Sunday, November 29, 2015

Estate Planning Tips for People Going Through Divorce

Divorce is stressful period of transition and change for most people. While there many things on which you will need expend your attention during this challenging time, you should not forget that your estate plan also requires addressing now that you've experienced this life change.

One of the first things you will want to do is update your will. Generally, your will names your spouse by name, so if you die and your will leaves a sizable inheritance to "John Doe" or "Jane Doe," then your executor (or the trustee of your trust) and the courts will be obliged to follow this instruction, even if this person is your ex-spouse. For many people, such an outcome might be especially frustrating and painful, so you should deal with updating your will promptly.

You will also need to go through any asset or account that has a death beneficiary destination on it to remove your ex. Recent court cases have ruled that, even if you divorce your ex and update your will, your ex will still receive the money from your life insurance or retirement account if you do not update the paperwork on those accounts. The single determining factor regarding who gets your transfer-on-death or pay-on-death accounts is the name on that account's death beneficiary designation form, so it is vital that you make sure you update each of these accounts.

Additionally, you'll want to tend to your powers of attorney and living will. Chances are, you do not want your ex managing your financial affairs or making healthcare decisions (including end-of-life decisions) for you after you're divorced. Executing new powers of attorney and a new living will is often a relative quick and straightforward process.

If you have a living trust, you should investigate updating this part of your estate plan, as well. For many people, their spouses may not only be beneficiaries of their trusts, but trustees, as well. A capable estate planning attorney can assist you with making the changes your trust needs to address your divorce.

Finally, you do not have to wait until your divorce is finalized in order to begin updating your estate plan. Even if you anticipate that your divorce may take several months or years to complete, you can (and should) start working on updating your estate plan right away. Keep in mind, though, that the law in every state says that you cannot disinherit your spouse so, even if your preference is to leave your ex nothing, you will not be able to make that happen until the divorce is final.

This article was written by Rich Lynn, Author for UPG America and is intended for general information purposes only. Some information may not apply to your situation. It does not, nor is it intended, to constitute legal advice. For more information about this and other estate planning matters, including additional estate planning related articles, visit our website at You may also find out more about the Legacy Assurance Plan, an estate planning assistance service offered by UPG America, at
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ever Considered an LLC?

There are no hard and fast rules as to what is the best way to structure a business, and naturally, the decision will be based on your own individual circumstances. But there are certain pros and cons to each business structure that you should be aware of, as there are certain rules that regulate the way business may be conducted in the U. S.

Strategy - Consider converting your business to a Limited Liability Company to avoid personal exposure to business liability.

Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships do not offer owner(s) protection from business debts, whereas Corporations do.

For this reason alone, you should consider forming your business entity as a Corporation - to provide the owner(s) "1st Level" protection from business creditors. Of course, this only applies to debt that has not been "personally guaranteed" by any business owners.

This same level of protection can also be accomplished, without incorporation, using a "Limited Liability Company" (LLC). A "Limited Liability Company" is taxed as a partnership form of organization-using a Form 1065, (or as a corporation, using a Corporate Tax form) and issuing K-l (Form 1065) Schedules to each owner.

This is the newest method of structuring a business and is a fairly recent innovation. An LLC is like a Sole Proprietorship; however it provides the same protection from liabilities as that of a "C" or "S" corporation. In fact, this structure allows you to elect to be treated as a corporation without having to deal with the formalities of a corporation.

If there is only one owner, you can file and be taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. If there are two or more owners, you will be taxed as a partnership.

Here's why you may want to consider using the LLC form of business organization.


· Limits liability just like a regular corporation.

· One person can own the LLC, which eliminates the need to file a separate tax return.

· Other entities such as a C Corp, trust, or partnership can own an LLC.

· Does not require the formal meetings and documentation of a "C" or "S" corporation.

· Tax filing and other paper work is simple and inexpensive.

