Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Understanding Probate in California

Probate is the legal process that settles the property of the deceased person and tells how it should be equally distributed among the heirs and beneficiaries in case there is no will. The rules and regulations of probate vary form state to state and each state can have a different procedure and hearing process for probate. Some general guidance might be similar in most states but it is always advised to take help of a legal advisor in case you need to understand the probate process in your locality. Moreover you should understand that every probate case is different depending on the amount of money involved in it. The different property, debts and people involved in it make the whole case different from one other. There is no way that the rules and results of one probate case can apply to other case. Normally people have a view point that probate can be an ugly scene but the fact is that it can be easy if all parties involved in it work together for a positive outcome and preserve the memory of the deceased person.

In most cases, the property of the deceased person is transferred to his spouse if the person has not made any will before his expiry but in some conditions due to the parties' involved the property cannot be transferred to the spouse directly. The probate court which hears the matter of probate cases will get involved if there any issues relating to the property of the deceased person. The case has to go through a legal framework and the final order of the court has to be addressed by each person involved in the case. Now, since every state has different law regarding the probate so the hearings of the case in the court can be different in each state.

If the deceased person has a will and has named a representative,all the assets will be handled by this person unless the judge deems this person unfit, etc.If there is no representative named in the will then the court appoints a representative who handles the property unless the decision is made. The appointed representative is called the administrator and has sole responsibility of handling the property.

The Probate Process

In the initial phase the administrator opens the case in the court. During this period he evaluates the property and collects all the property of the deceased person. Few items which come under contract of the deceased person are not held in probate and they pass automatically to the beneficiary. Any bank accounts or other things which has the clause of "payable on death" are transferred to the person named in the contract. Only those limited property that have no clear beneficiaries are accountable for probate process. After accumulating all the property, the administrator sends a legal notice to all parties involved in the case and pays all the debts and claims which remain outstanding on the deceased name. Then the administrator distributes the remaining property to the beneficiaries of the decedent as instructed in the court's verdict.

If there are any disputes during the process then the court hearing decided upon the matter and the final verdict has to be agreed upon by every parties involved in the probate process. Anyone can file the claim on the property and if the court declines the claim then the opponent can file lawsuit to claim the property. If the lawsuit is made then court has to take the case more formally and this is when major problems occur during the probate process.

Normally, probate process take a longer time and if the amount involved is huge then the process can be more problematic. But if all the parties involved work together to make a positive solution then probate process can be competed easily and the property is distributed equally among the heirs or beneficiaries.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Luis_Pezzini

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Tax Benefits of an LLC Business - Why you NEED a LLC

Tax Deduction rules on what you can and can't write off.

Tax Benefits of an LLC Business - Why you NEED a LLC

Saturday, March 17, 2018

3 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

Nina Kaufman on when it makes sense to incorporate your startup company.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Which Business Entity Is Right for You?

Entrepreneur Network partner Brittney Castro talks business types with attorney Jessica Olmon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What Happens if a Person Dies Without a Will?

If someone dies without leaving a valid Will, the person is said to have died intestate - that's legalese for without a will - the property she held in her own name as his or her own separate property passes to the person or persons specified in the laws of the deceased's state of residence, after any bills and taxes are taken care of.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Situations Where Your Last Will May Be Considered Void

Drafting a last will and testament is something we only hope to do one time. Creating a document that specifies our wishes after our deaths can cause some anxiety in that we are reminded of our mortality, but more than that making changes to a will can cause headaches if not done correctly. You also risk voiding your will under certain circumstances. In order to keep your friends and loved ones from inheriting any headaches along with your estate, it is important to know exactly what events can void your will.

If your will is judged void after your death, it opens the door to any number of disputes between family and friends as they argue over dispersing your assets. Charities you wished to benefit from your generosity may not receive the funds you set aside for them, and even your burial plans may be altered. It is important, therefore, to make sure you following everything to the letter. Here are a few situations that could lead to voiding your will.

