Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Introduction To The Deed Of Trust

There are really three people that are involved in a deed of trust. The people that are involved in a trust of deed are the beneficiary, the trustor and the trustee. The beneficiary is the lender, the trustor is the borrower and the trustee is the person that legally holds or bares the title. Mortgages do not actually contain this therefore the process of foreclosure will work differently in some states compared to others.

This will generally include the amount of the loan, a legal description on the property, parties involved, late fees, provisions for mortgages, the start date of the loan the maturity date for the loan. It will also include alienation clauses and acceleration clauses. In addition to all of this information will also include what is known as riders if there is any in existence and this is things such as prepayments penalties or adjustable rate mortgages which are often referred to as ARMs.

The trustee that is involved in one of these deeds is a third party and they are responsible for reconvening the title once the deed has been paid off in full. The trustees are also responsible for filling a notice of default if a payment is not made and they have the ability to sell the affected property. A trustee is usually a company. When it comes to filing a notice of default they will normally do a substitution of trustee therefore another trustee carries out the process of foreclosure.

There is a period of ninety days between the record of a notice of default being filed. These notices are often placed in the local newspaper as well as being posted in he courthouse.

Following the ninety say period the publication period starts and this tends to last for twenty one days and this is where the sale is noticed and placed in the local newspaper. Trustees have the ability to sell the property without the court even being involved. It is not uncommon for city newspapers to list several trustee sales in the same day and this is especially the case at the moment due to the economic climate.

The promissory note is the evidence of the money that is owed and this is secured by the deed and this is usually not recorded. This note does contain the rate of interest and the terms as well as the parties who are involved in the loan.

The borrower signs the note and it is retained by the beneficiary. Once the note is paid off it will be stamped as being paid in full and it is returned to the borrower along with the re-conveyance deed. At this point there is no longer a trustee or beneficiary as the loan has been paid off in full.

It is very important to understand all of the paperwork before signing any of it as all of the pages form a legally binding contract. It is very important to make sure that the name and address on the paperwork are correct and spelled correctly. This is especially true with quit claim deeds and especially when it comes to a deed of trust.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Conservatorships - How To Terminate Them

California conservatorships can be a nightmare, particularly when the "conservatee" is capable of handling financial and healthcare decisions - as long as they have a little assistance. The real tragedy is that courts, lawyers and family members don't always investigate whether less restrictive alternatives are available.

A conservatorship can be terminated if sufficient evidence is presented to the court to show that less restrictive alternatives are available that will continue to protect the conservatee's best interests.

A conservatorship takes on a life of its own. The court appoints a "conservator" and grants them the authority to handle all finances, determine where the conservatee will live, and also makes healthcare decisions. It's very costly: filing fees, attorney fees, probate investigator fees, court-appointed attorney fees, conservator fees, etc.

Sometimes a conservatorship is necessary. An elder may be suffering from dementia and hasn't paid her bills on time, attended doctor appointments or purchased and cooked proper food. If no family member or friend is available to assist, then a conservatorship may be the right option to provide the care that's required.

But often, there are family members or friends available to help. If the elder is mentally capable of signing powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, and can name a trustworthy person to act as "agent", then that agent would possess all of the legal authority needed to care for the elder. No court involvement would be required.

If necessary, a "professional fiduciary" can be named as the agent under a financial power of attorney. The agent can obtain a "bond" from a surety company. If the agent stole money from the elder's estate, then the surety company would reimburse the elder for any money wrongfully taken.

Powers of attorney are often execllent alternatives to the establishment of a conservatorship. Of course, the named agent must be entirely trustworthy. The authority granted to the agent is broad and sweeping. Placed into the hands of an unscrupulous agent, a financial power of attorney can become a license to steal.

But just because an elder has diminished mental capacity, that doesn't mean that a conservatorship is always necessary. Other viable options often exist and should be explored. A conservatorship should be the option of last resort.

To terminate a conservatorship, the court must be convinced that the conservatee's financial and physical well-being will be maintained at the highest possible level. Often the conservatee has diminished mental capacity but is still capable of understanding the meaning of powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions and is able to name a trustworthy person to be appointed as agent. T

Terminating a conservatorship will generally require the assistance of a psychologist or psychiatrist to inform the court of the conservatee's mental capacity and ability to at least understand the basic purposes of financial and healthcare powers of attorney. Often, the court can also approve the creation of a simple trust which names a bonded trustee with authority to handle all financial matters.

In conservatorship cases, one should search for other less restrictive alternatives. When they are available, then sufficient evidence can be presented to the court to prove that all of the conservatee's needs can be met without a conservatorship and that it should therefore be terminated.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Copyright or Trademark Your Business

In my business consulting, I have found that a lot of people do not know the difference between copyright and trademark. They do not know how to copyright a logo, website, blog or business name. Or in using the actual term, TRADEMARK their business. I used 'copyright' in the title because most people confuse the two. However, as I researched this subject I found out some interesting things...

Copyright is actually not the same as a trademark. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a copyright provides protection for original works in the realms of music, poetry, movies, literature, etc. In fact, copyright exists as soon as the publication exists. It is just advised to register your publication with the U.S. Copyright Office for legal purposes. Some people also like to publish the copyright facts on their publications and make sure there is a public record. Registration fees vary from $35 to $80. It cost more money to renew, get copies, or search copyright records. Believe it or not, people steal ideas so you want to make sure you are protected. And for a mere $35 at least, I'd say it's a good idea to make sure your writings are safe, LEGALLY.

Now to the good stuff. A trademark is what is used to protect patents, trademarks, and ideas. This is handled in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). So, a business name, logo, or even business idea would fall under the trademark category. It is often confused with copyright but now you know the difference. The reason you would want to register for a trademark is to get legal use of a service mark (™, SM ,®) for your word, phrase, symbol, or design.

The benefits of getting the service mark is to protect your name. To keep people from stealing your ideas. Just like with copyright, if you claim ownership, you can use the ™ and SM symbols on your business name or logo at any time. But owning the federal trademark registration obviously has it's benefits legally. Some of which include, being able to defend your logo in federal courts, being listed in the USPTO database, and the use of the ® symbol. YES! You MUST be registered with the USPTO to use that symbol on your logos, etc. You cannot even use it if your application for registration is pending. So, there are great benefits to registering your business name and logo.

Now, keep in mind, the USPTO has the right to deny your registration application. Especially if there's a similar logo. So, you need to research and make sure your business name and logo are UNIQUE and fit federal regulations. When filing an application for trademark registration (or to get a service mark) you must file one application per category(class) you the need the service mark for. FOR EXAMPLE, if you need a service mark for a t-shirt logo AND for the store marquee, you must submit two applications. Application fees vary from $275-$325, depending on the type of application you submit.

