Saturday, May 23, 2015

What is Probate and Will it Affect My Inheritance?


What is probate is a fundamental question. Financial planners claim less than 20-percent of heirs and beneficiaries receive their intended inheritance. Funeral expenses, unpaid debts, estate taxes and legal fees can financially deplete the estate, leaving nothing for those left behind.

This article answers the "what is probate" question and provides tips and techniques to keep assets out of probate. Estates will process through the court system faster when fewer assets are involved.

Probate is the legal process used to validate decedents Last Will and Testament and tie up financial loose ends. The last will is the instrument used to convey final wishes and designate who should receive money, personal belongings, real estate and valuable items.

Numerous options exist for creating a Will. Preformatted Wills can be downloaded online or purchased at office supply stores. Complex estates generally require assistance from a probate attorney or professional estate planner. Much depends on the estate's net worth and how many heirs are entitled to assets.

An estate administrator is designated within the decedent's Will. This individual is responsible for a wide range of duties, so it is best to appoint someone who is good with finances and able to cope well under stress. This is of particular importance when family discord exists.

Probate begins when the decedent's death certificate is submitted to probate court. The estate administrator must create an inventory list of assets and obtain property appraisals for valuable assets such as real estate, collectibles, antiques, artwork and heirloom jewelry. Other duties include paying outstanding debts, filing a final tax return and distributing assets according to directives outlined within the Will. Most Administrators require assistance from an attorney or estate planner.

The process of probate typically takes six to nine months to settle. This can be financially challenging for estates with business or real estate holdings. The estate is responsible for maintaining real estate properties and managing business entities. If the estate does not possess the financial means to maintain property or handle business affairs, the court can order these assets to be sold.

Probate provides a stage for disgruntled heirs to contest the last will. When family members are disinherited or do not receive assets they believe are rightfully theirs, they can file a petition through the court.

The plaintiff is responsible for legal fees. The estate must reimburse legal fees if the court rules in favor of the plaintiff. When Wills are contested probate can drag on for years and potentially bankrupt the estate. In most instances when Wills are the contested, the only people who win are the attorneys.
Estate assets can be exempted from probate by establishing a trust. A variety of types exist and most can be customized to suit the needs of the estate. Trusts are typically reserved for estates valued over $100,000.

Smaller estate can utilize various techniques to keep assets out of probate. These include establishing transfer on death (TOD) and payable on death (POD) beneficiaries. TOD is used with investment and retirement accounts, while POD is used for checking and savings accounts.

TOD and POD assignments can be made by filling out a simple form through the financial institution where accounts are held. Financial assets avoid probate through the assignment of beneficiaries.
Real estate can avoid undergoing the process of probate by titling the property as 'Tenants in Common' or 'Joint Tenancy'.

Titled property such as automobiles, motorcycles, boats and airplanes can be jointly titled and transferred to the name beneficiary upon death without passing through probate.

Another option to avoid probate is to give assets to loved ones while you are still alive. The IRS allows cash gifts of up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per married couple, per year. This option is oftentimes attractive to individuals with chronic or terminal illness.

Probate can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task. By taking time now to execute a last will and testament and taking action to keep assets out of probate, you can rest assured knowing your loved ones will receive the inheritance you wish to leave them.

Simon Volkov is a real estate investor and probate liquidator who helps heirs understand what is probate and how to avoid it. Simon engages in buying inheritance assets to ease financial burdens of estates with limited finances. If you need to sell estate assets or need additional information about probate, visit www.SimonVolkov.com.
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Friday, May 22, 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.

Tuesday, May 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.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Power of Attorney - What Are the Options?


Business or personal matters often require giving power of attorney (abbreviated as POA) privileges to chosen individuals. POA authorizes the chosen individual to decide matters relating to finance or healthcare for another person who are not capable of deciding anything on his/her own.

Before giving such privileges to any person, you need to know how it works, as well as the rights given to that person. The person nominated for the purpose must be competent in making decisions, some of which may go against the wishes of other members of the family.

Law makes it obligatory to give POA only to persons who are at least eighteen years old. It is extremely important to select a person capable of taking difficult decisions relating to finance and health.

