Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Power Of Attorney For Military

Military power of attorney can help to ensure that money and other investments are handled properly while you are over seas and actively serving. Many times military power of attorney is necessary when there is incapacitation and decisions need to be made. This can also be important when there is over seas travel and an attorney is needed to make decisions for a business or other financial considerations.

A military power of attorney can be set fourth in the same way as a general power of attorney. The importance of a military agent is that because of the type of job that the military personal provide, in the event of their death, having an agent already assigned can make the process of the will go much smoother. It can mean less chance of problems arising with property and other finances too while over seas. An agent helps to ensure that the wishes are carried out as they have already determined. Having a will in place is important, however it can be misinterpreted as well and having an agent already selected that is to carry out specific tasks can make the process go a lot smoother.

The type of agent appointed can be specific or general. This will depend on what needs to be done and what needs to be handled. A specific power of attorney can only handle certain tasks that are set fourth within the document. Once those tasks are completed the agent appointment ends. While a general appointment can mean they can handle any situation that arises and there is not an end date, unless the person becomes incapacitated and can no longer make decisions. Than the appointment ends.

A military power of attorney will deal with the specific issues that deal with military personal, which usually includes over seas travel and the need to have affairs handled while away. No matter what type of power of attorney is chosen, the person or representative that is chosen should be someone that can be trusted and will have your best interest in mind. The more specific the appointment is, the better this can be, since there will be fewer misunderstandings and communications that can take place while away.

A military agent can handle business affairs, financial matters of all sorts, health care related issues, child care issues as well and anything else that a person would normally handle on their own in the first place.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6055631

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Positives and Negatives Of A Power Of Attorney

Having a power of attorney in place can make life easier in many circumstances. Of course there are the positives and negatives to having an attorney in fact. Considering both the positives and negatives of having an attorney in place, can make the decision a lot easier in the end. As well as considering who to choose for the attorney as well. This is just as important of a decision and making sure that the person chosen will follow through with the principles wishes and desires is crucial, as well as ensuring that there are fewer problems and complications later on when the attorney becomes effective.
The Advantages to having an attorney in place are:
  • The legal document is inexpensive and easy to draw up. Establishing a power of attorney is not expensive and can be done very easily whenever necessary.
  • The principle is than able to have some control over who will be making decisions for them in the event that they become incapacitated. They can have the document drawn up to be very specific with exactly what the powers are and are not. As well as making sure that their every wish is handled to their liking too.
  • The powers that are granted can be general or again very specific. It can also state when the power becomes effective too or whether it becomes effective when incapacitated. The document can have every detail added to it and cover what can and can not be handled by the agent.
  • The document can also ask that the agent be bonded or that they have to give an account of their actions periodically to the courts. The attorney in fact can be required to show and keep track of all transactions and report back to the courts as often as monthly, bi-yearly or any other way that the principle requires to account for any and all actions they have performed.
The Disadvantages of having an attorney in place are:
  • A principle can be questioned later on their own competence when they completed the power of attorney form. They may need to show competency later on that at the time they were able to complete the form.
  • There are times that some financial institutions require that the form be completed on special forms and in a specific way to be valid with that institution.
  • Occasionally some institutions will not recognize a power form after it has already been in effect for six months to a year. Occasionally, the form does have to be updated with these companies to remain valid.
  • When the powers that have been granted to the agent are to general, abuse can occur.
  • An agent can turn out not to be as trustworthy as once thought.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6263713

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Advantages of Incorporation

It is a universal fact that persistent hard work and some timely luck is needed to be successful in any business venture. However, when it comes to forming a corporate entity for your business, a little homework is all that is required to help make an informed decision which could lead to the continued success of your business.

While it is correct for business owners to give premeditated thought as to their venture's location, customer service, human resources and other management issues, it is equally important that the owner consider the corporate structure of the business as well.

Many business owners don't consider this, but the corporate structure that is chosen can often times be the difference between the venture's success or failure, especially in today's highly competitive and litigious marketplace. Most often, entrepreneurs select the corporation as their preferred entity choice, which encompasses several unique benefits.

Incorporating, while definitely not for everybody, offers several distinct and money-saving advantages over other types of legal entities. Here are eight advantages of incorporation:

1. Protection of Personal Assets
If you operate as a sole proprietor or partnership, there is virtually unlimited personal liability for business debts or lawsuits. In other words, should you go out of business or be a defendant in a lawsuit, your personal assets such as homes, jewelry, vehicles, savings, etc. are subject to seizure. This is generally NOT the case of incorporation. When you incorporate you are only responsible for your initial investment in the corporation; as such, this limited liability feature of a corporation, while not a guarantee, is DEFINITELY one of the most attractive reasons of incorporation.

2. Transferable Ownership
Corporations are generally much easier to sell and are usually more attractive to buyers than either a sole proprietorship or partnership. The reason for this is because a new buyer will not be personally liable for any wrongful acts committed by the previous owners. For example, if someone buys a sole proprietorship, the new owner can be held personally liable for any mistakes or illegalities on the part of the prior owner... even if the new owner had NOTHING to do with the situation! This is usually NOT the case with a corporation.

3. Taxation
When you incorporate a business, there are numerous tax advantages at your disposal that are virtually impossible to accomplish with other business entities. When a business is incorporated, a separate and distinct legal entity is created. Because of this, there are various transactions that can be structured within the corporate parameters of the business that will save big money on taxes. For instance, if you own a building, you can rent office facilities to your corporation and claim depreciation and other deductions for it. Your corporation can then claim the rental expense. You are prohibited from doing this if you are a sole proprietor or a partner in a partnership.

