Monday, October 31, 2016

10 Halloween Safety Tips


Here are some tips for making trick-or-treating safe.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Use a Power of Attorney and a Medical Directive to Appoint Someone You Trust to Act on Your Behalf


Many begin arranging their estate plans when they retire. But they should also arrange for what happens when they become unable to make decisions but are still living.

Dementia and other afflictions leading to mental disabilities destroy our ability to act for ourselves - such as handling our financial and medical decisions. If you haven't formally assigned someone to make those decisions for you, someone else will - and may not make the kind of decisions you'd like.

But you can only choose someone to act for you when you're mentally competent. So, below, I discuss the type of powers of attorney you can assign to anyone to act for you.

When you assign a power of attorney to someone, he can then act on your behalf. That person does not have to be a lawyer. It can be anyone who's of legal age and who you trust to handle decisions as you would want them handled.

Most often, you'll need to validate this assignment with a signed - and possibly notarized - written document since hospitals, banks and the IRS generally want proof when someone else is acting for you.

According to the wording of your assignment, you can limit the area and time for which you assign the power of attorney. You may assign one person a power of attorney to handle your financial affairs, and another person to handle your heath-related decisions.

You can assign someone to begin acting for you under his power of attorney at any time. But since we're concerned with the circumstance of you becoming mentally incompetent to act, let's review some different types of powers of attorney you can choose from.

A Limited Power of Attorney means someone you choose can act for you to handle some restricted area of your life such as paying bills, handling financial decision, or investing. You'd have to specify those areas clearly.

A General Power of Attorney is not restricted to any single area. So whoever you chose can act for you in all respects.

Any power of attorney will cease when you become mentally incompetent unless you specify otherwise. Two types of powers of attorney remain in effect under your incompetence - which is the point of this article.

A Durable Power of Attorney keeps your assignment valid even when you become incapacitated. So be sure to make your assignment 'durable' if that's your intention.

A Springing Power of Attorney comes into effect only when you become incapacitated - and not before. Of course, for this power of attorney to come into effect some 'proof' that you are sufficiently incapacitated will be required. This may require a doctor's letter and some court action if necessary.

It might happen that someone you to whom you assign a power of attorney may be unscrupulous and will waste or steal your assets. This can happen if you're elderly and slowing down about things. So, if you're unsure of how someone will handle your affairs, you may want to grant him power of attorney while you're in good mental health to see how he performs. That's not a bad idea, in any case, since you can discuss with him what you think of his decisions to help frame his future ones.

Unless you make a power of attorney irrevocable, you can revoke it simply be telling that person his assignment is revoked. But be sure to notify others that the power was revoked, too.

Health Care-Related Power of Attorney When you become incapacitated, you may want some one to make health-related decisions for you. You do this with a Medical Durable Power of Attorney. This is also called a Health Care Proxy. It takes effect only when you require medical treatment and your physician determines that you can't communicate your wishes concerning treatment.

Again, you must execute this document when you're competent. Your health care proxy ensures your instructions will be carried out. Some states differ on what decisions can be included in a health care proxy. So check the rules in your state.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Shane_Flait

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2295818

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Estate Planning : Have You Been Named in the Will?



If you are a beneficiary in a will, you will most likely receive notice after the will is entered in probate court. Learn what to do if you have been named in a will from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Executor Of Will, Probate And Much More-You Need To Be Attentive About All These Legal Terms