I know it sounds a bit complex and confusing but registering your business name and logo are so worth the protection. Especially if you're an owner that offers services/goods, merchandiser, designer, or inventor that's about to BLOW UP! You can of course find out more and get an application at

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Register a Company Name

Registering a business or company name requires checking with state statutes and county ordinances for filing a fictitious name. File a fictitious name by putting an ad in a local newspaper or obtaining a form from the county clerk's office with tips from a lawyer in this free video on business law.

By The People in Fairfield can help you with the paperwork when filing for a fictitious business name. We have helped thousands of people in the Solano County Area since 2004. We have assisted people in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters, and we can help you, too! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celebrities' Real Names

in order:
1. Eminem: Marshall Bruce Mathers III
2. Nicholas Cage: Nicholas Kim Coppola
3.Chuck Norris: Carlos Ray
4. Pink: Alecia Moore
5. Nelly: Cornell Hayness Jr.
6. Aaliyah: Aeliyatt Dana Haughton
7. Akon: Aliaine Damala Bouga Tim Puru Nacka LuLuLu Badara
8.Bo Bice: Harold Eldwin Bice Jr.
9.MC Hammer: Stanley Kirk Burrell
10. Jay Z: Shawn Corey Carter
11. Cher: Cerilyn Sarkasia La Pierre
12.Jay Leno: James Douglas Muir Leno
13. Queen Latifah: Dana Owens
14. Pee Wee Herman: Paul Reubenfeld
15. Snoop Doggy Dog: Cordazer Calvin Broadus
16. 50 Cent: Curtis Jackson
17. Ice Cube: Oshea Jackson
18.Kat Von D: Katherine Von Drachenberg
19. Bruno Mars: Peter Gene Hernandez
20. Ty Pennington: Tygert Bruton Pennington
21. Tiger Woods: Eldrick Woods
22. Marilyn Monroe: Norma Jeane Mortenson
23. Jennifer Aniston: Jennifer Linn Anastassakis
24. Carrot Top: Scott Thompson
25. Whoopi Goldberg: Caryn Elaine Johnson
26. Miley Cyrus: Destiny Hope Cyrus
27. Lady Gaga: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
28. Harry Houdini: Erich Weiss
29. Elton John: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
30. Ludacris: Christopher Bridges
31. Demi Moore: Demetria Gene Guynes
32. Katy Perry: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
33. Charlie Sheen: Carlos Irwin Esteves

Friday, August 26, 2011

What Should the Last Will and Testament Include?

Apart from the sorrow that is brought about by a person's passage, sometimes there's more sorrow that follows when it comes to dealing with the assets a person leaves behind. So many siblings and families have been torn over battles to control inheritance - that is why persons with a significant amount of assets are often advised to prepare a last will and testament long before they get to their death beds.

A Last Will and Testament is a legally binding document that indicates the planning, management and distribution of a person's properties, estate and assets based on his approved instructions and specifications. Last Wills and Testaments can take on two forms that address distinct and significant roles regarding the treatment and management of a person's related funds, assets and estates.

The first, a will-based plan, usually helps a person decide on the manner of distribution of his assets by clearly enlisting the details about who gets what and under which conditions, in case of his death. This plan covers substantial points, primarily covering the selection of a Personal Executor and the scope of authority and power to be granted to the same, and the identification of the individuals or parties who will inherit the properties and assets. Terms, conditions, mode of transfer and other necessary details are also outlined in this will-based plan.

The second form is a Trust-based Plan which covers a person's Revocable Living Trust and takes care of the points outlined in the will-based plan. In this case, the equivalent of a Personal Executor is called the Administrator or Successor Trustee once the person owning the assets dies. The Revocable Living Trust is tasked to manage unfunded property of an individual, and the same individual needs to finance his assets into the trust prior to his death so the trust agreement can take effect n any further action regarding his assets after his death. In the even this has not been carried out, the last will and testament will be required to take care of the unfunded asset and channel it to the trust.

A Last Will and Testament must be designed, prepared and documented under the jurisdiction of a lawyer who can objectively guide the asset owner through the intricacies of estate distribution and the legal conditions that go along with it.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keys On How To Incorporate In California

You might be questioning what is the meaning of incorporation. Incorporation is giving your business a mind of its own, an independence. When incorporated, your business becomes a legal body with its own function separate from its owners and cannot be owned by only one owner.

When incorporating a business, one should decide whether he should incorporate his business federally or provincially.

In incorporating federally, the advantages are; (a) your corporation should be able to carry on business in all provinces as long as you register your business in a province or territory where you would conduct your business in, and (b) your corporation can use the same name even if another company is already using the similar name. The disadvantages are; (a) federal incorporation is costly, and (b) there's a lot more of paper work to do annually. When incorporating provincially, your business has the right only to undergo business within the province or territory where your business is incorporated.

It depends upon the limitation of the business to be incorporated whether to choose a federal incorporation or provincial incorporation.

How to incorporate in California?

First, you should select a proper name for your corporation. Selecting a corporate name is more difficult than selecting a name for single proprietorship or partnership because it requires legal, distinctive and descriptive elements in choosing a name.

Second, prepare or print the articles relating to how to incorporate in California, the Memorandum and the Notice of Offices. The articles of how to incorporate in California sets out the rules and regulations that will govern the conduct of staffs and members of the company. The Memorandum sets out the rules for the conduct of the company. And, the Notice of Offices states the location of the two required offices for your incorporation, the registered office and the records office.

Third, file your incorporation documents and apply for incorporation. Find the Secretary of State office and take the completed forms with at least three copies. The incorporation fee in California costs $100.00 and $15.00 if you want to get it on the same day or they just mail to you the finished documents.

Fourth, the last step is to file the list of officers at the same office. As long as you know who the officers are and they know what are their duties, you just have to fill the names of the officers and their addresses. It only costs $25.00 to file this paper. Then, you could start your incorporation business at any time.

I hope this article would be helpful to those enthusiastic businessmen who want to find solutions on how to incorporate in California.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quit Claim Deed Primary Facts

A warranty deed is usually required in case you sell some of your properties. This document provides your potential buyers some sense of assurance on the properties that they plan to buy since a warranty deed is a legally binding evidence about your ownership claim of the property which you are subjecting for sale. But, what if you are are faced with a scenario that you do not have with you a warranty deed. Is there still a chance to sell the properties to buyers?

Fortunately, yes. You can still deal your properties even in the absence of a warranty deed. This can be substituted instead by what is called a quit claim deed. Basically, a quit claim deed is a legally binding instrument which guarantees that you are allowed to sell the properties in accordance to the existing laws. This also gives prospective clients that they are dealing with a legal seller.

Quit claim deeds are often used in circumstances like owning a property through marriage or inheritance. This legal document contains the name of the seller and buyer, the worth of the property as duly decided upon by both parties, the location, and the legal annotation on the rights over the properties. This legal document should bear a notarial seal and the necessary signature, which are must requirements. Of course, affixed signatures for both the seller and buyer should be present.