4. Privacy and Confidentiality
Incorporating your business is a great way to keep your identity and business affairs private and confidential. If you want to start a business, but would like to remain anonymous, forming a corporation is the best way to accomplish this. Moreover, some states such as Nevada offer even more privacy protection for corporations and their shareholders.

5. Easier to Raise Capital
When you're looking to raise money through investment or borrowing, a corporation can actually make finding and getting the money you need easier. If you want to take on investors, you simply sell shares of stock. If you want to borrow, a corporation can add clout when dealing with banks or other lending institutions.

 6. Perpetuity
As mentioned in #3, when you incorporate a business, you create a separate and distinct legal entity. This separate and distinct entity (the corporation) will exist in perpetuity irrespective of what happens to the shareholders, directors, or officers. This is NOT the case with sole proprietorships, partnerships or even limited liability companies. For example, if an owner, partner, or member dies, the business AUTOMATICALLY ends or gets wrapped up in the legal dissolution process. Corporations, on the other hand, exist forever.

7. Retirement funds
Retirement funds and qualified retirement plans, such as a 401k, may be established more easily.

8. Credit Rating
Regardless of an owner's personal credit scores, a corporation can acquire its own credit rating, and build a separate credit history by applying for and using corporate credit.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7334370

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Living Will Is Different Than A Living Trust

To most, the terms 'living will' and 'living trust' may seem a little strange. Many times they may be used interchangeably. It is wrong when used this way. You need to understand that a living will is very different from a living trust. They do share some similar characteristics but when know their exact definitions you will be able to use them both to your advantage.

A "Living Will" is a legal document that states plainly what your wishes are regarding any health care decisions to be made should you be incapacitated by a terminal illness or enter a permanent vegetative state. A living will only takes effect once it is shown by evidence of incapacity that you are unable to participate in any decision-making in regards to your medical treatment.

Of course, state law will govern the application of living wills, the statutes being different from one state to another. Be careful when drawing up a living will and be sure to follow a state-specific procedure so as to avoid any conflicts. After all, this is a lawful document.

In simple terms, a living will tells the doctors and/or the legal system what your desires are should you be unable to make decisions regarding your health or any future directives that are your wishes.

A 'Living Trust' is a written lawful document that can take the place of a will. It allows you to place any or all of your assets in a trust to be administered to your advantage for as long as you live. The rich do this in order to pay less taxes. In the event of your death, all your properties will be transferred under the terms of the trust to those named as your beneficiaries.

The billionaire, H. T. Hunt, when he died, personally owned, only an old pickup truck, but his trust covered two pages of the Houston telephone directory. The billions of dollars were passed to his heirs for about one million dollars, showing the benefits of using trusts.

Basically a living trust guarantees that your assets will be handled according to your wishes. In setting up the trust, you may initially want to serve as its trustee. You should be thinking in the future, when it would be best that you select a successor trustee, while you still have a sound mind and can make thoughtful decisions.

When you are incapacitated or pass away, the successor trustee you have appointed will act similarly to an executor of a will. The functions will include; paying any remaining debts, taxes and claims against the trust; and distributing the properties of the trust according to your written orders. These tasks may be carried out without court approval or supervision which may save many, many dollars.

A living trust is usually not considered a top priority and not everyone would benefit a great deal from one. For a person with modest assets, a living trust would have no benefits as they are mostly used to lower taxes and pay less or no inheritance taxes.

A living will and a living trust definitely differ in a lot of ways. While a 'Living Will' is usually appropriate for almost everyone, a 'Living Trust' should be studied and applied typically on a case-to-case basis. For more information, go to your local library for more and up-to-date information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5064981

Friday, April 26, 2013

6 Steps to Follow While Recording a Quit Claim Deed

In case of transfer of a property from one person (grantor) to another (grantee), a quit claim deed is used. This legal document however does not guarantee that the property that is being transferred is correct in all respects. The transferred property may not be free and clear of any liens. In case of any liens or legal issues related to the property, the responsibility goes to the grantee.

This deed is mainly used in the event of a divorce or in case you want to add or remove the name of a spouse. Anyways, this legal dead has to be recorded with appropriate authority. Here are the 6 steps that you need to follow to record this legal document.

Obtain the form

Collect the proper form. You can easily obtain the form online or you can get it from your local legal document print shop. Check out the wordings and phrases in the form.

Get the legal description of the property

You have to provide legal description of the property in the form. Accurate measurements of the property are given in the description. If you have current property deed available with you, then you can use that for legal description. Otherwise, you have to contact the recorder's office for description.

Take measurements and description from a surveyor

In case, you require new description of your real estate, then you need to contact an authorized real estate surveyor. The surveyor will get new measurements of the real estate and will also provide the legal description of it. You can use that description in the quit claim deed form. You have to however pay fees to the surveyor. The fees charged by the surveyor depend on the type of the real estate that is being transferred.

Puts details accurately

You have to then provide the legal description of the real estate in the form accurately. You need to ensure that you put the names of the grantor and the grantee correctly. Both the grantor and the grantee have to sign in the form before an authorized notary.

Mention the reasons behind the transfer

You need to categorically mention the special reasons for transferring the property in the form. In case, there is a lien to the real estate, then that should also be mentioned in the form.
Get the deed recorded with proper authority

You need to visit recorder's office for recording the legal document. You have to pay fees for recording purposes. Amount of the fees depends upon the number of pages in the deed and the value of the house that gets transferred. You also need to fill up the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR), to officially get your deed recorded.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7578548

Thursday, April 25, 2013

End of Life Decisions That Count

Advance Medical Directive also known by the name of living will, personal directive, or advance healthcare directive is a set of instructions that define the health care parameters in case you are not able to make decisions on your own due to illness or incapacitation. These instructions usually involve the appointment of a person for making health related decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.

