Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to Choose the Right Business Structure

By reviewing the pros and cons of these four common business structures, you can determine which one will benefit you most.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Happens During Probate

Probate is the court process that determines whether your will is legally valid. The probate court is also where your estate is officially distributed to your creditors and the beneficiaries under your will. Depending on the value and complexity of your estate, the probate process can take several months .... or it may be eligible for a simplified process.

Monday, September 28, 2015

10 Years: By the People Helps with Basic, Complex Legal Issues

By December 28, 2014

by the people
Tammy and Rene Bojorquez have owned "By The People" for ten years. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — For the past 10 years, By the People has been helping customers navigate the paperwork of uncontested legal matters.

Tammy and Rene Bojorquez, owners of By the People, began their company as a franchise of We the People.

“It was five years ago the company broke up and we went with our name because it was similar to what we had before,” Tammy Bojorquez said.

She describes the work they do as being similar to a paralegal’s job.

“We are a self-help service for a lot less than a lawyer would charge,” she said. “We can help you fill out the paperwork, and file with the courts.”

The company works with people on issues such as uncontested divorce or separation. For couples who can resolve their own asset and debt division or child issues, the company can prepare all of the necessary documents to get the divorce. They also do all of the filing and procedural work throughout the process.

“If a couple agrees on the division of property and assets, they may not even have to go to court,” Bojorquez said.

Other examples of the work they do is creating an incorporated company. They can create a company’s articles of incorporation and submit them to the Secretary of State. They can also help set up bylaws, minutes, seals and shares.

By the People can help with creating a living trust, which includes articles of trust, wills, financial powers of attorney, California advanced health care directives and health care privacy releases.

“We did a family trust for my father and it was expensive and very hard to understand,” Terry Thompson, a client of By the People, said. “When my husband died, I had By the People do a new living trust for me. It was easier to read and they were great.”

Thompson, 80, of Suisun City, said she was so pleased with their work and her treatment that she considers Rene and Tammy friends and likes to stop in when she is in town.

By the People also helps prepare paperwork for probate.

“We can help 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,” Bojorquez said.

She and her husband are so involved in serving others that the time has flown by.

“I just can’t believe we have been doing this for 10 years,” Bojorquez said. “It seems like just yesterday we started.”

Article Source: Daily Republic 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why You Need a Durable Power of Attorney Now!

Planning for unfortunate events such as serious illness or injury is rarely on anyone's list of favorite pastimes. Sometimes, though, enduring the small discomfort that may accompany preparing for the unexpected will avoid untold anguish on the part of your family and friends. This is certainly the case with the Durable Power of Attorney, an often simple document that becomes so very important if sickness or injury renders you unable to take care of your own affairs.

Power of Attorney Defined

A Power of Attorney is a document in which you (as the "Principal") allow someone else (the "Agent" or "Attorney-in-fact") to act legally on your behalf. The Power of Attorney may be limited to very specific actions that the Agent is authorized to take on your behalf. On the other hand it may give the Agent very broad powers. In either event, the Agent you appoint in the Power of Attorney should be someone that you trust without reservation. That could be a family member, an advisor, a trustworthy friend or a bank or similar institution.

The "Durable" Power of Attorney

The significance of having a "Durable" Power of Attorney is best understood if you know what can happen with the plain old garden variety of Power of Attorney.

If you sign a Power of Attorney that is not "durable," the document remains effective only while you are alive and competent to handle your own affairs. If you become incompetent or die, the Power of Attorney is automatically revoked by law and your Agent is no longer able to act on your behalf. This prevents a Power of Attorney from becoming irrevocable inadvertently, and, until recent times, it was the only way a Power of Attorney could be prepared.

The non-durable Power of Attorney has limited usefulness for family and estate planning purposes, though, because the Power of Attorney is often most needed when you have become incapacitated! That is when you really need someone else that is able to make legal decisions or take other actions on your behalf.

All fifty states now permit the use of a "durable" Power of Attorney that is not revoked simply because the Principal becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent. This makes the Durable Power of Attorney a far more reliable document, particularly for family and estate planning purposes, since you may now authorize your Agent to act on your behalf even after illness, injury or other cause has rendered you unable to manage your own affairs. Even with a Durable Power of Attorney, however, the Principal's death causes an immediate revocation of the document and termination of the powers that are given to the Agent.

A Matter of Convenience

The Durable Power of Attorney is often used as a matter of convenience.

Suppose, for example, you have your home listed for sale. You have also planned a long awaited trip to visit Aunt Trixie in Deadwood, South Dakota, and you are concerned that an interested buyer may come along while you are on the road. A Durable Power of Attorney would be handy here to appoint someone you trust to act in your absence to negotiate the sale and sign any documents that are needed to make the deal binding.

The Durable Power of Attorney could be prepared so that it is effective only until the date you plan to return from your trip, and it might describe specific terms that your Agent must include in the sale, such as the minimum sale price that is acceptable to you.

A Matter of Protecting Loved Ones

What happens if, from illness, injury or another cause, you become physically or mentally incapacitated to the point that you are no longer able to handle your own legal affairs?

Let's suppose again that while you are incapacitated it becomes necessary to mortgage your home to pay your medical bills. Who will sign the mortgage? Even if your home is jointly owned with your spouse, he cannot obtain a mortgage without your signature.