There are many legal terms that are known to us, but only by name. We do not understand the proper meaning of them. The reason may be; everywhere they are explained in a hard legal language. In the lack of this knowledge one can struck into drastic situations. In today's world forgery and fraud related crimes cases are increasing like nothing. To avoid them we have to be attentive about our property and belongings. The money, assets and property belong to us and we have to take care of them. By understanding these terms you are giving value to your property. And, I will feel happy if I can help you in understanding these terms. If you really feel it difficult to understand these terms in a legal way, then here, I'm interested to explain all these terms in a very simple and common language.
Let's start with "Will".
-Will: You must be aware that will is a legal document. In it the distribution of the property of a person is explained. The distribution of all belongings is done according to owner's wish. The age category for applying a will is 18 or above 18 years.
-Testament: A testament is also a legal document. It also includes the distribution of owner's property. And, it also follows the owner's wish.
Then what makes a difference?
A "will" is a document which includes the distribution of owner's real property. Whereas, a "testament" is a document which includes the distribution of owner's personal property.
You might not understand that, what is the difference between a real property and a personal property?
There are two categories in property. One is Real and the other is Personal. A real property can be replaced by the term real estate. That means land or the things permanently attached with land that can be a house or a building, the things under the land, anything which can't be separated from the land. And, the personal property can be of two types. One is Tangible and the other is Intangible. Tangible personal property is something you can touch. And, it includes jewelry, home accessories like: sofa, bed, locker and other items. The intangible personal property is a non-materialistic property. That includes patents, copyrights, bonds and stocks etc.
-Testator: The owner of the property and the person who is going to sign the will and testament is called testator. He must be mentally stable at the time of creating and signing the will and testament. He must be at least 18 years old at the time of signing the will and testament.
-Beneficiaries: The people who are going to be the owners of the testator's real and personal property are called the beneficiaries. A beneficiary has to be 18 or above 18 years. If a beneficiary is less than 18 years old then he and his part of property will be under the care of a care taker.
-Executor: An Executor is a person who is responsible for the distribution of the property. This distribution must be according to the will and testament. The person who is going to be the executor can also refuse to be so. And, if he accepts it then the court dispatches a document which is called "letters testamentary". It is issued to legally allow the person to be the executor.
Note: Don't get confused between the executor of the will and the beneficiaries. In a simple language, an executor is the care taker of will and the beneficiaries are the (would be) owner of the property.
-Probate: It is a legal process, which is held at the probate courts. Some matters are cleared in this process, like who is going to be the executor of the will, who are going to be the legal beneficiaries etc.
Keep these terms in mind. Don't get cheated and do value your property, this is really very important.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7806338

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Giving Someone the Power of Attorney


Power of attorney is a legal term in fact. This is a form or a document that is basically legal because it will be notarize by someone in the right position like the lawyers. Power of attorney allows some to have the authority to handle some other person's business affairs. There are two individuals involve in the process. The first is the principal which will authorize someone to act on his or her behalf. The second person is the agent or the attorney in fact who is appointed to carry out the task of its principal. In the United States, attorney in fact is the common term used; this person must be loyal and most importantly honest in carrying out his or her tasks. The attorney in fact may or may not be paid but for the record most principal would choose someone close to them to act as his or her agent. Usually the principal chooses individuals close to them as the agent because this individual acts as a confidant to the principal.

When making a power of attorney form, you should decide on what type you will use. This form may be limited or special and general. The effectiveness of its power ends when the principal becomes incapacitated or incapable or even before she or he dies. In this case, the principal will be unable to grant the power needed unless the grantor or principal will state and specify that the power of attorney still have its effectiveness even if he or she becomes debilitated. In case when the principal dies, so the effectiveness of the power of attorney ends as well.

There is also the durable power of attorney which encompasses an advance directive that sanctions the attorney in fact. In this position, the agent makes decisions regarding health care of the principal which now happens to be the patient. The decisions would include terminating care; consent to give or not to give any medication or procedure or treatment. An advance directive is very much different with a living will. A living will is a written document stating the patient's wishes regarding the health condition but this does not allow the agent to make any medical decisions.

In the end, it is really very important to understand power of attorney because giving or assigning this to another individual requires a lot of understanding. Yes, it is very easy to acquire such but then it will all end up when the agent would act upon the power of attorney.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Kahn

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_D_Shapiro

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Can You Afford Effective Estate Planning?


"Can I Afford Effective Estate Planning?"

That's Really Not the Right Question.