There are two approaches to carrying out an advance medical directive. The older and traditional structure of such directive is known as the "Living Will". Named such due to the fact that the person making the will is likely to be living at the time of its execution. In this type of directive specific instructions are laid out for the health care providers to follow in case the person giving the instructions is unable to give any instructions on his own.

The second approach is by way of granting a 'medical power of attorney'. This involves the appointment of an agent (usually a family member or a close friend) to take health care related decisions on behalf of the granter in case of his or her incapacitation. This way the granter can make sure that detailed matters concerning the end of life health care procedures are carried our according to his or her wishes. These matters may include general care such as the level of comfort, the option of hospice, personal grooming, and bathing. However these can be more health specific concerning how to go about certain medical procedures like infusions, dialysis, tube feeding, and may include decisions such as continuing or withdrawing the life support system.

The need of advance medical directive has increased in the recent times due to the fact that up to 55% of Americans spend their last days in health care institutions, which is often a long and grueling period for both the dying and their loved ones. Given the advancements in medical technology a near dying person may be kept alive by putting him or her on an artificial life support system and if prolonged this period can be quite stressful both financially and otherwise for the relatives.

Making end of life decisions like these you can have the peace of mind that in case of your incapacitation you will be looked after exactly as you would want, and it also goes to show that how much you love your family and would not want them to suffer unnecessarily on account of your end of life health care issues.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7583203

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Should I Put My Life Insurance in a Trust?

There is no easy answer as to whether a life insurance policy should be put into a trust. The best answer is that it depends on your individual situation, the size of your estate, and what type of trust you are considering.

For example, if you're single, and your net estate, which is your assets minus debts, is less than $1 million dollars, you may not need a trust, or you may want to put your life insurance into an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT). If you're married and your net estate is less than $2 million dollars, you may choose either a living trust, an irrevocable life insurance trust, or no trust at all.

There are two types of trusts that I will discuss; a living trust or an irrevocable life insurance trust. There are benefits and drawbacks to both trust instruments.

A living trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to manage your assets while you are alive and pass them down to your family upon your death without the need for probate proceedings.

A living trust has a Trustor (also called Grantor), which is the person who owns the trust and transfers property into it. A trustee is the person who receives the assets on behalf of the Trustor. It is possible with a living trust, to be both the Trustor and the Trustee. There is also a beneficiary which is the person or persons who benefit from the terms of the trust. Since this is a living trust, you can be the primary beneficiary during your lifetime, therefore making you the Trustor, Trustee, and the Beneficiary.

In addition, living trusts normally have instructions for managing the assets during your life, and instructions on what happens when you die.

A living trust is revocable. This means that you can change, amend or end the living trust at any time during your life.

Because right now there are no estate taxes on an estate worth less than $1 million if you are single, and less than $2 million if you are married, a living trust may be a good place to put your life insurance policy. But there is another option.

An irrevocable life insurance trust is an estate planning tool designed specifically for life insurance polices. If you have a substantial net estate that is going to be subject to estate taxes, an irrevocable life insurance trust might be a good option. Because a life insurance policy placed in an irrevocable life insurance trust no longer belongs to you, it can not be included in your taxable estate.

There are some major drawbacks to an irrevocable life insurance trust. For example, once an irrevocable life insurance trust is created it cannot be changed, amended, nor ended during your lifetime.

Secondly, you cannot change the beneficiary of your life insurance proceeds in an irrevocable life insurance trust. So, for example, if your spouse is the named beneficiary in your irrevocable life insurance trust, and you got divorced, your ex-spouse would still be entitled to your life insurance proceeds.

Also, if you have an existing life insurance policy and place it in an irrevocable life insurance trust, but die within 3 years of the transfer date, the trust will not be protected from estate taxes.

The truth is once you have an irrevocable life insurance trust you are committed to it for life, there's no turning back. If you're not sure you want this life insurance policy the rest of your life, than an irrevocable life insurance trust may not be the way to go.

The bottom line is this: if you are thinking about putting your life insurance policy into a type of trust instrument, you will want to consult with your accountant, financial planner, and/or an experienced attorney. The laws regulating certain trusts vary from state to state, so you might want to make sure you have all the facts before entering into such a document.

Each individual's financial situation is different, so it might be wise to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision and then decide if you need to speak with a qualified professional.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1333217

Monday, April 22, 2013

CMA Presents Advance Health Care Directive

An Advance Health Care Directive is the best way to make sure that your health care wishes are known and considered if for any reason you are unable to speak for yourself. By completing a form called an "Advance Health Care Directive" California law allows you to appoint another person to be your health care "agent." This person (who may also be known as your "attorney-in-fact")will have legal authority to make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make these decisions for yourself. A message from the California Medical Association.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why Most California Residents Have No Estate Plannning Documents

