Monday, May 2, 2016

What is Guardianship and Power of Attorney?



Learn what the difference is between guardianship and power of attorney.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tips on How to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged


You may have tried to forget about that time when you and your friends had a little too much fun on the spring break of '97 or forced yourself to believe that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". Although that breaking and entering incident happened way back when you were a college sophomore and that you got away with that little Vegas fiasco with just a month-long community service sanction, these can all go on your permanent record and can appear in background checks. For more grave crimes, it can even affect your chances of getting a reputable job or a loan from a bank.

Therefore, expunging or erasing your criminal records can reap a multitude of benefits other than just clearing up your conscience. It may be a lengthy process and a number of errors may come up but it will definitely be worth it. With that taken into account, here are some tips on how to get your criminal record expunged

Find out if your record can be dropped.

Most felonies and some serious misdemeanors can't be dropped off your permanent record. Offenses against children, sexual and violent crimes can't be erased. It's worth finding out if your criminal act can be expunged in the first place rather than going through all the processes only to find out it was all for nothing.

Give the judge a reason to allow the expungement.

Certain violations, even seemingly minor ones, can result in a loss of someone's rights. For example a person charged with a DUI may have his license revoked. In majority of cases, the offender may have to defend himself in front of a judge, even if it doesn't involve getting a right back. You need to make a good case for yourself to convince the judge because ultimately he decides whether you deserve a clean slate or not.

Show the judge how you can benefit from a clean record.

When convincing a judge, the best defense is to show how much you and others can benefit from the expungement. For example, if you have been stripped of your right to leave the country, explain how you have a family member in need of your attention abroad or something like that. Make sure your reason is convincing while still being truthful.

Begin the process early.

For most cases it can take four months to a year with a lot of waiting in between to clear your record, depending on the state you live in and the severity of the crime. Start by finding yourself a reputable lawyer and working on your paperwork early on to prevent any additional delays.

Be mindful of pretend lawyers and scams.

An attorney is not necessary to file for a record expungement. However, getting legal advice from someone knowledgeable in the whole process is a huge plus in getting your records cleared. Just be smart about the whole thing and be mindful of scammers who falsely guarantee you of a quicker process and certain expungement all for a steep price.


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Friday, April 29, 2016

Understanding of Probate - The Process of Assets Transfer After a Person's Death


When someone dies, his or her assets should go through probate. The probate process includes collecting the deceased's assets, paying off liabilities and necessary taxes, and administering property to heirs as per the will.

Probate of decedent's Will

During this process, authenticity of the deceased's will is to be proved in the court of law. Will of a deceased must be probated soon after his or her death. Nobody has a right to hold it back at any cost.
The decedent's attorney or the person possessing the will of decreased, will need to produce it immediately, or within the specified time. There are penalties for destroying or concealing the will.

Probate Proceedings

The procedure starts only when there is the involvement of an official executor. If you are well versed with the different kinds of laws that are involved, then you can submit your application to be the executor on behalf of the friends or relatives.
  • The first thing to do here is to file a formal request. The applications should be submitted in the local court of the same country, where the deceased lived the last days of his or her life. Along with filing the probation documents, you should also produce the original death certificate of the deceased.
  • After filing the documents in the court, it the next step is to inform the creditors of the deceased. You can advertise about the probate in the newspapers, or on any other such local media.
  • You can let the heirs and beneficiaries of the departed know about the probate process, by mailing the court notice to their respective mailing address or by emailing it to them. You will need to document every notification sent to the successors who are in the line, and submit them to the court before the probate process commences.
You can complete all the procedures within the nine months duration, which is after the date of death of your client. There are many benefits from letting your client know beforehand about what will happen with his or her possessions after death.
  • The distribution of property among the beneficiaries will take place only after clearing off the debts taken by the diseased from different sources.
  • The entire process will be completed with transferring of the deceased's possessions to the rightful beneficiaries.
The inheritance money will be handed over to the next successor in line in many ways such as, funeral expenses, debt and taxes, family allowances, costs of estate administration, etc.


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Advance Medical Directive: The Basics


Advance medical directives are legal documents designed to outline a person's wishes and preferences in regard to medical treatments, interventions and other health care related issues. Policies may vary from state to state, but regardless of location, advance directives should always be included with each individual's personal medical records.

Advanced directives typically fall into three categories:

  • Do Not Resuscitate Order: This legal document, also known as DNR, is extremely valuable for determining end-of-life issues. A DNR order, however, is not legal until signed by the patient, a witness and a physician. It should also be dated correctly and clearly state whether the patient wants to be resuscitated or not if their heart stops beating.

