areas of PRACTICE

Business Consulting

Starting a new business requires a great deal of planning and consideration. The decision to start a new business requires evaluating the business concept and generating a strategy that will promote growth. Ms. Ford has numerous resources to assist in your business endeavor. Please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Criminal Law

If you are arrested or cited for unlawful behavior, it is best that you seek the assistance of an attorney. Due to the complexity of each case, please contact our office and we will be able to discuss your case.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential for financial planning and protecting your assets. It is also possible to remember friends and charitable organizations in a will or living trust. It is also possible to remember friends and charitable organizations in a will or living trust. It is very important to remember that a husband and wife who own everything jointly still need a will or living trust in the event that they die simultaneously, and if one of them dies first, the other one may need a revised plan.

  • Wills
  • A will is an essential way to distribute your assets without creating additional undue burden and stress on your loved ones. If you die without a valid will, all of your property will be distributed among surviving relatives according to Missouri law. Property that is held jointly, in transfer on death form, or in a living trust will transfer without a will. With a will or living trust, you can distribute your property according to the needs of your family.

  • Powers of Attorney
  • In the event that you are not capable of making decisions to manage your finances or personal affairs, you can designate a loved one or family member to conduct business, ie pay your bills, on your behalf.

  • Advanced Directives
  • In the event that you become incapable of making medical decisions for yourself, you will need a Living Will or Power of Attorney for medical care to make known your wishes for your care. Also, you can designate a loved one to make sure your wishes are carried out.

  • Trusts
  • One method by which one can avoid probate while retaining control and use of the property during one's lifetime, is to create a living trust. Living trusts can be revocable, which allows you to change the trust's provisions or to revoke the trust. A single person may serve as both the trustee and beneficiary of the trust during one's lifetime, and they should choose the successor trustees and beneficiaries. A married couple may create a joint trust that often makes trust administration easier.

    The principal advantages of a living trust are that it avoids probate and they are not public documents. The probate procedure can interrupt the flow of income to one's spouse or other family members. In addition, the costs of administration, such as court costs, attorneys' fees and executor's commissions, reduce the net value of the devise or bequest. The death of the creator of the trust does require some administration costs. Also, a living trust can help with the property management during your lifetime in the event you should become incapacitated. A properly drafted living trust can also help reduce estate taxes.


Ms. Ford has been certified as a mediator by Washington University School of Law. There are times when it may be more beneficial to try to resolve issues by alternate means prior to proceeding with a court action. In order to try to come to a resolution that all parties can agree on, you can try to engage in discussions, or a mediation, that may assist in an outcome.

Traffic Tickets

Just like everything else, traffic tickets should not be taken lightly. Some tickets can result in points being assessed against your driver's license, which could lead to a suspension of your driving privileges at some point in the future. If you receive a traffic ticket and you fail to go to court, a Judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. If you plead guilty and pay the fine for the ticket, and the conviction results in points being assessed against your driver's license, you can run the risk of having your license suspended.

Some tickets will not affect your driving record. It is best to verify that there are no points that will be assessed against your license before pleading guilty and paying a fine. Typically, if you have tickets for both point and nonpoint tickets, the courts will not separate the nonmoving nonpoint violations from the moving point violations. All tickets will be addressed at the same time.

It is best to seek the advice of a lawyer to assist you with properly resolving your traffic ticket.

Worker's Compensation

The worker's compensation system can be complex. If you are injured at work, you should immediately report your injury to your employer. Failure to report your injury within 30 days of the date of injury could result in a denial by the employer of your claim.

Under the Missouri Worker's Compensation statute, the employer chooses the medical treatment provider for accepted claims and injuries. If you are injured and the employer denies the claim or fails to provide medical treatment once you have reported your injury, then you can seek medical treatment on your own.

If you want to file a claim, you must be sure that you meet the statute of limitations. Failure to file a claim within the deadline could result in a loss of your ability recover under the worker's compensation statute. It is best to have representation to ensure that you are able to receive all of the benefits that you are entitled to.