Monday, December 30, 2013

By The People FAQs

  • Are BY THE PEOPLE Personnel attorneys? No, we are not attorneys. We are Legal Document Assistants. In California, we are a licensed and bonded profession.
  • What if I need legal advise? You can always consult with an attorney of your choice. We can provide you with a referral for an excellent local attorney who specializes in cases similar to yours if you have questions we cannot answer for you, or your situation is more complicated than our services are meant to help with.
  • Do you have a Notary Public? Yes, whenever we are open we have a Notary Public on staff. If you are a BY THE PEOPLE customer, all Notarizations of your documents are included in our fees. If you have documents not prepared by BY THE PEOPLE, we charge $10.00 per signature you need notarized, in Cash Only. You must sign the document in our presence and provide valid photo identification.
  • Does BY THE PEOPLE handle Criminal Matters? No, we only handle uncontested civil matters. However, if you would like to contact us, we may be able to refer an excellent local attorney to you.
  • I need to have my documents prepared immediately. Do you have Rush or Same-Day document preparation services? Yes, we can prepare certain documents within a few hours, if necessary. Rush and Same-Day services are available for the following documents: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Deeds, LLC and Incorporation Articles. A modest Rush Fees will apply to these services.
  • How long will it take to prepare my documents? The documents we prepare at BY THE PEOPLE are typed specifically at your direction. All documents are then rigorously proofed to ensure you receive the highest quality legal documents available anywhere. Most of our documents are prepared and ready for you to sign within one week, depending on your situation. 
For more information please visit

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Divorce/Legal Seperation - By The People

BY THE PEOPLE can help with Uncontested Divorce or Legal Separation. For couples who can resolve their own asset and debt division and/or child issues, BY THE PEOPLE can prepare all of the necessary documents for you to obtain your divorce. We also do all of the filing and procedural work throughout the process.

Since we are a local company and file divorces every day, we can provide you with up to date information about filing fees and the local court systems. In California the minium time period for a divorce is 6 months from the date of service.

Legal Separation is the same process for the court and same documents needed.You will still need to address all of the same issues, the only difference is the end result. You will still be married, having dealt with all asset/debt division and child custody, visitation, support, and if you decide to go forward with a divorce, you will need to start over from the beginning.

Our fees to prepare all of your divorce or legal separation documents is $599.00 if there are minor children, or $499.00 if there are no minor children. The only other fee you will pay will be the filing fee for the court of $435.00. Our fee is due up front, and we accept cash, check or credit cards. The filing fee for the court is not due up front; it is due as soon as you are ready to file with the court. The paperwork is usually ready to file within a week of starting the process. The Court only accepts cash, check or money order for their fees.

When you are ready to get started with your divorce or legal separation at BY THE PEOPLE, you may make an appointment or come in as a walk-in to our office at 1371-C Oliver Road, Fairfield CA. We will have you fill out a worksheet that will give us the information we need about you, your spouse and the issues your need to address in your divorce. Most of our customer find it takes about 30 minutes to complete the necessary information in our worksheet. You may come in with your spouse or you may come in on your own to fill out the worksheet and begin the process. The choice is yours.

For more information, please visit

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Living Trusts/Wills - By The People

Living Trusts are a way for you to make sure that your estate goes to who you want it to go to, without having to go through the Delay, Agony and Expense of Probate.

We can assist with creating Single Living Trust for one person, or Joint Living Trusts for Married Couples.
Our Living Trust Package includes:
  • Articles of Trust
  • Wills
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • CA Advanced Health Care Directive
  • HIPAA Release 
Our fees are $499.00 for a Single Living Trust or $599.00 for a Joint Living Trust

For more information, please visit

Friday, December 27, 2013

Probate - By The People

If you are having to go through the Probate Process with the court, let BY THE PEOPLE help.

We may be able to assist you in representing yourself, by preparing the documents needed, filing the paperwork with the court, setting court dates, arranging for publication, and many other steps needed to complete the process.

Our fees are 1% of the value of the estate (up to $3,500.00). Any fees for the courts, probate referee, publication will be extra.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Incorporation/LLC - By The People

Let By The People help you set up your Corporation or LLC.

We will create your Company Articles, file them with the Secretary of State, and create an Organizational Kit for you, including: Sample Bylaws and Minutes, Seal, Shares, and Misc. Needed Forms.

Our fees are $399.00 plus filing fees:

INC - $115.00 and LLC - $85.00

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions About Wills, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney


The simplest way to ensure that your funds, property and personal effects will be distributed after your death according to your wishes is to prepare a will. A will is a legal document designating the transfer of your property and assets after you die. Usually, wills can be written by any person over the age of 18 who is mentally capable, commonly stated as "being of sound mind and body."


Although wills are simple to create, about half of all Americans die without one (or Intestate). Without a will to indicate your wishes, the court steps in and distributes your property according to the laws of your state. Wills are not just for the rich; the amount of property you have is irrelevant. A will ensures that what assets you do have will be given to family members or other beneficiaries you designate. If you have no apparent heirs and die without a will, it's even possible the state may claim your estate.

Having a will is especially important if you have young children because it gives you the opportunity to designate a guardian for them in the event of your death. Without a will, the court will appoint a guardian for your children who may be someone you do not even know.


What you generally need to make a will:

1) Your name and place of residence;

2) Names and addresses of spouse, children and other beneficiaries, such as charities or friends;

3) Alternate beneficiaries, in the event a beneficiary dies before you do;

4) Name and address of an Executor/ Executrix to manage your estate;

5) Name and address of an alternative Executor/Executrix, in the event your first choice is unable or unwilling to act;

6) Name and address of a guardian for your minor children;

7) Name and address of an alternative guardian, in the event your first choice is unable or unwilling to act;

8) The age you wish your minor children to have control of their inheritance;

9) Any burial requests you may have (cremation, where you want to be buried, etc.);

10) Your signature;

11) Two Witnesses' signatures; and

12) Notarization.