The process today of dealing properties is a bit easier than before. Decades ago, disposing properties without the required warranty deed used to entail a long period of time. With the use of quit claim deed, you have higher chances of disposing your properties in exchange of the amount favorable to you and the seller.

Before selling your properties, make a point to comply with all the necessary requirements. Meanwhile, for the seller, do not forget to ask for legal documents that would serve as a guarantee of the legitimacy of the transaction.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Details In A Sample Promissory Note Form

The usual details which will be found in a sample promissory note form will be the name, address and all other contact details of the entity which is lending a certain amount of money and the entity which is borrowing a certain amount of money. The details which have been entered in the sample promissory note form will be the testimonial to the transaction or the deal which has been entered into between both the parties. This will serve as ample evidence in the event of any kind of legal action which needs to be taken at a later date.

The second column of the sample form will contain details of the amount which has been lent in the form of a loan, the time period for which the money has been provided and the amount which will have to be repaid by the debtor in the form of principal and interest. The details of the amount which has to be repaid in the form of principal and the amount which needs to be repaid in the form of interest will have to be stated separately and individually. The amount which will have to be paid by the debtor every month for the purpose of repayment should also be specified and all the advantages which can be gained by the debtor by repaying the amount before the given date should be stated clearly in the content of the promissory note form.

All the terms and conditions of the transaction which is being entered into by both the parties will have to be stated very clearly in the content of the promissory note which is being prepared. Every word in every sentence will have to be thought over very carefully so that the correct and appropriate meaning is conveyed to every person who reads this document. It is also advisable to collect samples which have been created by other companies and organizations in order to gain a proper understanding of the manner in which a promissory note form needs to be prepared.

When all the details of the transaction have been entered into the form, it will be much easier for the borrower or the debtor to remember the specific date on which the amount needed to repay the loan will be due every month. Details of any legal action which is likely to be taken in the event of any of the repayments being delayed will also be stated clearly in the promissory note.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Living Trust or Will - Do I Need a Living Trust or a Will?

Uncertain what is the difference between a living trust and a will. Living trusts and wills are actually both beneficial estate planning documentation, and although both have got value, they have got their very own differences.

Here's a super easy breakdown tackle the living trust and will query, to understand the distinctions between these two documents and also how they both can be of use make your own estate plan.

What is In a Will?

What precisely does a will do? A will is actually a document that will let you distribute your property to those beneficiaries of your choosing.

You are also able to appoint an executor who is responsible for managing your property after your own death and making certain that your beneficiaries get their designated assets.

A will normally gives parents the chance to appoint a guardian who will be in charge of caring for their children if they are at any time unable to. Fact: A will is made during a person's lifespan but is only operative after death.

What exactly is In a Trust?

This particular document is different from a will for the reason that it can be effective during a person's lifespan.

This valuable document is able to easily be modified during your lifetime. It is actually similar in that it enables you to manage your assets.

You are able to choose how your assets in the living trust will be distributed following your death. You will pick beneficiaries who will get the assets and a successor trustee who will assist to manage and distribute your own belongings.

In case you become incapacitated, your successor trustee is able to manage the assets and help you with your own financial affairs. This is a big advantage for creating this legal entity.

What Do You Need?

It is actually beneficial to set up a will since you will be able to choose how your assets will be dispersed after your death and you can also make certain that your children are always cared for. This is something which is extremely beneficial.

It is beneficial to create a living trust in case you are looking for a way to manage your own asset distribution. If you want somebody to be able to access these particular assets during any disability or incapacity, you should create a living trust rather than a will.

Both of these documents can be extremely beneficial. It is important to work with an attorney while creating any estate planning. Although it is possible to do your own private planning, it is easy to make really expensive mistakes.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is An Uncontested Divorce Right For You?

Divorce is never a pleasant thing to go through, due to the variety of emotions that can be felt at this difficult time. But it can get even more unpleasant when it comes time to divide the marital assets. If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can decide on who gets what, you can file for an uncontested divorce which makes the entire process much easier.

If a married couple decides to divorce, they can file for an uncontested divorce. This is when the couple decides, without court intervention, who gets what out of the assets that been gotten while the marriage was going on. This is usually easiest when there are no children involved, and almost impossible if kids are involved. Once the arrangements have been made, the divorce can go to the courts. Since all the assets have been split up, the divorce process usually moves a lot faster.

But if there is an issue over who gets what, do not get an uncontested divorce. It's very important to get the fair share of the marital assets and that is why the court system is there to help. If you do not agree entirely to the agreement made between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, an uncontested divorce is not for you. It's very important to not let your soon-to-be-ex try and bully you into an uncontested divorce if it is not best for both parties.

Once you figure out if you want to go ahead with an uncontested divorce, you may want to look into the divorce laws in the state which you live. The laws vary, sometimes significantly in certain areas, from state to state. In some states, there is a waiting period that you have to be separated from your spouse before you can file for divorce. Your best bet is almost always to seek the advice of a lawyer who can make sure that you are watching for everyone that could come up and bite you from behind.

Going through a divorce is an emotionally draining thing to go through. But the sooner a divorce can be finalized, the sooner you can move on with your life. Filing for an uncontested divorce is one of the easiest and fastest ways to become divorced. But this only works if both parties agree on how to split the martial assets fairly. Make sure you know that your ex is going to do as they say they will, since you don't want a nasty surprise when you go to sign the final papers.

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By The People in Fairfield can help you with the paperwork for your uncontested divorce. We have helped thousands of people in the Solano County Area since 2004. We have assisted people in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters, and we can help you, too! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reasons For The Revocation Of Your Power of Attorney

The power of attorney can be revoked by the principal when he thinks that it is necessary. There are several reasons for revoking the power given to the agent. One of the common reasons for revoking the document is when the principal get married and would like to have his wife as his attorney-in-fact. In this case, the principal will revoke the powers given to the person and then transfer it into the name of the spouse. After transferring the power, the spouse will automatically become the agent of the principal immediately.

Another reason is that when an agent is not available because of relocation, disability, diseases, accidents or death, then the principal has to revoke the power of attorney. In this situation also, the principal will select another person to act as the authority on behalf of him/her. When the present attorney-in-fact is not willing to continue with the powers, then also the principal can revoke it. In this case, most probably the agent believes that he/she cannot carry out the duties given by the principal as requested by him. Sometimes the agent may become ill or because of other unavoidable circumstances has no time to spare for the duties bestowed on him.

One of the serious reasons for the revocation of power of attorney is distrust. In this case, the principal is unhappy about the way the agent carries the duties. In some situations, the principal will decide not to trust the attorney-in-fact any more as he is feeling that the person taking the advantage of his trust. In case of distrust, the principal has to revoke the power immediately and he can even file a case against the person who has misused the power given to him.