· You can claim all the same tax advantages of Sole Proprietorship and partnerships.You don't have to hold shareholder meetings or keep meeting notes.

· Management control need not be proportional to ownership.

The advantages of a "Limited Liability Company" over an "S" Corporation form of business organization are as follows:

· An "LLC" is not limited to 100 owners;

· An "LLC" allows foreign individuals to be owners, and

· An "LLC" cannot have its status revoked if it engages in real estate activities.


· The major disadvantage of an LLC is that it does not provide a FICA tax break like an "S Corporation" does (except in the case of hiring a spouse or children... their salary is not subject to FICA taxes if they are under the age 18).

· The laws which govern an LLC are not uniformly written among the states. Because there is no uniformity between states with regard to the tax treatment of an "LLC", there may exist some potential for exposure to additional liability at your local and/or state level.

Under a "Limited Liability Company" its owners are not called owners or partners, but rather are referred to as "members." Each member enjoys an upper limit on their own personal liability potential in an amount equal to the dollars they personally invested in the "LLC"-just like the liability protection afforded "S" Corporation shareholders.

One final thought on multiple ownerships within partnerships, LLC's or corporations. What happens if you and one other owner in your business do not get along? Bad relationships have resulted in some of the most expensive and protracted legal battles around. This kind of business contention is as bad as a divorce.

Thus, take the following advice:

If you incorporate or structure your business as an LLC and have multiple owners, always set up a "buy-sell" agreement at the launch of your business. This will eliminate a lot of problems you could encounter later. Think of "buy-sell" arrangements as some sort of business prenuptial agreement.

As I have already noted, the way you formally structure your business can protect you from liabilities and save you thousands of tax dollars depending on your personal circumstances. I strongly recommend that you seek out the professional help of your accountant or attorney in order to sort out the issues with each of these entities.
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Friday, November 27, 2015

How to Choose the Right Business Structure

By reviewing the pros and cons of these four common business structures, you can determine which one will benefit you most.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward 

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Should You Include Your Spouse When Forming a Small Business LLC?

In this video it talks about a couple of reasons why you may not want to have your spouse included in your LLC. But every situation is different.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Can You Afford Effective Estate Planning?

"Can I Afford Effective Estate Planning?"

That's Really Not the Right Question.

What you should be asking yourself is: "Can I Afford Not to Do It?"

You may be asking yourself whether you can really afford to do the effective estate planning that you know needs to be done. That's not the question to ask. The real question is whether you and your family can afford to be without the protection and security that the right planning provides.

Would you drive without car insurance? How would you feel without the protection that liability and property coverage offers??

Would you leave your home uninsured?

Would you go without health insurance, knowing that any major medical bills could wipe you out?
In the case of the car, home, and health insurance, you're protecting against the possibility of something happening. If an insured event occurs, then your insurance will cover you, and the premiums you paid for the insurance will be more than worth it.

Estate planning is protecting against the possibility that you might become incapacitated during your lifetime, and the certainty that you will pass away one day.

So what protection and security does the right kind of planning provide?

Protecting You if You Become Incapacitated. If you become incapacitated and need help managing your financial affairs and your medical care, the people you want helping you will need the proper legal documents in order to have the authority to act for you.

Protecting Your Loved Ones. The right kind of estate planning will protect your loved ones from any of the following:

  • Creditors - whether they have creditor problems now, or some that arise in the future.
  • Predators - people who would take advantage of them after they receive an inheritance from you.
  • Poor Financial Judgment - sometimes our loved ones just aren't good at handling money.
  • Loss of Benefits - if you have a loved one with Special Needs, then having the right plan will protect their continuing benefits.
  • Family Feuds - Unfortunately, when your planning is not done correctly, horrible feuds can arise between family members, even among siblings who previously got along.
  • Divorce Loss - if one of your loved ones got divorced, would you want their ex-spouse to receive half of their inheritance? Without proper planning, that can happen.
  • Blended Families - in families where there are children from other marriages, then the right estate planning will protect against one side of the family being inadvertently disinherited.
Protecting Your Assets. The right planning will protect your assets from unnecessary expenses, and the potential for loss from creditors or a nursing home spend-down.