1) You make unauthorized changes. When you complete a will, it is typically signed and witnessed, and notarized. If you make written additions or deletions anytime after that period, somebody could contest the validity of the will and cause problems. If you want to make corrections after the legalities are complete, you can either destroy the current will and start over, or draft a codicil to accompany the will you current have.

2) You were not of sound mind when you wrote the will. Some people may be pressured or heavily encouraged to draft a document in order to bring peace of mind for your family. However, a will written under duress or other influence could be proven invalid if somebody believes you were not of sound mind at the time. You want to make it perfectly clear that your wishes are your own, and that you have not been forced to write anything you didn't want to write.

3) Changes in marital status. Depending on the laws in your state, a will drafted before a legal marriage or divorce could allow a party to contest your will if you do not have it changed. If you have a will ready and decide to marry or remarry, speak with your attorney about what needs to be done to ensure your wishes are kept intact.

Take care to know what factors could render your last will and testament void.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathryn_Lively

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

LLC Information: The Basics of a Limited Liability Company

You will find a lot of LLC information on the Internet about the limited liability company. This legal entity has become the most common and popular of all other choices because it was specifically created to be the most flexible entity available.

As a result, it can be used for small business, real estate, holding and managing any property, family and estate planning, and joint ventures. One can be really simple such as for a single owner small business or an LLC can be used to handle very large and complex activities. For example, Fidelity Investments is an LLC which is owned by many owners and manages billions of dollars of assets.

This Article covers the basic attributes of this amazing legal vehicle.


A Limited Liability Company is a separate and distinct legal person that is created at the state level. It is only formed once a state has acknowledged its existence.

And, in order for a state to establish one, there must be a document filing made by an organizer. The filing is usually called the Articles of Organization and it must strictly comply with the requirements of a state. Each state has its own set of requirements and disclosures and fees.


Once formed, an LLC provides its owners with legally endorsed personal limited liability protection from the entity's debts and obligations. This feature is similar to the corporation.

If you are worried about personal exposure to law suits arising from your business, you should form a limited liability company. For example, you open a store-front business that deals with the public directly, you may worry that the commercial liability insurance you have might not fully protect your personal assets from potential slip-and-fall lawsuits or even claims by suppliers for unpaid bills. Running your business as a Limited Liability Company will give some protection against and other claims against your business.


If the entity is owned by just one member, then there is no added tax complexity. The income generated by the LLC is passed through to the single owner and reported on his or her personal return. Even if it is owned by multiple members, profits and losses are normally passed through the owners as if it were a partnership. But unlike a general partnership, on owners are subject to personal liability because of ownership.

This tax benefit is a significant one. The corporation, another alternative, offers the same personal asset protection but is subject to what is known as double taxation. While there is an option for elect for a corporation to be taxed as a pass through (single layer), there are quite a few requirements and restrictions. With the LLC, your entity will automatically qualify for the best tax treatment.


Another great feature is that you can tailor the management and ownership structure of a limited liability company to suit your needs. There are very little legal mandates and this makes it easier for anyone to use one to meet their specific purposes.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_McDaniel

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

QDRO Forms to Divide Pension Benefits in Divorce - "Shared Interest" Or "Separate Interest" Approach

Many people facing the prospect of divorce are surprised to learn that pension benefits accrued during the course of a marriage are considered marital property (or, in some states such as California, community property) that is divided between the spouses upon divorce. A pension plan falls under the category of retirement plans known as defined benefit plans. These types of retirement plans generally provide that upon retirement, the participant (employee) is entitled to a monthly annuity that is payable over his or her lifetime.

Because of certain provisions contained a Federal law known as the Employment Retirement Security Act, a divorce judgment or matrimonial settlement agreement, standing alone, is not a legally sufficient mechanism for dividing a pension plan. It is essential that a further order, known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) be entered by the court and approved by the pension plan administrator.