Revocation of your power of attorney is simple. It is a legal document provided to the agent in writing that the principal no longer need his service. The document states that you are taking out all the powers given to the attorney-in-fact. It is always important to provide the revocation in writings as you can protect yourself as well as your interests. There is no need to cite the reason for the revocation in the document as you have provided the power to a person on your own decision and you have the freedom of revoking it.

The document of revocation requires some basic information such as the name and address of the principal, name and address of the agent, the date of power of attorney etc. Revocation document should be signed by you in the presence of a notary public. After notarizing your document, you can provide a copy to your attorney-in-fact and ask to return all the copies of the power of attorney document he has. Then the principal can show the copy of revocation document to the financial institution or other business where the agent used the powers to act on behalf of you.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just What Is Probate?

When a loved one dies, their estate will go through a process called Probate. This happens regardless of whether they have left a Last Will and Testament or not. The purpose of Probate is to verify the Will and the Estate for disbursement to beneficiaries, collect necessary final taxes, and settle any outstanding debts. There are many pros and cons involved in Probate, and in some instances there are ways to avoid it. Here I will provide you with a very brief explanation of Probate.

Verifying and transferring assets of an estate is a long and expensive process; most take about a year before they are fully settled. Probate usually takes seven months from start to finish. This allows time for creditors to submit claims for payment of debts, which may be paid for by direct funds or by selling off items or assets to meet the necessary amount. When Probate starts, heirs and beneficiaries are notified of the will so that they may contest it if they so desire. At this time, a list of all assets is prepared for the disbursement to beneficiaries. These assets are also accounted for upon disbursement, noting whether they were received by the beneficiary or used to pay debts and other expenses.

Keep in mind that only money and other items which were owned solely by the decedent are passed through Probate. Any assets owned with a successor by contract avoid Probate and immediately go to that contractual beneficiary. For example, say Mom and Dad own a house together and both of their names are on the mortgage, title, deed, etc. When Dad died, the house does not go through Probate because Mom was the co-owner. Because of Dad's passing, Mom became the sole owner and is the one responsible for payments. This means any type of property, furniture, vehicles, money, land, artwork, or business shares that are co-owned with the decedent avoids Probate.

For some people, avoiding Probate is a high priority. Believe it or not, there are ways to keep your estate from going through Probate if you plan for it well enough with a quality Elder Law Attorney. This can be done through Revocable Living Trusts, Pay-On-Death Accounts or Registrations, or through Co-Ownership of Property(as mentioned above). Very small estates tend to avoid Probate as well, because they lack the money and assets to require the Probate process. However, I highly recommend that while planning your estate, you take the time to consult with a qualified and experienced Elder Law Attorney to review your finances and assets to make sure you make the best decision for yourself and your family.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

California DUI Expungement

Expungement of DUI Cases

If you have already been convicted of a DUI, you may become eligible for an expungement of your DUI conviction under California Penal Code Section 1203.4. An expungement results in a dismissal of your case. If you are granted an expungement, the court will set aside and dismiss the conviction. Specifically, the court will withdraw your guilty or no contest plea, or guilty verdict if you went to trial, and grant a not guilty plea.

Why should you apply for an expungement of your DUI?

There are several personal and professional reasons why someone would want to apply for an expungement. An expungement is not automatically granted, and will not be granted in the event that you have broken any law since you received your DUI conviction, so the fact that your conviction is set aside proves to you and others that you have learned from your experience and have lived a law-abiding life since your conviction.

On a professional level, you can truthfully tell private employers that you have not been convicted of a crime. What's more, California Labor Code §432.7 prevents employers from asking about any arrest that didn't result in a conviction, inquiring about it from other sources or use it in a hiring decision. Note that if you ever apply for a job with a public entity, or for a professional license, when asked if you were ever convicted of a crime, you will have to report "Yes, and my conviction was dismissed." Again, the fact that your conviction was set aside will definitely reflect more favorably on your character and indicates that you have fulfilled the requirements necessary to have your conviction set aside.

Additionally, most Licensing and Certification agencies in California will not grant a license to someone who has been convicted of a crime. The same is true for Governmental jobs. However, if your conviction has been expunged, most Governmental licensing and hiring agencies (except police agencies) are required to treat you the same as if you were never convicted of the crime.

What An Expungement Can Do For You

An expungement will reflect that your conviction has been set aside. An expunged record cannot be used by private employers as a basis to deny you employment. Also, in the State of California, Government Employers (except for the police) and Licensing Agencies such as the Department of Real Estate, Board of Nursing, etc., will treat you the same as if you have never been convicted of a crime if your record has been expunged.

What An Expungement CANNOT Do For You

An expunged record can still be reviewed by a judge for the purposes of increasing your sentence if you are ever convicted of another crime in the future. Also, an expungement does not wipe out your criminal record. Your criminal court file will not be physically destroyed, and is therefore searchable and is often discovered by private investigators and others who perform background checks. If your criminal court file is discovered, it will show that your conviction was set aside by the court. Accordingly, the Judicial Counsel of California advises that if you are asked by a private employer if you were convicted of a crime, you should answer "Yes, and the conviction was dismissed." In the case of public employers and licensing agencies, you are required to answer that you have been convicted of a crime and that your conviction has been dismissed. Additionally, an expungement will not automatically grant you the ability to possess a firearm, nor will it restore any driving privileges that were revoked by the DMV due to the conviction.

When Can You Apply For An Expungement?

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in a California state court (a 1st, 2nd or 3rd DUI with no accidents or injuries involved), and were not sentenced to prison, you are eligible to apply for an expungement at the end of your probation term. If your probation term has not ended but you have fulfilled all other terms of your probation (such as CalTrans, community service, payment of fines) your lawyer may apply for early termination probation. Once early termination of probation is granted, you will be eligible to also apply for an expungement.

If you have been convicted of a Felony DUI in California, you would first need to petition the court to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. So long as you were not sentenced to prison, and your Felony is reduced to a misdemeanor, you will be eligible to apply for an expungement.

If you served time in State Prison or otherwise were under the care of the Department of Corrections, you will not be eligible for an expungement, but may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation from the California Board of Prisons.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

DBA (Fictitious Business Name) Filings

Whether you're a corporation, LLC or sole proprietor, there may be advantages to filing a "Doing Business As" or "DBA" for your business.
What is a DBA?

DBA stands for "doing business as" and is an official and public registration of a business name. DBAs are also known as Fictitious Names, Fictitious Business Names, Assumed Names, and Trade Names. Essentially, a DBA is the name of a business other than the owner's name or, in the case of a corporation, a name that is different from the corporate name as on file with the Secretary of State.

What are the benefits to filing a DBA?

A DBA makes it easy to:
o Open a bank account and collect checks and payments under your business name
o Look more professional, by establishing a separate business identity
o Start marketing and advertising under a name other than your personal or corporate name

What is an example of a DBA and how it is used?