  • Living Will: This written document stipulates what kinds of medical treatment the patient recommends should they become incapacitated. It can be either general or very specific depending on the person and how adamant they are about their end-of-life care issues. The usual items outlined in a living will include: whether they wish to be on life support, receive tube feedings, length of time (if any) that they will stay on breathing machines, the individual that will make decisions on their behalf, etc.

  • Durable Power of Attorney: This type of advance directive allows an individual the opportunity to designate someone, or a number of individuals, to act on their behalf for specific affairs. A durable power of attorney, or DPOA, has the ability to make bank transactions, sign social security checks, apply for disability, or even write checks to pay utility bills while an individual is medically incapacitated. Once the document is signed, the DPOA has legal priority even over next of kin.

When Should a Directive be Created?

You will see an advanced medical directive used for several different situations-such as when someone is having a major surgery, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or is even becoming a single parent. Advance medical directives are extremely beneficial if an individual is unable to make his or her own medical decisions. Whatever the reason, all advance medical directives should be signed by an attorney and be notarized.

How to Obtain an Advance Medical Directive

Luckily, there are many ways that someone can obtain an advance medical directive. Many companies have booklets available, social workers and nurses usually have them on hand, and hospitals and attorneys also have copies of directives. It is worth the effort to ask for an advance medical directive as it will be invaluable during a medical dilemma.

By having previously documented personal wishes and preferences, the burden of making tough decisions for family's and physicians' is lessened. Not to mention, the patient's autonomy and dignity will more likely be preserved by following their own choices regardless of mental or physical capacity.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cover Your Bases With Estate Planning


ESTATE PLANNING

Create a Will

As an original concept of estate planning, creating a will is a part of it. By writing a will, money and property are divided after someone's death. There is a living will, which relates to medical treatment and any procedures that must be adhered to in case the originator becomes extremely or deathly ill. Also, by taking responsibility for communicating--both properly and promptly--creates a more action oriented atmosphere that is destined to be organized, in comparison to no guidance for the future.

Issue Trusts

After someone's death, relatives and loved ones tend to be on end. In some cases, there are certain property rights and awards that must be issued out to these members. That is where a trust sets in. A trust is method of passing down funds to another, after one's death has occurred. There are many forms of a trust in action today; and they vary according to the specific needs of the person granting the initial trust (in most circumstances).

Power of Attorney

During estate planning, assigning a Power of Attorney is important. By addressing this issue, someone is nominated as the head honcho when you are not able. This applies to financial issues and personal matters (i.e. health).

Letter of Instruction

Moreover, a letter of instruction is another important document that must be created and developed. This kind of particular pass-down includes specific directives that your successors must adhere. In summary, a letter of instruction contains contact information (in the event of your death), which pertains to where important information, files, or safes are stored; and details that pertain to financial accounts, in addition to pass-downs about continuing activities.

Good Reasons for Estate Planning

When the responsibilities--of a grantor, etc.--are put into place, the numbers can be big, in relation to financial responsibilities, health decision leader, etc. As a result, governments and certain laws have been put into place, in order to assist families and associates passing things down. Before, without a will or any other lawful documentation, people and tribes had to go by what they were told, and what they had learned, while certain individuals were alive and/or on their deathbeds. Thereafter, conflict could occur because of possible misrepresentation, disbelief, and manipulative factors.

With that said, by attempting to be responsible and producing wills and trusts (estate planning), detrimental misguidance--concerning responsibilities--should be null if any. Ultimately, It is always a good idea to tinker with estate planning; cover your bases, before you are out for the count.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Why Forming an LLC is a Good Idea


If you are experienced in running your business, you understand the importance of getting the correct corporate form in place. You should seek to have a structure that will not only aid long term expansion but also protect your assets. The good news - there are a lot of potential forms your business can take.

You should consider, if you have a small business, forming an LLC. Think about setting up an LLC if you have a small business. Fortunately, they are simple to create. There is little paperwork with them. Further, in many states, you won't need to file an annual report.

Also, LLC forms a business structure that can protect your personal assets. Just keep you LLC compliant and your personal property is protected.

With an LLC, you can safe guard your business name.Also, LLCs allow unlimited owners. This will help give your business growth room. Also, owners don't need to have US citizenship.

In addition, an LLC doesn't require meetings. It also needs little paperwork. And you can flow your profit and loss to your personal taxes.