Two of the most important items included in your will are naming a guardian for minor children and naming an Executor/ Executrix.


In most cases, a surviving parent assumes the role of sole guardian. However, it's important to name a guardian for minor children in your will in case neither you nor your spouse is able and willing to act. The guardian you choose should be over 18 and willing to assume the responsibility. Talk to the person ahead of time about what you are asking. You can name a couple as co-guardians, but that may not be advisable. It's always possible the guardians may choose to go their separate ways at some later date, and, if so, a custody battle could ensue. If you do not name a guardian to care for your children, a judge will appoint one, and it may not be someone you would have chosen.


An Executor/Executrix is the person who oversees the distribution of your assets in accordance with your will. Most people choose their spouse, an adult child, a relative, or a friend to fulfill this duty.

If no Executor/Executrix is named in a will, a Probate Judge will appoint one. Probate refers to the legal procedure for the orderly distribution of property in a person's estate. The Executor/Executrix files the will in probate court, where a Judge decides if the will is valid. If it is found to be valid, assets are distributed according to the will. If the will is found to be invalid, assets are distributed in accordance with state laws.

Responsibilities usually undertaken by an Executor/Executrix include:

--Paying valid creditors;

--Paying taxes;

--Notifying Social Security and other agencies and companies of your death;

--Canceling credit cards, magazine subscriptions, etc.; and

--Distributing assets according to the will.


You'll probably need to update your will several times during the course of your life. For example, a change in marital status, the birth of a child or a move to a new state should all prompt a review of your will. You can update your will by amending it by way of a Codicil or by drawing up a new one. Generally, people choose to issue a new will that supersedes the old document. Be sure to destroy the old will after you sign a new one.


The property included in your will may be subject to taxation. In planning your will, take into account the following:

---Federal estate taxes will generally be due if the net taxable estate is worth more than $1,000,000. This amount is scheduled to gradually increase from $1,000,000 in 2002/2003 to $3,500,000 in 2009 so that it will eventually shield $3,500,000 in gift or estate transfers from tax per taxpayer. Estates in excess of the exempt amount can be taxed at a rate from 37% to 50% (the top percentage is scheduled to gradually decrease to 45% in 2009). Also, note that these estate tax changes are scheduled to be repealed in 2010. If not extended, the tax law will revert to the estate and gift tax provisions in affect in 2001. Consult a tax or financial professional to determine a plan that is right for you and your family.

---State death or inheritance taxes

---Federal income taxes

---State income taxes

You may be able to minimize your estate tax by establishing a trust or giving gifts during your lifetime. You can also cover the cost of estate taxes by purchasing a life insurance policy intended to pay taxes. Talk to your life insurance agent to find out more about how this works.


Once your will is written, store it in a safe place that is accessible to others after your death. I suggest that you keep it in a fire proof box that you can purchase at any office supply store. I do not suggest that you keep your will in a safe deposit box because many states will seal your safe deposit box upon your death. Make sure a close friend or relative knows where to find your will.


A living will is not a part of your will. It is a separate document that lets your family members know what type of care you do or don't want to receive should you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. It becomes effective only when you cannot express your wishes yourself. Discuss your wishes as reflected in your living will with family members, and be sure all your doctors have a signed copy.


A power of attorney for health care (health care proxy) is not a part of your will. It is a separate document that authorizes someone you name to act in accordance with your medical intentions. It becomes effective only when you cannot express your wishes yourself. You should make sure that all your doctors have a signed copy.


A financial durable power of attorney is not a part of your will. It is a separate document that authorizes someone you name to act in accordance with your financial intentions. It becomes effective only when you cannot express your wishes yourself. You should make sure that all your financial professionals (stockbrokers, accountants, financial planners) and banks have a signed copy.


The end of your life is something you probably don't want to dwell on, but thinking about what will happen to your loved ones and your assets and personal possessions is important. Making sure you've done all you can to make their lives easier will give you peace of mind. And once your will is drafted, you won't have to think about it again unless something significant in your life changes.

Sheri R. Abrams is an Attorney in Fairfax, VA. Her practice is limited to the areas of Social Security Disability Law and the preparation of wills, living wills, health and financial powers of attorney. Ms. Abrams is a graduate of Boston University's School of Management and the George Washington University School of Law. Ms. Abrams is rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell. More information can be found at

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Business Laws : Forming an LLC

Forming a LLC, or limited liability company, requires contacting the Small Business Administration to find out what type of licenses and registrations are needed to be filed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

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.

This article was written by Roger Brent Hatcher, an attorney at Smith, Gilliam, Williams & Miles, a leading Atlanta Law Firm since 1928.
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Do You Need a Registered Agent When You Form an LLC or Corporation?

When you're busy planning the formation of an LLC or corporation, its easy to overlook some details, even the important ones. Every corporation or LLC must have an agent who is designated to receive official correspondence and notice in case of lawsuit.

Registered agents are also known as resident agents or statutory agents, and they serve an important role in your company.

In most states, the resident agent must be either an adult living in the state of formation with a street address, or a corporation or LLC with a business office in the state that provides registered agent services. If you form an LLC or incorporate in your home state, any officer or director, or manager or member in the case of an LLC, may act as the resident agent. Having a third party act as the statutory agent comes with some advantages, however, including increased privacy and reducing the risk that you will be surprised at home with court papers for a lawsuit.