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

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

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

Would you leave your home uninsured?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Probate Expense - If your estate goes through Probate, then your family will pay a much higher cost to administer your estate. The attorney fee to pay in Probate is calculated as a percentage of your assets, starting as high as 4.5%. For example, in Lucas County, the attorney fee for probating a $400,000 estate (gross value) would be $15,000. With the right planning, that cost could be significantly reduced, resulting in savings of up to $11,000!
  • Creditors or Long Term Care Spend Down. If you're concerned about the potential for losing your savings to a nursing home, and if long term care insurance is not an option for you, then the right kind of estate planning can help protect a large portion of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_M_Chamberlain

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8050727

Sunday, October 23, 2016

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



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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Uncontested Divorce Made Affordable - By the People



Divorce is probably never easy, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Rene of By the People in Fairfield CA talks briefly about help with uncontested divorces with our without children. Rene or Tammy will be happy to answer all your questions. Call them at 707-428-9871 and you can visit the website at http://bythepeopleca.com

Friday, October 21, 2016

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.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Stratton

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Personal Finance Tips - How to Set Up a Financial Power of Attorney To Help Handle Your Affairs



If you have a good deal of money or assets it is probably a good idea that when you are planning your estate that you also consider setting up a financial power of attorney. What this is, is a document that will give another person the legal power or right to handle all of your financial affairs. To do this you don't even have to go to court. You just need to be of sound mind when you set up this type of an arrangement.

You being the principal in this document will then choose someone called the agent who will handle your affairs should there come a time in which for whatever reason, you can't. They can also be asked to handle your affairs if you are going to be gone and won't be able to take care of your affairs while you are away.

When you sit down to figure this out you are going to need to decide upon just how much authority that you are going to allow the agent to have. You may decide to give them general powers to handle all of it or you may just give him power to just take care of certain kinds of transactions like your stocks and bonds. They can even be asked to take care of financial issues while you are away on an extended vacation if need be.

You also need to figure out just how long you want their authority to last. It can be durable or it can be nondurable. A nondurable agent will lose their authority the minute you should become incapacitated in any way. So if you want to have them to continue on should you not be able to take care of things if you were incapacitated then you would want to make sure that you made them a durable agent.

You also need to figure out when the power of attorney will take effect. Understand that it will go into effect immediately as soon as the document is signed unless you set down a date in the document when it will take effect. Some documents with durable agents will not kick in until you might be declared incompetent or incapacitated by a doctor. You will also need to make sure there is a stipulation in the document that dictates when the power of attorney is ended, for instance you might stipulate that once a doctor says you are going to be OK and will be recovering, then the power of the agent will end.

Once you have your document written up you will need to have it signed by all parties involved and most states will require that you have the document notarized in front of two witnesses. If you don't want to do all of this yourself, you can always pay an attorney to write up your document for you.

When you decide to write up this kind of a document, the person that you pick needs to be someone you really believe that you know and trust well enough to honestly take care of your affairs for you whenever you might not be able to. Also remember that anything is possible so you might want to also name a second agent in case something should happen to the first one. Also make sure that if you would like to pay this person for performing their agent duties to state this in your document, otherwise they don't get paid for doing this.

Once you have your document written up and signed you should give a copy of it to your agent, a copy for yourself and you should also make sure that any agencies or businesses you do business with have copies as well and that would be banks, brokers, IRS or SSI.

Note: You can revoke your power of attorney at any time during your arrangement with them as long as you are mentally stable and you make sure that you send them a letter in writing stating you are going to revoke the document.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_Myer

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Monday, October 17, 2016

How Thinking About An Uncontested Divorce Figures Into Your Decision About Divorce


An uncontested divorce is the most common type of divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce that occurs when there are no disagreements between spouses over divorce related issues like custody, finances, living arrangements, spousal support, child support, etc. An uncontested divorce can be an easy way for people to get divorced without the hassles of a legal struggle and undue wear and tear on emotions.

But, you may not be ready to seriously consider uncontested divorce if you're just thinking about it.

Thinking about an uncontested divorce can mean a variety of things from a psychological perspective...it could mean that you are really on the brink of divorce.

It could also mean that you're feeling frustrated and just want to end things as fast and quietly as possible. If this is the case, you may want to make sure that you aren't just being lazy and you should examine your reasons for divorce first before you go any further.