People can choose between different kinds of rights and responsibilities that they can transfer through a Power of Attorney form, depending on their needs. Every POA involves two persons, the 'Principal' and the 'Attorney-in-Fact.' The former is the individual who defines the contract, and the latter is an individual who executes the duties specified therein.

The most usual kind of contract is the Durable Power of Attorney. It's a legal document, authorizing the attorney-in-fact to take decisions concerning the finances and health, as stipulated by the Principal. This kind of POA remains in force till the Principal dies or revokes this act.

The other frequently made document is called the Non-Durable Power of Attorney. The attorney-in-fact to is authorized to take decisions for certain transactions, which are specified in the act. This kind of POA is usually made when the Principal needs to undergo surgery or another medical treatment that could make them unable for taking decisions. This POA is valid for a particular transaction, and automatically expires after the operation took place.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is required while authorizing an individual for taking medical decisions for the Principal. It essentially involves discussing the types of treatments to which the principal may be subjected to.

The Limited Power of Attorney is generally given to another person for selling or transferring some Real Estate or property in the possession of the Principal. The privilege expires after the completion of the transaction.

Most do not feel comfortable discussing such topics. However, the kind of treatment to be followed should be discussed in advance, in case anything unexpected happens. For instance, if someone doesn't want to be kept on a life support system, when the brain is declared dead, he/she should specifically mention it in his/her healthcare POA. Else, the medical personnel is obliged to obey the state laws and continue with the regular medical treatment.

It is always worthwhile talking to an attorney before making any Power of Attorney. An attorney can suggest the most suitable document required for the circumstances, and thus help the Principal in selecting a suitable person for executing the specified duties. Are you looking for a Power of Attorney sample? Click here to visit powerofattorneysample.org and browse through the samples we have prepared for you!
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Advantages of Making a Will Which Can Serve As a Catalyst for Preparing It


Like most legal documents, the importance of a will increases with its acceptance amongst authorities. Making a Will is a complete legal procedure and its advantages are many which make the preparation imperative on the part of the owner. But the legal responsibility for making a Will shouldn't be taken in a negative light and procrastinated about. Instead the very advantages of making a Will could be the single greatest catalyst for the preparation of a Will by the owner of the assets. Below are a few of the major advantages of making a Will that could be the catalyst for the owner to prepare it.

Also we would like to state that people rarely find making a Will to be a pleasant task. Preparing a Will is a metaphor for our own mortality which people don't want to face. But as they say- No one is immortal or escapes death and taxes! Who knows? You could compromise with your own mortal end during the preparation and come out with a better view on life.

The advantages of making a Will are:

No dispute between dependents: There can be no chance of any conflict or dispute between the several dependents of the property if a will is already made. The will perfectly sums up what is left to whom and that itself diffuses any chance of conflict plus the division is also ensured by law of the land. Without a Will, inheritance disputes often run into years and decades which are not a viable option.

Lack of ambiguity: A Will is a legal document that clearly states the division of the property and that in itself clearly puts out the lack of ambiguity.

Property Management: The property can now be easily managed or divided according to the directions given in the Will and that leads to a better sense of property management.

Appointment of Executor/Guardian or Trustee: Will often appoints a responsible person as a Executor or a Trustee who acts as the overseer of the property. This also is important when the beneficiary is a minor or of unsound mind and cannot look after the assets.

Disclosure: All the property hidden or otherwise has to be correctly shown while making a Will. This procedure eliminates the chances of any secretive assets and the process will be highly beneficial to the beneficiaries of the How to make a will.
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Expunge a DUI Record


Getting behind the wheel while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very stupid decision. This mistake can cost you a hefty fine or your freedom. You can get arrested for drunk driving and this charge may result to expensive fines, community service, jail time and a permanent record.

A DUI conviction in your record can have a negative impact which may affect many areas of your life. Even after you have paid the fines, attended drunk driving classes, and served your sentence, you may realize that a DUI conviction on your record can become a form of punishment on its own. For instance, a permanent record can keep you from getting a job, a loan, or from renting a decent apartment. To that end, you may want to have your DUI record expunged.

What Is Expungement?

