Thursday, August 17, 2017

Conservatorship Information



A conservatorship is a court proceeding that grants one or more people the authority to make financial or health care decisions for another because of a mental or physical incapacity that renders a person unable to make informed and sound decisions.

A conservatorship can be over the person, the estate, or both. The person appointed by the court to make decisions is called the conservator, and the person about whom decisions will be made is called the conservatee.

Conservators are generally family members or a professional conservatorship company and in some cases, the Public Guardian's office may be appointed. Regardless of who the conservator is, their duty is to act solely in the best interests of the conservatee. To insure this, court evaluation, supervision and monitoring of the conservatorship is established.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Documents to Consider When Doing Estate Planning


There's nothing that can prevent someone from dying, since physical death is an absolute certainty that no one can escape. The fear for some people, though, is not what's going to happen to them after they pass on, but more on who's going to take care of their loved ones, especially if the people he'll be leaving behind are either very young children or are incapacitated, or both.

You can't have control of what's going to happen to you after death, but you sure can decide what's going to happen to your assets once that event transpires. It's called estate planning. This is the process by which a person (or even a family) arranges the transfer of his assets in anticipation of his death. And in estate planning, there are several documents to consider. Here are some of them:

Last will and testament - This document takes front and center in all the planning. This is the document that legally provides for the transfers of assets after one's death. It names a person to settle the estate, a trustee who will administer any trust established, and a guardian if there minor children. For those who die without having executed a will, they are considered to be 'intestate.' Under certain laws, if one is intestate, property goes first (or in major part) to a spouse, and then to children and their descendants.

Trust - Persons preparing a will and testament can execute either 'inter vivos' or testamentary trusts (trusts established through a will). The difference between the two is that with the former, assets are transferred into the living during the trust creator's lifetime, as opposed to testamentary trusts, where the transfer becomes operative at the time of death.

Durable powers of attorney - A power of attorney is the document that authorizes a designated agent to carry out financial and business transactions for the person that's establishing the document. This grants such agent to access bank accounts (and even brokerage accounts), deal with insurance companies, and even sell property. This effectively allows the agent to step into the shoes of the person he is assisting.

Healthcare power of attorney - This document is a form of a living will that is designed, among other things, to: provide instructions for the conditions should life-sustaining procedures be utilized, authorize who will make healthcare decisions, and ensure that the person chosen to make these decisions is given access to the executor's medical records during incapacity.

These are the important documents to take into account so a person can have the opportunity to make personal and financial decisions, both in life and after death, without the need for court orders.


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Monday, August 14, 2017

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.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Wills and Trusts - What Are the Differences?


Both of these legal documents offer a way to distribute estate assets when a person dies but each are different in a variety of ways.

Wills

With a will, it is cheaper to prepare but it can be expensive to probate. In many jurisdictions, according to estate law, this is a legally binding document, which will allow you to give your assets to a designated beneficiary or beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this usually does not happen until after the person of the will dies. A will executor carries out the distribution of their assets. After the creator dies, the will must go through probate. During probate, the court will decide if the will is valid. Then the court will supervise the distribution of the assets. This can be a costly process because the assets can be subjected to estate taxes. When this is the case, an estate lawyer's services may be required.

With a will, one of the drawbacks is that they become public record after the creator's death so everything about the will is public knowledge. In order to manage the distribution of assets there will be a conservatorship or a power of attorney.

Trusts

A trust is more expensive to prepare but when there is a trust, it will usually allow the beneficiaries to avoid any probate costs. After having a trust written it can take effect any time during a person's lifetime using a trustor to convey assets to the trustee to hold for the beneficiaries. When the creator dies, the probate is avoided. This is because the assets were transferred during the lifetime of the trustor. The trust will continue to function even after the trustor dies.

With a trust, it will usually remain private and allow the beneficiaries of the trust to maintain confidentially about the specific terms of the trust. Generally having a trust can provide more tax benefits. In some jurisdictions, they will allow for a certain amount of the trust assets to be passed on to the beneficiaries without requiring them to pay gift and estate taxes. Depending on any applicable trust laws, the tax perks available will vary from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction.

In managing a trust, it can be done by a trustee or a trustor but will depend on how the trust has been set up. If the trustor manages the trust then he will usually specify who will manage it once he has died.

In conclusion

Looking at all the facts it appears that it is best if a trust is set up to distribute the assets instead of using a will. If you are uncertain talk to an estate attorney for legal advice as to which one you should set up for your particular situation.


