No one is immune to aging or the loss of mental focus that may come with it, Furthermore, you may fall ill any day and be unable to handle any financial transactions or business in life, this includes making key financial decisions.  No one likes to think of such possibilities, but the reality is that almost every family faces such a situation. While financial and medical powers of attorney can’t prevent you from aging or accidents, they can make life easier for you and your family.

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants one the power to act in your place, in the event you ever become incapacitated.  This person is known as an “attorney in fact” or an agent.   Your attorney in fact is made to sign your name and is obligated to act in your best financial interest based on your wishes.

In estate planning, there are two types of powers of attorney, mainly the springing power of attorney and the durable power of attorney.

Springing power of attorney

This only goes into effects under circumstances you specified, common one being you become incapacitated. This means that your agent cannot act unless he/she provides a document proving that you are incapable of handling any finances or making decisions.

Durable Power of Attorney

This one is effective immediately and your agent does not need documents from court or the doctors to prove that you are incapacitated. An estate planning lawyer salt lake city can help you decide on which form makes sense in your current situation.

It is important to choose your agent carefully, as this should be someone trustworthy, competent and one that is willing to fully take on the responsibility.

In the case that you become incapacitated without having assigned the power of attorney, the court appoints a guardian who is paid annually to report on your situation.  This may cost your family over $1,000. To avoid such a scenario, it is best to discuss with your attorney about estate planning. He/she will guide through the process and the documents required assigning the power of attorney.


What is power of attorney and who assigns it? Read on to find out why its important and how your estate planning attorney can help you with the process and legalities.

Divorce Planning

As you are planning your first visit with your divorce attorney, it is a good idea to do some divorce planning.   We are committed to representing your interests.  To do so adequately, we ask that you gather together the following documents and bring them with you to our first meeting.

Court Documents

If a divorce has already been initiated, do not despair.  Divorce planning can still take place.  If either you or your spouse filed an order for protection, please bring a copy of that order – and the temporary order.  In cases where your spouse has filed for divorce, please bring copies of the papers served on you.  Perhaps you originally filed for a divorce on your own behalf.  Many people quickly realize the benefits of having an experienced divorce attorney represent you.  Please bring the paperwork you filed in court.

In cases where you or your spouse is subject to a previous court order regarding child support or alimony, please bring a copy of the court order to the meeting.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements

Any written agreement with your spouse, either before or after the marriage, addressing the division of property, child custody arrangements, or other matters pertaining to a potential separation, may be legally binding on the parties.  Please bring those documents.  If amended, it is helpful to have copies of all versions of the documents.

Documentation to Support a Request for Child Support or Alimony

If you have children and want to request child support we (and later, the court) will require documentation of income for both you and your spouse.  In addition, this documentation is necessary if you intend to request support.  This documentation should include the following:

  • Individual tax returns;
  • Business tax returns;
  • W-2s;
  • 1099s;
  • Recent pay stubs;
  • Bank statements that reflect income and expenses.

Additionally, a family budget reflecting regular expenses or particular needs of any family members is helpful.

Divorce planning sometimes requires some detective work.  Does your spouse work for cash?  Do they work as a bartender or waitress?  Perhaps your spouse performs side jobs for friends and family.  In that case, we may require additional information.  Does your spouse traditionally deposit this cash into a savings account? Use it to pay for entertainment?  Knowing where the money goes can assist in determining the actual amount your spouse is earning.

A List of Marital and Non-Marital Assets

“Assets” are defined as any property that has value.  Couples vary in their assets.  They include the family home, as well as vacation homes.  Boats, ATV’s and motorcycles are assets.  Smaller things, such as your cookware, your furniture, and your linens are also assets.  Power tools are assets that can have very high value.  Power tools, in particular are an often-overlooked asset by a spouse that doesn’t routinely use power tools.  Detailed divorce planning requires a careful evaluation of the contents of the home and garage.  Finally, do not overlook your savings accounts, stocks, and bonds.

Assets can be either marital or non-marital property.  Typically, marital property refers to all property acquired by the couple during the marriage.  Of course, there can be exceptions to this, which we will discuss below.  Marital property is subject to division, either by agreement, or by order of the court.

“Non-marital property” is a legal term that can refer to property obtained a few different ways.  For example, property that one party owned prior to the marriage may be considered non-marital property.  Additionally, if one spouse inherits property or receives a gift that the gift-er intended for the individual and not the couple, this can be non-marital property.  This is true even if the gift was received during the marriage.

However, this is not the end of the analysis.  You should not presume that just because one spouse owned some property prior to the marriage that it will always legally be non-marital property.  Similarly, depending on how the inheritance is handled, it may become marital property.  We can assist you in determining whether property is marital or non-marital, based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, consistent with the laws in the state of Maryland.