Doing Business in Another State

So, what happens after you incorporate in Delaware, for example, and then decide to start doing business in New Jersey? At this point, you will need registered agent service in the new state. The agent's address can also be where the state send annual reports, tax notices and notices for yearly renewals of the business's charter.

You will be required to maintain a resident agent in any state where your company does business, and the agent's office address and name must be included in the articles of incorporation giving public notice.

Finding a Statutory Agent

Most corporate service companies provide registered agent service, which includes forwarding any tax notices or official documents from the Secretary of State and the acceptance of legal service of process to forward to your company. Basic levels of service include a legitimate working office, compliance management, information shielding and document organization as well.

Agents, or statutory agents, serve an important role. After all, you will lose by default if you can't be served or the paperwork isn't passed to you properly, so a reliable registered agent is your first line of defense against opportunistic lawyers. It's usually best to choose someone else as your registered agent, as you don't want to be served in front of employees or customers in a working office, and a good agent will protect your personal information from appearing online.

Christine Layton writes for USA Corporate Services, a business service company specializing in helping business owners incorporate or form an LLC and decide which of the types of companies is best for their business.
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

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.

Looking for a duilawyer in Virginia Beach? At Swango Law, we aim to provide aggressive DUI defense in Virginia Beach and Surrounding Areas.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Is a Power of Attorney? | Financial Terms

Learn what a Power of Attorney means in this Howcast personal finance video with expert Gregory McGraime.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

About By The People

Rene & Tammy Bojorquez

BY THE PEOPLE of Fairfield has 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 as 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, December 16, 2013

Aging, Communication, and Preparation

Making plans for retirement is clearly one of the highlights of your life. From the time you get out of college and enter the workforce most of your time is accounted for, and over those years there are invariably going to be many experiences that make their way onto your "to-do" list. The day that you retire is the day that you start to check things off that list, and your life experience in enriched with every mark.

We often talk about the fact that one of the challenges that is inherently part of any type of long-term planning is the fact that you can't predict the future with any degree of certainty. This is true of financial markets, laws, our own health and that of our loved ones. All of these things impact retirement planning, but there is another factor that can be difficult to fully digest.

Your mental capacity may not be the same as your retirement years pass. When you are planning for retirement it is very important to be realistic and keep this in mind. What happens if you need long-term care? What if you never made your medical preferences known via the execution of advance health care directives? You don't want to start considering these matters for the first time when you are in the latter stages of your life.

It may be a good idea to plan for your twilight years simultaneous to making plans for an active retirement both emotionally and financially. Bringing the issues of long-term care and possible incapacitation out in the open with your family long before they are directly relevant is also something to consider. Successful people generally confront reality and stay ahead of the curve. If you follow the same path that brought you success throughout your life you will invariably age just as successfully.

Alan L. Augulis is a leading provider of expert estate planning guidance in Warren, NJ. For more information on retirement plan and other estate planning services, visit our website.
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Avoid a Guardianship

Are you aware that you could become mentally disabled at any time during life? If you do become disabled without a proper plan in place, a judge will create a guardianship. A guardianship occurs when a court of law decides you are mentally incapacitated and names a person to make legal decisions for you.

Disadvantages of a Guardianship

If a court of law appoints someone to make court-supervised decisions for you, you will have no say in which person that may be. What if the person chosen is not someone you would wish to control your assets and medical care? Your guardian will most likely be a family member, but wouldn't it be nice if you had a say in the decision and could choose the loved one you feel would do the best job?

Three Legal Documents to Use

The best way to avoid a guardianship is to have a disability plan in place to cover your medical and financial needs. An Advanced Medical Directive or Medical Power of Attorney allow you to name a person that you feel can make sound medical decisions for you.

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA) allows you to plan for your financial needs. You can use this document even when you are not incapacitated. For example, a durable power of attorney may be used by your spouse to sign on your behalf anytime you are unavailable. If you wish to retain full control of your financial decisions, you can use a "springing" power of attorney instead. This type of POA will only allow your chosen financial agent to act if you become mentally disabled.

Another popular disability planning document is a Revocable Living Trust, which is also used for estate planning. With a Trust, you retain full control of your belongings while you are healthy and of sound mind. When you create your Trust agreement, you will name a successor trustee to take over if you become mentally disabled or die. While you are disabled, your successor trustee will manage your assets. When you die he or she will use your Trust to settle your estate. If you choose to use a Trust for disability planning, check with your attorney to ensure that it contains the proper wording to allow for a medical agent to step in if needed.

Augulis Law Firm is a leading provider of expert estate planning guidance in Warren, NJ. For more information on guardianship and other estate planning services, visit our website.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Intestacy: Dying Without A Will

There are people who assume that they really don't need to take the time to draw up a will or engage in any other form of estate planning, and their reasons for feeling this way varied. One very common assertion that many people make is that inheritance planning is unnecessary for them because they don't have significant assets to distribute.

Others aren't interested in estate planning because they feel as though they are too young to address the matter. Then there are those who recognize the value of wills, trusts, asset protection strategies, Medicaid planning, probate avoidance and the like who are procrastinators, never setting aside the time to actually sit down with an estate planning attorney to draw up a plan.

So people die without a will for a number of different reasons, but when they do, the results are rarely what the deceased would have wished upon his or her loved ones. When someone dies intestate, or without a will, the matter will fall into the hands of the probate court. The process of estate administration can be time consuming and often times difficult even when there is a will in place, but intestacy adds a layer of complexity to the matter.