In those circumstances it would be necessary to request the local probate court to appoint a guardian for you that has the power to handle your legal affairs. In many states, this type of guardian is referred to as a "conservator". Included in the conservator's powers might be the power to borrow money and sign a mortgage on your behalf making it possible to obtain the funds needed to pay the medical bills.

However, you may have heard that it is advantageous to avoid probate whenever possible, particularly if there is a good alternative available. The delay and expense associated with probate proceedings and the fact that they are conducted in the probate court, a public forum, make that good advice in most circumstances. And there is a better alternative than probate, but it requires you to act before the incapacity arises - you need to sign a Durable Power of Attorney.

When used in this estate planning context, the Durable Power of Attorney is generally worded very broadly to give your Agent the power to step into your legal shoes in almost any circumstance. In effect, you tell your Agent "You can do anything I can do."

Now, if you have prepared the Durable Power of Attorney and then become incapacitated, no one has to go through a probate proceeding to appoint a guardian or conservator to act for you - you have already given your Agent the power to do so. As you can see, the Durable Power of Attorney can save precious time and expense in critical situations and avoid having your personal affairs become the subject of a public proceeding.

Appointing a Successor Agent

It is often a good idea to appoint one or more successor Agents. The Agent you appoint in your Durable Power of Attorney may die or for some other reason become unable or unwilling to act as your Agent. In that case, you may be left without someone to act for you when you most need that assistance.

Appointing successors to your first choice of Agent helps insure that someone is always available to handle your affairs. Of course, each successor that you appoint should be someone that has your complete trust.

Revoking a Power of Attorney

As long as you are competent, you have the power to revoke your Durable Power of Attorney. To do so, send written notice to your Agent notifying him or her that the document has been revoked. Once the Agent has notice of your revocation, the Agent may take no further action under the Durable Power of Attorney. However, your revocation will not undo any permissible actions that the Agent has taken prior to being notified that the Power of Attorney has been terminated.

You must also notify third parties with whom your Agent has been dealing that the Durable Power of Attorney has been revoked. For example, if the Agent has been dealing with a stockbroker, you must notify the stockbroker as soon as possible. Do this in writing, as well, and do it immediately. Third parties who do not receive notice of the revocation are entitled to, and probably will, continue to rely on the Durable Power of Attorney.

Making the Durable Power of Attorney Effective upon Incapacity.

It is possible to have a Durable Power of Attorney that only becomes effective if and when you become incapacitated. This document is referred as a "springing" Durable Power of Attorney because it "springs to life" on the occurrence of a future event - your incapacity. The document should include a detailed definition of "disability" to make clear the circumstances in which your Agent may act on your behalf.

Knowing that your Agent is unable to exercise his or her powers until you are actually unable to do so yourself may make using the Durable Power of Attorney more comfortable for you. Unfortunately, even with a good definition of incapacity in the springing Durable Power of Attorney, your Agent may find that third parties are simply not willing to make the judgment that you are indeed disabled. If they are wrong, they may be held liable to you for any damages that you sustain as a result of the error in judgment. You may therefore find the springing document cannot be relied upon in all circumstances.

Don't Procrastinate!

Estate planning is easy to put off. But don't! Advance planning, such as executing a Durable Power of Attorney, may make a horrible circumstance for you and your family just a bit more bearable.

John Pollock is an attorney that specializes in estate planning. He is also the webmaster of [], a website offering free legal forms with easy to understand explanations of the relevant law.
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Saturday, September 26, 2015

What is a Living Will, and Why You Should Inquire about One Today

Modern advancements in medicine have made it possible for us to live longer than ever before. While these advancements have substantially extended our lives, such an extension may not be desirable because it may lower our quality of life and result in a loss of our dignity. Since all competent adults have the right to make their own medical decisions, you may want to tell your doctor now not to take heroic or extraordinary means to prolong your life in the future if you become ill and there is no hope for your eventual recovery. You can do this by preparing a living will.

"What is a living will?"

A living will is a legal document in which you direct your doctor to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment, whose only purpose is to prolong your dying process, if you are in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness.

"Who can prepare a living will?"

You can prepare a living will if you are of sound mind and are at least 18 years of age, or have graduated from high school, or are married. You must sign your living will in the presence of two witnesses who are both at least 18 years of age.

"What medical treatment can I refuse in my living will?"

You can refuse all medical treatment including but not limited to cardiac resuscitation, artificial feeding, blood, kidney dialysis, antibiotics, surgery, diagnostic tests, and mechanical respiration. You can, however, direct your doctor to administer only treatment that will keep you comfortable and alleviate your pain.

Also in your living will, you can designate another individual, known as your surrogate, to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

"When does my living will become operative?"

Your living will becomes operative when you or another individual provides a copy of it to your doctor, and your doctor determines you to be incompetent and in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness. At that time, your doctor has to act in accordance with the instructions outlined in your living will. If your doctor cannot in good conscience follow the instructions in your living will, your doctor must inform you or your surrogate of this fact. At that time, your doctor is required to assist you in finding another doctor who will comply with the instructions in your living will.

"Can I revoke my living will?"

Yes. You may revoke your living will at any time and in any way without regard to your mental or physical condition. Revocation is effective at the time it is communicated to your doctor by you or by a witness to the revocation.

"If I do not have a living will, will my doctor continue to order treatment to prolong my dying process?"

Not necessarily. Your failure to prepare a living will will not raise any presumption as to your intent to consent to or refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. In fact, in one Pennsylvania case, the court permitted a close relative with the consent of two physicians to remove life-sustaining treatment from the patient who had no living will and was in a persistent vegetative state.

