Fargo Litigation & Appeals Law Blog

Tips for Testifying in Court

Written By Ashley Heitkamp of Brudvik Law Office, P.C. Testifying in court can be stressful and nerve-wracking for many people. It is often a new experience and one that carries a lot of weight. If you have been called to testify in court, read the general tips below to try to help you prepare for your testimony.

4 reasons to update your will now

Like most of your neighbors, you work hard every day. Whether you have millions of dollars or just a few assets, you want control over what happens to your belongings. If you do not have a comprehensive will, you may have little say in the matter. Further, if you have not reviewed your will in a few years, it may no longer represent your most current wishes. 

Writing a will can be challenging. Unfortunately, though, you may need to rework your will’s language several times throughout your life. If any of the following four situations apply to you, you should probably update your will now: 

5 estate planning goals for 2019

Now that 2019 is here, you may be thinking about your future more intently. Your New Year resolutions may include goals involving your health, relationships, work and family. Are you thinking about your estate plan

The New Year is the perfect opportunity to start thinking about your estate plan and putting it into place. Here are some essential planning goals you should work towards achieving this year.

The connection between college towns and DUIs

When college students flood their campuses at the beginning of fall for the start of classes, college towns once again fill up with their school-year resident population. Along with the boost that students provide to local college-town economies, there are also particular risks and hazards that come with hosting so many college students.

One particular risk that applies to college students is that of underage drinking and driving while intoxicated. But does drinking on college campuses affect the local rate of DUIs in towns that host colleges and universities?

What factors are involved in child custody decisions?

If you are facing divorce, you are probably wondering how the court will decide matters pertaining to the custody of your children. The same applies if you are already divorced but need to modify the custody agreement that is in place.

In the state of North Dakota, a judge will always begin by taking into account the best interests of the children.

Use trust and common sense in choosing your executor

When you are preparing your will, choosing your executor will be a top priority. Right away, you may think about naming your spouse for the task, but is this a good idea?

There are several points to consider about the person you choose, and attributes you might admire in a relative or good friend will likely play a role in your final decision.

More than fines await college students convicted of DUI

Most college students experiment with alcohol. Some drink occasionally and some become binge drinkers. Many feel they are able to drive when they have only had a few beers, but that is a bad idea.

Some college-age drivers think a DUI is nothing more than a simple traffic offense, but you should be aware that it is far more serious and can have long-ranging consequences.

A DUI conviction seriously curtails your driving privileges

No driver wants to interact with law enforcement, especially on suspicion of drunk driving. However, state officials are serious about reducing the high numbers of traffic fatalities related to the excessive alcoholic intake of people who drive on North Dakota roads.

Penalties for a DUI conviction range from fines to jail time to license suspension, and the latter may be especially problematic for anyone who depends on driving to get to school or work.

Forgetting about Fido and other estate-planning mistakes

If you are finally getting around to giving some serious thought to estate planning, congratulations on your foresight. Not everyone has it. Before you get together with your attorney, it is a good idea to gather as much information as you can about your assets —  investments, banking information and the like — to make the meeting go more smoothly.

You do not want to leave any critical information out of documents that will be so important to your family after you pass on. Here are six things you should remember to include:

  • Name your executor or trustee: Give this important task some thought. Choose someone who you believe has sound judgment and who can be counted upon to do a good job, not because he is your eldest child or favorite uncle.
  • Select a conservator: If you have minor children, choose a conservator for the money they will inherit in case you pass away unexpectedly.
  • Allow for changes: People get married, divorced, become drug addicts or decide to go on a world tour. In other words, circumstances change, so designating heirs is not always easy. Your estate-planning attorney can offer guidance.
  • Provide for your pets: Remember to include provisions for your furry friends; by law, they are personal property. Name someone who will give Fido or Fluffy a good home. You can even spell out instructions for feeding or special needs.
  • Include your digital assets: You may have considerable digital assets, such as cloud-based accounts and important documents stored online. Think about what should happen to your Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, and remember to pass along important password information.
  • Provide updates: Once you have prepared your will and/or trust documents, do not let them become stagnant. As the lives of those named in your estate-planning documents change, you should be prepared to make updates.

If I have a will, do I need a trust?

If you have been considering setting up a trust, you undoubtedly have many questions. For one thing, you may wonder why you would need one when you already have a will. You might also wonder what happens to a trust after you pass on. Here are a few of the basics that may help you decide whether establishing a trust would be a good estate planning move for you and your family.



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