In situations where the participant spouse is not yet retired, the QDRO form can utilize two different methods for dividing pension benefits. These include the "shared interest approach" and "separate interest approach."

If a QDRO form uses the Shared Interest Approach, payments to the Alternate Payee cannot begin until the Participant chooses to retire and begins to receive a retirement allowance. Furthermore, payments to the Alternate Payee must end upon the Participant's death unless the Alternate Payee was designated in the QDRO as the surviving spouse of the Participant for the purpose of electing a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity and such election was elected by the Participant at the time of the Participant's retirement.

If a QDRO form applies the Separate Interest Approach, a "separate interest" is carved out for the Alternate Payee and adjusted to his or her actuarial life expectancy. In addition, the Alternate Payee controls the timing and manner of his or her receipt of the benefit payments. The Alternate Payee can commence receiving benefits at the Participant's earliest retirement date, rather than wait for the Participant to begin to receive a retirement allowance.

In most instances, it is highly beneficial for the non-participant spouse that the QDRO form utilize a separate interest approach. Sample QDRO forms are available for download. Upon completion of a proposed QDRO form, the document must be submitted to the pension plan administrator for approval, and, thereafter, to the divorce court adjudicating the matter.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marc_Rapaport

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Power of Attorney

Rene at By the People in Fairfield CA talks about just some of the reasons for a need for a Power of Attorney. These documents can be really important aids in helping loved ones.

For any questions about the types of Power of Attorney, and what may be beneficial for your individual needs, call Rene or Tammy at 707-428-9871 and visit the website at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Thursday, March 8, 2018

FAQs - Know More About DUI Record Expungement and Get Your Life Back on Track

Most states in the US allow DUI record expungement. Expunging your DUI arrest or conviction record eliminates all the consequences it has in your life and helps getting your life back on track. To help you in regards to expungement, this article answers some of the most frequently asked questions.
DUI record expungement - Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What does expunging your DUI record mean?
DUI expungement is a legal process through which your DUI arrest or conviction record is completely physically destroyed.
2. Are you eligible for an expungement?
You are eligible to expunge your DUI record:
- if a certain amount of time has passed since your arrest or conviction.
- if you have completed all the terms and conditions of probation.
- if you have no new pending charges.
- if you have paid all the fines, completed jail time, community service, rehab and fulfilled all the conditions imposed by the court.
3. What will you benefit from expungement?
Once you are notified that your DUI records are expunged, you are, thereafter, to be relieved of all the disabilities resulting from your DUI arrest or conviction.
It means you do not have to disclose your conviction or arrest to your prospective private employer or when applying for a home mortgage loan or under any other circumstances.
4. How much does expungement cost?
Hiring an attorney to expunge your DUI records costs around $400 to $4000 depending on many factors like the nature of your charges i.e., misdemeanor or felony, number of charges and experience of your DUI expungement attorney. In addition to this, court and filing fees can cost $100 to $400.
5. Do you need an attorney for expunging your DUI record?
You can expunge your DUI record with or without the help of an attorney. A DUI expungement attorney ensures that your records get expunged on time. So if you can afford an attorney fee you can hire one. Otherwise you must make sure every phase in the expungement process is completed on time and correctly.
6. Will they need your presence at the court?
If you have hired an attorney, he/she will take care of all the matters on your behalf. But if you have not, you must represent yourself in the court.
7. How long does the DUI expungement process take?
If you want to expunge your misdemeanor record, it will take roughly 2 to 6 weeks from the time the application is filed.
Or if you want to expunge your felony record or want to reduce it to a misdemeanor it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks from the time the application is filed.
8. What expungement will not do for you?
Your expunged DUI arrest or conviction can still be used to increase your penalties and punishments if you get another DUI in the future.
Now that you know the answers for some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can take steps to expunge your existing or older DUI conviction and arrest record and get your life back on track.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4339215