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Friday, August 11, 2017

Power of Attorney - 6 Factors You Should Consider When Nominating the Best Agent


Ever wondered how your modest finances or properties are handled, in case something occurs to you or you will have to go away somewhere? In that case consider the power of attorney. What is power of attorney? This is a legal document that would facilitate you to allow an organization or a person manages your business matters and your finances.

The principal is person who is creating or signing the power of attorney, while the agent or the attorney-in-fact is the person who would be granted with authority. Because the power of attorney will give the agent the control over banking, credit and other financial concerns, it is important to be made with care that's why legal assistance is important.

Power of attorney can be divided into 2 types, the general and the specific. The general power of attorney can handle different personal and business transactions while the specific power of attorney identifies specific transaction when the document would take effect.

Here are some factors you should consider when choosing the best agent for your power of attorney:

• Capability. It is much recommended to think about the capability of agent in managing legal matters and principal's property. You should not entrust your own finances to the agent who has problems in controlling over their own finances.

• Age. In case you are thinking about your child as the attorney-in-fact, you should consider the age. There are differences on every state of laws on creating the power of attorney. However approximately all of the laws accept that no agent must be under 18 or 21 years old.

• Work experience. It's good idea to award authority to agent who is competent and expertise in legal matters or in finances.

• Time. While deciding on the perfect agent to stand for you, at that time it is very vital to think about how much time they can provide in handling legal matters and financial.

• Location. It's advisable to consider agent who is not far from the property and the principal.

• Organization and documentation skills. The principal may perhaps require the attorney-in-fact to trace and correctly document the several transactions made whether it will be for personal, business or government purposes.

Other factor you should pay attention is how to decide the spouse as the attorney-in-fact. Nearly all military personnel will give the power of attorney to their spouses in case they are in battle. Other option is a close relative.

You do not always have to opt for a family member, you can decide on a non-relative attorney-in-fact. If the principal is slightly worried on giving many duties on one agent, then he or she may well find other co-agents. However you could do that only if the power attorney specifies the information or the limitation of the capabilities. Previous to making decision on agent in the power of attorney, the principal ought to talk to the agents first and ask them if they are keen to be agents.

When carrying out the task, no organizations will control the agent. It will just depend on the principal as well as principal's relatives to supervise if the agent is carrying out what is predetermined in the power of attorney.


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Incorporation and LLC's - By the People



Rene of By the People Document Preparation Service in Fairfield CA talks briefly about the basic differences between Inc. and LLC, and the benefits and features of each. Give Rene or Tammy a call at 707-428-9871 with any questions you may have so they can help you get the right product for your business.

See more at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

Estate and Retirement Planning - How Can My Estate Avoid Probate?


If you are a retiree, you likely have heard many claims made about probate problems. The word itself may even fill you with dread. If you are planning your estate, there are some things you should consider concerning probate. In this, as in all things, it is important to take a balanced approach. Let's review some of the issues pertaining to probate. Then you can decide if you need to approach your estate planning differently.

What is the purpose of probate?

You have heard this word many times, but may never have considered what it means. In legal terms, probate is the period of time during which a will is proven authentic or valid. The purpose of probate is to distribute an estate according to the decedent's wishes described in his or her will. Typically, the first step of probate is to use the person's probate assets and property to pay all debts. After that, any remaining assets and property are distributed to persons named in the will. There may be costs associated with the probate process.

Probate ensures that your wishes for the distribution of your estate are carried out upon your death. Probate is a public process. If your estate is of any size, your heirs could suddenly have new friends trying to advise them on how to manage their newly inherited assets.
People often assume all assets are subject to probate, which raises the following question.

Are all assets subject to probate?

No. Some assets are excluded from probate. An example would be assets that are held in joint ownership with rights of survivorship, such as your personal home. Other assets not subject to probate are those governed by a beneficiary designation. This would include assets such as your 401(k), IRAs, life insurance policies, and annuities. Additionally, assets held in a trust are not subject to probate. If the majority of your estate assets are held in accounts of this type, you may not have that much to be concerned about.

What about my brokerage and bank accounts?

These types of accounts can be set up to transfer on death (TOD) to a beneficiary. This designation allows you to pass securities and banking accounts directly to another person (your TOD beneficiary) upon your death without having to go through probate. By setting your accounts up this way, the executor or administrator of your estate will not have to take any action to ensure that your accounts transfer to the person you have designated. The TOD beneficiaries will have to take steps to retitle the accounts in their name, but this is not a very cumbersome process.