"Can my doctor refuse to treat me if I do not have a living will?"

No. Your doctor cannot require you to have a living will as a condition to provide treatment to you. Also, your doctor cannot charge you a different fee for providing treatment to you if you do not have a living will.

"If I have a living will and am involved in a serious accident, will emergency medical personnel refuse to treat me?"

No. Emergency medical personnel will provide any and all treatment necessary to save your life. Your living will does not apply until it becomes operative, i.e., your doctor determines you to be incompetent and in a terminal condition or in a state of permanent unconsciousness.

In summary, a living will lets you decide now what medical treatment you want in the future if you become incompetent and are in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness. It helps to eliminate uncertainty regarding your desire for specific medical treatment, and provides guidance to your doctors and family members. Failure to prepare a living will may cause increased stress on your loved ones who are left to decide the proper medical treatment for you.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of E. Garrett Gummer, III at 215-396-1001. E. Garrett Gummer, III concentrates his practice in the areas of Elder Law and Wills and Estates. He received his JD from Widener University and his LLM from Temple University. Mr. Gummer has been certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Association Elder Law Committees, and has served as a Captain in the US Naval Reserve. For more information, contact the Law Offices of E. Garrett Gummer, III at 215-969-5004 or visit us at [].
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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Importance of a Healthcare Proxy and Living Will

A living will is a legal document that describes your end of life wishes. You create it when you are alive, but it does not become valid until you are in an end of life situation. With a living will your agent(s) have final decision, but it should be made with medical doctors and other healthcare officials to be sure you are given the correct prognosis and so that your agents can make the right decision. You should give a copy of your living will and healthcare proxy to your local hospital, doctor, nursing facility or hospice care agency.


The living will covers common decisions your loved ones can make when you are near to dying. You have the choice to fill out the form in whatever fashion you like. Choices can be made regarding keeping you alive by machines, being kept on a feeding tube with no hope of recovery, being in a persistent vegetative state and more.


Living wills are available online and can be obtained for free. You need not pay for a living will to be drafted. Each state has its own differences so be sure you use the one for your state.

Once completed, the form should be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses sign the document and attest that you signed of your own free will and that they are not your appointed health care agents or proxies. Some states do not allow relatives or people responsible for make medical decisions to be witnesses.

In your living will, you will designate someone who will be your proxy or agent. This person will be the one you choose to carry out the details of the document. Choose a family member who understands your wishes and has agreed to see that they are carried out. Do not choose a doctor or any employee of a hospital or institution that is treating you at the time it is executed. You can change your agent or proxy, but be sure that whoever got the original one has the new one replaced. The same applies to other changes to the document.

Most people don't like thinking about these things, however they are extremely important. You don't know when you will be in a situation in which this document will be needed. Be sure to complete it now before you can't. Consider all of the possibilities there are regarding your last wishes medically. There are certain powers given to your agent(s). Here are some general rules:

• "Full power to consent, refuse consent, or withdraw consent to all medical, surgical, hospital and related health care treatments and procedures on my behalf, according to my wishes as stated in this document, or as stated in a separate Living Will, Health Care Directive, or other similar type document, or as expressed to my agent by me;"
• "Full power to make decisions on whether to provide, withhold, or withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration on my behalf, according to my wishes as stated in this document, or as stated in a separate Living Will, Health Care Directive, or other similar type document, or as expressed to my agent by me;"
• "Full power to review and receive any information regarding my physical or mental health, including medical and hospital records, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 USC 1320d ("HIPAA");"

• "Full power to sign any releases in order to obtain this information;"
• "Full power to sign any documents required to request, withdraw, or refuse treatment or to be released or transferred to another medical facility."

Your document should contain sections covering the following situations:

1. "If I have an incurable and irreversible (terminal) condition that will result in my death within a relatively short time, I direct that... "

2. "If I am diagnosed as being in an irreversible coma and, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, I will not regain consciousness, I direct that... "

3. "If I am diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state and, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, I will not regain consciousness, I direct that... "

You are able to decide which choices can be made.

Other areas to be covered include:

• Intravenous and Tube Feeding
• Life Sustaining Surgery
• New Medical Developments
• Other Non-Conventional Treatments
• Home or Hospital


A living will gives you the power to choose how you would like to be cared for in the days leading to your death. It also removes some of the burden from your family when they know that they are following your wishes.

Don't fail to prepare this document. As has been stated herein already, you don't know when you will be in a situation in which this document will be needed.

We provide accounting and tax preparation services and we are open year round. We also prepare living wills at a reasonable rate. Visit our website for a listing of all services:
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

4 Things You Need To Know About Advanced Directives

It is a sad truth that death is an inevitable part of life. And, even though many of us are reluctant to face this fact, it is no excuse to fail to plan for your end-of-life healthcare, particularly if you are past retirement age. Although it may be scary to think about your end-of-life decisions, it can greatly improve the quality of life for your family after you are gone, and will reduce the chance your passing is a burden on your family. Advanced directives offer you the assurance that your last wishes will be fulfilled. Here are four things to know about them.

1. What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?

An advanced directive is a generic term for a legal document that describes to and instructs others about your medical care, in the event you are unable to make your decisions known. A directive only becomes effective under circumstances described in the document, but in general allow you to do two things. The first is to appoint a health care agent or power of attorney. This person will make decisions on your behalf. Secondly, the directive will provide instructions about exactly what forms of health care you want and do not want.