Keep in mind that setting up an LLC has fees and paperwork. Also, you need to make sure you are following all city and state laws. Thus, only consider an LLC if you have a clear business plan.

Overall, an LLC is great for small business. So you should at least consider one if you are serious about your business. Remember, it can save you time and money, both of which you can invest in your business!


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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Which Is Best, A Will Or A Living Trust?


You don't have to be wealthy to need a will in regards to your personal property. After you're gone, legal wrangling can become time consuming for family members left behind and often creates indecision and fighting amongst potential beneficiaries as your wishes may not be clear. A will is usually straightforward and simply put is a legal document that specifies how your property will be dispersed at the time of your death. It can be revoked or amended at any point in your lifetime, and can be used to appoint a guardian for any children that are not yet of legal age.

Another option to be considered is a living trust. A living trust handles property management of all assets and all of these assets are transferred to the trust. Typically, you will act as your own trustee while specifying who will act as trustee upon your death. A living trust has the added benefit of avoiding probate after you die and preventing public disclosure of all your private financial matters. A living trust does have some drawbacks. It must be maintained and any new property acquired must be transferred to the trust or it will not be under the protection of the trust. A living trust is also more expensive to initiate and must be managed. Generally a living trust is recommended if your estate exceeds a specific dollar amount, you have minor children, you're willing to manage the trust, and if you want control of when your beneficiaries receive any assets.

A simple will might be a better option if there is informal probate available where you live. Informal probate is a greatly expedited form of probate and is generally available to those whose estate is under a certain dollar amount. If you are single without children, and you don't own a business, it probably isn't necessary to set up a living trust and a simple will is sufficient. Upon your death, the executor of your estate will submit your will along with a petition to the probate court. The petition requests that the will be accepted as legal and valid and request that the executor named in the will be legally appointed. Any heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors must be notified of the submission of the will and have a specific amount of time to challenge it or submit claims against the estate.

This process does not apply to living trusts, which is why many people opt for a living trust versus a will. Each person's situation is unique and should be evaluated by an attorney who is familiar with estate law. Talk to your family and determine who will handle your affairs after your death. With everyone understanding who will handle which aspects of the estate and what to expect, the loss of a family member is a less stressful one.


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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Documents to Consider When Doing Estate Planning


There's nothing that can prevent someone from dying, since physical death is an absolute certainty that no one can escape. The fear for some people, though, is not what's going to happen to them after they pass on, but more on who's going to take care of their loved ones, especially if the people he'll be leaving behind are either very young children or are incapacitated, or both.

You can't have control of what's going to happen to you after death, but you sure can decide what's going to happen to your assets once that event transpires. It's called estate planning. This is the process by which a person (or even a family) arranges the transfer of his assets in anticipation of his death. And in estate planning, there are several documents to consider. Here are some of them:

Last will and testament - This document takes front and center in all the planning. This is the document that legally provides for the transfers of assets after one's death. It names a person to settle the estate, a trustee who will administer any trust established, and a guardian if there minor children. For those who die without having executed a will, they are considered to be 'intestate.' Under certain laws, if one is intestate, property goes first (or in major part) to a spouse, and then to children and their descendants.

Trust - Persons preparing a will and testament can execute either 'inter vivos' or testamentary trusts (trusts established through a will). The difference between the two is that with the former, assets are transferred into the living during the trust creator's lifetime, as opposed to testamentary trusts, where the transfer becomes operative at the time of death.

Durable powers of attorney - A power of attorney is the document that authorizes a designated agent to carry out financial and business transactions for the person that's establishing the document. This grants such agent to access bank accounts (and even brokerage accounts), deal with insurance companies, and even sell property. This effectively allows the agent to step into the shoes of the person he is assisting.

Healthcare power of attorney - This document is a form of a living will that is designed, among other things, to: provide instructions for the conditions should life-sustaining procedures be utilized, authorize who will make healthcare decisions, and ensure that the person chosen to make these decisions is given access to the executor's medical records during incapacity.

These are the important documents to take into account so a person can have the opportunity to make personal and financial decisions, both in life and after death, without the need for court orders.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Incorporation and LLC's - By the People



Rene of By the People Document Preparation Service in Fairfield CA talks briefly about the basic differences between Inc. and LLC, and the benefits and features of each. Give Rene or Tammy a call at 707-428-9871 with any questions you may have so they can help you get the right product for your business. See more at http://www.bythepeopleca.com