"Does it mean I am really ready for divorce just because I am starting to think about an uncontested divorce?"

Maybe, maybe not.

Here's a few things you might want to think about before going onto next steps with regards to an uncontested divorce, just to make sure that you're really ready to go through with it.

Uncontested divorce situation 1:
You're thinking about an uncontested divorce because you want out but you aren't sure if your spouse is ready to call it quits.

This can be tough if you aren't careful. The main point of an uncontested divorce is to have both parties agree on things. If your spouse doesn't even know that you're thinking about getting a divorce, mentioning an uncontested divorce may result in an explosive discussion.

Uncontested divorce situation 2:
You've both agreed that you'd like a divorce, but haven't really clearly defined why, you just know you both feel ending the marriage is best.

Maybe there's a chance to make your marriage work! Don't be too hasty. If you can't clearly define why you and your spouse want to end your marriage, you're acting on emotion rather than a healthy combination of emotion and logic. Sit down, think it through and have a detailed discussion around all of the details.

But, be careful...this can be a volatile situation if you haven't talked everything through and mutually agreed on how you'll actually implement your divorce decision to have an uncontested divorce.

If one of you is more demonstrative than the other or is usually the person who drives the decisions, that sense of control may carry over into the discussion of the terms of the uncontested divorce.

Uncontested divorce situation 3:
You both agreed that you'd like a divorce (and you both know why), and you've successfully talked about and agreed on all of the details regarding the uncontested divorce.

Although it can be a sad situation most of the time, sometimes a divorce is actually a good thing unfortunately. If you and your spouse have amicably decided to part ways and can continue on as responsible happy adults, then an uncontested divorce can be an easy way to sever the relationship and all legal obligations. This is the best situation to be in if you're looking for an uncontested divorce...it should be simple to finish from this point.

Lots of people think about uncontested divorces and never go through with getting one because they actually work things out...and that's a great thing! And, some people think they want an uncontested divorce but haven't agreed on the details and terms, they're just looking for the fastest way to end the marriage. If this is the case, the relationship can turn from being amicable (and each party thinking they want a divorce) to being nasty and a resulting tug of war ensues with each person striving to get what they feel they deserve out of the divorce...and this can lead to a drawn out negotiation which certainly is not an uncontested divorce.

Be smart when you're considering an uncontested divorce...make sure that you're really ready to go through with it. Don't let the term 'uncontested' fool you, an attorney can ethically and legally on represent one of the married parties. But, if you and your spouse can truly be amicable and truthful, an uncontested divorce can be easy.

Karl Augustine

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karl_Augustine/1746

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Power of Attorney - What Are the Options?


Business or personal matters often require giving power of attorney (abbreviated as POA) privileges to chosen individuals. POA authorizes the chosen individual to decide matters relating to finance or healthcare for another person who are not capable of deciding anything on his/her own.

Before giving such privileges to any person, you need to know how it works, as well as the rights given to that person. The person nominated for the purpose must be competent in making decisions, some of which may go against the wishes of other members of the family.

Law makes it obligatory to give POA only to persons who are at least eighteen years old. It is extremely important to select a person capable of taking difficult decisions relating to finance and health.

People can choose between different kinds of rights and responsibilities that they can transfer through a Power of Attorney form, depending on their needs. Every POA involves two persons, the 'Principal' and the 'Attorney-in-Fact.' The former is the individual who defines the contract, and the latter is an individual who executes the duties specified therein.

The most usual kind of contract is the Durable Power of Attorney. It's a legal document, authorizing the attorney-in-fact to take decisions concerning the finances and health, as stipulated by the Principal. This kind of POA remains in force till the Principal dies or revokes this act.

The other frequently made document is called the Non-Durable Power of Attorney. The attorney-in-fact to is authorized to take decisions for certain transactions, which are specified in the act. This kind of POA is usually made when the Principal needs to undergo surgery or another medical treatment that could make them unable for taking decisions. This POA is valid for a particular transaction, and automatically expires after the operation took place.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is required while authorizing an individual for taking medical decisions for the Principal. It essentially involves discussing the types of treatments to which the principal may be subjected to.