As you can see, probate may not be as bad as you have heard. There are many things to consider during the estate planning process.  

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

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.


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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Probate Court Will Appoint a Personal Representative to the Estate


The probate court will appoint a person to represent the decedent and to administer the decedent's estate; this is called a personal representative. This person has a variety of names in the absence of statue to the contrary depending on various circumstances. This being, if the decedent died testate and designed such a person in his will. The court usually will appoint that person the executor (man) or executrix (woman).

If the will does not so designate any such person or the person so designated is unavailable or is unqualified to be the personal representative; the court will appoint someone else as the appointed one is called the administrator. If the personal representative cannot complete the duties, the court will appoint a new personal representative.

The responsibilities of the personal representative is to administer the decedent's estate. This is in accordance with the legal directions as expressed by the testator in the will. All is within accordance with the statute of descent and distribution with respect to an intestate estate.

This involves the collection do to the decedent's property which forms the decedent's estate. Payment of claims against the estate is distribution of the remaining property. Directions are provided in the will or pursuant to the statute on descent.

The personal representative must post a bond to assure that he one she properly carries out their responsibility, unless the will expressly waives the requirement of a bond. If you'll simply file a Living Will, then your family will not have to go through probate court system. This is if you have a small estate however, if it's a large estate then you'll probably have to go through probate.


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

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.


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Estate Planning : When Does the Trust Stay Private?



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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Estate Planning Tools: Durable Power Of Attorney - Seven Factors To Consider


If something happens while you are alive, that makes it impossible for you to handle your financial affairs, sign legal documents or communicate your wishes to others, you could have trouble in many ways. Without a properly executed Power of Attorney, your family may need to get a court order just to handle your affairs. These can cost plenty and waste months of time.

Even though a power of attorney is a relatively simple document and is readily available from many sources, I am still amazed at how many families and individuals do not have one in force. Follow these simple guidelines and make sure that you are protected should anything ever happen that would cause you to need one.

Seven Factors To Consider:

1. Your Agents: One of the most important decisions with a power of attorney is your selection of agents. Will you use a single agent or appoint co-agents? Who will be your successor agent(s) if someone is unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties? These are the questions you need to answer before you are ready. Your agent(s) should be organized, good with numbers and possess great common sense.

2. Access Medical Records: Will you allow your agents to have access to your medical records? They may need this information to keep track of, or to dispute medical bills. But if you want or do not want them to have access to this information, you will need to specify inside your power of attorney.

3. General or Specific Powers: Will your power of attorney provide your agent with broad general powers or very specific powers? You can decide on either, but the more specific you get, the more limited the powers your agent will be allowed. Most people will choose to provide a general power that will include handling most financial, business and personal matters.

4. Beneficiary Changes: You can empower your agents with the ability to change your beneficiaries if you would like, but this can be a risky proposition. In most instances, you will not allow for this provision. You can also provide for the power to refuse potential inheritances. I think this can be helpful in situations where, if someone passes and is leaving you an inheritance, but you refuse it (or are deceased), it would go directly to your children instead.

5. Effective Dates: When will your power of attorney take effect? When will it terminate? You can have it take effect immediately upon execution, you can have it take effect upon the certification of some medical condition or you can specify a certain time period. You might use this if you were going to be out of the country for 3 months or in a rehabilitation program for certain length of time. All powers of attorney terminate immediately upon the death of the individual, but you can set other dates or events as previously outlined.

6. Hire Professionals: Will your agent have the power to hire professionals such as accountants, financial advisers, lawyers, etc? If you want them to be able to handle these on your behalf, you have to specifically allow them by including this power within your document. If not, you may want to specify who you are already working with and require their services if needed.

7. Receive Compensation: Will your agent be allowed to receive reasonable compensation for time and efforts spent acting as your agent? Will they also be allowed to receive reimbursement for any expenses that they incur while acting on your behalf? In most cases you should allow both of these. Taking care of someone's affairs can be time-consuming and there should be reasonable remuneration for these services. While you can specify either way, your agents may be unwilling to participate without it and this could cause bigger problem down the road.

Summary: Having a power of attorney drafted is a fairly simple and inexpensive process. You can hire an attorney, use online legal services or purchase a legal software package to assist you with the preparation. It is very important to follow the execution and filing recommendations for your state and county. Having proper witnesses and notarization of all signatures is a great safeguard for any legal documents, so make sure to get them done right.


