Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Estate Planning : What Documents Are Needed For Estate Planning?

Many documents are created in estate planning including living trusts, advanced directives, power of attorney documents and more. Learn what documents are needed for estate planning from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.
Expert: Brad Wiewel
Contact: www.texastrustlaw.com
Bio: Brad Wiewel is board certified in estate planning and probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been practicing law since 1978.
Filmmaker: Demand Media

Need help with the paperwork for your will or living trust? 
By The People can help you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living Trust Vs Will And Trust Fund

Wills are documents that distribute your assets and properties to your named beneficiaries once you pass on. The will is processed by the executor, usually named in the will. The executor also manages the estate while in the process of probate. The probate process is when the will is submitted to a court for administration.

Trusts are legal documents that transfer ownership of property and assets from one person to another person or group. This involves a GRANTOR - the one with the property and assets to transfer, BENEFICIARIES - the people who would receive the benefits of the property and or assets, and the TRUSTEE - the one who manages the properties and assets. The trusts are executed while the grantor is still alive, thus the name Living trust.

Let's compare the two, living trust vs will, one point at a time.

With a will, it would take months and some even takes years for it to be executed and completed. For the living trust, it takes also a long time but the beneficiaries already profit from the property and asset. In a trust, your beneficiaries can have immediate access to the property, or the cash in the trust fund.

Wills would need lawyers to draft and then handle the probate process, which would cause additional expenses for the estate. In trusts, given that it is already a legal document when it was conceived means you can avoid excess expenses.

For a will, you will have passed away before it is processed and distributed. That means you can't oversee the transfer of your property or make sure that your requirements are met by the beneficiaries. For the living trust, well, you are alive to do all those things.

For the will, your property and assets may degrade or be lost to creditors and other predators. This could leave your surviving loved ones with nothing but the will. With trusts, your assets and properties are protected.

Wills have personalized and sometimes outrageous provisions. A kind of sense of power even though you are already gone and your family cannot shake their heads at you. For trusts, having weird provisions are not advisable because you are still alive and would probably have to justify those weird provisions.

When the two are compared, the living trust seems to come out on top, but the decision is still yours. Research other living trust vs. will comparison for more insights about the two. Picking the best for you is a matter of information and planning.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5275224

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How To Legally Change Your Name

Marriage, divorce, or just dislike of the name your parents gave you -- all are reasons to follow these steps toward a new name.

Need help filling out the paperwork for you name change? By The People can help!
Call us at 707.428.9871

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Happens When You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy that is filed for in the U.S., and its primary purpose is to give individual debtors a fresh start by discharging debts. Discover how individuals get to choose to keep certain exempt property under Chapter 7 with information from an independent CPA in this free video on Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Expert: Miranda Chook
Bio: Miranda Chook is a CPA with expertise in international operations.
Filmmaker: Bing Hu

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Need Credit Repair After Bankruptcy? Here's Great News!

If you have been bankrupt and are wondering if credit repair after bankruptcy is ever possible again - the answer is a resounding yes! It will not be something that happens overnight, but if you are willing to follow sound financial principles and make a commitment to do whatever it takes, then yes, yes, yes - you can fully restore you credit rating and get back to having a normal credit life!

While it is true that bankruptcy deals a severe blow to your credit history - the truth of the matter is that it will not last forever - and in fact you can be qualifying for with favorable interest rates and good terms well before your bankruptcy disappears off your credit report - you just need to know how to go about it.

So here's a few tips on credit repair after bankruptcy:

There's nothing that stays on your credit report forever!

Did you know that even though a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, you can actually start countering it's effect almost immediately after your bankruptcy file is closed?

By using simple tactics you can start to rebuild credibility immediately. These include timely payments of all bills and accounts, keeping credit applications to a reasonable level so that you are not applying for too much at once and when you are given credit, using just the minimum amount and paying it off immediately when due (no more than 30% of your limit).

Get back in the game! Start using credit to build credit-worthiness

This is not to sound arrogant, but rather to encourage you to not sit on the sidelines - get back in the game - and get your credit life back by using credit as a credit building tool.

Living on a cash basis is fine until you have settled down and got your financial management in order, but as soon as it is you need to apply for credit again and use the "pay in full and on time every time" principle to start showing that you are worthy of credit trust - this is a must for credit repair after bankruptcy.

If you cannot get a standard credit card, apply for a secured credit card.