The Limited Power of Attorney is generally given to another person for selling or transferring some Real Estate or property in the possession of the Principal. The privilege expires after the completion of the transaction.

Most do not feel comfortable discussing such topics. However, the kind of treatment to be followed should be discussed in advance, in case anything unexpected happens. For instance, if someone doesn't want to be kept on a life support system, when the brain is declared dead, he/she should specifically mention it in his/her healthcare POA. Else, the medical personnel is obliged to obey the state laws and continue with the regular medical treatment.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cindy_Humphreys

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ever Considered an LLC?


There are no hard and fast rules as to what is the best way to structure a business, and naturally, the decision will be based on your own individual circumstances. But there are certain pros and cons to each business structure that you should be aware of, as there are certain rules that regulate the way business may be conducted in the U. S.

Strategy - Consider converting your business to a Limited Liability Company to avoid personal exposure to business liability.

Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships do not offer owner(s) protection from business debts, whereas Corporations do.

For this reason alone, you should consider forming your business entity as a Corporation - to provide the owner(s) "1st Level" protection from business creditors. Of course, this only applies to debt that has not been "personally guaranteed" by any business owners.

This same level of protection can also be accomplished, without incorporation, using a "Limited Liability Company" (LLC). A "Limited Liability Company" is taxed as a partnership form of organization-using a Form 1065, (or as a corporation, using a Corporate Tax form) and issuing K-l (Form 1065) Schedules to each owner.

This is the newest method of structuring a business and is a fairly recent innovation. An LLC is like a Sole Proprietorship; however it provides the same protection from liabilities as that of a "C" or "S" corporation. In fact, this structure allows you to elect to be treated as a corporation without having to deal with the formalities of a corporation.

If there is only one owner, you can file and be taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. If there are two or more owners, you will be taxed as a partnership.

Here's why you may want to consider using the LLC form of business organization.

Advantages

· Limits liability just like a regular corporation.

· One person can own the LLC, which eliminates the need to file a separate tax return.

· Other entities such as a C Corp, trust, or partnership can own an LLC.

· Does not require the formal meetings and documentation of a "C" or "S" corporation.

· Tax filing and other paper work is simple and inexpensive.

· You can claim all the same tax advantages of Sole Proprietorship and partnerships.You don't have to hold shareholder meetings or keep meeting notes.

· Management control need not be proportional to ownership.

The advantages of a "Limited Liability Company" over an "S" Corporation form of business organization are as follows:

· An "LLC" is not limited to 100 owners;

· An "LLC" allows foreign individuals to be owners, and

· An "LLC" cannot have its status revoked if it engages in real estate activities.

Disadvantages

· The major disadvantage of an LLC is that it does not provide a FICA tax break like an "S Corporation" does (except in the case of hiring a spouse or children... their salary is not subject to FICA taxes if they are under the age 18).

· The laws which govern an LLC are not uniformly written among the states. Because there is no uniformity between states with regard to the tax treatment of an "LLC", there may exist some potential for exposure to additional liability at your local and/or state level.

Under a "Limited Liability Company" its owners are not called owners or partners, but rather are referred to as "members." Each member enjoys an upper limit on their own personal liability potential in an amount equal to the dollars they personally invested in the "LLC"-just like the liability protection afforded "S" Corporation shareholders.

One final thought on multiple ownerships within partnerships, LLC's or corporations. What happens if you and one other owner in your business do not get along? Bad relationships have resulted in some of the most expensive and protracted legal battles around. This kind of business contention is as bad as a divorce.

Thus, take the following advice:

If you incorporate or structure your business as an LLC and have multiple owners, always set up a "buy-sell" agreement at the launch of your business. This will eliminate a lot of problems you could encounter later. Think of "buy-sell" arrangements as some sort of business prenuptial agreement.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brad_Gillies

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8269047

Friday, October 14, 2016

Uncontested Divorce - Do You Know How It Works?