2. Why Are Advanced Directives Important?

According to recent surveys, the majority of people would prefer to die in their own homes. However, many terminally-ill patients meet the end of their life while in the hospital, typically while receiving ineffective treatments that they may or may not really want. Occasionally, this confusion can cause conflict between the surviving members of the family, leading to fights and arguments. Meanwhile, the dying person's thoughts and wishes remain unexpressed. An advanced care directive prevents all of this. From documenting the treatments you want, to describing your wishes for your remains and personal effects, advanced care planning is highly beneficial.

3. Creating an Advanced Care Directive

An advanced care directive and living will does not have to be complicated, however the content may be complex and should be considered carefully. In general, it will consist of short, simple statements about what types of treatments you would accept or deny, given particular circumstances where you are unable to speak for yourself. It is important to create this document with the help and guidance of your family, legal, health, and financial professionals for maximum effectiveness.

4. Talking With Your Loved Ones About Your Choices

A vital step in advanced care planning is to clearly communicate your wishes to your loved ones and family about your decisions, and why you are making them. For most of us, this conversation can seem like a daunting task. You may be uncomfortable bringing up your own death with your loved ones, or it may seem like poor timing to have that conversation, but it is much better to have this conversation now, before there's a problem, so that everyone can remain calm and relaxed.

For more information on how you can best prepare for the last stages of life with an advanced directives, then head over to now!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Living Wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys Help to Make Sure Your Wishes are Met

No one can foresee problems that may arise should he become incapacitated. Yet, you can avoid negative consequences of unforeseen problems by creating Living Wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys (HCPOA).

Setting up a Living Will or HCPOA is a relatively simple task. The first step it to consult with an attorney that specializes in estate planning to ensure that your documents are clear. Here's an overview of what you can expect from your Living Will and HCPOA.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

The HCPOA, otherwise known as a "healthcare proxy" is a legal document that enables an individual that you appoint (your "agent") to act as your healthcare representative if you become incapacitated. The agent becomes your acting representative at the moment you become incapacitated, thus eliminating the need for your loved ones to argue over your rights and wishes in court.

Your agent has the authority to request or deny any medical treatment that he determines to be appropriate. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose someone that you trust as your agent. Please note: In most states, your spouse will be your default agent. If you are not married but are in a lifelong relationship your partner, he does not automatically become your agent. Make sure that you appoint your partner as your agent to ensure that he or she has control over your medical decisions if you are unable to make them.

Because your agent has whatever powers you give him or her, make sure that he or she understands your desires. Some of the decisions he or she may need to make include but are not limited to:

  • Deciding whether or not you will receive medical treatment
  • Withdrawing life-support
Living Will
A Living Will and HCPOA should be used in tandem, since one document complements the other. Your Living Will is a document that clearly expresses your desires. In short, your Living Will provides your medical team with instructions for how to carry out your wishes should you become incapacitated. For example, if you become brain dead, you can state in your Living Will that you wish to receive or not to receive life support.

By creating a Living Will, you ensure that your desires will be carried out without court involvement that can be costly and stressful for your family. Criteria for enacting a Living Will vary by state; so make sure that you consult with an attorney to ensure that your Living Will complies with the rules in your state.

Thomas McNally is the staff writer at the National Directory of Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law Attorneys. McNally stresses the importance of finding a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate passes to whom you want, when you want, and is carried out in the manner you've chosen.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Advance Directives - "The Living Will" and Other Issues

Advance directives are legal documents prepared in advance to accomplish a task at a later date. These documents can be instructions or permission granted for a specific usage such as life support or even financial issues. There are two types of advance directives. A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name a (patient advocate) to make decisions on your behalf. A living will allows you to state your wishes in writing, but does not specifically name a person to assume the role of advocate. Regardless of which one is used, the court system can still intervene and make an overriding decision if situations arise.

Most people who choose to prepare advance directives do so to remove any doubt of their wishes in the event of a situation where they may be deemed unable to make decisions.
Considerations of the advance directive would be who you would want to assume the responsibility for decision making. Important decisions could be about ventilators (and other life extending machines) resuscitation, surgery, feedings (tube, food and water) and prescription drugs.

A Durable Power of Attorney for HealthCare is a legal document that allows you to name another adult (18 or over) to make your health decisions for you. Most people choose a family member but often a trusted advisor is selected. If end of life issues are in play, you may instruct your appointee to refuse any and all treatment and let you die. You would state this in writing that the person you select has the power to make that decision. The durable power of attorney only goes into effect once you are unable to make any decision yourself.

The power of attorney and the living will are both reversible. At anytime you may change your mind both as to treatments and who is the appointee. The only real component of either of these agreements is that at the time you execute the agreements you are considered a competent adult. This means that you are capable of making the choice of your own free will and without outside influence.

It is always best to seek legal advice when considering important decisions. Numerous sources exist to provide you with basic information about how these agreements work and how they may affect you and your heirs.

Bill Broich has been helping seniors manage their estates for over thirty years. He advocates using annuties as a financial instrument when appropriate and has written a guide about annuties and estate planning. Obtain a free annuity booklet from Free Annuity Booklet
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Jeffrey Volosin Discusses The Difference Between LLC And C Corps for Businesses

As being a part of the business world, it is important to understand different terms. Educating oneself on these terms not only helps with learning and understanding business conversation, but lets people know that the businessman (or woman) is serious and truly knowledgeable in the field. The two terms professionals should be able to know are a limited liability company (LLC) and a C corporation. While they are both structures, they both have their different traits and can allow many businessmen and businesswomen know what is most suitable for a business. Both have an indefinite term of life, but LLCs having plenty of distinguishing traits.