The court will usually appoint someone to act as personal representative and this person would be charged with the responsibility of administering the estate. Assets would be distributed according to the succession laws of the state in which the proceeding is taking place. If the deceased owned real property in a different state, the laws of that state would hold sway in terms of who inherits that piece of real property.

Anyone who dies without a will is invariably making things quite a bit harder on their loved ones due to the realities of intestacy laws. And even if you are young, accidents do happen. If you don't have a lot of assets to distribute, just about everyone has possession that have sentimental value at the very least. Investing the time it takes to draw up a will is well worth the effort, and it is in a very real sense a responsibility that each one of us has to our loved ones.

Alan L. Augulis is a leading provider of expert estate planning guidance in Warren, NJ. For more information on intestacy and other estate planning services, visit our website.
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Advance Directives And End Of Life Expenses

Few if anyone would disagree with the ethical premise that a society should do everything possible to make sick people well. But this ethos seems to have gotten confused with something entirely different: the practice of keeping dying people alive as long as possible without concern for their discomfort, loss of dignity, and financial ruin. When you look at the statistics surrounding the issue of end-of-life expenditures they are truly incredible. In 2008 Medicare alone paid out $50 billion to physicians and medical centers to cover costs associated with the last two months of the lives of dying individuals. To put this into perspective, this was more than the annual budget that was allotted to the Department of Education at that time.

It is estimated that between 18-20% of people who pass away each year do so in the intensive care units of hospitals, and the cost for each day in ICU can reach as much as $10,000. This is in spite of the fact that most people polled do not want to be kept alive through aggressive and intrusive medical procedures when there is no hope for recovery. 75% of American die in hospitals or nursing homes, and in 2010 the average cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home was around $83,000. More people are living longer these days as we all know, these costs are rising all the time, and we are already faced with a federal budget deficit that exceeds $1 trillion.

How you feel about being kept alive through feeding tubes and life support systems at the end of your life is a personal decision. You can state your wishes concerning the types of medical procedures you approve and disapprove of through the execution of a living will, and you can add a health care proxy to name someone to make decisions for you in the event of your incapacitation. It may be a good idea to come to terms with the line that exists between medical issues and end-of-life issues and decide how you would like to proceed from a fully informed and personally empowered perspective.

Alan L. Augulis is a leading provider of expert estate planning guidance in Warren, NJ. For more information on advance directives and other estate planning services, visit our website.
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Living Will - Why it is More Important and Its Pros and Cons

A Living will, quite often you must have come across this term. But how many of us know its usage, its importance, advantages and disadvantages? There are many articles written on this topic. One can go and find out information from various sources. This article mostly features the important factors of living will, the basic idea behind its making as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

As the name says "living will", from its name it suggests that it has got something to do with legal document. Yes, a living-will is a document in which an individual writes about his/her medical wishes and desires. This document is converted into a legal document and is used during the time when an individual will no longer be able to take any decision due to incapacity or illness. In other words, this term is explained as advance health care directive, advance directives or advance decision.

An individual who has made such kind of advance directives, appoints a person so that he can take any decisions on their behalf. This kind of will is an oldest form of "leaving instructions for medical treatment". In today's world, concept of making such kind medical wish or desire on a legal document is quite encouraged. This legal document is benefited while giving comprehensive guidance regarding an individual's care.

Writing a living will has to be very specific. Therefore, in some cases it restricts the use of various kinds of burdensome treatment. Individual can also express their wishes on how his food and water will be supplied, either via medical devices or tubes. An individual can also be more specific regarding the service that he expects with respect to pain relief or analgesia, antibiotics, feeding, usage of ventilators or antibiotics.

Disadvantages of advance directives:

• Main disadvantage of an advance decision is; there is no statute in New York governing such kind of living-wills. Advance will is valid as long as it states specific and convincing evidence.
• Drafting out an advance will is not an easy job. It requires specific instructions regarding all possible events in future. It is impossible for one to imagine what an individual would really want in the situations.
• In case an individual fails to make his advance will specific and clear, then there could be refusal of treatment.

Advantages of advance directives:

• The main advantage of living will is that it respects the human rights of a patient.
• Drafting an advance directive creates full discussion on medical treatment and services.
• It helps the medical professionals to decide what the patient wants.
• A patient's family or relatives will be free from taking difficult decisions.

Once you decide to create such kind of legal document, you should not get confused in between an advance directives and a trust. Role of a trust is to handle the property/assets of an individual after his/her death. Trust has got nothing to do with the medical care decisions. In response to increasing improvement in the field of medicine, concept of an advance directive was implemented.

Visit for more Annuity and Life Insurance Tips and Tricks.
Call Robert Eldridge directly at 800-643-7544.
Robert Eldridge holds over a decade of experience as a multiline agent in multiple states and currently serves on the membership council of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Does LLC Stand For?

Many ask the question of What Does LLC Stand For? They are usually looking for one of two answers: (i) what do the actual letters stand for and where did it come about; or (ii) what benefits and features does an LLC provide?

LLC Stands for Limited Liability Company

The LLC is a creature of state laws. In 1977, Wyoming was the first state to enact a law that gave birth to a limited liability company. Since then, every state in the United States has passed a set of laws which allow for a legal entity called a limited liability company to be created under the law.

The main reason the LLC was born is because small business owners needed a legal entity that was more catered form them as compared to the corporation entity which was more suitable for larger businesses.

Lawmakers want to encourage small business as it drives our economy and creates jobs. Accordingly, what the LLC provides is a legal entity which provides benefits that are specifically tailored for the small business owner but also has the flexibility to accommodate larger businesses as well.