As the name suggest it is secured - but by you putting up funds, which is fine because you can't go back out and spend recklessly (this should be top of your priority list anyway if you're serious about credit repair)

The same principle applies as mentioned above, keep your spending on the card to a minimum and pay off in full by due date.

Make sure your credit report is clean

A common problem faced by bankrupted folks is their credit report still show a number of accounts as still active and overdue. This is no longer the case, as bankruptcy releases you from these obligations and the accounts are in fact closed.

So what you need to do is make contact with the credit bureau and strongly insist that they be are correctly shown as "included in bankruptcy" to negate the effect on your credit report. If you do not your credit report will never improve.

Don't make the same mistakes again

Take stock of your finances and allow the bankruptcy to be a lead in to actually repairing, not only your credit score, but more so, your financial life - take the time to figure out what went wrong and why - then resolve not to let it happen again.

Credit is an ally to you, if used wisely - so take your time and learn to use it to your advantage to rebuild your credit without overspending again.

Even though it may mean a less extravagant lifestyle now, in the long run the benefits far exceed the drawbacks - and if you are disciplined in your efforts, in time you will enjoy the luxuries of life again.

To conclude - the good news is this... credit repair after bankruptcy is more than just possible, it's absolutely within your reach... starting right now - so don't let anyone tell you different!

Use these tips to get going right away - and I wish you a fast credit recovery in the future.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4382587

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grant Deed

Whenever a home is transferred whether by inheritance, probate sale, trustee sale, short sale, eminent domain, etc. a deed is involved. A deed is defined as a "written instrument by which land is conveyed." Black's Law Dictionary 8th ed. (West Group, 2004). For example, if buyer purchases Green Acre from seller, buyer will transfer ownership of Green Acre to seller by giving seller a deed to Green Acre. In the context of a modern real estate transaction, the escrow/title officer at closing will have the seller sit down and sign the deed transferring ownership of the home to buyer.

There are three types of deeds used in real property transactions: grant, warranty and quit-claim. However, due to the advent of title insurance, only grant and quitclaim deeds are used in California. A grant deed is a conveyance that includes all the implied warranties and covenants of title. CC § 1113. In non-legal speak, this means that if seller did not own the property when they transferred it to buyer, for instance seller sold the home to somebody else a few months beforehand, then buyer could turn around and sue seller for breach of covenant of title. A quitclaim deed only transfers the interest seller had at the time of the transfer. Klamath Land & Cattle Co. v Roemer (1970) 12 CA3d 613. Thus, if seller did not own the land that they transferred to buyer and buyer later learns of this, buyer would have no recourse against seller.

The reason why deeds are relevant for estate planning purposes is because a home will need to be transferred into the trust in order for the trust to own the home. Thus, the estate planning attorney will typically prepare a deed transferring the family home into the trust the attorney just created for their clients.

Most stationary stores or a county law library site have quality fill-in forms. The problem is that most people do not understand what they are filling out. For example, a deed could create gift tax, potential property tax re-assessment, the imposition of the documentary transfer or the possibility of judgment attachment, etc. Consequently, I have seen a few cases where families decided to engage in do-it-yourself estate planning by executing deeds in which ownership is transferred amongst family members. Typically the results have been disastrous because of the adverse tax consequences that followed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5708740

Need help with paperwork for your deed? We can help!
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By The People

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Will: Does My Will Need A Power Of Attorney?

No, a Will and a Power of Attorney are completely separate and do different things. When creating your Will you will also find that there is no section appropriate for listing a Power of Attorney to carry out your wishes. Instead, you will appoint an Executor to carry out the requirements and wishes under your Will.

On the other hand, a Power of Attorney appoints someone you nominate to take care of such things as some of the financial decisions on your behalf when you are unwilling, unable or just wanting some assistance to manage your affairs. A Will organises your personal affairs after your death. Your Will and any directives or provisions in your Will do not come into effect while you are alive. Any Power of Attorney ceases to exist upon your death so that any directive provided under it will be redundant and it becomes ineffectual after you pass away. Only one document can be in effect at one time depending on your personal state.

Both documents do generally have a similar effect, one operating while you are alive and one operating after your death. It is important to remember that although they seem to have the same function, what is stated in one does not have any effect on the other.