An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties can agree to the terms of the divorce. With an uncontested divorce, both parties negotiate the terms of the divorce without court proceedings. One lawyer represents one of the parties and prepares the divorce documents. Generally speaking, the lawyer will meet with the party they are representing and start the divorce proceedings. The parties negotiate the terms until both parties are satisfied. There are advantages and disadvantages to an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce is considerably cheaper than going to court. If you can negotiate the terms of the divorce agreement before contacting a lawyer to begin the divorce proceedings, the cost is minimal. It saves time for everyone involved. When facing a divorce, saving money is a huge benefit. This is money that can be used for making necessary changes and for living expenses.

An uncontested divorce can also help maintain a level of civility between the parties. If the parties to the divorce have an amiable relationship, it is best to try to protect that mutual respect, especially if there are children involved. Another advantage is the privacy that an uncontested divorce offers in contrast to court proceedings. The divorce will be a matter of public record, but the visibility of the negotiations and the actions taken is potentially private and limited by what the parties disclose in the documents.

Just because the parties do not immediately agree to terms of the divorce doesn't mean that they should put the decisions in the hands of a judge. It may just mean that more negotiations are needed. However, there are times when an uncontested divorce is not necessarily the best route. There are some disadvantages to uncontested divorces.

If one party is exerting power and control over the negotiations or if there is a history of domestic violence, then an uncontested divorce is usually a bad idea. The victimized party is not in a position to look out for their own best interest. An uncontested divorce does not ensure that the agreement will be fair and just. Therefore, if one party is unable to do this for themselves, an uncontested divorce is not for them.

An uncontested divorce will not work if the parties cannot tolerate each other enough to negotiate the terms of the divorce. If they can't have reasonably civil discussions and come to an agreement, then attempting an uncontested divorce is a waste of time. Sometimes, this hostility will lessen with time and an uncontested divorce will become a viable option.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Moses_Wright

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why You Should Integrate a Family Trust with Your Business



Utilizing a Revocable Living Trust can be an affordable way to ensure your business passes effectively to your family or loved ones upon your death.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

4 Reasons to Form an LLC or Incorporate Your Business


Are you operating your business under a fictitious name, your own name or as a sole proprietorship or general partnership? Are you at risk because your assets are not protected from legal issues? If you are operating your business without the protection an LLC or corporate offers, it's time to make it official.

Here are four very good reasons to incorporate or form an LLC as soon as possible.

1. You are sending a bad message to your customers

When you operate as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you are sending the message that you are still inexperienced, testing the waters or unsure if you are serious about your business. Maybe you have been told that incorporating or forming an LLC is just another expense and it won't save you anything on taxes. This is not the only thing you should consider, however, as you also want to consider how you are marketing your business and what you are telling your customers.

2. You can protect your assets

If you hold all of your assets in your name and you have not formed a corporation or LLC, you are doing something very risky. What happens if a customer sues you after they get hurt by a product? What if a vendor comes after you for non-payment? All it takes is one lawsuit -- which you will probably not see coming -- to ruin your personal credit and put your belongings and home at risk. Even if you do your best to play by the rules and treat everyone fairly, you cannot be fully covered while operating as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

When your corporation or LLC borrows money, signs a lease, or buys anything on credit, you will not be personally liable.

3. There are important tax benefits

Operating as a sole proprietorship can cost you significantly in self employment taxes, which tax your income at the highest possible tax rate for your situation. The decision to form an LLC or incorporate can turn otherwise non-deductible personal expenses into legitimate business expenses that may be deducted. In many cases, the corporate tax rate is much lower than the individual tax rate. A corporation or limited liability company can often qualify for additional tax deductions and benefits unavailable to individuals. This is because incorporating creates a separate legal entity.

4. It will be easier to raise capital

When you want to raise money for your business, having a corporation will make it easier to find the money you need. You can take on investors by selling shares, or you can borrow from banks and lending institutions. If a third party investors wants to invest in your business, there must be an entity set up to accept the money. Most venture capitalists prefer to work with corporations.