The LLC provides business owners with a shield of protection. Owners are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. In addition, this type of legal entity offers a single layer of taxation which minimizes taxes for owners and even allows active members to take a deduction against other income if the business generates losses.

The benefits do not end with protection and taxes. The limited liability company also allows flexibility for business owners to tailor who they want their business to operate and be managed. You are not forced to fit into a one size fits all governance structure.

Business owners want to spend their time building their business and not maintaining legal entities or having to keep up with legal compliance requirements. LLC laws were specifically designed to make the use of this vehicle easy. There are minimal requirements to form and maintain a limited liability company.

Another benefit is that the use of a legal entity for a business conveys a more professional and official image. Customers see that the business is a limited liability company and know that the owners of the business engaged in some serious business planning. This is great for getting more business.

So, when one asks what does LLC stand for, the answer is that it stands for the most popular legal entity vehicle for small business. For the low cost to form one, a business owner gets tremendous benefits and advantages.

For a FREE LLC GUIDE and to learn more about the Limited Liability Company, visit The Learning Center and our comprehensive LLC KnowledgeBase at
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Estate Planning : The Probate Process Explained

The probate process can be a headache when estates are not planned well. Uncover the probate process with an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Estate Planning : When Does the Trust Stay Private?

Often revocable living trusts can help heirs avoid probate court, and affairs can remain private. Find out when a trust stays private from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Legal Questions : How Does a Living Trust Work?

The idea of a living trust is that, while a person is still alive, they transfer their assets into a trust document that administers the assets. Avoid probate through a living trust with help from a certified civil mediator in this free video on law and legal questions.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Estate Planning : Do You Always Have to Probate a Will?

If the deceased has assets with deeds, a will most likely will not avoid probate. Strengthen your understanding of probate court with an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Estate Planning : What Is Made Public in a Probate?

Many probate courts place entire wills and asset lists in public record or make them available online. Learn about what goes public in probate from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Can You Afford Effective Estate Planning?

"Can I Afford Effective Estate Planning?"

That's Really Not the Right Question.

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

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

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

Would you leave your home uninsured?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Probate Expense - If your estate goes through Probate, then your family will pay a much higher cost to administer your estate. The attorney fee to pay in Probate is calculated as a percentage of your assets, starting as high as 4.5%. For example, in Lucas County, the attorney fee for probating a $400,000 estate (gross value) would be $15,000. With the right planning, that cost could be significantly reduced, resulting in savings of up to $11,000!
  • Creditors or Long Term Care Spend Down. If you're concerned about the potential for losing your savings to a nursing home, and if long term care insurance is not an option for you, then the right kind of estate planning can help protect a large portion of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones.
Whether or not your current estate planning is appropriate for your current needs and goals is something you need to be concerned about. In our office, we offer a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation. We meet with you to determine whether your current planning is appropriate for your needs and goals, and make recommendations for any changes that may be required.
Call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys, or visit our website ( to learn more about our services and how effective estate planning can benefit you and your loved ones.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Probate Law 101

Probate law is a legal process that no one ever wants to deal with. When someone who has a valid will passes away an administrative process goes into effect which determines how the individual's property and belongings (termed their estate) will be handled. The process of this is great to know as both the person who is writing the will and the people who will be involved in the process should the unthinkable happen so that everything is understood and further pain is avoided. Estate planning is a lot better than no estate planning at all where motives have historically been influenced by relationships between friends and family and the value of the estate.

What is probate?

The term probate can be used in a variety of related ways. However the most common context is known as the process that occurs within the legal system administering your estate after someone has deceased. Each person listed on the will, must apply for a grant of Probate.

What if I have no will?

The Probate Law will only take effect when a valid will has been written by the deceased person. If the deceased does not have a recognized will, then the probate is invalid and an administrator needs to be made official (generally the next of kin). This process can be complicated and takes a lot longer than if a will was written.

What is included in an estate?

The probate lawfully considers an estate to be all assets that are owned fully or partially by the deceased. This includes future pay checks from work before passing, household goods, property and anything else that ownership can be determined by various forms of legal documents. All of the above can be probated by a local Probate Council except for real estate. Probate law for real estate is under the jurisdiction that the property is located. If someone wants to contest the ownership of any part of the estate, they must go through the appropriate legal channels.

Getting the process started?

If someone has deceased, their will is not official until it has been submitted for probate. Therefore when estate planning, you will need to tell someone where they can locate your will if required. Although there are some parts of the probate court procedures that are informal, there are severe penalties if the will is not produced within a certain time, is concealed or destroyed.

Estate planning is not enjoyable to think about. However, by doing so you do make things clearer for those who are mentioned in your will. The probate law may seem like a nuisance given the circumstances that the law is applied however is required though to keep everyone in check. It also simplifies the process as there have been situations where assets of the deceased are fought over for years resulting in ongoing pain for all parties involved. Ultimately, who do you want to go through your underwear draw?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Estate Planning : Must an Executor Notify a Beneficiary?

In some states, according to estate law, executors do not have to notify beneficiaries of wills. Find out when an executor must notify a beneficiary from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Estate Planning : Difference Between Will & Living Trust

A living trust can help beneficiaries and families avoid probate more so than a will. Find out the difference between a will and a living trust from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful day enjoying food, family and friends

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Estate Planning : Purpose of a Living Will

A living will, or advance directive, gives a named person the ability to 'pull the plug' in some medical instances. Learn the purpose of a living will from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Estate Planning Eases Confusion, Financial Worries

What you need to know about estate planning, including why having a will and assigning a power of attorney is crucial.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Estate Planning : The Purpose of an Irrevocable Living Trust

Irrevocable living trusts are rare and mainly used to keep the IRS from taxing the death benefit of a life insurance policy. Learn the purpose of an irrevocable living trust from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Estate Planning : What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

Revocable living trusts are 98 percent of living trusts; they help avoid probate and allow others to use money to take care of the trust maker. Find out what an irrevocable living trust is from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Estate Planning : What Is an Heir Apparent?