A limited liability company (better known as an LLC) is a specific type of business entity that mixes the personal liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits of a partnership. It is a structure that offers protection to a company's owner. An LLC is best suited for small businesses with very few shareholders.

A limited liability company's taxation is a single taxation, which means the interests of the profit or loss is passed to members who are in the top 39.6% bracket. An LLC has the option to elect to be taxed as a corporation. Only the members own and manage an LLC. It has limited liability. In other words, the liability is not exceeded by the amount invested by members. Meetings for members are not required, but activities should be recorded.

A C corporation is a complete opposite. It is a specific type of business entity that is taxed separate from its owners. It is used for medium and large-sized corporations and owned by its shareholders; this is different from an LLC since LLCs deal with small businesses with a few shareholders. C corporations are managed by officers while LLCs are managed by the members or managing members themselves.

Another trait of C corporations is that it uses a double taxation in lieu of a single taxation that is seen in LLCs. Income is taxed roughly 34% and shareholders pay taxes on profits distributed. The choice of taxation structures are not allowed with C corporations, they must be taxed at a corporate tax rate. Shareholders are required to attend board meetings whereas stated for LLCs, meetings are not required. While these differences may be broad between the two types of corporate structures, knowing the differences allows professionals to make the right assessments for future businesses.

If you are looking for more information on incorporating your small business, please visit to get find out more.
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

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.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

3 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

Nina Kaufman on when it makes sense to incorporate your startup company.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Durable Power of Attorney

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you became unable to make your own decisions, perhaps because of illness or medical condition, such as a stroke or coma? Using a relatively simple legal document known as a Durable Power of Attorney you can legally empower another person -- such as a trusted relative or friend -- to act in your behalf, even if you became physically or mentally unable to manage your own affairs.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Choose the Best Legal Entity for Your Business

Choosing a legal entity can be complicated, but it can help protect your business's assets. Attorney Mark Kohler explains.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Is Probate?

Probate is simply the process for proving to the appropriate court that a document is the deceased's last will and testament and that the deceased knew what it was and signed it under his person, under his own free will, at a time he was mentally competent, and the document was properly witnessed, getting authority from the court to gather the assets, pay the deceased's obligations, and the distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Tax Benefits of a Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company, or LLC, is one of the most popular business entities today but also one of the newest. An LLC is unique in that it's a pass-through entity. The IRS does not consider an LLC a legal separate entity in terms of taxation, so all business income, losses, and expenses are "passed through" to individual owners to report on their personal income tax returns.

By default, a single member (or single owner) LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship. An LLC with more than one member is taxed as a partnership by default. There are many tax advantages (as well as drawbacks) to forming an LLC instead of a corporation.

Flexible Taxation

One of the biggest benefits to forming an LLC is you can choose how you are taxed. This is one of the lesser understood advantages of a limited liability company. When you file your taxes, you can choose to file as a "disregarded entity" and get the default tax treatment or you can choose corporate tax treatment. If you choose the corporation taxation structure, your business will be taxed at a much lower corporate rate on the first $75,000 in income. Keep in mind an LLC's tax rate is completely dependent on the owner's income. If you have higher income, you will likely pay lower tax rates by choosing corporate treatment.

Lease Assets

With a limited liability company, you can lease your personal assets to the company. This means you can run your LLC from your home office and have the LLC leasing the office from you. Doing so means you are creating a business expense that you may be able to write off while improving your personal financial situation. This is a tricky area, however, as the expenses must be legitimate business expenses and you will need a formal lease agreement in place.

No Double Taxation

Corporations are subject to something known as double taxation, which means a corporation first pays taxes at the corporate level then again on income from dividends that are distributed to owners. LLC owners are not subject to double taxation; business income is reported on your personal income tax return and taxed once.

Tax Disadvantages

While there are certainly tax benefits to an LLC, there are drawbacks as well. LLC owners are required to pay taxes on their distributive share of the company's profit, even if they do not receive the distribution because the money stays with the business. Corporate owners are not required to pay taxes on business profits unless the profits are distributed (usually as dividends).

Finally, as an LLC owner, you will also be required to pay self-employment taxes, even if you are a single member LLC. Corporate owners who work as employees of the company, meanwhile, only pay half of this tax amount on their salaries while the corporation pays the rest.

Every company has a unique tax situation that changes over time. You can learn more about limited liability companies and its benefits and downsides by visiting
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Sunday, September 13, 2015

By The People Fairfield CA

Rene talks about how By The People in Fairfield can help people with legal matters in an inexpensive way. See more at

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

DIVORCE !!! Easier than you think? - By The People Fairfield CA

Rene goes over how a divorce does not always need to involve a full legal team. He explains the process of how By The People can help file the paperwork necessary for the courts. See more at

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Is An LLC Best?

I am not a lawyer, I am a Judgment Broker. This article is my opinion, and not legal advice, based on my experience in California, and laws vary in each state. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a state-defined entity that can be thought of as being a hybrid business entity, having some features of both partnerships and corporations.

LLC's are popular primarily because they are more flexible, and are simpler to operate than type S or C corporations. Some think LLCs save taxes, however most often, they do not.