If you were a sole proprietor named Jane Brown and the name of your business was "Donuts Unlimited," you would register your business as Jane Brown, doing business as "Donuts Unlimited."
I've already got a name for my corporation or LLC. Do I need a DBA?

If you have a corporation or LLC and want to do business under a name different from your corporate name, most states require that you file a "Doing Business As" name or "DBA."

For example, if an LLC is doing business under the name "Studio City," but the corporate name is "Pinnacle Projects, LLC," then a DBA should be filed for the name "Studio City." This DBA filing must be made in the county or state (where applicable) in which the registered office and principal address of the business are located.

What information is required for a DBA filing?

DBA filings will typically contain the name of the applicant, date of filing, name of the fictitious business and address for the business. Filings can be made by individuals or businesses. In most states, you must first file the DBA documents with the appropriate government entity, accompanied by a state or county fee. In some states, you also have to publish the name in a newspaper to give notice of the new business name.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alternate Living Trust Beneficiaries

Alternate Living Trust Beneficiaries: Why Every Will and Trust Needs Them To Protect Property and Estate

Alternate beneficiaries - this is the person and/or organization you allot a gift to through the direct beneficiary, should the direct beneficiary pass away before you or does not live beyond for a certain period of time, usually between 30 to 45 days. This is what's known as survivorship requirement. For every direct beneficiary you have, you can name one or several alternate beneficiaries. It is common for a spouse to name one another, then their children as the alternate living trust beneficiaries. Of course, other alternate beneficiary plans are a bit more complicated.

Alternate Beneficiaries: Who Should You Name In Your Will/Living Trust

When you're preparing either your living trust or will, you might be thinking about whether or not you need an alternate beneficiary. In most traditional estate planning, the answer to your thought is yes. It's usually in your best interest to have them although they're not necessary for every situation.

If you have a reasonable assumption that your main beneficiary will die before you then it would be in your best interest to name a person as the alternate beneficiary. Now, you can always amend the trust or will to name a new main beneficiary to ensure that your property will go to someone else. However, having alternates in the trust or will saves you time and work. This also reduces the chance that you don't get the time or forget to amend the trust or will. With alternate living trust beneficiaries in place, you won't have to worry about this.

Why do some people prefer not to put in alternate beneficiaries? That's because they must consider the possibility that their primary beneficiary will pass away before them.

The majority of folks won't put all the eggs they have in one basket. The question becomes how far down the road should they place alternate beneficiaries? Should you make a plan that states what to do with the estate if both the primary and alternate living trust beneficiaries pass away before you do? What will happen to your estate if your kids and grandkids pass away before you do?

Some people will have several tiers of alternate living trust beneficiaries, which is completely fine to do. When you're doing estate planning, you should be at peace knowing that your possessions will be protected when you die. If you're at peace knowing that the planning you have done will protect your property even if there are multiple deaths, then it's in your best interest to do that. The thing to remember is that you are your best person to know what happens to your property in the event of your death. You decide what's best for you, not someone else!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Benefits Of Criminal Record Expungement

When someone is accused of a criminal act, they face not only the immediate consequences of their actions, but the long term consequences as well. In some states even arrest records are made public, in which case anyone who is accused of a crime, even if they are innocent, may be subject to unfair public scrutiny.

If the accusations proceed to a criminal conviction, the defendant will face sentencing which may include fines, probation and possibly jail time. Their permanent record will also be forever marred by the conviction, affecting future employment opportunities and certainly quality of life.

In some of these unfortunate situations, a defendant may be able to petition the courts for a criminal record expungement which will give them the opportunity to have their permanent record wiped clean of any mention of the conviction. If the expungement is successful, then for all intents and purposes, the conviction will be treated as though it never existed. Some states also allow a complete expungement which will erase even the public record of the arrest. Depending upon the state, certain offenses may have no chance for expungement, such as sex crimes or child abuse.

Situations in which an expungement may be honored include:

• New DNA evidence leading to a finding of innocence.
• Minor violations such as jaywalking or speeding may be expunged from a permanent record.
• Completion of a "deferred sentence" such as probation, anger management, alcohol treatment or

community service within a specific period of time.
• Acquittal at trial or an overturning of the conviction.
• Gubernatorial pardon.

Benefits of a successful criminal record expungement are that the accused is able to move forward from the criminal proceedings with peace of mind knowing that their criminal record will not be affected by the situation. For some this means that an embarrassing mark on their personal history will be erased, but for others it means the difference between the ability to gain future employment or not. Following expungement, no future employer will be able see the felony or misdemeanor on the record, nor will the defendant be required to report the charge during an employment interview.

In some states, a person convicted of a felony may lose their voting rights or their rights to bear arms. In these situations an expungement can help restore their every day rights.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Legal Guardianship

A guardian is a person who is responsible for the care and welfare of another person. In the case of children, legal guardianship is automatically given to the parents at birth; however, if the parents are deceased or found unfit to care for their child, guardianship is given to another person.

Besides parents, there are two types of legal guardians for minor children: subsidized and standby.

• Subsidized guardians include foster parents, who are given financial assistance to pay for the needs of the child for whom they are caring.

• Standby guardians are chosen by the parents of a child, most often when the parents have a life-threatening illness and are expecting to be unable to care for their child in the near future.

The process of obtaining legal guardianship of a child begins with the filing of a petition. This petition lets the family court know that guardianship is being sought, and will be followed with a request for evidence regarding the filer's fitness to be a guardian. Proof that the parents are deceased or otherwise unable to care for their child will be required, along with proof of a positive and established relationship with the child. The aim of the family court is to do whatever is in the best interest of the child.

Sometimes, a person seeking guardianship will be required to put up a fiduciary bond to cover any liability expenses arising from caring for the child. While this process is taking place, a temporary guardian may be placed to care for the child and serve their interests while a more permanent situation can be established.

Once a person is granted legal guardianship of a child by the court, certified papers evidencing the decision will be sent to the new guardian. It is important to retain these papers for future reference.

There are rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal guardian. The guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent would, meaning they must care for the child, make sure the child obtains an education, and provide a safe home for the child. The guardian retains the right to discipline the child as a parent would.

A guardian is different than an adoptive parent because the parents may still have contact with their child when a legal guardian is caring for them, and the birth parents retain a financial obligation for their child.

Guardianship is not limited to the care of a child; guardians may be placed for adults that do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves. This can include an adult who is incapable of caring for themselves because of mental illness, or can be a parent who suffers from mental deterioration, causing dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Guardians may even be placed for an adult who is addicted to alcohol or gambling to the point that they have seriously harmed themselves or their family. If an adult is recklessly spending their estate to the detriment of themselves or family members, a temporary guardian may be placed.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Beauty Of Uncontested Divorce

Filing for divorce can be an unnerving time for anyone. For this first time in awhile, you will be on your own and completely responsible for yourself. A partner is not going to be there to provide financial or moral support. Those who are miserable in their marriage may view this however as a positive, as they can get their independence back. Also, some people may feel as if they have been alone for quite some time because their marriage was broken. But it's a much different ballgame when you come home to an empty house. This thought alone can be scary for people to think about.

