Olympia family law attorney
Family law, criminal law, estate planning, and more.
Lawyer.jpg

Blog

Check out the Hands on Children's Museum!

Everyone here at Morgan Hill is all about staying active, and learning from the world around us. Me personally? I like to hike, play the blues, work on old cars, and pour over my collection of ancient records that only I care about. I thought about it, and I realized that

Read More
Discovery

If everything goes to pot and you find yourself in the middle of a big, fat lawsuit, once it’s been filed the court will usually issue what’s called a scheduling order that lays out the different deadlines in the case. This includes a date by which all “discovery” must be

Read More
Filing Bankruptcy After a Personal Injury

Multiple studies over the last ten years have shown that medical debt is the leading reason that individuals file for bankruptcy.  If someone is injured in a car accident, he or she may have to take time off work, and if that person had been barely scraping by, a week or two of lost wages can

Read More
Defending a DVPO

Woohoo, a legal blog! Who would've guessed by that not-boring-at-all title, right? Let's get to it! Domestic violence protection orders (“DVPOs”) are a common mechanism intended for victims of domestic violence to obtain court orders that will prohibit

Read More
Caleb MorganMorgan Hill P.C.
Cut Rate Legal Advice

This is a picture I took outside of a used bookstore.  It's both hilarious and sad, but it sums up the state of legal advice in this day and age.  I don't know who owned this book, but I'd bet money that it didn't help them out in the long run.  Actually, it probably ended up costing them money.  It seems like every year the amount of clients that come to see us to fix their do-it-yourself legal work double, and Morgan Hill doesn't see this as a good thing.

Read More
Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Avoid Foreclosure

There are situations when filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help a homeowner save their house from foreclosure. When a debtor files the petition for bankruptcy relief, the automatic stay kicks in, preventing creditors from collecting any debts from the debtor. (Please see our section on the Automatic Stay for more information). During the lifetime of the bankruptcy, the Automatic Stay will prevent the bank from initiating or proceeding with a foreclosure. This gives the debtor an opportunity to pay back the money owed against the mortgage.

Read More
The Automatic Stay

When a debtor files for bankruptcy relief, something called the automatic stay immediately kicks into effect. The automatic stay prevents all creditors from undertaking any action to collect a debt from a debtor. Effectively, the automatic stay often prevents creditors from even contacting the debtor. If a creditor has filed a law suit against in order to collect unpaid debts, the lawsuit is stopped. If the bank has initiated foreclosure proceedings to take back your home, the foreclosure process comes to a halt. If creditors have been calling incessantly, those calls stop. If your wages have been garnished, the automatic stay stops garnishment proceedings.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Common Bankruptcy Concerns

How does filing bankruptcy affect credit scores?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally remains on the debtor’s credit for ten years and bureaus may stop reporting a Chapter 13 after seven years. While this sounds pretty bad, usually by the time a person gets to the point of filing bankruptcy their credit is already shot. While the bankruptcy filing will negatively impact a debtor’s credit score at first, the “clean slate” offered by wiping out debts provides the opportunity to build good credit by maintaining current on payments and avoiding delinquencies. Many debtors experience an improvement in their credit rating soon after bankruptcy, because all their debts are gone.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Chapter 13 Overview

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individual consumers with regular income to retain their property and pay back debts over a period of time, usually three to five years. Under this chapter, the debtor and his attorney examine the debtor’s income, necessary expenses and debts to develop a repayment plan to make monthly installment payments to creditors over the life of the plan. If the debtor’s current monthly income is less than the state median - currently $51,161 in Washington State - the plan will usually last for five years. If the debtor successfully completes all payments during the life of the plan, any debts not repaid at the end of the bankruptcy are discharged.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Chapter 7 Overview

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “liquidation”, is a relatively fast proceeding: debtors can usually file and obtain their discharge within several months. A trustee, appointed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office to represent the bankruptcy estate on behalf of the creditors, will take control of non-exempt assets, liquidate them, and distribute proceeds to creditors. The exempt property (i.e., the property the debtor is entitled to retain) generally includes a certain amount for a car, a certain amount of equity in a home, certain household goods and appliances, life insurance contracts, social security, alimony, pensions or annuities, and a certain amount of personal property.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Powers of Attorney: You've Got The Power!

A power of attorney is a document that allows you ( the “Principal”) to appoint a person or organization (the “Agent”) to handle your affairs for you. Sometimes, the power of attorney can take effect immediately. Sometimes, it only takes effect if for some reason you're unavailable or unable to handle you affairs yourself. A power of attorney can be as specific or as broad as you desire, and can confer whatever power you desire.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Living Wills

For those of use who have faced the hospitalization and death of a loved one, final health care decisions can be heartbreaking things. Decisions regarding life support, artificial nutrition, artificial hydration and medication can be difficult and troubling, and they hit families at the time when the families are the most emotionally overwhelmed.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Living Trusts: Takin' Care of Business

A living trust, also known as a revocable trust, revocable living trust, or inter vivos trust, is a popular way to own property during life and transfer it at death. The living trust generally substitutes for a will or other traditional estate planning document. With a living trust, all assets, such as real estate, bank accounts and stock accounts are transferred to the trust and administered for the benefit of the trustmakers during their lifetime, and then transferred to the trust beneficiaries when the trust beneficiaries die. For those who want to take the time to take care of business and get their affairs in order before they die, as well as make things easier for their heirs, a living trust is a good tool.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Community Property Agreements

Washington has a property division contract that is available only to married couples. It is called a community property agreement, and it's commonly used to avoid probate. Here’s how it works.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Having a legal will is the traditional way to pass one’s property to heirs or beneficiaries. A will is a legal document that gives the decedent’s (the decedent is the one who has left us for -hopefully - a better place) directions regarding the disposition of the decedent’s property at death. A will states who receives property, in what amounts, and any special provisions for distribution.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
What is Probate?

Boy, do we get this question a lot.

Probate is the process by which legal title of property is transferred from the decedent to his/her beneficiaries. As the old blues song says, “ I’ve seen bad and I’ve seen worse, but I ain’t never seen no U-Haul behind a hearse.” Since you can't take it with you, the court determines who gets it.

Read More
Caleb Morgan
S Corporations vs. C Corporations

When starting a new business, it is almost always a good idea to choose either a S Corporation, a C Corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as a business form, since corporations will help to limit liability when dealing with the public. For a discussion of LLCs, please refer to our article on LLCs. Outside of LLCs, there are generally two different types of corporations from which to choose when deciding on the corporate type that is right for your business: S Corporations or C Corporations.

Read More
Caleb Morgan