In some ways, LLCs are similar to corporations. Both LLCs and corporations provide basic liability protection for owners and/or shareholders, and officers.

One way LLCs are different, is that LLCs have owners, and corporations have shareholders. A LLC can have several owners, called "members" or "partners", named members, for the rest of this article.

A LLC's partnership agreement defines the member relationships in the LLC, and includes an ownership agreement.

LLCs can have at least one managing member, and may also choose to appoint officers. LLCs usually have an operating agreement, that describes the LLC's function. LLC members can be any combination of individuals, corporations, and other LLCs.

Double taxation occurs when a company first pays tax on their profits; and then their officers, employees, and shareholders, get taxed again on their individual incomes.

Historically, one of the primary reasons that LLCs were chosen, was for their potential tax savings. LLCs avoid the potential double taxation problems that C-type corporations can have.

Double taxation is not really an important financial issue now, because the IRS has caught up, and removed most of the way taxes could be saved on both common and creative types of income.

Now, there seems to be no tax advantages or disadvantages to forming a LLC. No matter what corporate structure or partnership one picks, they must pay taxes. Tax payments may be split up in different ways, however one way or another, income is taxed.

Single-owner LLCs are taxed the same as sole proprietorships, and file the same 1040 tax return and Schedule C, as a sole proprietor.

Single-owner entities rarely get the same liability protection that larger companies get. Multiple-owner LLCs may potentially provide better liability protection than some corporations.

Multiple-owner LLCs are taxed the same as partnerships. Partners in a LLC file the same 1065 partnership tax return, as would be done with any conventional business partnership.

Owners of LLCs are considered to be self-employed, and must pay a self-employment tax of about 15%, on the total net income of the business.

In C or S corporations, only the salary paid to employees is subject to employment tax. The IRS monitors salaries, and will define income as salary, if they think a company is not paying adequate salaries. Payroll taxation is expensive.

The actual advantages of LLCs over S or C corporations is that they are:

1) Much more flexible in ownership.

2) Simpler to operate.

3) Not subject to as many corporate formalities, or reporting requirements.

4) Owners of a LLC can distribute profits any way they want.

Usually, the state, county, and city, requires LLCs to pay them the same taxes, fees, and registration fees, as corporations must. Also, many states require LLCs to hire an accountant to prepare the LLC's tax returns.

LLCs no longer save you money. The best reason to choose to form a LLC, is the flexibility they offer. - where Judgments and debts get recovered by the best - expertly matched for free, to your debtor.
Mark D. Shapiro, we pay for leads, and have the best quality free leads for enforcers, collection agencies and contingency collection attorneys.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Advance Directive for Health Care: An Overview

An advance directive for health care is a legal document in which you state the medical treatment you want to receive at some time in the future if you are not able to speak or make sound decisions for yourself. Other names for it are advance directive, health care directive and medical directive. It consists of three parts: the living will, power of attorney and do not resuscitate form (DNR).

The living will is the part of the set of documents in which you make known to your doctor and family members the kind of care you would like to receive as you near the end of life and you can no longer speak for yourself. It is prepared in advance of circumstances requiring its use and does not override your expressed desires.

Therefore, your consciously stated desires will always prevail over what's in the document if the two don't agree.

A living will might specify the withholding and/or withdrawing of treatment. It can be general or specific. A general one usually includes wording that directs the withholding or termination of any treatment, other than that for comfort, if you have a terminal illness. More specific instructions apply to the withholding or withdrawing of specific forms of treatment. They might include things such as artificial feeding, intravenous fluids, or intravenous antibiotics.

A medical power of attorney is that part of the health care directive which allows you to appoint someone to act in your behalf in directing your medical treatment if you are not able to speak for yourself or make sound decisions. The health care power of attorney goes into effect when your physician decides that you are no longer able to understand the nature and the consequences of your treatment decisions.

The term for the person appointed to make these decisions is health care agent (proxy). It is most commonly a family member or close friend who fully understands your treatment wishes. The proxy cannot be a physician or other health care provider involved in your treatment though.

With the exception of state restrictions or limitations listed by you on the power of attorney form, your health care proxy will make all decisions with regard to your treatment once the medical power of attorney goes into effect. Therefore, it is very important that the proxy have a good understanding of your wishes.

In order for the document to be official and legal, you must fill out and sign the medical power of attorney form. Your health care agent must also sign the form. You can revoke the document at any time.

The do not resuscitate (DNR) form is the part of the advance directive for health care that allows you to instruct healthcare personnel to not attempt to revive you if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. Unless the form exist and is visible medical personnel will assume that you consent to attempts to revive you. Those attempts might include the placement of a tube down your windpipe, chest compressions and the use of electrical voltage to stimulate your heart.

The do not resuscitate form is particularly valuable outside of the hospital, e.g. in situations where paramedics are called to a home. In that setting, it is important to have the form visibly on display where the emergency crew can see it. Otherwise, they will attempt resuscitation if it appears to be indicated.

Medical advance directive forms can be obtained from a number of sources including medical offices, hospitals, attorneys, social workers and some post offices. You can also draft your own. Because states regulate advance directives each state has its own official living will, medical power of attorney and do not resuscitate forms. Therefore it is probably best to use your state's official forms in order to be fully compliant with all your state's laws.

