About Sandy McCarthy

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

What is Substitute Service of Process?

Serving someone with court papers is more complicated than it sounds. The law requires you to make every reasonable effort to notify the person you are suing, and you must carefully document your efforts to send notice to the defendant. Proper service of legal documents can involve a lot of paperwork, especially if you try to notify the defendant through substitute service of process.

By |2019-09-02T13:01:05-07:00August 12th, 2019|Civil litigation|0 Comments

Hiring a California Probate Paralegal

Probate is the process through which the court settles the financial affairs of a recently deceased person. The process can take 2-12 months, and most people do not need to hire a lawyer to get through it. Some people choose to hire an expensive lawyer and then work with the attorney's California probate paralegal. But there is another choice. Hiring a registered legal document assistant (LDA) for help with your probate forms is a better idea that will save the estate thousands of dollars!

By |2019-09-02T12:08:28-07:00August 12th, 2019|Probate|2 Comments

Benefits of Restating a Trust

If you have thought at all about estate planning, congratulations! You have already saved your family lots of hassle and expense. If you have set up a living trust, even better; you are very well prepared. However, even the best-laid plans sometimes change. When this happens, you might find yourself in the position of restating a trust. 

By |2019-09-02T09:55:12-07:00August 12th, 2019|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Do You Have to Disclose an Expunged Conviction in California?

Your criminal record will follow you around for the rest of your life. Getting your life back to normal after a criminal conviction is a challenge, even after you complete your sentence. While your family and friends know you are a good person, it may still be hard to get hired at a new job. Despite your skills and work ethic, employers have a hard time ignoring previous criminal convictions. Getting a conviction expunged from your record is the best way to get back into the workforce after serving your sentence. You seldom have to disclose an expunged conviction, and your criminal record practically disappears. Hiring a registered legal document assistant (LDA) to prepare your application for expungement can improve your chances of success.

By |2019-09-02T11:07:40-07:00August 2nd, 2019|Expungement|0 Comments

Ways to Collect a Money Judgment in California

Taking someone to court to get them to pay you money that they owe may seem like an extreme measure. Unfortunately, sometimes reasonable efforts do not work, and you must file a lawsuit. Keep in mind, however, that getting a court judgment does not mean the debtor will pay the money right away. In fact, the person may have no intention to pay the amount of the Judgment. It may be that the defendant (now called a “judgment debtor,” doesn't have the money. On the other hand, they might be stubborn, refusing to pay you even though you have a judgment. In either case, the steps you take to collect a judgment can make the process easier if you do it the right way. On the other hand, you can strengthen the debtor’s case for not paying you if you do it the wrong way.

By |2019-08-01T10:28:29-07:00July 31st, 2019|Civil litigation|0 Comments

Estate Planning for Single Parents

Every parent worries about what will happen to his or her children after the parent dies, but single parents have double the worries. If you are married, the default option is that your children will stay with your spouse. They may remain living in the same house, and your spouse will most likely continue to work to take care of them financially. As horrible as it is to think about your spouse and children having to adjust to life without you, it is even scarier to think about your children’s future without you if you are a single parent.  Therefore, it is important for single parents to get started on estate planning — even single parents who are young and healthy.

By |2019-08-01T10:36:20-07:00July 31st, 2019|Estate Planning|0 Comments

Title Insurance Problems With Transfer on Death Deed

Certain legal terms cause people to clutch their wallets in fear. With regard to income taxes, people fear the word “audit". In family law, they fear the word “alimony”. The scariest word in estate planning is “probate,” which refers to the process by which the court effectively dictates what happens to a deceased person’s property. Knowing the term "transfer on death deed" can make probate far less scary. Unfortunately, since the implementation of this new estate planning tool, people are discovering title insurance problems with transfer on death deeds.

By |2019-09-01T16:29:27-07:00July 31st, 2019|Estate Planning, Real Property|2 Comments

Divorce by Default in California

A person can get a divorce even if one spouse refuses to cooperate and agree to the divorce. This is called divorce by default. Divorce by default serves an important and valuable purpose for California residents. It prevents one spouse from holding the marriage "captive" by stalling the divorce process. However, a divorce by default requires you do everything exactly by the book. Keep in mind, however, that just because a spouse does not respond to a divorce petition, it doesn't mean the petitioner gets everything they ask for. The court will make sure that the Judgment is fair for both parties, even if one party chooses to not participate.

By |2019-08-01T10:43:55-07:00July 28th, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments