Monday, January 21, 2019

Estate Planning : How are Trusts Taxed?



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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Benefits of Legal Separation


Legal separation and divorce are very similar and they hold basically the same legal functions except for the fact that with a separation, you do not terminate your marital status. When a couple decides to become legally separated, it is not merely a verbal agreement. They can't simply say that they are not in love anymore and one of them will move out of the family home. Instead, they must go through the same process as couples who wish to undergo a divorce.

In a legal separation, the same issues will be addressed as in the termination of a marriage. The couple will have to sort out issues relating to asset division, property division, child support, child custody, visitation and spousal support payments (if there are any). The couple will also have to decide who will pay which debts as well.

There are a number of reasons why parties choose this rather than divorce, and the reasons are usually personal. People can choose separation for religious reasons, personal beliefs, health insurance concerns, or other financial reasons.

Oftentimes couples will decide to remain married for one of two reasons: either for the sake of their children or for a financial reason. For example, if a non-employee spouse has a pre-existing medical condition or some other serious medical condition; they may need to stay on their spouse's medical insurance so they can keep getting necessary medical care.

In some cases, the couple may need to remain legally wed until they reach the ten-year deadline for certain Social Security benefits. This holds true for the ten-year deadline for military enforcement advantages or, the twenty-year deadline for PX and commissary benefits.

There are another substantial benefit and reason why people choose legal separation and it has nothing to do with health insurance or money. They may be unsure if they really want to end their marriage; therefore, the time apart offers them a "cooling off" period where they can have time to think about what they really want. They may realize that they really do love each other, and later decide that they want to get back together. It's a lot easier to get back together after legally spending time away from one another as opposed to having to go through the process of remarrying.

Religion and culture can play a significant role in why couples decide to separate instead of divorcing altogether. In certain religions, divorce carries a negative stigma that many couples wish to avoid. With legal separation, the couples can enjoy all the material benefits of a divorce without having to deal with the negative stigma attached. Separation does not allow for remarriage unless the marriage is terminated through a divorce, but it can be assumed that people who part for religious reasons don't plan to remarry anyway.

In many cases, it is more affordable for the spouses, especially when the dependent spouse relies heavily on their spouse for medical insurance. When you factor in the quality of life enjoyed through the marriage, along with how much money it would cost for the dependent spouse to take out their own medical coverage (similar to what their spouse has been carrying), then it can be reflected in the alimony payments. Sometimes it is less expensive and allows the dependent spouse to remain on the health insurance, as opposed to paying them larger alimony payments, thus saving the expense for both parties.

Getting a separation in California does require some legal paperwork and going through the court system. The same as in a divorce, you want to have a qualified attorney representing your best interests when handling important matters such as child custody, child support, asset division, property division, and possibly spousal support payments. If you would like to enjoy the benefits of a legal separation, contact a skilled and knowledgeable divorce attorney without delay!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Gary_D_Dabbah/1201035

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Living Trust Definition - What is a Living Trust?


The best living trust definition is a written legal document which substitutes for a will as your primary estate planning vehicle. When you have a trust you transfer your assets such as your home, financial accounts and personal property to the trust. In addition, you change the beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of retirement accounts and life insurance to the trust. These assets are then administered for your benefit during your lifetime, and either continue to be held or transferred to your beneficiaries when you die.

The creator, also called the grantor, of the trust, usually names him or herself as the initial trustee in charge of managing the assets. This allows the grantor to remain in control of the assets during his or her lifetime. For all practical purposes under this living trust definition, nothing changes in the way the grantor manages or controls the assets after they are put in trust. The only difference is the named owner.

A successor trustee is named in the document, usually a family member or friend but sometimes an institution such as a bank or trust company. This successor trustee then will manage the trust assets for benefit of the grantor if the grantor becomes disabled and for the contingent beneficiaries after the grantor dies.

This living trust definition is for the revocable living trust. It is also sometimes referred to as a revocable inter vivos or a grantor trust. It may be revoked or amended at any time by the grantors as long as they are still competent.

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

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why Making a Will Is An Important Task for Your Family And You


All our lives we work hard to ensure that our family never has to face a difficult time ever but we promptly forget all about them at the end. We are talking about preparing wills or last testaments that people almost always don't prepare or unnecessarily delay due to a psychological block. The psychological block is our inherent fear of death which is aggravated during the making of a will. The preparation of a will is almost an indication of our own mortality and that is something none of us want to accept.

But whether we accept it or not, our mortality is the only truth and we must keep the responsibility of taking care of our family with us. A will could save our family from a host of troubles out of which some could be huge hassles that will need a lot of time and resources to solve. Say, for example, the most common form of trouble that comes from the non-preparation of a will is property disputes. Normal property disputes could siphon off huge amounts of time and resources. Plus there is no guarantee that the problem will be solved within a stipulated time. Property disputes are known to stretch for years and some even extend till the death of the supposed beneficiary. This means there are chances that your family might never get to enjoy the property that rightfully belongs to them.

Does that statement depress you? But that's simply the beginning as there will be more and more problems associated with the non-existence of a will.

The next problem that could occur is the proper division of the property and in case of common ownership of a property- the lack of a trust fund. These are legal wrangles that could again put pressure on your family or dear one's resources.