When I ask why so many people have never created their own estate plan, they say it is because they "don't have enough assets to worry about." That is why the probate court exists - to "take care" of most Californians. I say "take care" of because once you've been to the probate court, you'll never want to go again. So, most California residents are ignorant of the consequences of having no estate planning documents in place.
Financial Incapacity. Unfortunately, the probate court supervises your assets (however small) for the rest of your life in the event that you lose capacity to take care of them yourself. This means that someone who cares about you will have to go to court every year to explain to a judge how your assets are being spent and invested, all for the public to see. This person pays an attorney and an accountant to accompany him/her every year so the judge is convinced that he/she is not embezzling your assets, however small. This person is guilty until proven innocent if anything is missing. Your assets will soon become even smaller at this rate. If you are over the age of 18, this process is called a conservatorship. All of this can be easily avoided by having a quality Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management in place.
Minor Children. If you have children under the age of 18, and they inherit assets upon the death of a parent, their assets would be part of the probate process but called a guardianship. The same attorneys, accountants and conservators get paid to "take care" of their money until their 18th birthday, at which time, the entire amount is distributed to them. How many parents would normally give their 18 year old child a large amount of money? How much less so if you are not here to help them make wise decisions.
Healthcare Decisions. If you cannot make your own health decisions, and you don't have an Advance Healthcare Directive in place, then someone will have to open a conservatorship with the probate court (same procedure as above) in order to have authority to talk to your health care professionals. Imagine a true story where an 18 year old daughter went to senior prom and ended up in the emergency room. Her parents went to visit her there but the doctor couldn't provide any information until they obtained a court order from the probate judge (conservatorship). It usually takes several weeks to obtain court orders.
After Death. If you don't write your own will, California will write one for you. The state has already created a system to decide who will be in charge of your estate, your body and receive your assets upon your death. If you have separate property (not community property), you might be surprised to find out who stands to inherit it from you - it's not always your spouse. This probate process takes about one year if all goes well, requires a lawyer to be hired at a percentage of the gross value of your estate, requires the administrator to hire the court's appraiser, pay the court's fees and an accountant is usually involved. For example, it would cost about $15,000 to pay the probate costs of a $200,000 estate. It costs about $50,000 for a $1,000,000 estate and goes up from there. When calculating the estate value, do not deduct any debts, mortgages or expenses.
Non-US Citizen spouses. There can be huge tax consequences if you have more than $1 million and your spouse is a non-US Citizen. You would want to investigate a QDOT trust to defer the taxes until such time as your spouse can become a US citizen.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7388323

Saturday, April 20, 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.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1410112

Friday, April 19, 2013

LLC FAQ's - If My LLC Business Goes Under, How Much Will I Lose?

One of the scariest times in the life of a business is its decline. This is usually due to a loss of revenue or customers. Costs rise and profits sink. If you are a business owner, particularly under an LLC, what happens to your business if it goes under?

If an LLC (or limited liability company) falls into bankruptcy, the business can enter a restructuring in Chapter 11 or for an immediate liquidation of assets, Chapter 7. In a chapter 7 filing, all of the LLC's assets are sold and the money gathered from that sale is then distributed between the creditors that are owed. If an LLC files Chapter 11, the company begins a restructuring process, aided by a court to dissolve the debt slowly and continue on with the business.

Fortunately, members of an LLC are only responsible for any debts that are incurred in the business name alone, and if filing for bankruptcy, a court will assist in settling all business operations. If the LLC is filing bankruptcy and has a personal guarantor, it will have an effect on the guarantor's credit rating and personally guaranteed debts can be reported on a credit report for up to 10 years.

Upon choosing whether to make your company an LLC, you may want to keep all of this in mind. You may not lose anything personally, but it can do harm to the credit of a guarantor. As an owner of an LLC, it's vitally important to do anything you can to prevent having to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 11.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4897873

Celebration Event For Yippie Yogurt, Helping Disadvantaged Youth To Thrive. Sat Apr 20th 12-2pm


to the Yippie Yogurt® Job Training Center's
Ribbon Cutting Celebration
on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 12noon - 2pm
with Ribbon Cutting at 1pm

There will be FREE small Yummy Yippie Yogurt
for the first 50 customers
Books and Stuffed Animals for the kids;
Face Painting, Cupcake walk, Balloons and More!
Yippie Yogurt® is a true community resource helping our most
disadvantaged youth gain employment skills and work experience.
"We hope you will come!"
Yippie Yogurt® is located at 1955 West Texas Street, #4 in Fairfield (Park in FoodMaxx parking lot).  Yippie Yogurt® is a program of the Yippie Foundation and is a true community resource helping our most disadvantaged youth gain employment skills and work experience.  Hope you will come!  Sponsored in part by Travis Credit Union and Dannon’s YoCream Yogurt.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Advanced Healthcare Directive - 4 Reasons Why It Is a Good Idea to Get One

An advanced healthcare directive allows you to prepare a list of instructions or choose an agent so that at a future date if you are unable to take decisions about your health your wishes as per the directive can be followed. But there are more reasons why you must get an advanced directive made, 4 important ones are mentioned below.

• Improving the Quality of Life: A better understanding of the human body and the various problems that can affect it has lead to tremendous advancements in the healthcare field. While the sophisticated technology continues to save lives, it also ends up prolonging life where no recovery is possible and often leaves the patient in a vegetative or comatose state or in constant pain. In many cases the patient can be confined to nursing homes, bedridden, or require assistance of feeding tubes. Such a condition can be very burdensome for the patient both physically and mentally. In such situations a directive can help to minimize or stop any invasive treatment that may be uncomfortable and ineffective for recovery.

• Family Concerns: Any illness or accident is taxing on the patient and furthermore also affects the family and close friends. A family will not know the wishes of the patient which can lead to unending arguments and cause bitterness when deciding on the best way of treatment. This not only causes delay but also additional distress to the patient and the family. A directive made out and communicated well in advance will ensure that when the time comes the family or the appointed proxy can arrive at the decision as per the patient's wishes. Another advantage is that such a directive prepares the family beforehand especially in the case of a terminal illness or end-of-life treatment, who are then better prepared to handle the situation.