You have put it off long enough. If you want your business to be taken seriously and gain protection for yourself and your family, it's time to consult with a corporation service company or an attorney to go over your options.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christine_Layton

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8314712

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Becoming Incapacitated Without A Healthcare Power Of Attorney


A Healthcare Power of Attorney is meant to be in place to allow you to make healthcare decisions for yourself when you are no longer able to speak for yourself. You are considered to be legally incapacitated when you can no longer speak for yourself. What happens when you become incapacitated without having a healthcare power of attorney in place?

If you become incapacitated or no longer able to speak for yourself concerning medical decisions without a Healthcare Power Of Attorney in place for yourself then family members in most states might be able to step in to make decisions for you. This is put into place by the power under the Adult Health Care Consent Act of most states. The Adult Health Care Consent Act states an order of succession of who will be able to step in to speak for you in case of your incapacity. The Spouse is given priority in the order of those that can step in and speak for you. The next in line is the children.
The next in line is parents. After that are siblings. In the order of succession after the spouse each group of children or parents if there is more than one must come to an agreement on a decision to be made. This situation puts an undue stress and difficult decision in the hands of family members that have within their choice the power to keep alive or let a family member die. This can lead to unnecessary fights or disagreements among family members at a difficult and stressful time.

When there are differing opinions on whether you should be allowed to stay alive or pass among family members the situation can quickly and literally become life and death. Unnecessary stress and arguments can be prevented by simply putting in writing your healthcare wishes in your advance directives. Take the choice and doubt over what you would have wanted to happen to you away from everyone else. This is a simple and selfless act that could potentially keep a family together by having a plan in place. Having a plan in place allows for everything to flow smoothly at a time when tensions and grief can be high and get even higher.

It is best to have a Healthcare Power Of Attorney in place to make your wishes clear and appoint one agent to make decisions on your behalf.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Evan_Guthrie/1217354

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6789418

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Becoming Incorporated - The Pros and Cons Of Incorporation


So you currently have your own business and you're pondering over whether or not you should incorporate it, or carry on as a sole trader?

Before you make the incorporation decision, you need to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages that incorporating brings.

This article will set out to explain the benefits and downsides to incorporation, starting with the benefits ...

Benefits of Incorporation:

Personal Liability Protection

An incorporated company is a separate legal entity responsible for its own debts. Shareholders only have responsibility for servicing debts and liabilities up to the value of their equity in the Company.

Creditors of a corporation can only seek payment from the assets of the incorporated business and not from the personal assets of shareholders, directors and officers.

As a small business owner of a non incorporated company, your personal assets are at risk if your business fails to service it's debts.

Personal liability protection is therefore a major benefit of business incorporation.

However, owners forming new corporations with small amounts of invested capital may well be asked to provide personal guarantees that credit will be honoured to reduce the risk of the lender.

Also, owners of incorporated businesses are required to personally ensure that the company makes its required tax repayments.

Protection From Legal Action

As with personal liability protection from debts above, the personal assets of the company's owners is protected by the separate legal entity status in cases where the incorporated company faces legal action.

Note, incorporation does not protect a company's officers from liability and prosecution in cases where the company is found guilty of criminal negligence.

Tax Advantages

Some incorporated businesses can enjoy lower taxation rates following business incorporation compared with partnerships and sole traders. One way of achieving lower taxation is to minimise the salary paid to the owners to reduce higher rates of personal taxation, and draw income from the business in the form of dividends which are taxed at a lower rate.

Obviously professional advice from a qualified taxation expert should be sought in all instances as all personal circumstances are different.

Other taxation benefits of incorporation are that once incorporated, many additional items of expenditure become tax deductible. For example medical expenses, entertainment expenses, vehicle and travel costs, recreational facilities and pension costs all become tax deductible. This can be a significant cash benefit. In particular money placed in an approved pension plan is tax free as is the funds growth.

Raising New Capital

Once you've incorporated your business, the ability to issues shares simplifies the process of raising capital investment. It's also easier to get loans and other finance approved from financial lending institutions if you are an incorporated company.

