estate disputes involving brokers and property owners.

The Utah Supreme Court has explained that to earn a commission as the procuring cause of a transaction, a broker must perform two essential tasks:

  1. The broker must initiate negotiations by doing some affirmative act to bring buyer and seller together.
  2. The broker must remain involved in the continuing negotiations between the seller and the buyer, unless the seller and buyer intentionally exclude the broker from the negotiations.

Unless the broker has failed to uphold their end of the deal, a property owner who refuses to pay commissions upon the sale of the property is usually found to be in the wrong. Even so, property owners or buyers may use the issue of procuring cause to claim that the broker is not owed any commissions.

Real Estate Commission Disputes Involving Oral Agreements

Though most real estate contacts involve written listing agreements, verbal agreements are still utilized in some circumstances, often in conjunction with a written contract.

Whether oral real estate commission agreements can be upheld in court or arbitration depends in part on the laws of each state; in Utah, these types of contracts are considered legal and binding.

It can be difficult, however, to prove the terms of an oral contract.

Having witnesses other than the two contracted parties can be helpful in demonstrating the validity of these agreements. Any informal correspondence such as emails, faxes, and letters can also prove critical in supporting a broker’s claims to unpaid commissions.

Don’t Wait to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Whether your contract was in writing or simply a hand shake agreement, it’s important to have qualified legal representation before entering the litigation or arbitration process.

First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that you have the necessary legal protections in place so that you and your attorney can figure out the best way to approach your case.

For many clients, that involves initiating a broker’s lien. This is a process whereby the commercial broker can place a lien on the proceeds of the sale, and sometimes the property itself, until any owed commissions are paid. It is possible to file liens for the full value of those commissions.

Acting quickly to find representation will give you the best opportunity to recover what you’re owed under your listing agreement.

If you are involved in a commission dispute, you should contact an attorney with experience in commercial real estate litigation who will make sure that all pertinent documents and witnesses are leveraged to support your case.

Credit Suisse Fined $135M for Forex Misconduct

The Utah Department of Financial Services (DFS) fined Credit Suisse AG $135 million for unlawful conduct that disadvantaged customers.

According to the DFS’s investigation, for nearly a decade Credit Suisse foreign exchange traders secretly shared confidential customer information, coordinated trading activity, and attempted to manipulate currency prices. Through this cooperative effort, these traders sought to diminish competition between banks, allowing them to reap much higher profits at the expense of their customers.

The DFS investigation also uncovered that front-running—which is trading before the trader gets a client’s orders—was encouraged by Credit Suisse executives. From 2010 to 2013, Credit Suisse used an algorithm designed to front-run their client’s limit and stop-loss orders. During this time period, Credit Suisse executed approximately 31,000 limit orders and 41,000 stop-loss orders while employing this front-running tactic.

Internal documents show that Credit Suisse traders were fully cognizant of the potential for harm to customers, but continued to front run trades so long as they could make a profit. On one occasion, a trader wrote to the head of the electronic foreign exchange trading desk that: “we made some money by front running the orders at 25 in euro but probably will show as a loss on the client side.”


“Churning” is excessive investment trading activity by a broker in a client’s account done to generate commissions for the broker.

Account churning is unethical and illegal. A victim of churning can pursue a claim for recovery of any lost money.


Financial advisers’ duties include making suitable investments and placing the interests of their clients above their own.

However, because advisers are sometimes paid commissions when they make trades, some advisers engage in unnecessary and excessive buying and selling. They “churn” a client’s account to generate additional profits for themselves.

The transaction fees, potential tax liabilities, and poorly performing investments that commonly result from churning are not in the client’s interest.

Account churning, whether done in isolation or in combination with unsuitable investments or other unethical practices, violates Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) principles, such as the principle of “quantitative suitability,” as well as various state laws.


An investor wishing to bring a churning claim against a financial adviser/brokerage firm must establish excessive activity and proof of control.

Proof of control means the broker/firm had effective control of the investment account. No single test defines excessive activity, but the following factors may provide evidence:

  • Turnover ratio: Turnover ratio is the total value of annual purchases made in the account divided by the account’s average monthly balance. An annualized turnover rate of 4 to 6 or higher typically indicates churning, but churning does occur at lower rates.
  • Cost-equity ratio: The cost-equity ratio (or “break even percentage”) measures how expensive the account’s trading strategy was. To calculate the cost-equity ratio, divide the total annual costs (including commissions and margin interests) by the account’s average balance. Trading that requires an account to earn annual returns of 15-20% or more indicates possible churning.
  • In-and-out trading: Buying and selling the same investment repeatedly is known as in-and-out trading, or “wash” transactions.

Clients who successfully demonstrate that their account was churned can typically recover damages for excessive commissions or expenses and any portfolio losses caused by the churning (including market gains that should have been realized had the account been properly managed).

Free Initial Consultation with a Commercial Real Estate Attorney

When you need a commercial real property lawyer in Utah, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/171620566072