  • Probate Expense - If your estate goes through Probate, then your family will pay a much higher cost to administer your estate. The attorney fee to pay in Probate is calculated as a percentage of your assets, starting as high as 4.5%. For example, in Lucas County, the attorney fee for probating a $400,000 estate (gross value) would be $15,000. With the right planning, that cost could be significantly reduced, resulting in savings of up to $11,000!
  • Creditors or Long Term Care Spend Down. If you're concerned about the potential for losing your savings to a nursing home, and if long term care insurance is not an option for you, then the right kind of estate planning can help protect a large portion of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones.
Whether or not your current estate planning is appropriate for your current needs and goals is something you need to be concerned about. In our office, we offer a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation. We meet with you to determine whether your current planning is appropriate for your needs and goals, and make recommendations for any changes that may be required. Call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys, or visit our website ( to learn more about our services and how effective estate planning can benefit you and your loved ones.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grounds For Divorce

We've all heard about "fault" and "no-fault" divorce. While its true that many state laws provide for a variety of fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, almost all states also offer some sort of no-fault divorce.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What Is Health Care Power of Attorney?

A health care power of attorney or a health care proxy is a document that designates a person or persons you name and authorizes that person to make health care decisions for you -- but only in circumstances when you can't make the decisions for yourself.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Power of Attorney - 6 Factors You Should Consider When Nominating the Best Agent

Ever wondered how your modest finances or properties are handled, in case something occurs to you or you will have to go away somewhere? In that case consider the power of attorney. What is power of attorney? This is a legal document that would facilitate you to allow an organization or a person manages your business matters and your finances.

The principal is person who is creating or signing the power of attorney, while the agent or the attorney-in-fact is the person who would be granted with authority. Because the power of attorney will give the agent the control over banking, credit and other financial concerns, it is important to be made with care that's why legal assistance is important.

Power of attorney can be divided into 2 types, the general and the specific. The general power of attorney can handle different personal and business transactions while the specific power of attorney identifies specific transaction when the document would take effect.

Here are some factors you should consider when choosing the best agent for your power of attorney:

• Capability. It is much recommended to think about the capability of agent in managing legal matters and principal's property. You should not entrust your own finances to the agent who has problems in controlling over their own finances.

• Age. In case you are thinking about your child as the attorney-in-fact, you should consider the age. There are differences on every state of laws on creating the power of attorney. However approximately all of the laws accept that no agent must be under 18 or 21 years old.

• Work experience. It's good idea to award authority to agent who is competent and expertise in legal matters or in finances.

• Time. While deciding on the perfect agent to stand for you, at that time it is very vital to think about how much time they can provide in handling legal matters and financial.

• Location. It's advisable to consider agent who is not far from the property and the principal.

• Organization and documentation skills. The principal may perhaps require the attorney-in-fact to trace and correctly document the several transactions made whether it will be for personal, business or government purposes.

Other factor you should pay attention is how to decide the spouse as the attorney-in-fact. Nearly all military personnel will give the power of attorney to their spouses in case they are in battle. Other option is a close relative.

You do not always have to opt for a family member, you can decide on a non-relative attorney-in-fact. If the principal is slightly worried on giving many duties on one agent, then he or she may well find other co-agents. However you could do that only if the power attorney specifies the information or the limitation of the capabilities. Previous to making decision on agent in the power of attorney, the principal ought to talk to the agents first and ask them if they are keen to be agents.

When carrying out the task, no organizations will control the agent. It will just depend on the principal as well as principal's relatives to supervise if the agent is carrying out what is predetermined in the power of attorney.

Learn more guide to understanding the power of attorney []. Get free tips and advices, please visit: []
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