What to do when served with a business litigation summon and complaint

Business ownership comes with certain legal risks. Generally, businesses are prone to the dangers of being served with business litigation summons and complaints at any moment. Customers can infer all manner of reasons to file a lawsuit against your business. While some complaints are legitimate, others are not. In this regard, business owners should take some specific steps to protect themselves and their businesses when served with these summons and complaints. Read on for more insight.

Summons and complaint

A summon is a notification sent to the accused or defendant in a case brought in front of the court. It basically informs you when and where you’re supposed to appear to answer to the summons. Additionally, the summons also contain the name of the individual or petitioner that’s suing your business. Moreover, the summons also feature a warning regarding a default ruling being automatically sustained if you fail to file a response. Usually, you have a certain timeframe to file your response.

The complaint informs the business owner of the reasons why the petitioner is seeking legal course of action against the business. By way of example, if the petitioner is claiming a contravention of contract or fiduciary duty of the part of the accused person, this will be recorded in the complaint. Additionally, complaints must also specify the cause of action as well as the components of each cause. The key function of the complaint is to inform the defendant about the lawsuit against them and the reasons why.

When served with a legal summon and complaint, here are two steps you should immediately take.

  • Hire a lawyer

In the case of a business litigation summon, read when the response is due and get in touch with your business lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, the day you’re served is the day you should actually retain one. The lawyer will help you file a response to the issued summons within the specified response timeframe. Lawyers need time to come up with an effective strategy for your defense so it makes sense to contact them immediately.

  • Gather all relevant paperwork

It’s crucial to gather all the relevant paperwork related to the situation that lead to the lawsuit. Collect any written communication you’ve previously had with the petitioner, including sent and received emails and letters. Hand them to your lawyer. The more details you reveal to your lawyer the better. Additionally, any recorded conversations between you and the petitioner should also be handed over to your lawyer. The documents can reveal the transaction details and will assist your lawyer devise the best possible legal defense.

Every young person needs a will

There’s a common misconception among the young and single population that there’s no great need to have a will or estate plan, because at this moment in their young lives, a will serves no worthwhile purpose. The assumption is that they are either too young or own little assets to require a will. Additionally, they also assume a will is expensive. For a young single individual with little assets, a modest will including healthcare, financial powers of attorney as well as an advanced healthcare directive will provide them with an adequate, affordable and effective cover at this moment in their lives.

Advance health care directive

In the will, you can specify the degree of life sustaining treatment you wish to receive if you’re in a terminal medical condition or permanently unconscious and unable to speak for yourself. For example, you can choose whether or not to be kept in life supporting machines if you have no chance of ever rising out of a coma.

Health care power of attorney

If you’re not stuck in an end of life scenario but cannot communicate, you can appoint a trusted person to act on your behalf in making medical decisions rather than leaving those judgments up to strangers who have no clue regarding what you would have desired.

Financial power of attorney

Note that social media accounts are thought of as property. Through a financial power of attorney, you can appoint an agent who will take responsibility of managing your social media accounts and what’s to be done with them if you become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of managing them at any duration in your lifetime. With a will, you actually choose who you want to manage your social media accounts and what you would prefer done with them in the aftermath of your death. Due to the lack of proper will planning, there have been a number of cases in which friends or relatives of the deceased took control of deceased’s social media accounts and shared confidential information or posted stuff the original account owner would never have permitted or which inflicted needless distress to family members and friends.

Personal effects

Though to you they may be of paltry monetary value, those photos, high school yearbooks, personal diaries and other personal effects can be of tremendous sentimental value to your family and friends. By specifying in your will who gets what, you can make sure your personal effects end up in the hands of the right people.  

How to Start Getting Your Affairs in Order

Regardless of your age, you need to get your affairs in order. This helps to protect your loved ones in the event of your passing, letting them know how to handle your estate and what your wishes were in regards to your assets. Here are some tips for getting started with the process.

Get Your Documents Together

You probably have a lot of financial, personal, and legal documents scattered around or filed in various places. Make sure you have copies of these documents in one place and let someone know where they are. This helps your loved ones figure out what your wishes were and how to find important documents after you pass. Otherwise, it can make arrangements more difficult and cause confusion and chaos during a time that is already difficult for them. You can either tell a spouse, close friend, or your lawyer where these documents are. It should include documents like your will and testament, living will, power of attorney, financial power of attorney, medical directive, social security card, marriage certificate, and financial documents.

Write a Will

A will is very important, and too often is only done by older adults who feel their time left is short. No matter how old you are, there is a chance you could get a fatal illness or be involved in a serious car accident. Protect your loved ones by having a will written up now. It should name a beneficiary and include information about what happens to your different assets, such as giving your spouse the home you live in and your children a certain amount of financial assets when they reach adulthood. The will also names a guardian for your children if something happens to both you and your spouse. Your lawyer can help you get the will written and will present it to your family after you pass.

Make a Master List of Locked-Up Items

When your family arrives at your home after you pass, they might be looking for certain items. For example, they might not know where your valuable jewelry is or have questions about your birth certificate. Items that are locked up separately from your other documents should be listed on a master list that is given to just one trusted person. That way, if they need to find these items and get the key to unlock the safe deposit box or home safe, they can do so after you pass.

Speaking to a lawyer beforehand can help you with getting your affairs in order, whether you need to have a will written up or gather important financial records for your family.