A List of All Debts

Make a list of all debts both you and your spouse have.  It is important that the list be complete.  A complete list should include debts in either your name or your spouse’s name, as well as debts in both your names.

Documentation of All Retirement Accounts

If you or your spouse will receive a pension from a current or past job, you should obtain the details of that pension.  Don’t forget about military pensions.  In addition, retirement accounts may include any or all of the following:

  • 401(k);
  • 403(b);
  • IRAs;
  • SEP IRAs;
  • Roth IRAs;
  • Health Savings Accounts; and
  • Deferred Compensation accounts.

Information Regarding Your Children

If you have children, provide your attorney with information about them up front.  Your attorney will require vital statistics about the children.  This includes full name, date of birth, and their Social Security Numbers.  If your child has special needs, bring documentation of this.  If an adult child under the age of 26, is currently receiving health insurance through one of the parents, include them on the list.

Information About Potential Hidden Assets

On occasion, a party to a divorce may attempt to hide some of their assets from their spouse.  If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets, a detailed explanation of your reasons for your suspicions will assist us.

If You Are Considering a Divorce

Divorce, it can seem overwhelming.  Filing for, and proceeding with, a divorce can be exhausting.  We have over 50 years of combined experience practicing family law.  Let us help begin to calm the storm.  With our experience and your advanced divorce planning, we can work together to quickly come to a resolution.  Contact our office at (505) 728-7799 to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case.

Employment Law and Overtime Employment Violations

Employment laws, or labor laws are the guidelines that have been put in place by the Navajo Nation legal system in an attempt to protect the rights and livelihood of employees throughout the state. In other words, employment law is there to defend you if your employer fails to pay you appropriately for your services, or create an environment for you to work in that satisfies basic and minimum expectations or standards.

Employment law covers a wide range of different topics, including how many hours a person can work within a single day or week before they are eligible for additional pay, as well as matters like minimum wage, overtime pay, benefits, mandatory meals, and rest breaks.

Another aspect of employment law relates to discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and ensures that managers and employers face the repercussions of violating certain standards.

Employment Law in Navajo Nation

Employment or labor law in Navajo Nation is different from other labor law within different states – particularly in regards to overtime pay. In Navajo Nation, any employee who is eligible for overtime pay is also entitled to one and a half times their regular wage when the work for longer than eight hours in a single day.

What’s more, non-exempt Navajo Nation employees are further entitled to double their regular hourly pay for any hours they work in excess of twelve hours in a single day. Now businesses cannot really afford overtime in Navajo Nation because of the stagnant economy and high taxes but those are other issues. There are still instances when employers expect their employees to work extra and then to not expect overtime pay. This is not legal nor right.

Navajo Nation also has a set of specific laws and rules for overtime which relate to people working within the software industry, and for those classed as “commissioned employees”.

Overtime and Unpaid Overtime

Perhaps one of the most common issues addressed by employment litigation and labor law in Navajo Nation is the matter of overtime, and the compensation that is paid for extra hours that employee work. Federal law typically requires that any employee who works for a longer period of time than forty hours in a week to be paid one and a half times their standard wage. However, it’s important to note that this pay for overtime is only applicable to employees who have not been deemed exempt.

In some cases, employers may attempt to get out of paying fees for overtime work by classifying certain employees as managerial, executive, or administrative individuals, that means they are not eligible for additional pay.

Reacting to Employment Law Violations

Although employment law can be difficult to understand from an outside perspective, it’s vital to remember that you don’t have to sit back and accept a violation of your rights. If you have suffered from a violation in terms of employment law, then you will have the option to take the necessary actions against your employer to retrieve damages.

Importantly, it’s crucial to remember that you will need the help of an experienced and golden employment lawyer during this process, as employment law is often very complicated, and the laws can differ depending on when and where you file a claim.

To discuss the details of your potential case and determine which steps you could take towards achieving justice against your employer, contact CJ Lee & Associates P.C. to find out more. Friendly and helpful advice can be accessed through email at or via phone at: 505-728-7799.


Fair Pay and Navajo Nation Wage and Hour Laws

As of the first of January, 2016, the minimum wage in Navajo Nation has been set at $10.00 an hour. Yes, this means unskilled employees are being paid this much. How this helps a state increase jobs when Navajo Nation is already seeing jobs flee is another question entirely. Understanding what is fair in terms of wage and hour laws can be complicated, particularly as the law changes from one state to the next.

But this is the law in Navajo Nation and is pretty straightforward. Business have already been heading towards more automation and hiring less, with more regulations such as this, this trend will only continue. Regardless, all businesses must adhere to this new law.

For example and moreover, though laws in certain areas allow employers to pay a lower wage to employees who also receive tips, this does not apply in Navajo Nation, and tips are not considered when ensuring that staff receive full minimum wage for every hour worked.

Knowing what you’re entitled to in your pay check can help to ensure that you are properly compensated for the hours that you devote to your occupation.

Understanding Wage and Hour Laws

The wage and hour laws that are in place in Navajo Nation are designed to set the basic standards for time worked and pay covering issues such as tips, minimum wage, overtime, rest and meal breaks, and what counts as time worked.

These laws were created by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and Navajo Nation is equipped with its own hour and wage laws, which are in some ways separate to the laws in alternate states.

Overtime in Navajo Nation

One critical aspect to consider regarding fair pay in Navajo Nation, is that overtime payments should be given to employees if they work for longer than eight hours within one day, or forty hours a week. After working for a total of twelve hours in a single day, Navajo Nation employs should earn double-time wages, and if an employee works on a seventh day, they will be entitled to time and a half for the initial eight hours of their shift, followed by double time for any further hours. Importantly, not every job is necessarily eligible for overtime.

Rest and Lunch Breaks in Navajo Nation

Employees in Navajo Nation are also entitled to a meal break of thirty minutes after five hours of working, except for when their complete work day will be over in six hours or less, and the employee and employer both agree to waive the break. An employee should not be forced to work for longer than ten hours a day without an additional thirty-minute break, except if the workday is no longer than twelve hours in total.

Employees should also be entitled to a paid ten-minute period of rest for every four hours that they work, or whatever is practical within the middle of the work period. This requirement is not extended to employees in Navajo Nation who work less than three and a half hours in a single day.

Knowing Your Rights

If your employer is not following the standards set out by the Fair Labor Standards Act, then you may be eligible to take legal action against them in regards to your wages or hours. Cases of employment litigation can be highly complex, however they are important to consider if you are being treat unfairly within the workplace, or are not receiving the minimum compensation eligible for the time you work.

Speak to CJ Lee & Associates to find out more about what you can do regarding employment litigation for wage and hour laws. You can contact them at or via phone at: 505-728-7799.

CJ Lee & Associates gets the job done. The first meeting is free, give us a call. What is your side of the story? What do you have to say? We can do everything for you accept make the first phone call. We have won thousands and thousands of dollars for past clients, you too can be on this fabulous list. Again, here is our # 505-728-7799. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you are doing as well as can be.



5 Must Have Estate Planning Documents

Estate Planning-5 Essential Documents you Must Have

When estate planning is mentioned, a lot of people think that this only means drafting a will or a trust and you’re done. Nonetheless, estate planning entails a lot of other factors that ensure that your assets are transferred to your preferred heirs upon your death.  Furthermore, you need to include provisions to ensure that your family members can access or take control of your finances and assets should you become disabled. To make sure that you’ve included everything, it’s important to consult an estate planning attorney, spanish fork. Here are some items you need to have on your estate plan.

Trust or will

Even if you don’t have substantial assets, you need a will or trust. A will ensures that your property is passed according to your wishes. Trusts also limit legal challenges and estate taxes. It’s important to pay attention to the wording. You don’t want a scenario where you’ve assigned the same assets to two different people. This could lead to a will contest and a rivalry between the two people caught up in this situation.

Power of attorney

It’s essential to draft a durable power of attorney so that the person or agent assigned to act on your behalf is at liberty to act in the event of your disability. If you fail to assign this, the court may be forced to decide what happens to your assets in the case you’re found to be mentally incompetent to handle your finances and make decisions.

Have your attorney help you come up with a power of attorney as this is what gives the agent the power to enter into financial transactions, transact real estate and make any decisions on your behalf. Be sure to choose an agent you completely trust and are comfortable with.

Beneficiary designations

A beneficiary designation lists down the people to benefit from your possessions. Have all your insurance plans and retirement accounts contain a beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary if you’ve not already included them in the will. Failure to name your beneficiaries may force the court to decide the next course of action. Only name beneficiaries who are over 21 years and are mentally competent, otherwise the court may have to get involved.

Letter of intent

This is a document left by you to a beneficiary or executor. Its purpose is to decide what you want done with particular assets if you are incapacitated or deceased. Some letters of intent also indicate any special requests you may have had and details of how you’d like your funeral to be.

Healthcare power of attorney

This document allows you to designate another person who will make important t health decisions on your behalf. It can be a family member or a spouse. Always pick someone you trust and would likely recommend something you would agree with. Having a backup agent is recommended in case you initial one is unavailable to act when needed.

Preparing for the unexpected is always important. Have an estate planning help you draft all the important documents that lists your beneficiaries who will get your assets in the event of your death. Having an agent gives you the peace of mind knowing that someone capable is able to make important decisions on your behalf.