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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, July 28, 2017

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.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Irrevocable Vs Revocable Trust


Establishing a living trust is critical to the ability to protect your assets and beneficiaries when you die. But many people don't know that there are two types of trusts - irrevocable trusts and revocable trusts. With irrevocable trusts, the grantor's assets are moved out of the estate. In a revocable trust, assets stay in the grantor's estate. There are advantages to each type depending on the grantor's specific circumstances. Here is a rundown on the differences between the two types of trusts.

Irrevocable Trust

Most people are unaware of the advantages that this type of trust provides:

  • Asset Protection - Moves assets out of the grantor's hands, keeping it safe from lawsuits or creditors. A trustee has the power to make decisions with or without the input of the grantor.
  • No Estate Taxes - Many people are attracted to these trusts because they are protected from federal estate taxes.
  • No Capital Gains Taxes - A skilled lawyer will be able to move assets into irrevocable trusts so as to avoid capital gains taxes. This cannot occur with revocable trust.

Before placing assets into this type of trust, make sure that the grantor will never need them. While it is possible to retrieve assets, it is very difficult and time consuming.

Revocable Trust

Most people have an idea of what this type of trust is. Grantors without complicated tax issues that want to still maintain control over their assets, often choose to have a this trust.

  • Mental Disability - Individuals who fear that they will one day be incapacitated, may want to designate a trustee to handle their assets which can include extensive instructions that the trustee must carry out. This is called a Disability Trustee.
  • To Protect Beneficiaries and Property - Keeps your property and assets out of probate. This ensures that your documents stay private and out of the public record. If privacy is important to you, consider a Revocable Living Trust as opposed to a Last Will and Testament which becomes a matter of public record that can be seen by anyone.
  • To Avoid Probate - Assets at the time of a person's death will pass directly to the beneficiaries named in the trust agreement and avoid probate.
  • For Flexibility - These types of trusts can be changed. If you have a second thought about a particular item or beneficiary, you can modify the document through a trust amendment. If you don't like the trust as a whole, then you can revoke the entire document.
Word of Caution: These trusts offer not creditor protection. If the asset holder is sued, the items in the trust are fair game. Upon your death, those assets will be subject to federal and state estate taxes.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Three Lessons on Durable Powers of Attorney


Durable Powers of attorney are an essential ingredient in a complete estate plan, which allow for continued financial management in the event of incapacity. Under a durable power of attorney, an attorney in fact makes financial decisions on behalf of the principal. The attorney in fact can be given broad and sweeping powers. Conversely, powers granted by a durable power of attorney can be limited to particular assets or powers. Accordingly, the level of control given to the attorney in fact should reflect the particular requirements of the estate as well as the principal's comfort with a broad grant of authority. In this article, the author teaches three lessons on effective execution and implementation of durable powers of attorney.

First Lesson: Why would I Need One Now?

The legality of durable powers of attorney stems from the law of agency. Under agency law principals, an individual with capacity may give an agent powers-to contract, to represent the principal or to revoke or amend a trust, for instance. In the case of a non-durable power, the agency terminates upon the principal's incapacity. Durable powers survive incapacity, but the principal must have capacity at the time of execution in order to effect a valid power. Accordingly, executing a durable power of attorney for financial management should be done prior to incapacity.

Waiting until one becomes unable to coherently express one's wishes with regards to financial management decisions is too late, and a court-appointed conservatorship may become necessary. What about the successor trustee designated in my trust, or the executor of my will? Would they be able to step in? Since the principal does not die at incapacity, only an attorney in fact designated under a properly executed power of attorney may step in to make financial management decisions. A last-minute durable power of attorney executed during incapacity would not survive a court challenge, however expensive or damaging the result.

Second Lesson: Consider making the Power Immediately Effective

Often, unwary estate planners will execute "springing durable powers of attorney," which only become effective upon the incapacity of the principal. Incapacity is determined according to a test set out in the power, such as a determination made by a medical doctor or a court rendered decision. But who wants to go through the expense, difficulty, and uncertainty of initiating a legal procedure to determine incapacity? Isn't one of the goals of estate planning to prevent unnecessary expense and delay? Moreover, doctors frequently hesitate to make determinations of incapacity because of liability they may face.