• Financial Aspect: Money will be the last thing on your mind when a loved one is unwell. But the financial aspect cannot be disregarded, in fact studies have shown that almost one-fifth of the families suffer some kind of adverse financial impact like having to quit the job or losing all their savings due to prolonged and avoidable medical treatments. When making the directive the concerned person will give due importance to the financial condition or medical insurance and accordingly instruct on the line of treatment to be followed. This helps the family to avoid superfluous spending at the cost of destabilizing themselves without attaching any guilt.

• Doctors Viewpoint: In many regions even verbal instructions are valid if witnessed by sufficient number of people, but when the time comes the doctor may be hesitant especially when it involves vital treatment or instructions for 'do not treat' or 'do not resuscitate'. An advanced directive made out on paper provides the doctor with the required immunity and ensures that your instructions are carried out without delay.

An advanced healthcare directive will ensure better implementation of your wishes and is useful to everyone involved whether it is you or your family and the doctors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7042659

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What is the Difference Between a Power Of Attorney and a Guardianship? Which is Appropriate for Some

A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the principal) authorizes another (the agent) to act on his/her behalf. Financial powers of attorney allow your agent to make decisions regarding your property. Healthcare powers of attorney allow your agent to make decisions regarding your health care needs.

A power of attorney permits you to appoint someone else to manage your financial and business affairs when you cannot do it yourself anymore.

This document can be a lifesaver when crisis situations occur after an accident or illness. The agent can do whatever the document allows, such as withdraw bank funds, pay bills, cash checks, and buy and sell real estate. The power of attorney is less costly and more private than a guardianship.

Guardianship, on the other hand, is a legal relationship whereby a probate court gives a person (the guardian) the power to make personal decisions for another (the ward).

A family member or a friend can initiate the proceedings by filing a petition in the probate court in the county where the individual resides. A medical examination by a licensed physician may be necessary to establish the individual's condition. A court of law will then determine whether the person is unable to meet the essential requirements for his/her health and safety.

A conservatorship is a legal relationship whereby the probate court gives a person (the conservator) the power to make financial decisions for another (the protectee). The court proceedings are very similar to those of a guardianship except the court determines whether an individual lacks the capacity to manage his or her financial affairs. If so, the court appoints a conservator to make monetary decisions for the individual. Often the court appoints the same person to act as both guardian and conservator for the individual. Like the guardian, the conservator is required to report to the court yearly.

With all this in mind, you should evaluate your situation. What would you do if you could no longer handle your own affairs? You may want to consult with an attorney specializing in Elder Law, who will be able to assist you and advise you in this matter. By doing this now when you still have the time, you will save yourself and your loved ones heartache and financial expenses in the future.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/20283

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth Day Solano Event In Suisun City. Public Participation in "Garbage Art" with 8 Artists

Public welcomed to participate in Saturday, April 20th
experience with Solano County leaders

Suisun City, CA - Mission SOLANO, local artists from the Fairfield Visual Arts Association and the Lawler House Gallery, along with Earth Day Solano volunteers, will create six pieces of unique “garbage art”, created from the trash collected throughout Suisun City on Earth Day Solano, Saturday, April 20th from 10 am – 2 pm.

Three years ago the Earth Day Solano vision, inspired by the gorgeous downtown waterfront in Suisun City, blossomed:

You allowed us to clean up your discarded, thrown away,
trampled-on refuse; we recycled it and now present you with
a piece of art, more beautiful than you thought you could imagine.

This year’s Earth Day Solano art project – six pieces of original art created on the spot on Earth Day April 20th using trash collected from Suisun City targeted cleanup zones – glows as a tangible expression of the Mission SOLANO vision for recycling people. Inspired by the documentary “Waste Land” by artist Vik Muniz, artists came together under the leadership of artist, Aria Zuloaga to plan the art project. “

After watching the movie Waste Land, a group of us from Lawler House Gallery and the Fairfield Visual Arts Association collaborated to create the concept and images for six temporary live art installations on April 20th,” Zuloaga reflects. “We believed in this project from the beginning and after weeks of preparation we’re anxious to see the images and the art unfold. It is a labor of love for our community and for our planet.”

Art became a central part of Earth Day Solano in 2012, when Gilbert Rangel, local esteemed recycled materials artist, created a piece of recycled metals art now on permanent display in the city chambers of Suisun City (see below).


For additional details on the Earth Day Solano April 20th event, including trash cleanup, Kayaks 4 Kare sprint races, tree planting, Earth Day oratorical competition, 30 participating vendor booths and more, visit www.earthdaysolano.org

To learn more about Mission SOLANO programs, please visit www.missionsolano.org or call 707-425-FOOD (3663). Lawler House Gallery information can be found at http://www.lawlerhousegallery.org/.

Monday, April 15, 2013

General Power of Attorney - The Basics

A power of attorney (POA) or "power," is a legal document. You use it to give someone the authority to act for you. You are the principal. He is your agent. The person acting for you is also known as your "attorney-in-fact."

There are two primary types: the general and the special.

The special one is used to give another person authority to do one single thing.

The general one is not limited to a specific purpose. If you want someone to be able to act on your behalf while you are out of the country then the general one is what you need.

Now let us say you are going to Afghanistan, on active duty. You want to give your wife the right to do just about anything while you are gone.

Here is a how it might look:

I, Andy Rasmussen, do hereby grant my wife, Jesica Rasmussen, a general POA to perform any action on my behalf and to sign my name to any documents needed to accomplish said actions until I return home. Your signature and the date.

A notary seal is not required but if you are leaving the country for military service you might want to dress it up a bit and include a notary section. Then sign it in front of a notary just so your wife does not have any trouble with it while you are gone.