Your Will appoints an Executor who will take an appointed role after you pass away whilst the person you appoint in your Power of Attorney takes on the role and activities you have given them the power to do while you are alive.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5789491

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Answering The "LLC vs S Corporation" Question

Seattle accountant Stephen L. Nelson explains the differences between a limited liability company, an s corporation and a traditional corporation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

3 Reasons Why You Should File An Uncontested Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult situations that any individual can go through in their lifetime. The situation can actually become significantly more difficult in the event that there are children involved. However, it is a common misconception that all forms of divorce are difficult and only can be handled by engaging a fierce legal battle. Many times if the parties to divorce can agree on several major points they can actually file what is known as an Uncontested Divorce. This sort of legal remedy is not only mutually beneficial but it also is significantly less costly than a standard action that would be filed in the courts. Here are 3 major reasons why you should opt to file an Uncontested Divorce.

1. A significant decrease in costs associated with attorney fees and legal expenses due to the fact that most of the major issues that are typically disputed in the courts are already decided by the parties. It is without a doubt that attorney fees are quite high when it actually comes to cases dealing with a Divorce. As a result, it is always a very good idea to come to terms with the other side in order to taken advantage of an uncontested filing. This will not only speed up the process of the separation but it will also be significantly less expensive had it been a standard disputed case.

2. A very stress free and simple way of dividing the assets of the marital property between the parties. Typically there is a great deal of dispute regarding the splitting of the marital property. There is so much controversy and legal fighting that occurs as to who is really entitled to have a specific asset from the estate. However, when the parties decide as to who is to receive what asset then it makes sense to file an Uncontested Divorce because there will be no need for extra legal expense and headache associated with adjudicating the matter in court.

3. Easy method by which the custody of minor children is divided as well as determination of visitation rights. This is one of the most sensitive topics throughout the whole process because it involves minor children and they can be severely affected by the quarreling of the parents. However, when the matter is solved via an Uncontested Divorce then essentially there is less of a emotional burden on the children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6154530

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Estate Planning : What Is A Probate?

A major goal of estate planning is to avoid probate, when a court must remove one name from a legal deed and add another. Find out what probate is from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Expert: Brad Wiewel
Bio: Brad Wiewel is board certified in estate planning and probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been practicing law since 1978.
Filmmaker: Demand Media

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five Reasons To Change Your Name

Changing your name legally is a big decision. You can change a name that was given to you at birth or, in the aftermath of a divorce, can change back to the name that you gave up when you got married. Either way it represents a big change in your life and before you do it you need to be absolutely certain that it is the right decision. After all, it costs money to do it, so you will need to be confident that you want to take this step. If you are changing the name because it will give you freedom from a period of your life that you wish to put behind you, the legal costs can be viewed as an investment in a better future. Here are five reasons people change their names.

1. In the aftermath of a divorce, people often want to change their name back to the name that they went by before they were married. It may be in order to remove any aspect of their ex-spouse from their lives in the case of an acrimonious split, or it may be simply to ensure a fresh start and a point from which to relaunch your life. Just as taking your spouse's name marked a new era, so will taking your old name back.

2. Equally, getting married is a time when you may change your name, usually to that of your new spouse. Some people, however, take the opportunity to keep their old name and add that of their spouse, in order to reflect the joining of two family lines. This is also a way of avoiding the awkwardness of telling one's family that they have chosen to take a different name. Either way, making the decision to change one's name marks a new chapter in life.

3. On immigrating into the country, an individual with a specifically non-American name may well choose to take the step to adopt a more Americanized name. This is a step that is often taken at the stage where the individual applies for naturalization, and during the interview that takes place as part of this process they may choose to prepare a petition for name change. The name change will become final once the federal court passes the application for naturalization, and can give the individual the chance to be treated as an ordinary American.

4. Changing one's name does not need to be the result of a change in legal circumstances. It may be the case that you wish to make a break with your name, due to circumstances that make living under the current name difficult. This may be the result of major adverse publicity for yourself or for another person with a similar or identical name, which could cause you to be treated differently and unfairly. For example, there are very few people in the world today living under the name "Hitler".

5. People may change their name for business reasons. The motivation behind this can vary, but as an example one might feel that a name which is also held by a well-known individual operating within their industry, or in one that is at odds with their own, might cause an adverse effect on their business. It is unlikely that one will be able to convince a court to agree to a frivolous name change however, so it is wise to be cautious.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2310802