But if you have determined that divorce is indeed in your best interest, then the first step is to decide if you will hire a lawyer or go the do-it-yourself route. The ideal path is an uncontested divorce, as contested ones can be very trying for parties and any children that are involved.

Why Uncontested?

An uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree to terms on all the issues. Both want a divorce, and want it to end on the best terms possible. They agree that the marriage isn't working out, and would rather not fight over money, child custody, visitation, alimony, property division, and so on. Uncontested divorces also get done much more quickly, and the cost is far less financially when compared to contested ones. Filling out and filing uncontested divorce papers is a highly efficient way to go about getting a divorce.

If you would like an uncontested divorce but your spouse seems to be resistant, then try to sell the idea as much as possible to him or her. Tell them that this is the best way to go for both sides. It's fast, inexpensive, and far easier for everyone involved to deal with emotionally. If they still resist, then you may have no choice but to hire a lawyer and go to court.

The Alternative

A contested divorce should be a last resort for any divorce, and most of the time the two sides can work something out on their own. But there are times when either side is unwilling to budge at all on certain issues. For instance, both sides may want custody of the children. In such a case, their really is no compromise. The problem with contested divorces however is that no one truly wins. The process is drawn out for a year or longer, which makes it emotionally draining for everyone involved.

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By The People can help you with the paperwork for your uncontested divorce. We have helped thousands of people in the Solano County Area since 2004. We have assisted people in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters, and we can help you, too! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quitclaim Deeds And Just How They Have A Bearing On Real Estate Property Transactions

When selling or purchasing a home, there are many different things to consider. A home's price, size and age are all factors home buyers look into before committing to purchase a home. A home buyer takes a lot of things into consideration before buying a house. The particular type of deed being offered during the sale of the home should be no less important. For many people, however, this does not even become a consideration. While it can mostly be chalked up to lack of knowledge on a buyer's part, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be looked into just as carefully as other factors that contribute toward your decision to purchase a home.

Different deeds come with different obligations to the original seller. Some absolve a seller of all or nearly all liability or responsibility after the home contract has been signed. If you are a buyer and the house is an older one with the potential for problems in the near future, this is not an ideal deed for you to obtain in most instances. Some deeds, on the other hand, offer more warranties and guarantees with which the seller must comply.

A quitclaim deed is thus the term describing a legal document where the home seller, or grantor, repudiates any interest in the property he or she once owned to the buyer, or grantee. More common deeds used to transfer ownership of real estate are grant deeds or warranty deeds. Quitclaim deeds, on the other hand, are more commonly used by family members transferring property between one another.

Another common use for a quitclaim deed exists when a divorce occurs. If a husband, for example, has agreed that his former wife can have their shared home, he could grant her a quitclaim deed. This would disclaim any interest he had in the property, transferring it solely to his former wife.

Quitclaim deeds are consequently the most basic of ways to officially transfer the title of your property. As a seller, you are less likely to incur any liability by executing a quitclaim deed. This is obviously not ideal for a buyer who will want some guarantees and warranties included in the deed, particularly if the home is older or not in pristine condition. Consulting a real estate agent and explaining your individual needs is a great way to ensure the most appropriate deed is executed for you as either a buyer or a seller.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Choosing A Trustee For Your Living Trust

Who will make decisions about what you own if you become incapacitated? A Living Trust, known as a Revocable Living Trust, details how you want your estate managed, and who you want to manage it, under several different circumstances--while you are living, while you are alive but unable to handle your own affairs and after death.

A Living Trust is a legal compilation of assets, part of an estate plan, put together by a Trustmaker. That Trustmaker is you. Initially, you make all the personal and asset decisions for the beneficiary of the Living Trust. In other words, as long as you are alive and well, you are your own Trustee and beneficiary.

Choosing A Successor Trustee

If you are seriously ill or injured and become incapable of taking care of your own affairs, a Trustee of your choosing takes control of the trust to manage your assets in the way you would do it yourself, if you could. Should you die, a Trustee deals with debts, final expenses and beneficiary distribution.

With so much at stake, it's critical to appoint the right Trustee. An estate planner can help guide you, but it really comes down to your own choice. Would a bank or legal firm be better able to manage your property or would you want someone closer to you to be your Trustee? In some cases, more than one Trustee is designated.

The first consideration is to take stock of your assets and assess what complexities may surround them. The more you own or owe, the more arduous decisions can be for a designated Trustee. Making a bank or legal firm your Trustee may be the objective answer, if your estate is large or you have the possibility of family conflict.

Choosing Family or Friends

If you feel that impersonal strangers, even advisors, have no real understanding of your wishes, then hiring an outside Trustee may not be right for you. Your other option would be to assign the work of Trustee to someone you know, either a relative or a friend; however, choose cautiously.

Trustee work is usually long-term and intricate. The person chosen to represent your best financial interests, when you cannot, must be more than trustworthy, loyal and willing to do the job; they must be capable enough to act in your place and qualified enough to see your wishes through to your complete satisfaction.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

What is a Promissory Note and Why Do You Need One?

A promissory note is a legal contract used to record details of a loan transaction between two or more parties. Promissory notes are used in a variety of financial and real estate transactions, as well as business and personal loans. Before signing any promissory note agreement, it's important to understand the different types of notes, how they are used, repayment schedules and legal terms.

Types of Promissory Notes:

Personal: One of the most common types of promissory notes are ones used to document personal loans between family members or friends. Although many people shy away from legal documents when lending money to personal acquaintances, a personal promissory note can prevent misunderstandings. Drafting a personal note payable demonstrates a good faith effort on behalf of the Borrower and offers a sense of security to the Lender. Personal promissory notes should clearly state the repayment terms, amount to be repaid, how much interest will be charged and what will occur if the Borrower defaults on the loan.

Commercial: When borrowing money from a commercial lender, a promissory note will almost always be required. Similar to personal promissory notes, commercial notes outline the repayment terms, payment amount and interest rate. Should the Borrower default on a commercial promissory note, the lender has the right to demand full payment. For example, if you take out a $5000 loan and default on it with a balance of $2500 due, the Lender can demand you pay the balance immediately. If the lender is unable to collect, they can place a lien on the property you are financing. If the lender sues you, they can legally take possession of your property. Not only will you lose the property, but it will also leave a negative impact on your credit report.

Investments: Many organizations use promissory notes as a way to raise capital for business. A promissory note is issued to investors in exchange for a loan. This type of note payable guarantees investors will receive a return on their investment within a specific time period.