Now let us say you are caring for your invalid mother. She is still mentally competent but she wants you to take care of her affairs and pay her bills. The general one is what is called for. Here is how it might look:

I, Sally Smith, do hereby grant my daughter Louisa Lewis, a general POA to handle any and all of my affairs, including personal, business and other. Sally's signature and the date.

Once again, given the circumstances it would be best to have a notary section on this one and to get it properly notarized.

Let us say Louisa in the above example is worried about her mother becoming mentally incapacitated. In that case Louisa would have to go to court to get permission to manage her mother's affairs.

What is called for is a "durable" POA. It is still "general" but in this case we will also make it "durable" which means it continues even if mother becomes mentally disabled. Here is how it might look:

I, Sally Smith, do hereby grant my daughter Louisa Lewis, a general power to handle any and all of my affairs, to include personal, business and other. This shall continue and survive even if I become disabled whether mentally disabled or physically disabled. Sally's signature and the date.

For sure you would want to have this one notarized and it would be best that you had it drafted by or at least approved by an attorney who works primarily in the area of estate planning.

It is common to see some very comprehensive i.e. long (10-20 pages) durable powers of attorney. The reasoning behind these very thorough documents is that some financial institutions are very reluctant to rely upon broad, sweeping statements that a principal has granted all authority to their agent to do anything whatsoever.

Some banks, for example, who are dealing with an agent want to see very specific language that pertains to the actual transaction that is being carried out for the principal.

Also, in some states there is no penalty for not honoring a POA. For example, if someone chooses not to deal with an agent because they have their doubts about the true extent of the agent's authority.


A general power of attorney can be a very simple document. However, since it can be used so broadly, it is best that it be given more care and attention than a simple special one. When dealing with the aged or infirm you should consider a durable power of attorney. Have an attorney draft it or at least review it.


This article is intended to inform. Please seek legal advice in your state of residence if your situation involves any matter of consequence.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4681340

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Enduring Power Of Attorney Could Save You Thousands Of Dollars

An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is arguably one of the most important legal documents you will sign during your lifetime along with your Will. Everyone who owns any assets at all to speak of and who is over say 40 years of age should have them.

Enduring Power of Attorney is something which is possible by virtue of the 1988 Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act. It is an important asset protection and estate planning tool and may be compared in many ways to an insurance policy in that it is one of those documents you hope will just gather dust somewhere and not be needed.

EPA's come in two types. The first is that for personal care and welfare and you can only have one attorney at a time for this purpose and clearly, as long as you have mental capacity this type of enduring power can never be invoked.

The second EPA is that for property purposes and you may have two or more attorney's if you wish. By property in this sense we mean all real and personal property which you own. The property power of attorney can act as a general power of attorney if you wish so that your chosen attorney's can act on your instructions at any time or, if you prefer, it is able to be drafted so that it only ever comes into force if you are diagnosed as having lost mental capacity.

If you do not have enduring powers of attorney in place and you lose mental capacity there is always a fallback position in the Act but the reality for you is that this will cost you a lot more money than putting enduring power of attorney in place now of your own choice. The process is one administered in the family court and it can take months to have orders sealed and at a cost of many thousands of dollars which you will inevitably be required to pay even though you may not be aware of it!

The court orders need to be renewed after two years and then again at three yearly intervals at pretty much the same cost each time. All of this can be avoided by putting in place enduring power of attorney now at what will be a fraction of the cost.

As stated at the outset, the enduring power of attorney may well be the most valuable dust gatherer you ever sign. If you ever lose mental capacity your loved ones will be very grateful you had the foresight to have them done.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7113164

Saturday, April 13, 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.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6776423

Friday, April 12, 2013

Estate Planning : How are Trusts Taxed?

In estate law, trusts are taxed differently depending on whether they are revocable or irrevocable trusts. Learn how a trust is taxed from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Four Reasons Why Business Owners Should Make A Will

If you own a business or have shares in a family company then you should consider making a Will. The following are some of the reasons why making a Will for business owners is so important.

1. The first reason is the fact you can select appropriate executors and trustees, who will be responsible for ensuring the running of the business after your death. Unlike funds in the bank, where management can be fairly minimal, your executors will almost certainly need to ensure the business is kept running in the short term until more long decisions can be taken.

For even the smallest business, your executor's job is to ensure that your financial obligations are met, this can include dealing with tax issues, employees and your business accounts. Failing to do so could have a detrimental effect on the value of the business and therefore mean your family lose out financially. So while your may ultimately want your spouse or children to inherit, if they are not going to be the appropriate executors then you can appoint executors who have the business skills to carry out the executor's duties effectively.

2. The second reason is that by drafting your Will, you can take advantage of the tax breaks offered for business property. There are ways in which the Will can be prepared to ensure that not only do you pass your business to the people you want to inherit, but you do so in a way that limits your total inheritance tax bill as well.

3. The third reason is for making a Will is so that you define exactly how your executors can act. By making a Will, you are able to ensure that your executors have all the necessary powers and authorities they will need to carry on your business and run it correctly. Without a Will, your estate may end up in a position where decisions or steps that are needed to ensure the survival of the business cannot be taken when they need to be. This could mean either a lucrative business opportunity is missed or that an expensive Court application is needed. Either way the result is detrimental to your estate.

4. The final reason for making a Will is to ensure that your interest in the business passes in the way that you want. So for example if you have that children assist in the business while others do not, you can draft your Will to take this into account.

You may therefore decide to ensure that your children who are involved in your business inherit the shares, while the others take cash or other assets. Doing this ensures both a fairness in the way your children are dealt with, but also means that your children who do take a role in the business will not to lose their livelihood following your death. Additionally it means that they will not be forced to sell the business to pay their siblings, a move which may mean they also lose out financially.

If you own a business then making a Will really is something to consider very seriously. The time and effort you have spent in building your business, and its value to it may not be properly passed to your family if you do not make a Will.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6820783

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Understanding Probate and Estate Planning

Everyone has heard the term probate but not everyone knows that this term means. Probate is quite literally the process your family members will go through with the government after you have passed away. This is the transfer of your assets and finances to your chosen beneficiary or beneficiaries. The executor of the will is the one in charge of following this process through thoroughly and making sure that your wishes are carried out as clearly stated in your will. Your executor can be anyone, not necessarily a relative and they handle your vehicles and houses, everything that is left to them.
In the case that an executor was not named in a will or a will was never named than a court hearing will often name a relative to be the executor in order to get through the probate process as simply as possible. This person is not random but often the closest living relative or the person who received the most in the will should there be one that was written.
There are several different phases within probate. First, the executor or named administrator is required to prove the validity of the will to a probate court before anything can begin. Next the step is for the executor to provide statements of the deceased debts and assets as well as the list of beneficiaries in the will. From here the creditors will be notified of this death and they will then have only 6months to collect any debts that are owed to them, should there be any.
If money is owed it must be collected from the estate, not from the beneficiaries who inherit it. What this means is that the beneficiaries will not be able to inherit their money until the creditors receive what is owed to them. Whatever is left of the estate will then be distributed to the beneficiaries.
There are cases where probate court is not necessary to take care of a person's will. If a person has very few possessions and money to distribute the court is not necessary and the beneficiaries distribute the will without the law to guide them. Also, if anything is jointly owned, for example a husband and wife, the other person will get everything by default.
When people write their wills they almost never consider the act of probate and often do not even really understand how probate works. Probate should be part of your research and understanding before you begin writing your will and/or your estate. This is a very confusing stage in life that should be understood as best as possible for everyone. Probate can be a very pain staking cycle for your loved ones left behind and when planning your estate your lawyer can help you do what you can to avoid probate court for your executor.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2147442

Saturday, April 6, 2013

End of Life Decisions That Count

Advance Medical Directive also known by the name of living will, personal directive, or advance healthcare directive is a set of instructions that define the health care parameters in case you are not able to make decisions on your own due to illness or incapacitation. These instructions usually involve the appointment of a person for making health related decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.

There are two approaches to carrying out an advance medical directive. The older and traditional structure of such directive is known as the "Living Will". Named such due to the fact that the person making the will is likely to be living at the time of its execution. In this type of directive specific instructions are laid out for the health care providers to follow in case the person giving the instructions is unable to give any instructions on his own.

The second approach is by way of granting a 'medical power of attorney'. This involves the appointment of an agent (usually a family member or a close friend) to take health care related decisions on behalf of the granter in case of his or her incapacitation. This way the granter can make sure that detailed matters concerning the end of life health care procedures are carried our according to his or her wishes. These matters may include general care such as the level of comfort, the option of hospice, personal grooming, and bathing. However these can be more health specific concerning how to go about certain medical procedures like infusions, dialysis, tube feeding, and may include decisions such as continuing or withdrawing the life support system.

The need of advance medical directive has increased in the recent times due to the fact that up to 55% of Americans spend their last days in health care institutions, which is often a long and grueling period for both the dying and their loved ones. Given the advancements in medical technology a near dying person may be kept alive by putting him or her on an artificial life support system and if prolonged this period can be quite stressful both financially and otherwise for the relatives.

Making end of life decisions like these you can have the peace of mind that in case of your incapacitation you will be looked after exactly as you would want, and it also goes to show that how much you love your family and would not want them to suffer unnecessarily on account of your end of life health care issues.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7583203

Friday, April 5, 2013

The LLC Set-Up: Setting Up a Limited Liability Company

To set up an LLC or limited liability company is one of the major decisions that any business or company can undertake. This form of business registration has a lot of implications for the operation and management of the company and can ultimately contribute to its success or failure. But the first thing any business that wants to set up an LLC should do is to get good advice. There are pros and cons to this type of business registration and to set up an LLC will take some time and money, the two most important resources that any business has. It is useful to examine the options before investing either.

The simplest form of business registration is a sole proprietorship. This is usually a simple registration of the fact that an individual wishes to engage in public commerce and the nature of that business. Unless there are other licenses to obtain from the local regulatory authorities because of the nature of the business, this means a trip to City Hall, filling out the required forms, paying the minimal fees, and obtaining a business number that allows the company to begin business. The individual owner can then start up operations and assume all of the liabilities and tax requirements of the business.

A more complex form of business registration is incorporation. This involves registering the business as a corporation and issuing shares in that business to others who may wish to be part of the business. The act of incorporation involves filing acts of incorporation with the state and while an individual can prepare and file these without an attorney, legal and financial advice is usually required to ensure that the documents are in order. There will have to be a Board of Directors, officers of the corporation and a method to inform shareholders of the on-going operations of the business.

Somewhere in the middle of the previous two options is the option to set up an LLC. An LLC is more complex than a sole proprietorship and simpler than incorporation. It has some benefits and disadvantages. The disadvantages to choosing to set up an LLC are mostly in the time and costs of going through the process. Once the business has been set up as an LLC or a limited liability company the advantages begin to kick in.

The major reason to set up an LLC is to protect the owner or owners of a business from liability. This form of business registration limits the liabilities of the owners to the level of investment that they have made in the business. All other debts, responsibilities or liabilities that are incurred or caused by the operation of the business are not their responsibility.