When the court agrees to expunge a criminal record, it basically means that the conviction is sealed or erased. To that end, when a background check is performed, the record won't appear. This is very helpful for those who are seeking employment, applying for a loan, or for other purposes.
Remember though that the record is not completely erased. It can still be seen by law enforcers and court officials to check whether the person has previous run-ins with the law. But an expungement will keep the permanent record from ruining the individual's life.

How To Expunge A DUI

1. Understand what it means to expunge a DUI record: As previously mentioned, DUI is a permanent record. If it gets expunged, all the information about the case, including the files, records, and criminal charges will be sealed. This means that in case you apply for a job, you can tell your potential employer that you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of DUI.

2. Learn about the laws involving the expungement procedure: You need to understand that expungement process may vary from state to state. To that end, you must check with your country's court or law enforcement agency where the arrests are expunged. Ask about the requirements, such as a certificate that proves you have completed probation and how many years before you can get your DUI expunged. There are some states that allow immediate expungement for some cases, such as a first offense in DUI.

3. Complete the process: It is crucial to fill out all the necessary forms and requests for expungement, such as the Motion to Expunge. After filling out the formal request, you will need to submit the application to the court and pay the fees necessary. You must then attend the expungement hearing once it is scheduled by the court. Lastly, you may also need to appear in front of a judge.

If everything went well, the judge will agree to the expungement plea. He will then give a court order to expunge the DUI record.

The author of this post suggests her readers to look for credible Spokane expungement lawyers if they want their DUI record or other criminal record expunged.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Understanding the Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust


When planning for the future of your children as you get older, there are a few options on how to pass on your assets such as property, life insurance, stocks, etc. The two major ways of stating and distributing your assets after your passing is with a living trust or will. When you hear the words trust fund or wills, it refers to estate planning. Although there are different trusts out there, the main one I will focus on is a living trust.

Will

A will is a document that is created to help distribute assets and properties to a beneficiary after one passes away. With a will, it will be submitted through a probate process, which is a court process. In this process, the courts will validate the will and ensure that all the instructions are followed properly while also repaying any creditors. The downfall to a will is that it becomes public so anyone can see the distribution of your assets to your selected beneficiaries. On top of not having privacy, it could take several months to even years for the court to sort everything out!

Living Trust

A living trust is a legal document that states three parties: Grantor/Trustor, Trustee, and Beneficiaries. The grantor/trustor is the individual or couple who establishes/creates the trust. The trustee is the person nominated to be in control of the trusts assets. In many cases, the trustee is the same as the grantor/trustor. Beneficiaries are those at the receiving end who will benefit from the trust. A trust is beneficial to most people who have property worth $100,000+ and/or those who have large amounts of assets. In certain states, properties at $100,000+ can be subject to legal fees in the probate process. With a living trust, it bypasses the whole probate process and all assets can be immediately accessed by the beneficiaries. As opposed to a will, a living trust is private so it does not go through a probate process, therefore it is NOT a public record. Things that can be listed in a living trust include: stocks, bonds, real estate, life insurance, personal property, etc.

A trust is beneficial for estate planning for those who have large amounts of assets. By establishing a specific living trust known as an A-B Trust, an individual can reduce the amount of taxes paid significantly. For example, in 2012, the current estate tax is $5.12M with a cap at 35% over the $5.12M. In an A-B Trust with a couple passing their assets to their one kid, they would designate half the fund to the surviving spouse and the other half to the kid. The surviving spouse and the kid will then each receive a tax break of $5.12M giving a sheltered total of $10.24M from estate taxes. When the surviving spouse passes, then his/her half is giving to the kid who is then subject to another $5.12M tax break. Unlike a trust, a will however will be only have a tax break of $5.12M.

Conclusion

When comparing the differences of having a last will versus a living trust, it shows that the trust comes out on top. A trust will help to give privacy, immediate access to assets from beneficiaries, AND tax breaks. For those who are near the age of deciding what to pass on to their children or know someone in that situation, help them understand the difference of the two and sway them toward a living trust if feasible!

