July Newsletter: Shopping for Legal Services, Credit Cares, and Estate Woes

The Pitfalls of Bargain Shopping for Legal Services

Consumers comparison shop before making purchases all the time. Buying from the lowest cost retailer works great for many consumer goods. After all, a pair of Levi’s Jeans is a pair of Levi’s Jeans. So why not buy them from the online retailer that offers free overnight shipping and a 20% off coupon.

While it’s important to do your homework before hiring a professional, such as an attorney, the decision shouldn’t be based upon price alone.

A recent Forbes article explored the costs of hiring cheap legal counsel. The moral of the story is not to hire an attorney based upon price alone. Law can be very complex, so it’s important to do your homework before selecting the attorney who’s right for you. While Attorney X may have a steeper hourly rate than Attorney Y, Attorney X’s specialized experience and keen negotiating skills could enable her to get speedier results costing you less in the long run. Or Attorney A’s attention to detail could provide you with a more ironclad contract than Attorney B, who would charge you $1,000 less for the same document. Attorney’s D concierge approach to customer service may make the process less stressful than the factory atmosphere of Attorney E’s office.

At Maselli Warren, P.C. our attorneys evaluate your case one-on-one and take the time to develop a relationship with each of our clients. If you need something or someone we can’t provide, we have an extensive referral network to make sure you end up in the right hands.

credit card payments explained

Who Cares About Your Credit?

Employers, Banks, Credit Card Companies, Landlords, Insurance Agents, Utility Companies…Lots of people!

Most importantly you should care about your credit!

Haven’t checked your credit report in a while? Don’t even know your credit score? Or where to find it?

Remember, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies each year.

You can get a copy of your credit report for free by clicking here.

Tired of getting pre-approved credit offers in the mail? Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT to remove yourself from lenders’ pre-approved lists. You might even save yourself a few points on your credit score!

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Will Your Estate Have Money Woes?

Federal estate taxes impact few with the federal estate tax exemption permanently set to $5 million ($5,250,000 for 2013 accounting for inflation).

However, New Jersey residents are subject to the state’s estate and inheritance taxes.

In New Jersey, the current 2013 estate tax exemption is a mere fraction of the federal at $675,000 and estates exceeding that are subject to estate tax burdens up to 16%.

Leaving a gift to a niece, nephew, significant other or friend? New Jersey also collects inheritance taxes of up to 16% for such gifts.

Have concerns about the health of your estate plan? Give one of our friendly attorneys a call!

Attorney Spotlight: The Money Lady

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Kimberly Pelkey Sdeo

Attorney, Kimberly Pelkey Sdeo, is passionate about financial literacy and she utilizes her skills in helping her clients achieve their goals every day.

She’s also active in our local community advocating about the importance of financial literacy and personal finance. Recently, Kimberly mentored high school students at the Junior Achievement Women’s Future Leadership Forum on the ins and outs of using credit wisely.

Kimberly has also partnered with a local non-profit organization where she teaches a monthly financial literacy course, covering topics from basic banking skills, developing good credit habits, and how to create a budget that works for you.

Are your money troubles getting in the way? Give Kimberly a call to set up an appointment today!