The other main reason to set up an LLC is for taxation purposes. Income from a limited liability company is only taxed once and the state does not levy additional income tax on the company or business itself. This is different from a C-corporation where income is seen as both corporate and personal and taxed at both levels when dividends are taken.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/192876

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Living Will FAQs - Once I Write My Living Will, Can I Make Changes to It?

Living Wills are not a necessity, but a good thing to have, in case at some point in your life you may not be able to make decisions about your own health and finances. A living will can be done on your own, or by an attorney, and lists how to distribute your assets in the event that you cannot handle your own finances, or if you need someone to make important health decisions on your behalf.

However once a living will is created, time can change things, and in some cases, living wills may need to be altered. This can certainly be done. The original living will can either be destroyed or have a letter of cancellation attached to it. If you had done your living will through an attorney, it may be advised that you contact your attorney to help make the necessary alterations to the will.

Otherwise, you are free to alter your living will as you need to. It is important that you check with your state government office to make sure you are doing it correctly, however, so that your original will or your altered will aren't thrown out in court if it ever comes to that point.

A living will can be an important document, should anything unfortunate and unexpected occur. Having one that is up to date with the correct information and requests will make things easier for you and for your family. It's best to look at your will at least once a year and alter it if necessary, just to be safe.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4898056

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The 3 Biggest Mistakes With A Living Will (Prepare This Gift To Your Family Today)

  1. Not Choosing an advocate for your living will. This person need not be a medical professional, but should be a compassionate and caring person. The medical professionals will be there for your advocate to guide them in the decisions they may need to make on your behalf. When we do not choose your leave your family wondering who is to make these very important decisions. If you have made no choice of advocate, then know one will know your personal wishes. Choose today, help your family in their time of need.

  2. Not educating the advocate about your living will. If you do not share the content of your living will with the designated advocate, they will not be prepared to make these important decisions if the need arises. Nothing like being given this responsibility without any notice. "Oh, by the way we found this living will and you are the designee, now, make this life and death decision for your parent." Talk about a surprise; not only is the designee surprised, you may find out that the chosen advocate does not want this distinction. Have a conversation with the chosen advocate and get them a copy of the document, too. Time may be of the essence and a copy will suffice in case of emergency.

  3. Not getting the living will done. The most important document for you end of life care is the living will. Delaying preparation of the living will only makes the decision making very difficult if the need arises. Being prepared is the sign of a caring and considerate person; not preparing a living will can leave a family with an awful feeling about end of life decisions. Dying is tough enough without all the very hard decisions that may need to be make at a critical time in your life. Preparing a living will is a kindness to your family members; it allows them to feel comfortable with the tough decisions that may need to be made on your behalf.
Well, these three mistakes could bring a load of grief and guilt to your family members. Take a few minutes and fill out the living will. Sign the document with the date, and then make copies for the advocate, your doctor and your legacy paper file. You will feel a sigh of relief when this is done and your family will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7450638

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Requirements to Register California LLC

Registering a California LLC is not as difficult as it may seem. There are a number of requirements that you must follow to form your LLC in California. The primary requirement is to file your Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. Once filed, the approval process will take a few weeks, but the hard part is done.
The Articles of Organization must contain the following:
1.) The name of the limited liability company.
2.) The following statement:
The purpose of the limited liability company is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a limited liability company may be organized under the Beverly-Killea Limited Liability Company Act.
3.) The name and address of the initial agent for service of process.
4.) State whether the company will be managed by members or managers.
5.) The articles need to be signed by the Organizer.
You can include additional articles, but they are not required by the state office. It will depend on your business model, and your specific situation. If you are unclear about the best solution for you please consult a lawyer in California.
Additional Articles
a.) You can include additional language to limit the liability of the members.
b.) You can include an article regarding the events under which a dissolution may occur.
c.) There can be articles included to limit the powers of certain members or managers.
While it can be complex, registering a corporation in California can be both fun and easy. Take your time to make sure that you have followed the appropriate requirements and you can save time and money also.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/183383

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why Use a Limited Power of Attorney?

A limited power of attorney is sometimes called special or specific because it is granting limited power for a special or specific purpose. With limited authority, the agent will not have broad authority over the grantor's finances and property but only the specific authority that is granted to him in this limited type of form.

At any time, a person may require this limited type of form to give another person the power to act in his or her place and to complete a specific task for them. It could be given by a business owner to another person so that the person can handle the responsibilities of managing the grantor's business while he or she is out of the country. Individuals, who are suffering from health issues, preventing them from completing all of their business responsibilities, may also use a limited power of attorney form to appoint someone as their agent to help them complete the work in their place and stead.

Different states have different requirements for executing this type of legal document. But most of the states require that you sign the document in the presence of a notary public. So, it is advisable to make sure that you are using an acceptable form with the correct acknowledgment when you have decided to prepare and execute this type of legal document. This type of legal document can also be revoked for any reason or when the task is completed. Though the grantor granted the agent the authority to take over some of his or her responsibilities, the grantor can continue to make those decisions and manage their affairs themself at any time.

A limited power of attorney is commonly used when conducting banking transactions, collecting debt, buying or selling real estate, investing in financial products and in negotiating with the IRS.

As the name suggest, a limited type of form is given when the task requires limited power. The agent or the recipient of the authorization or power is allowed to engage only in the tasks that are listed in the document.

When choosing an agent, the law requires that you choose someone who is at least 18 years of age. It is also important that the person you choose to be your agent is trust worthy. Depending on the task required of them, they may have access to your personal information like your bank account. Giving this information to an untrustworthy person may lead to theft. It is also important that the person you choose is capable of completing the task in a manner that is acceptable to you and with the outcome you are anticipating. So, make sure to talk to your prospective agent before including his or her name in your limited power of attorney document.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7172815