Transferring Ownership

The existence of shares also simplifies the sale of your business in the future. Also should an owner or director die, the business can continue to operate indefinitely.

Business Credibility

Having the words Inc or Corp in your business name gives a positive perception of long term financial stability.

Disadvantages of Incorporation

Double Taxation

Once incorporated, earnings are subject to double taxation, whereby, company profits are taxed, and then the dividends paid to shareholders from the "net" profits are also taxed.

With a non-incorporated business, the income the owner receives from the business is only taxed once. Double taxation can be avoided if the corporation is registered as an "S-Corporation"

Statutory Compliance Costs

Compliance with legal and accounting requirements places a significant burden on companies in terms of staffing, cost and time. There are also fees associated with the initial company incorporation, and ongoing operations.

Loss of flexibility The separate legal entity status of incorporation also means that the company finances are separate from the individual's, therefore the individual cannot "borrow" money from the accounts of the corporation, and statutory requirements in general reduce the flexibility of what can and can't be done with the business and its finances.

The above are some of the key advantages and disadvantages that you as a business owner need to consider before you begin the process of incorporation. You should always seek legal advice as all cases are different.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Taylor

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1091958

Friday, October 7, 2016

Estate Planning : Family Estate Trust or Revocable Living Trust?



Most people who ask for family estate trusts really want a revocable living trust to reduce estate taxes and manage finances.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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/?expert=Ashley_Easterbrook

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to Form an LLC - A Simple, Straightforward Guide


Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) is not as complicated as most people think. While each state has its own unique list of steps and requirements, you'll find that they have the important things in common. So whether you're establishing your LLC in business-friendly Delaware or in rural Wyoming, it's likely that you'll need to go through the following steps if you want to form an LLC:

1. Choose a business name.

It helps to have a short list of possible business names to choose from before you register your LLC. Some of the business names you want may already be taken, or they might violate a trademark. Don't worry too much about this, though. Most states have a searchable database online where you can see if the business name you want is already being used. Also, remember that your business name must be followed with a designator identifying it as an LLC. Some valid ones include "Limited Liability Company", "Limited Company", "Ltd. Liability Co." and the acronym "LLC".

Once you've selected a valid name for your LLC, don't worry about registering it. Usually, it will automatically be registered once you complete the second step.

2. File your Articles of Organization.

Simply put, your LLC's Articles of Organization is a document containing basic business information such as your business name, address, purpose, and the names of the owners. This is often a ready-made form that you can get from your Secretary of State's office. While you're at this step, it also helps to ask them about the fees and requirements involved in setting up an LLC. This will help you plan for the later steps.

As you file your Articles of Organization, you will be required to pay a filing fee. This is usually inexpensive, but if you want the filing to be expedited you will have to pay a few hundred dollars more. Keep in mind that some states have additional fee requirements. For example, LLC owners in California are also asked to pay $800 in business tax on filing, to be repaid annually.

3. Create an Operating Agreement.

Though operating agreements are not required in all states, it's handy to have them from the start - especially if the LLC will be owned by more than one person. Your LLC's operating agreement should contain information about the role of each owner, how profits and losses will be shared, as well as the operating rules and bylaws of the business.

4. Submit other miscellaneous requirements.

Since business laws vary from state to state, there are probably specific requirements you need to submit depending on where you're establishing your LLC and what kind of LLC you have. For example, if you're starting a business that sells and distributes liquor, you'd need a specific liquor license for that. Other requirements may include zoning permits, publishing a classified ad announcing your LLC, and practice permits for specific professions.

As you can see, it's really simple to set up your own LLC. All you need to do is to follow the steps above while being aware of the unique documents and fees required by your state.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Spencer_Holt/536370

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4422501

Monday, October 3, 2016

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.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Toby_King

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Living Trust and Wills - By the People



Living Trust or a will? Rene talks about some of the differences and what sets one apart from the other to help you make the best decision for your needs. Call Rene or Tammy at 707-428-9871 with any questions you may have, and see their website at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Saturday, October 1, 2016