Real Estate: Negotiable promissory notes are used in real estate transactions. Governed by Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, real estate promissory notes must meet certain conditions set forth by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Repayment Schedules:

There are several types of repayment schedules associated with promissory notes. Personal notes are usually more lenient than commercial, investment or real estate notes. Commercial lenders typically devise a repayment schedule based on financial forecasting. Basically, there are three types of promissory note repayment schedules. They include:

Installment Payments with Interest: This type of repayment schedule is referred to as amortized payments and allows Borrowers to pay a set amount each month for a specific time period. A portion of the payment is applied toward the principal and the remainder is applied toward the interest. This type of repayment schedule is common when borrowing money for an automobile, home or business loan.

Balloon Payments: This type of repayment schedule allows borrowers to pay installment payments or interest-only payments; followed by one large (balloon) payment at the end of the loan. Although interest-only payments can be appealing, the downside is the principal amount of the note never decreases. The balloon payment consists of the entire amount of principal, along with any interest remaining on the loan.

Lump Sum Payment with (or without) Interest: This type of repayment schedule is frequently used for short term personal loans which can be paid back within twelve months or less. As the name implies, the Borrower repays the amount of the loan in one lump sum payment on a specific date. If interest in charged the amount of interest should clearly be stated in the promissory note along with the principal amount and repayment date.

Legal Terms:

Although promissory notes are relatively simple documents, it's always a good idea to have an attorney draft them. At the very least, an attorney should review the documents to ensure they are legally binding and will hold up in a court of law. Should you decide to draft a promissory note without legal counsel, it's wise to be familiar with the terminology used within the document. Basically, there are five legal terms used in a basic promissory note.

Promisor - The person who is obtaining the loan and who will be obligated to repay it.

Promisee - The person who is providing the loan and who will receive payment for it.

Obligor - The person who is bound by the legal agreement; usually the Promisor.

Obligee - The person to whom the Obligee is bound; usually the Promisee.

Mutual Consideration - When there is a contract between two parties there must be some value received by both parties. This is referred to as "mutual consideration". In the case of a promissory note the Promisor receives value from the loan and the Promisee receives value from the repayment of the loan.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why Incorporate In California?

Incorporating in California is one of the best ways to protect personal assets from creditors and litigators. By operating a business as an incorporated entity in California, the risk of entangling in lawsuits can be diminished. The chances for having an IRS audit can be lowered. Business operating losses may also be deducted.

The primary advantage of forming a corporation in California is personal liability protection. Incorporation in California helps to separate personal assets from that of the business. There is the possibility of law suits against a California Corporation. If so, there are legal provisions and UCC codes to protect owners, shareholders, directors and employees from personal liability. In a sole proprietorship or general partnership, the owners are directly responsible for the debts and obligations of the company. The California Corporation has a separate legal entity from its owners. So if the company has a debt or claim from a law suit, the California Corporation is responsible for it, not the owner.

Another advantage of incorporation is easily transferable ownership, as long as it does not conflict with securities law. A corporation in California works as an independent body, and continues its operations after the owner's demise. The death of an owner or the desire of the owner to sell his interest will be incorporated by the California Corporation.

Tax reduction is possible under certain circumstances. Corporations in California are eligible for more tax deductions than businesses that are not incorporated. An exemption from annual minimum franchise tax is available for newly incorporated or qualified corporations during their first year of business. When compared to the self-employed, the audit rate for Corporations in California is also much lower.

California is corporate-friendly and promotes all kinds of businesses. The conditions in other states are not as strong or favorable to business owners and corporate officers as in California.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

What Is A Limited Conservatorship?


Limited conservatorships are set up to assist developmentally disabled adults who are unable to provide for all their personal or financial needs.


A limited conservatorship encourages further development of the conservatee wherever possible. A limited conservator's duty is to help the limited conservatee develop maximum self-reliance and independence.


The judge gives the limited conservator authority to take care of specific aspects of the conservatee's life and no others. The limited conservator's Letters list the exact areas in which he or she is authorized to act. These areas may include: 1. Where the conservatee will live; 2. See mail, medical records, test results, reports, and all other confidential records and papers relating to the conservatee; 3. Consent or withhold consent to conservatee's marriage; 4. Be the only person who may consent to medical treatment; 5. Restrict the conservatee's social and sexual contacts and relationships; 6. Make all decisions about the conservatee's education; and 7. Restrict the conservatee's right to make contracts.


The court supervises the limited conservatorship. A court investigator will visit the limited conservatee one year after the conservator has been appointed and every two years after that.


A limited conservatorship continues until one of the following occurs: 1. The conservator dies. 2. The conservatee dies. 3. A general conservator is appointed. (or) 4. A judge ends the limited conservatorship.


The appropriate Regional Center must be notified when a court is asked to appoint a conservator for someone with a developmental disability. The Regional Center will conduct an interview and file it's report and recommendations with the court prior to the appointment of a limited conservator.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Emancipation of a Minor

Emancipation is the process by which a guardian relinquishes - or is made to relinquish - parental control over a minor (that is, someone under the age of 18). The child then gains certain rights which are usually reserved for adults, thought not all of them. There are several situations under which a minor may wish to seek emancipation, or when a parent may wish to have them emancipated for practical reasons. However, until a court legally grants an emancipation, the child is still legally subject to the rules and guidance of their parent or guardian.

Military Service

The first common way a minor in the United States can become emancipated is by joining the military. This is an issue of practicality, as once a minor is a member of the US armed forces, he or she is ultimately answerable to the government, not his or her parents. However, for a minor to join the military in the first place, the approval of the parents is required. In this sense, it is a sort of transfer of responsibility, from parent to government.


Like military service, a minor becoming married makes parental responsibility impractical. Also like military service, a marriage requires the guardian to agree to the minor getting married. The duty of a minor to obey his or her parents is replaced by the minor's obligation to support his or her spouse.


The third common reason for the emancipation of a minor is continued domestic abuse. Repeated abuse form a parent is usually grounds for emancipation if the child is supporting himself or herself. If the child is too young for this, he or she is usually remanded into the custody of the state. The decision of a court to allow a child emancipation due to abuse is very dependent on the circumstances of the case. If you believe you have a right to emancipation, it can help to discuss your case with a family lawyer before proceeding.

Filing for Emancipation

The laws regarding how a minor obtains emancipation vary by state, although there is plenty of common ground. The minor must file a petition with the court, which usually requires proving an adequate reason for seeking independence. The filer must also prove economic independence. Finally, except in cases of abuse, the minor must prove parental consent.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Revocation Of Power Of Attorney

Revocation of power of attorney is when there is a legal document that says that the person is revoking the power they gave to another person or organization. The power is being withdrawn and the person or organization will no longer be the agent or attorney-in-fact for the person.