An heir apparent is the heir who is assumed to receive the deceased's property before the will is read. Find out what an heir apparent is from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

How to Properly Use a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person to act on behalf of another in the legal or business dealings of the person authorizing the other. This type of document has a lot of relevance when, for example, somebody needs to execute some business or legal matter but is unable to do so for whatever reason. In the absence of the person, another person may be authorized to execute the matter through use of a power of attorney, which in common law systems or in civil law systems, authorizes another person to act on behalf of the person so authorizing the other. The person authorizing is known as the "principal" and the person authorized is called the "agent". The agent may, on behalf of the principal, do such lawful acts such as signing the principal's name on documents.

An agent is a fiduciary for the principal and, as this is an important relationship between principal and agent, the law requires that the agent be a person of impeccable integrity who shall always act honestly and in the best interests of the principal. In case a contract exists between the agent and the principal for remuneration or other form of monetary payment being made to the agent, such contract may be separate and in writing to that effect. However, the power of attorney may also be verbal, though many an institution, bank, hospital as well as the Internal Revenue Service of the USA requires a written power of attorney to be submitted by the agent before it is honored.

The "Equal Dignity Rule" is the principle of law that has the same requirements of the agent as it does to the principal. Suppose that the agent has a power of attorney that authorizes him or her to sign the sales deed of the principal's house and that such sales deed should be notarized by law. The power of attorney does not absolve the agent from the necessity of having the sales deed notarized. His or her signature to the sales deed must also be notarized.

There are two types of powers of attorney. One is the "special power of attorney" and the other, "limited power of attorney." The power of attorney may be specific to some special instance or it may be general and encompasses whatever the court specifies to be its scope. The document will lapse when the grantor (principal) dies. In case the principal should become incapacitated due to some physical or mental illness, his power of attorney will be revoked, under the common law. There is an exception. In case the principal had in the document specifically stated that the agent may continue to act on his behalf even if the principal became incapacitated, then the power of attorney would continue to enjoy legal sanction.

In some of the States in the USA, there is a "springing power of attorney" which kicks in only in case the grantor (principal) becomes incapacitated or some future act or circumstance occurs. Unless the agreement has been made irrevocable, the agreement may be revoked by the principal by informing the agent that he is revoking the power of attorney.

Making use of standardized power of attorney forms helps in framing a legally sound and mutually beneficial relationship for principal and agent. With the ease of use and ready availability of such forms, it is highly recommended that they be utilized when thinking of granting a power of attorney to someone. However, care should be taken not to let unscrupulous persons defraud innocent persons such as the elderly through ill-conceived agreements.

Wade Anderson is a CPA and operates
Click to view a Power of Attorney Form

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Overlooking a Health Care Power of Attorney Can Be Costly

A very important estate planning tool that is not given the same attention as a Durable General Power of Attorney is the Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA). A HCPOA is a document that gives someone you trust the ability to make your medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. Once drafted, signed and witnessed, the patient advocate (person appointed) appointed is essentially filling the shoes of the principal (person signing the document) with respect to all health care decisions; thus, physicians are expected to respect and abide by their decisions as if they were being made by the principal individual himself.

Appointing someone to act as your HCPOA plays a significant role for not just the principal, but also for the patient advocate. Without a properly drafted HCPOA, and in the event you have a loved one (e.g. spouse) in the unfortunate situation of being admitted into the hospital, you would have no authority to make medical decisions on your spouse's behalf. The proper procedure would be to file a petition with the court and be appointed as their Guardian/Conservator. This process can be time consuming and even costly.

When drafting your personal HCPOA document there is a particular section that deserves close attention. In the event you are in a persistent vegetative state or an irreversible coma, you will have to select who it is that you want to weigh the burden of your treatment versus the benefit. The three choices are: (1) Allowing your patient advocate to decide whether the burden of treatment outweighs the benefit; and based on that decision, your patient advocate has the authority to stop further treatment; (2) Allow the doctor to reasonably conclude that the burden of treatment outweighs the benefit; and based on the doctor's decision, the doctor will decide whether to stop further treatment; and (3) Allow you to live as long as possible regardless of the burden and cost of treatment.

These are three important choices that need to be carefully addressed. By making such a decision it allows your patient advocate to know beforehand that they are responsible for your medical treatment. Through careful planning and by appointing a trustworthy patient advocate, it can bring significant ease to your personal estate. It is advised to appoint someone who is close to you and who knows your wishes, whether religious or personal, as that person can then make the proper decisions with your specific intent in mind.

Rather than going through the stress of probate, a HCPOA is the simple document that can protect your wishes as the principal and provide your patient advocate with the convenience that they would not otherwise have.

Adil Daudi is an Attorney at Joseph, Kroll & Yagalla, P.C., focusing primarily on Estate Planning, Shariah Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business Litigation, Corporate Formations, Physician Contracts, and Family Law. To contact him for any questions related to this article or other areas of law, he can be reached at or (517) 381-2663.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

California DUI Expungement - Expunge Your Record and Move on With Your Life

Having a DUI arrest or conviction record can tarnish your reputation and make it difficult for you to get a job, loan, college, military etc. Fortunately, California State allows you to expunge your DUI record thereby, helping you to leave behind your past crimes and move on with your life. However to obtain DUI expungement in California you must meet certain requirements. Also, your expungement is not guaranteed even after it's ordered.

Can your case be expunged?

Under California law, your case can be expunged if you meet the following requirements:

1. if you fulfilled the conditions of probation.

2. if you are not presently serving a sentence or on probation for any other crime.

3. if you are not presently charged for any other crime.

Also other factors are considered before granting an expungement such as whether you are a minor or an adult at the time of your conviction, whether you are charged for misdemeanor or felony, and whether or not you were sentenced to a state prison. If you meet such requirements your case will be expunged.

What happens when the expungement is granted?

Under California law, expunging means withdrawal of plea of guilty or no contest and entering a plea of not guilty or setting aside the judgment if you are found guilty in the trial. Once granted, you are thereafter, relieved from all the consequences resulting from a DUI violation, though with some exceptions.

Your life after expunging DUI record:

Job Applications:

As per the California law, when applying for a private job you can firmly answer "no" to the question "have you ever been convicted of a crime?" in the application form. Also, your DUI record will not show up when conducting a background check.

But expungement does not serve its purpose when you apply for a government job. Your DUI convictions will be revealed as expunged. It's not very helpful though. Also, your expunged records are seen as a prior conviction, meaning, it can be used for enhancing the penalties of your future DUI conviction in case you commit any.

Expunge your DUI record "completely" with the help of DUI Process Manual. It offers little-known strategies to clear your DUI record completely and pass employment background checks in a step-by-step approach. Visit my site for free DUI strategies report and DUI Process Manual review and take action to clear DUI record [].
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes

Just as we discussed last month regarding Medicaid planning, there is also a lot of misinformation that exists in the area of estate planning. Nearly every day someone will tell us for example, that they heard that if you have a will "there is no probate". Unfortunately, this type of erroneous information is often passed on as helpful estate planning advice. Clients frequently learn the hard way that relying on such advice can cost them thousands of dollars. In an effort to help educate and prevent others from making these all too common mistakes, we have complied our list of the top 10 estate planning mistakes.

1. Procrastination.

Most everyone is at least aware that it is important to have an estate plan. Far too often however, they procrastinate doing anything about it. Don't let this happen to you.

2. Not having a will.

The majority of people do not even have a basic will. A will is essential in nominating who will be responsible for administering your estate and to whom your estate will be distributed to after your death.

3. Not Having Powers of Attorney.

Planning for death is only part of estate planning. In addition to a will, it is extremely important to have a durable power of attorney for your finances and a health care power of attorney for medical related decisions.

4. Failing to recognize a will won't avoid probate.

Assets in a decedent's name only will not avoid probate even if there is a will.

5. Failing to consider a trust.

Too many people mistakenly believe a trust is only for the wealthy. They also fail to understand how expensive and time consuming probate can be. A trust often can save your family time and money if you become disabled or upon your death.

6. Failing to properly fund a trust.

For those persons who decide that a trust is right for them, simply signing the trust is only part of the process of having a trust. Assets such as a home or other real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc., must be re-titled into the name of the trust in order to avoid probate.

7. Doing it yourself.

While everyone loves to save money, the old adage that you "get what you paid for" is particularly true in estate planning. If your estate and loved ones are important to you, it is strongly recommended that you do not attempt to plan your estate on your own.

8. Putting children's names on assets.

Adding children's names to bank accounts, real estate or other assets is often the surest way to create problems after your death.

9. Incorrectly naming beneficiaries.

A good estate plan must also take into account those assets that have a beneficiary, such as life insurance, annuity, IRA or 401K. The failure to correctly name primary and secondary beneficiaries will undermine even a well drafted will or trust.

10. Failing to periodically review your estate plan.

A will or trust drafted years ago may not be appropriate today. As circumstances or laws change, it is recommended that your plan be reviewed by an elder law attorney.

Brett Howell, the founder of the Elder and Estate Planning Law Firm, specializes in helping Michigan families protect their estates. Contact our office for a confidential consultation to discuss your concerns with Brett - you will be glad (and relieved) you did. Contact Brett by calling the Elder and Estate Planning Law Firm at (810) 953-3846 or visit his website for more information.
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Estate Planning Glossary

Estate: Essentially includes everything you own. This includes life insurance, business interests, personal property, real estate and retirement plans. The "value" of your estate is determined by the "fair market value" of the assets.

Probate: The public, court controlled, legal process for changing title to assets for people who have died. Since deceased persons are legally incapable of transferring property, the probate court provides the process for transferring a decedent's property. Owning property in more than one state will require multiple probates.

Will: A legal document that advises the probate court about a decedent's wishes for distribution of their assets. A will is only effective after the person's death.

Will Substitutes: Certain forms of ownership that transfer property automatically on death. The most common will substitutes are beneficiary designations and joint tenancy. Will substitutes can cause unforeseen results and consequences.

Trust: A legal document that provides instructions to a personal trustee on how to manage and distribute the estate. A Living Trust is established during the person's lifetime and is usually revocable and amendable. A properly funded trust avoids probate and can provide instructions for management of the estate in the event of death or incapacity. A Testamentary Trust is established as a part of a will, but like a will, is only effective on death and must also be probated. Special kinds of trusts can be used to provide for disabled children or grandchildren, called a special needs trust. Also, certain irrevocable trusts can help protect assets from nursing home expenses.

When you create a trust, you (Trustmaker) transfer your property into the name of the trust, to be managed by you or someone else that you choose (Trustee) for the benefit of yourself or someone else (Beneficiary). In a Living Trust you are generally the Trustmaker, Trustee and Beneficiary so that you retain total management and control over your assets. However, at the time of your death, if the trust is then the owner of everything in the estate, there is nothing to probate and that process is avoided. Your Successor Trustee simply follows your instructions for further managing and distributing your estate. A revocable Living Trust does not require any special or additional tax filings, and can generally be revoked or amended at any time.