In most cases, a better strategy would be to execute an immediately effective durable power of attorney, which gives an attorney in fact the power to make decisions on behalf of the principal without any finding of incapacity. Many are fearful of an immediately effective power of attorney, reasoning that no one should be given such power over their financial affairs unless they are totally incompetent. If they have such a lack of trust for the attorney in fact, why are they executing a power of attorney in the first place? One would think that even more trust would be required when the principal is incompetent and has little influence over the attorney in fact. Finally, simple measures can be taken to avoid disasters before incapacity. Consider sealing a copy of the durable power of attorney in an envelope labeled "do not open until my incapacity." In addition to oral instructions, this can help to avoid the scenario of a run-away attorney in fact who uses the power of attorney to access financial accounts before incapacity.

Third Lesson: What powers should the Attorney-in-Fact be given?

The powers given to an attorney in fact depend upon the principal's desires and the particular concerns that stem from the types of assets held. The durable power of attorney should be coordinated with the will, trust and advance health care directive to ensure that they do not contradict each other. Namely, should the attorney in fact have the power to create trusts? To rescind or amend existing trusts? Should the attorney in fact have a power to make gifts to himself or to others? These powers can help ensure that preparation for long term care (medical) or tax planning can take place even after incapacity. Before executing a power of attorney, individuals should be fully informed of the powers that they are granting, and the possible consequences of such sweeping grants of power. In all cases, it's best to consult with an attorney who can advise on specific risks.

Conclusion

Durable Powers of Attorney are one of the five essential documents in estate planning discussed in this article series. Unlike a will or trust, which mostly deals with decisions that are made upon one's death, the durable power of attorney deals with life-time financial management and estate planning questions. Individuals should be aware of the risk in waiting to execute the power of attorney; the hazards of "springing" powers; the range of powers that can be given to the attorney in fact; and the risks associated with a sweeping grant of authority to the attorney in fact. --

This article is intended to provide general information about estate planning strategies and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. Treasury regulations require a disclaimer that to the extent this article concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_C._Martin/176675

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Features of a Revocable Living Trust


Financial advisor Ric Edelman discusses why a revocable living trust is a key part in the estate planning process.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

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.


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

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Advance Directives: A Need for All Ages



Emergencies or a health care crisis can happen at any time, and the time to think about how you would want your medical care is now.

Friday, July 21, 2017

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

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Properly Use a Power of Attorney


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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Wade_Anderson/70430

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

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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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Defining Legal Terms - By The People



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

See more at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What is a Trustee?



Learn more about what a Trustee is in this video.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Estate Planning Tips for People Going Through Divorce


Divorce is stressful period of transition and change for most people. While there many things on which you will need expend your attention during this challenging time, you should not forget that your estate plan also requires addressing now that you've experienced this life change.

One of the first things you will want to do is update your will. Generally, your will names your spouse by name, so if you die and your will leaves a sizable inheritance to "John Doe" or "Jane Doe," then your executor (or the trustee of your trust) and the courts will be obliged to follow this instruction, even if this person is your ex-spouse. For many people, such an outcome might be especially frustrating and painful, so you should deal with updating your will promptly.

You will also need to go through any asset or account that has a death beneficiary destination on it to remove your ex. Recent court cases have ruled that, even if you divorce your ex and update your will, your ex will still receive the money from your life insurance or retirement account if you do not update the paperwork on those accounts. The single determining factor regarding who gets your transfer-on-death or pay-on-death accounts is the name on that account's death beneficiary designation form, so it is vital that you make sure you update each of these accounts.

Additionally, you'll want to tend to your powers of attorney and living will. Chances are, you do not want your ex managing your financial affairs or making healthcare decisions (including end-of-life decisions) for you after you're divorced. Executing new powers of attorney and a new living will is often a relative quick and straightforward process.

If you have a living trust, you should investigate updating this part of your estate plan, as well. For many people, their spouses may not only be beneficiaries of their trusts, but trustees, as well. A capable estate planning attorney can assist you with making the changes your trust needs to address your divorce.

Finally, you do not have to wait until your divorce is finalized in order to begin updating your estate plan. Even if you anticipate that your divorce may take several months or years to complete, you can (and should) start working on updating your estate plan right away. Keep in mind, though, that the law in every state says that you cannot disinherit your spouse so, even if your preference is to leave your ex nothing, you will not be able to make that happen until the divorce is final.


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

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Monday, July 10, 2017

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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Sunday, July 9, 2017

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.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

LLC Information: The Basics of a Limited Liability Company


You will find a lot of LLC information on the Internet about the limited liability company. This legal entity has become the most common and popular of all other choices because it was specifically created to be the most flexible entity available.

As a result, it can be used for small business, real estate, holding and managing any property, family and estate planning, and joint ventures. One can be really simple such as for a single owner small business or an LLC can be used to handle very large and complex activities. For example, Fidelity Investments is an LLC which is owned by many owners and manages billions of dollars of assets.