Any important document should be in writing and when revoking the power from an agent or attorney-in-fact this still holds true. Making sure that the revocation is in writing means that a person has proof that the power has been removed. This means that they are protected, as well as their interests too. Since a power of attorney form is very powerful and holds a lot of weight, in many areas of a person's life, it is important that there is the written revocation so that there are no questions about the person's intentions, wants or desires.

The good part of revocation is that no reason needs to be given when revoking the power from a person or organization. If the person is considered legally competent to make their own decisions, they understand their decisions and can make them themselves, the power of attorney can simply be revoked with no questions asked.

There is some basic information that needs to be completed on the legal form, such as the person's name and address and the name and address of the person that will have the power revoked from them. It will also need the date when the revocation goes into effect. However, reasons do not have to be listed and the person does not have to tell anyone why the revocation is taking place. The person that granted it can just as quickly and easily revoke it.

The revocation document will need to be notarized and signed in front of a Notary Public. After the notarization has taken place and it is signed, then a copy goes to the person or organization that had the power. It is given to the agent and the agent must give back any power of attorney forms that they have. They must return these to the person that is revoking the power of attorney. Copies of the revocation should be sent or showed to financial institutions and other businesses and dealings that the agent was handling.

If the power to buy and sell real property was given too, then it also needs to be recorded with the government, usually by going to the county property department. The power to sell real property is officially removed and the person that was acting as an agent no longer can have anything to do with the person's real property affairs that they were previously handling.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Understanding Conservatorships

As your parents age, many concerns and needs will arise. One of them being whether or not a conservatorship is appropriate. A conservatorship, also referred to as adult guardianship, is the process of having someone make the necessary medical and financial decisions for your loved one. There are many different things that go into qualifying the need for a conservatorship and establishing an appropriate conservator. Not everyone will need a conservatorship, but for someone who does not have a good Advance Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney in place, it can prove to be very helpful.

An Advance Health Care Directive is a document which lays out the medical wishes of the elder in case he or she becomes incapable of making those decisions. The Power of Attorney is document assigning a person to handle all financial decisions for the elder. There are two different types of conservatorships which can fill in the missing pieces - conservator of the person, and conservator of the estate.

The conservator of the person handles the medical and personal decisions, while the conservator of the estate handles the finances. It is ideal for the conservator of the person to be a relative, and the conservator of the estate should have experience of handled finances, especially if the estate in question is immense or complex. In some cases both aspects may be handled by one person.

There are two things that need to occur for a conservatorship to be considered. First, the elder in question must be physically or mentally incapable of making major decisions. Second, they must not have adequate legal documents stating their preferred personal and financial decisions. Here are some examples:

They do not have a Power of Attorney for their finances.
They do not have a medical directive or a living will.
Even if they do have a medical directive, there may be particular health matters which need to be decided upon and were not mentioned in the directive.
Even if they have a Power of Attorney for both their medical and financial decisions, they may still need help with personal decisions, such as where to live, etc.
In order to start the process for establishing conservatorship, legal documents must be filed which clearly state the physical and mental condition of the elder in question and why they are incapable of making decisions on their own. Family members and the elder in question must be given time to file their own papers stating whether they support or contest the conservatorship.

Many times relatives involved disagree on who is the appropriate person to carry out the conservatorship. It is advisable to discuss it together, including the elder in question, and come to an agreement before starting the process. This will save much time and money. Also, whoever the agreed upon conservator is should be aware that it is a very time-consuming and even stressful responsibility. The conservator may handle everyday care, how to spend assets on long-term care, deal with Medicare, doctors, insurance, and all other financial, medical, and personal decisions for the elder in need.

In some cases, it can be difficult to determine whether or not there is a diminished capacity of the elder to make decisions. For some, they experience physical or mental limitations, but are not completely incapable of making decisions for themselves. When this happens, a judge may either appoint a court counsellor to talk with the elder, or may speak with them himself.

The judge will weigh all the options, read reports from doctors and family members, ask the elder if they understand the court proceedings, whether or not they even want a conservator, and whether they feel capable of making decisions. After this, the judge may appoint a lawyer to represent the elder during the court proceedings. Otherwise, the judge may appoint a conservator but limit their authority. If this happens, further court hearings may be required to receive the judge's approval on certain decisions.

If you feel that your loved one is loosing their capacity to make decisions, do your homework and discuss options and ideas with other involved relatives to reach a uniform agreement. This will help you save precious time and money before you start the legal process to establish a conservator for your loved one. To find an experienced attorney to help you in these matters, get in touch with the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) for a referral to one in your area.

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If you need help filling out paperwork for a conservatorship let By The People of Fairfield help. We have helped thousands of people in the Solano County Area since 2004. We have assisted people in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters, and we can help you, too! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Various Types of Promissory Notes

Promissory notes are used as a document to record the details of the loan transactions between two or more individuals. The documentation promises that the money borrowed will be paid back to the lender within a specified time. These can be created at any time of the loan for ensuring the secure payments. Any kind of loans must be documented using this note, no matter whether the loan is a simple payment to be made for a family member or a friend. The note has legal validity by which the borrower is legally tied to keep the promise of payment as per the agreements in the note.

A well written document should contain the repayment terms, repayment amount and interest charged, maturity date and in case of non-payment what action should be taken. This documentation is considered as a good idea for record-keeping and payment of tax for loans taken between individuals. Once this document is signed by both the borrower and lender, the borrower is agreeing to the terms and conditions written in the document. The borrower should pay back the amount within the timescale showed in the note or else the lender can take legal action against the debtor. Based on the loan type, there are various types of promissory notes.

1. Commercial

This kind of note is documented according to the terms agreed by the lender and the debtor. In this case, the lender can legally take action against the debtor by acquiring the assets of the borrower as mentioned in the document, if the debtor cannot repay his/her loan. The lender can demand for immediate full payment after the maturity date and don't have to wait for long to obtain the money as installments from the person. Commercial promissory note includes strict conditions and some additional legal conditions.

2. Personal

In most of the cases, there will be only verbal agreement between family members or friends when you borrow money from them. But verbal agreement does not have legal approval in courts as you don't have any proof on the loan borrowed from you. A personal promissory note will provide good faith on the borrower and a security to the lender. You will get these notes from supply stores or can be downloaded. You should include the amount borrowed, terms and conditions for repayment, interest rate and what action to be taken if the money is not repaid.

3. Real Estate

This type of note will secure the loan borrowed by the debtor, but if she/he fails to do so, the lender has to pay the loan. So lender must include a mortgage for the loan given to the borrower which provides security to the lender when the borrower does not repay the loan.

4. Investment

These notes are used in businesses where the investors are the taking the risk of losing money. So the investment promissory note is making the borrower to repay the loan disregarding the success of the company. In this case, the note is functioning as a currency with legal value which can also be traded.

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