Guardianship: A guardianship is a legal relationship in which the probate court gives a person (the guardian) the power to make personal decisions (i.e. medical decisions) for another (the incapacitated person). If the judge determines that the person does not have the mental capacity to care for his or her own needs, the judge will appoint a guardian. Unless limited by the court, the guardian generally has the same rights, powers and duties over the person that parents have over their minor children.

Conservatorship: A conservatorship is a legal relationship in which the probate court gives a person (the conservator) the power to make financial decisions for another (the protected person). The court proceedings are similar to those of a guardianship except the judge is determining whether the individual has the capacity to manage his or her financial affairs. If the individual is determined not to have the necessary mental capacity, the court will appoint a conservator to make financial decisions for the individual. Once appointed, the conservator must file an accounting each year documenting all of the income and expenses generated on behalf of the protected person.

Brett Howell, the founder of the Elder and Estate Planning Law Firm, specializes in helping Michigan families protect their estates. Contact our office for a confidential consultation to discuss your concerns with Brett - you will be glad (and relieved) you did. Contact Brett by calling the Elder and Estate Planning Law Firm at (810) 953-3846 or visit his website for more information.
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Reasons to Start an LLC Business

There are various resources that tell you how to start an LLC business. But, there is a big difference between knowing and actually doing the right thing. When you start an LLC business, it is important to have a good grasp of why you are doing it. More than knowing how to start the business, you have to find reason in why you are getting into business in the first place. Here are some of the reasons that could motivate you in starting your own LLC:

- To make money out of something that you enjoy doing

Locals enjoy doing several things, but not everyone could profit from what they do. If gardening in the backyard, for example, is a passion, you might want to think about selling your harvest. You can always turn your hobby into a small business and generate income from something you love doing. As they say, if you enjoy what you are doing, it would not feel like you are working. You can start an LLC business that you can operate from your own home with your relatives and perhaps a small group of friends as your members.

- To get a slice of the pie

Recent years saw a surge in products marketed based on health benefits. The green revolution has begun and this puts at an advantage being an agricultural state. If other companies can sell health-based products, so can you. Identifying a niche that has not been saturated yet will give you a bigger chance of getting a bigger share of the pie so to speak. This goal is enough to sustain your interest even after you start an LLC business.

- To help the community

Did not earn the nickname "The Volunteer State" for nothing. This sense of community can be a source of profits as well. You can hit two birds with one stone when you start an LLC business: you get to help your community and you earn profits in the process. You can think about employing people from your community too as a way of helping ease the unemployment rate in your locality. On a more personal note, you will be helping the people you employ put food on the table and send their kids to school.

- To be your own boss

This sounds cliché but it is true. Most folks would love a life of self-sufficiency and without having to be at the beck and call of someone else out of fear of losing a job. It's also the best way to regain whatever self-confidence you may have lost at the expense of some power-trippers.

- To have a source of income because the day job is not enough

Those who are employed do not necessarily get enough money to support all their family's needs. Some have even taken pay cuts just to stay employed. With a business, they can augment their incomes to bring home more earnings. Putting up a small business like an LLC will give these people another source of income stream that they can use to provide their family's needs.

When you are clear about why you want to start an LLC business, it is easier for you to stay on track towards your business goals. All your action plans will have to revolve around your motivation for doing business.

If you are looking for information on start an LLC business in Tennessee, click on the link. Or you can visit
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

HIPAA Authorization As Part of an Estate Plan

You may think that an adequate estate plan consists of a will or living trust coupled with a durable power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney and living will. There is now an additional estate planning document that you may need to have for a more complete plan. This additional document is what is known as a HIPAA Authorization and could make a big difference in the quality of care that you receive.

All of these forms may sound confusing in their name and actual purpose, but HIPPA is an abbreviation for an act of Congress concerning health care records. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act. HIPAA was enacted by Congress to increase medical privacy for individuals. there was a concern that medical records were too easy to access and could fall into the hands of the wrong individuals. Once in the hands of these individuals the information could be used for wrongdoing to exploit the patients. Congress made the act to enhance the privacy of medical patients and severely restrict who could access a patients medical records. Every medical provider, whether it be a hospital, doctors office, or clinic must have written authorization to release medical records to anybody that is not the patient including a spouse or other family members.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recently imposed multimillion dollar penalties on medical providers that have violated the act. Healthcare providers have clamped down on who can access records to prevent liability and future payouts in lawsuits. So now it is more important than ever to plan for the act as part of an estate plan. This would come into play if you were to become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. An adequate estate plan must have a person in place to make medical decisions for you. The person you name must be able to access all of your medical records to be able to make the best health decisions for you. Most states have a Healthcare Power of Attorney form that includes a HIPAA release provision that allows the appointed agent access to medical records. This is so the agent will have access to all information that might be necessary to make a healthcare decision for a principal that is no longer able to speak for themselves. It also may be necessary to fill out a separate HIPAA release form for additional family members to have access to medical records that may not be a named agent under the Healthcare Power of Attorney. Healthcare providers can be more accepting to releasing medical records if they see a HIPPA release.

Evan Guthrie Law Firm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of South Carolina. The Evan Guthrie Law Firm practices in the areas of estate planning probate personal injury and divorce and family law. For further information visit his website at Evan Guthrie Law Firm 164 Market Street Suite 362 Charleston SC 29401 843-926-3813
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