Victor E. Battles, M.D. is a board-certified internist with 30 + years of patient contact. He has been a principal investigator in several clinical research trials and is the founder of ProHealth Insight.
For articles on health care visit Pro Health Insight.
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Monday, September 7, 2015

Durable Powers of Attorney in Wills and Estate Planning

Planning how your estate shall be divided, distributed and disposed of doesn't only mean creating a last will and testament or putting up a trust for someone. Estate planning also means preparing for the unexpected, such as falling ill to an incurable disease or becoming incapacitated later in life. In this regard, you'll need the help of someone you completely trust to put your affairs in order even when you're no longer able to make those important decisions or even communicate your wishes. Drafting durable powers of attorney gives this person you appointed the legal means to sign documents, make decisions, and represent you in court.

The Medical Power of Attorney and The Living Will

Actually, the functions of a medical power of attorney play in tandem to the directives of a living will. They're both health care directives, but the durable power of attorney for health care focuses solely on assigning someone the legal duty to make decisions related to your illness or health condition. It needs a living will, which contains your instructions and wishes, including end-of-life decisions. Once you've lost the capacity to think or act on your own, such as when you've fallen into a coma, this durable power of attorney takes effect and hands over the responsibility for your personal health and well-being to your agent or attorney-in-fact.

You'll have tighter control over managing your living will, estate planning, and health care directives when you specify that these shall only take effect after a physician has confirmed that you lacked the mental and physical capacity. In this case, you have a springing durable power attorney in hand. The term capacity here legally pertains to a person's lack of understanding of the nature of his medical condition, the health care options open to him, and the possible consequences from making these choices. In addition, that person also loses the ability to speak out or make hand gestures to relay his personal preferences for medical care. This is where a health care declaration becomes an invaluable document in your estate planning.

The Financial Power of Attorney

Through a durable financial power attorney, you give another person - someone you fully trust to act in your best interests - the legal authority to act on your behalf. However, this power attorney for finances doesn't hand over absolute authority to your proxy. You may limit or extend your agent's legal access to your financial accounts. Generally, your financial surrogate can file and pay your taxes, manage your business, handle financial transactions in your name, access your bank accounts, claim an inheritance, collect Social Security and other benefits, and make use of your assets and properties to pay off debts and provide for your family's daily expenses.

These two powers of attorney must be specified as durable when filed. Otherwise, they won't take effect once you were found lacking capacity to think and act for your well-being. A divorce ends both documents when the agent is also the spouse. The court may revoke an agent's authority under a power of attorney for health care when it finds that the agent has acted improperly. A second person named in the document takes over as an alternate agent.

Toby King is a legal consultant and associate, working for a prestigious law firm in Sydney. He provides expert advice on family law, de facto relationships, and financial agreements. Find out more info on wills estate planning at ClinchLongLetherbarrow online.
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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Criminal Records: Do You Qualify for Expungement?

Expungement is not the same thing as sealing. The terms are very close in meaning with subtle differences. However, an expungement means that the criminal record is erased as if they crime never happened. Sealing simply hides the record and make it no longer public information. This is important because each state has different laws that apply to each of these terms.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Estate Planning - More Than Just A Legal Will

When people think of Estate Planning, they generally think of legal wills. Estate planning is not just a will, although it does involve writing one. Rather, it's a series of legal steps that involves allowing your beneficiaries to avoid probate and minimize the taxes incurred, and for you to write a living will in which you nominate trusted associates who would assume power of attorney and executor status should you be incapacitated or die. Estate planning also allows you more direct control over how your assets will be treated when you're gone.

One of the most important parts of any estate plan are measures to avoid too much of the estate's worth being lost to taxes. In the United State and abroad, dying can attract a number of specific taxes from both State and Federal governments, like death tax and estate tax. The simplest way to minimize estate tax is to name recipients of funds or assets from your estate in your legal will, specifying that a certain amount should be given as a gift. Provided your lifetime tax-free gift threshold of $1 million is not exceeded, these portions cannot attract any taxation.

An important part of any estate plan is the inclusion of a living will. A living will is not usually considered a legally binding document, however, it is given consideration if you are ever incapacitated and left unable to carry out your legal rights, or make decisions. While the living will itself may not carry much weight, you can nominate someone to assume your enduring power of attorney (EPA). If you are unable to exercise the living will as a legally binding decision, your enduring power of attorney can only be challenged by a court.

The will itself is the most important part of any estate plan. If you should die without writing a will, the specific laws of your state will determine how your assets will be divided following probate. Additionally, with no prior planning of where the assets should go on the event of your death, your estate is likely to be taxed the maximum possible amount. Where no will is present, the spouse is likely to keep one third of the value of the estate with the remainder to be distributed evenly among children.

An estate plan enables you to stipulate, for instance, that if your children receive an inheritance, the property is given to them personally and not, for example, to the child's spouse. Should your child ever divorce, then the value of any inheritance received would not have to be shared in any divorce settlement, as it would not be a shared asset of that marriage.

One of the more important aspects of estate planning is the protection it can provide your assets. Typically, after a person passes away their family sells the assets that were left to them and divides the proceeds among themselves. If, however, you have a company or significant property holdings, you may wish to prevent the breakup of any of these assets, judging them to have more value whole compared with their value after being broken up.

Estate planning allows very specific instructions for how such assets should be treated if you wish to prevent this asset division from happening. For example, you can specify in your will that you require that your business be run by a family trust whose members and membership requirements you specify. It is not uncommon for people to wish to leave behind some legacy when they've gone, and the establishment of a family trust to ensure your assets are managed properly by a family member is a good way of ensuring it.