This Article covers the basic attributes of this amazing legal vehicle.

CREATED BY LAW ONLY

A Limited Liability Company is a separate and distinct legal person that is created at the state level. It is only formed once a state has acknowledged its existence.

And, in order for a state to establish one, there must be a document filing made by an organizer. The filing is usually called the Articles of Organization and it must strictly comply with the requirements of a state. Each state has its own set of requirements and disclosures and fees.

PERSONAL LIABILITY PROTECTION

Once formed, an LLC provides its owners with legally endorsed personal limited liability protection from the entity's debts and obligations. This feature is similar to the corporation.

If you are worried about personal exposure to law suits arising from your business, you should form a limited liability company. For example, you open a store-front business that deals with the public directly, you may worry that the commercial liability insurance you have might not fully protect your personal assets from potential slip-and-fall lawsuits or even claims by suppliers for unpaid bills. Running your business as a Limited Liability Company will give some protection against and other claims against your business.

PASS THROUGH TAXATION

If the entity is owned by just one member, then there is no added tax complexity. The income generated by the LLC is passed through to the single owner and reported on his or her personal return. Even if it is owned by multiple members, profits and losses are normally passed through the owners as if it were a partnership. But unlike a general partnership, on owners are subject to personal liability because of ownership.

This tax benefit is a significant one. The corporation, another alternative, offers the same personal asset protection but is subject to what is known as double taxation. While there is an option for elect for a corporation to be taxed as a pass through (single layer), there are quite a few requirements and restrictions. With the LLC, your entity will automatically qualify for the best tax treatment.

SIMPLE TO MANAGE AND OPERATE

Another great feature is that you can tailor the management and ownership structure of a limited liability company to suit your needs. There are very little legal mandates and this makes it easier for anyone to use one to meet their specific purposes.

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

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Over 100 Legal Document Services at By the People



Rene of By the People in Fairfield CA gives a short overview of their services and the number of legal documents they can help with. For questions, call Rene or Tammy at 707-428-9871 and you can visit their website at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!


"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation forevermore!" 
 Oliver Wendell Holmes

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

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.


Function

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.

Features

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

Benefits

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.


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

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Estate Planning : The Probate Process Explained



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

Friday, June 30, 2017

What Are the Tax Benefits for LLCs?


If you form a limited liability company (LLC) from your business, this is an excellent way to protect your personal assets from the liabilities of your company. Incorporation protects your own property, if a judgment is rendered against your business. In addition, forming an LLC gives you an advantage, since your business isn't responsible for the taxation of its profits.

The owner of an LLC reports the profits and losses of the business on his personal tax return. This operates in a way that is similar to general partnerships or sole proprietorships. These are called "pass-through" taxes, and you will not have to file a corporate return if you own an LLC. Your share of the profits or losses is reported on your individual tax return.

No Residency Requirements

When you form an LLC, you do not have to live in the state in which it is formed. You don't even need to be a permanent US resident or a US citizen. For this reason and others, businesses owned by immigrants are usually formed as LLCs.

LLCs give your company more credibility with prospective customers, suppliers, partners and lenders. The LLC is often favorably looked upon by other businesses.

LLCs have flexible management structure. Your LLC can establish any type of organizational structure upon which the owners agree. It can be managed by the owners, known as members, or by managers. This differs from corporations, which must have a set board of directors who will oversee all major business decisions for the company. They will also manage all the affairs on a day-to-day basis.

LLCs encounter fewer ongoing formalities and annual requirements imposed by states than corporations do. In addition, there are fewer restrictions on who can own an LLC, unlike the rules found with S Corporations.

You may also be considering how to incorporate a business as an S-Corp or C-Corp, if you plan to incorporate rather than pursue registration as an LLC.

What is an S-Corporation?

An S Corp has similarities to LLCs, because its federal tax status also allows pass-through of taxable income or losses to the investors or owners. Your company will not be double-taxed as it is with a C corporation. S Corp status offers you pass through taxation, limited liability protection, investment opportunities and the elimination of double taxation on business income. An S Corp can also continue to function even if the original owner dies.

What about a C-Corporation?

If you prefer to incorporate, as opposed to becoming a Delaware LLC or an LLC in your home state, the C-Corp is the most common type found in the US. When you form a C-Corp, you will create a separate structure that shields personal assets from any judgments against your company. C-Corp structure includes officers, shareholders and directors.


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