Read more articles at: http://www.youngandsecure.com
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Roadblocks to Surpass When Starting an LLC Business


Some folks have a lot more excuses than reasons to start an LLC business. Some optimists would prefer to label them as roadblocks that serve well as challenges. Taking this perspective will help business owners persevere despite the challenges that come their way. Here are some of the roadblocks that anyone starting an LLC business in are likely to face:

- Bad economy

Even when the economy is good, you might still have reasons not to take the entrepreneurial jump. It is a fact, however, that opportunities abound even on a bad economy. The challenge is how to spot these opportunities so that your LLC business can flourish.

- Financing

Money is not always enough to start an LLC business, or elsewhere for that matter. Fortunately for those who wish to put up their own LLC, there are banks that offer financing instruments that could provide the necessary operating capital.

- Location

There will be no shortage of business-worthy locations as long as you are offering the right products and services in the right place where your customers are likely to be at. School fairs and carnivals would be ideal for a food kiosk or a novelty shop. Just be where your potential customers could possibly hanging out.

- Marketing plan

Of course, a big factor to consider in setting up your LLC business is your marketing plan. How are you going to promote your products and services to your customers? What messages would be compelling enough for them to buy your products or avail of your services? These are just a couple of questions you should ask yourself. The answers to these questions should be factored in when you draft your marketing plan.

- Suppliers

Most small businesses do not exist on their own. In most cases, you will have to rely on suppliers whether for your raw materials or for the products that you are going to distribute. Your partners in your LLC business are your suppliers. Make sure that you find those that can match your customer demand. If necessary, you should be able to find several suppliers to ensure that you will not run out of the products and services that you intend to sell to your customers.

- Number of employees to hire

Hire only based on what you can afford. Some new start ups would hire more employees than what they could afford on their budget. They hire people so they don't have to do all of the work themselves. If there are some tasks that you can do yourself, do it yourself for the meantime and keep whatever money you could instead of paying an additional employee who might not exactly be critical for the operations of your LLC business.

If you are looking for information on LLC business in Tennessee, click on the link. Or you can visit http://www.ezonlinefiling.com/.
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Estate Planning 101 - Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Trusts


Estate planning sounds so overwhelming: Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Trusts, Guardianships, etc., etc., etc.

What does it all mean and what do you really, really need to ensure that your family will be cared for when you pass away?

While the following definitions are by no means intended to be all-encompassing, or cover all of the variations of each document, they are helpful for the estate planning novice in determining what documents are right and necessary for them.

What is a will?

A will is a written legal declaration by which a person makes known how their property will be disposed of upon their death. Property includes not only real property (land, house, condominium, business storefront, etc.), but also personal property such as jewelry, art, sports memorabilia, even pets.

What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document, by which a person makes known his or her wishes regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical procedures, such as resuscitation. A living will can also be called an advance directive, health care directive, advance medical directive, or physician's directive.

What is power of attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal document by which Person A gives Person B the power to make decisions about their legal and/or financial affairs upon Person A's incapacitation. Powers of Attorney expire upon your death.

What is a trust?

Trusts come in all forms and can be straightforward or extremely complex. Simple stated, trusts are a financial arrangement that allows a third party (the trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. How and when the assets pass to the beneficiary can be controlled by establishing a trust.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll have the peace of mind in knowing that your family will be cared for when the inevitable happens.

Even if you have completed estate planning, it's never really 'done.' Life is going to come along and make you re-do it.

Following are a few examples of life circumstances that necessitate your updating your estate planning documents:

  • IF you had a baby
  • IF you got married
  • IF you got divorced
  • IF you adopted a child
  • IF you have a new grandbaby
  • IF a relationship within your family has changed
  • IF tax laws have changed
  • IF your estate value has dramatically increased (or decreased)
  • IF you moved to a new state
  • IF you retired
  • IF you changed your investments
These are just a few reasons that you might need to review your will with an attorney.
The Law Office of Nancy L. Holm, LLC, http://www.holmlawnj.com/ a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, is a full-service, general practice law firm located in Monmouth County, N.J., and serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can trust our integrity and commitment to your best interests when you have a legal problem. We offer a free consultation and reasonable rates, so that legal representation is available to everyone.
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