Another common request made is for a trust fund to be established as a scholarship fund or similar. Again, with a proper estate plan, it is possible for a benefactor to specify who a scholarship fund is for, and who is allowed to sit on any board or committee it relies on to pick a recipient.

Estate planning is the method by which specific instructions may be given in advance on how to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated or die. Estate planning represents the best way of protecting your assets from the whims of financially irresponsible relatives, excessive government taxation, and dissolution of your assets by the normal laws of succession in the state or country concerned.

To avoid the costly probate process, have your questions and concerns addressed. Melcher’s Law firm has over 30 years experience in wills, trusts, estate planning, and probate administration. []
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Selecting a Legal Structure for Your Business

Starting a business requires prospective entrepreneurs to make hundreds of different decisions before opening their doors to customers. One of the most important decisions is selecting the right legal structure for your enterprise. The manner in which you choose to organize will impact your taxes, personal liability exposure, and fundraising options.

Sole proprietorships are the most common arrangement for people who work alone. This structure is a popular choice because it is the easiest to arrange and does not require any filings with the state. One of the biggest disadvantages of the sole proprietorship, however, is that entity does not exist apart from the owner. Consequently, the owner is personally liable for all financial obligations and damages resulting from lawsuits filed against the company. Another disadvantage is that it can be difficult to raise capital. Banks are reluctant to make loans to sole proprietorships, leaving the owners to rely on home equity loans or borrowing from family.

For enterprises with more than one owner, a partnership might be a good arrangement. Each partner contributes capital, labor, or expertise in order to turn a profit. The partners share in the profits, but like a sole proprietorship, they are also personally liable for debts and damages. One way in which partners can reduce personal exposure is by forming a limited partnership. This form consists of general partners who make decisions and assume the risks and limited partners with no control in the operations in exchange for reduced liability. Tax treatment is one of the main reasons this arrangement is selected. Profits and losses are passed through to the individual partners.

Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs, are a type of structure that is becoming very popular. This structure creates an entity separate from the owners. As a result, the owners are not liable for debts or judgments against the venture. Unlike a limited partnership, all members are free to participate in the management and enjoy protection from personal liability. LLCs also enjoy pass through taxation. However, the tax rules for these structures are complicated. The amount of paperwork is a huge hurdle, and members must file articles of organization with the Secretary of State or sign an operating agreement.

The right structure for your business depends on a number of different factors unique to your enterprise. For example, a small boutique selling handmade cat collars will obviously have less risk and perhaps less revenue than a company that provides window washing services to high-rise office buildings. Prospective entrepreneurs are advised to contact their attorney or accountant in order to discuss the taxation and liability consequences of the different entities. A number of free or low-cost resources to help you make your decision are available from your local chamber of commerce, Small Business Administration, or volunteers with the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Selecting the organization for your business is one of the most important decisions you and your partners will make. Research all of the available options and seek advice from experienced professionals before making your selection.

When starting a business, Michigan residents visit the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Learn more at
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Defining Legal Terms - By The People Fairfield CA

Rene goes over what types of questions they can help answer at By The People. A legal document preparation company.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Is Estate Planning and Is It Useful?

Estate planning creates a plan for distribution of your assets after you die. Most of us are familiar with a common product of estate planning: the will. Featured in TV shows and in everyday conversations, sometimes, the discussion surrounding this popular topic is not favorable.

We've seen people contesting wills, challenging their family members, feeling cheated by the administrators of wills and by the law and we've seen them arguing through lawyers about what wills mean how they should be executed. Other forms of estate planning exist to reduce the amount of conflict surrounding decisions.

Health care decisions can be included in estate planning; a health care proxy exists so that a chosen person can act out the desires of an incapacitated person still under medical care.

When it comes to the distribution of their wealth and medical decisions, multiple measures exist to enable the dead and the severely injured a means of executing their own desires. However, even in the case where no formal plans are made, heirs do receive some forethought in terms of the law.

The law of intestacy communicates that even if no measures are taken to distribute assets by a deceased party, those assets will still go to the deceased person's heirs. The law of intestacy has the most staying power in situations where it is least likely to be challenged by those wanting more. For insurance, according to Attorney Sean W. Scott of Virtual Law Office, this law works with a small number of assets and a with a small number of heirs.

In each of these cases, one can imagine there would be less conflict involved. With less to fight over, less fights can ensue. The same is likely true with less beneficiaries; as heirs likely know one another well when smaller in number, less family tension can arise. Less instances of certain heirs feeling more worthy than others to certain possessions may exist. The likelihood that an individual or set of siblings would usurp others' belongings may be reduced. And general confusion arising from miscommunication and a lack of cemented durable relationships may possibly decrease with a smaller set of heirs. None of these suggestions are set in stone, yet corresponding data would be a more than interesting dinner topic.

Scott emphasizes the financial advantages of estate planning, sharing that taking certain precautions can save money for heirs receiving portions of estates. As lawyers stay on the job, working to settle issues between family members or between the state and family members, their tabs continue running. Evaluating the multiple options may familiarize you with the best decisions for your situation, reducing stress and increasing savings for your loved ones after you pass.

Estate planning businesses offer the best in financial services to their target markets through use of digital content. Al Tinas, (C. Catchings), provides high-quality content to estate planning experts as well as other business leaders.
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