Making a will is the best form of property management as the methods of division is expressly mentioned in the will. Without the existence of a will, there are chances that the beneficiaries or dependents will have a tough fight in their hands to ensure their right on the property. Then there are properties which have common ownership and for those, you need to create a trust fund. But that's again not possible without the presence of a will or testament.

Make a will immediately as this will not only guarantee the peace and security of your loved ones but also give you the strength to accept your own impending mortality.


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

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Is Probate Necessary?


Whether probate is necessary depends on what property the decedent owned, how it was held, and on the law of the state in which the decedent died and the laws of any states where the decedent held property.

Monday, January 14, 2019

4 Reasons Why You Might Need a Trust


Entrepreneur Network partner Mark Kohler discusses the importance of setting up a trust.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

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 the 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 the agent in managing legal matters and the 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 a good idea to award authority to an 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 an 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.

Another 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. Another 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 about 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 the decision on an 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 the principal's relatives to supervise if the agent is carrying out what is predetermined in the power of attorney.


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

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Aging, Communication, and Preparation


Making plans for retirement is clearly one of the highlights of your life. From the time you get out of college and enter the workforce most of your time is accounted for, and over those years there are invariably going to be many experiences that make their way onto your "to-do" list. The day that you retire is the day that you start to check things off that list, and your life experience is enriched with every mark.

We often talk about the fact that one of the challenges that are inherently part of any type of long-term planning is the fact that you can't predict the future with any degree of certainty. This is true of financial markets, laws, our own health and that of our loved ones. All of these things impact retirement planning, but there is another factor that can be difficult to fully digest.

Your mental capacity may not be the same as your retirement years pass. When you are planning for retirement it is very important to be realistic and keep this in mind. What happens if you need long-term care? What if you never made your medical preferences known via the execution of advance health care directives? You don't want to start considering these matters for the first time when you are in the latter stages of your life.

It may be a good idea to plan for your twilight years simultaneous to making plans for an active retirement both emotionally and financially. Bringing the issues of long-term care and possible incapacitation out in the open with your family long before they are directly relevant is also something to consider. Successful people generally confront reality and stay ahead of the curve. If you follow the same path that brought you success throughout your life you will invariably age just as successfully.


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

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Uncontested Divorce - Do You Know How It Works?


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Probate vs Non Probate - How Assets Pass at Death


Probate vs Non-Probate - How Assets Transfer at Death. John D Williams discusses how assets transfer at death.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

By The People Can Help You with Your Uncontested Divorce or Legal Separation



BY THE PEOPLE can help with Uncontested Divorce or Legal Separation. For couples who can resolve their own asset and debt division and/or child issues, BY THE PEOPLE can prepare all of the necessary documents for you to obtain your divorce. We also do all of the filing and procedural work throughout the process.

Since we are a local company and file divorces every day, we can provide you with up to date information about filing fees and the local court systems. In California, the minimum time period for divorce is 6 months from the date of service.

Legal Separation is the same process for the court and same documents needed. You will still need to address all of the same issues, the only difference is the end result. You will still be married, having dealt with all asset/debt division and child custody, visitation, support, and if you decide to go forward with a divorce, you will need to start over from the beginning.

Our fees to prepare all of your divorce or legal separation documents is $599.00 if there are minor children, or $499.00 if there are no minor children. The other fees you will pay will be the filing fee for the court of $435.00 and a filing service fee of $50.00. Our fee is due up front, and we accept cash, check or credit cards. The filing fee for the court is not due up front; it is due as soon as you are ready to file with the court. The paperwork is usually ready to file within a week of starting the process. The Court only accepts cash, check or money order for their fees.

When you are ready to get started with your divorce or legal separation at BY THE PEOPLE, you may make an appointment or come in as a walk-in to our office at 1371-C Oliver Road, Fairfield CA. We will have you fill out a worksheet that will give us the information we need about you, your spouse and the issues you need to address in your divorce. Most of our customer find it takes about 30 minutes to complete the necessary information in our worksheet. You may come in with your spouse or you may come in on your own to fill out the worksheet and begin the process. The choice is yours.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Is A QDRO Always Required In A Divorce?



For many divorcing couples, retirement plans make up the majority of the marital estate. While some couples can agree to simply "each keep their own" in the asset division, for many other spouses a division of one of the accounts is necessary to ensure a fair distribution of marital assets.
When division of a retirement asset is required in a divorce, many people are unsure how to proceed. They may have heard the term Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), but have no idea if or how it applies to their situation. This lack of knowledge often leads to errors that can end up costing them more money in the long run.
This is why it is important to understand early on what type of retirement accounts exist. Once you know what type of accounts are in play, you can assess whether a QDRO - or a different, similar order - is required. You will also better understand the most effective way to distribute the assets in the final property division settlement.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - Since IRAs are not subject to ERISA, a QDRO is not required to divide this type of account. Pursuant to 26 U.S.C.A. §408(d)(6), a transfer from an IRA can be made to a spouse or former pursuant to a decree of divorce or a written instrument incident to a divorce. This written instrument can be either a separation agreement or divorce decree. In most cases, a letter of instruction and copy of the Final Judgment/Settlement Agreement should be enough to transfer money from the IRA.
Non-Qualified Plans - There are numerous types of retirement assets that cannot be divided in a divorce. Non-qualified plans fall outside the purview of ERISA and are not subject to division via QDRO (or usually any other means). These plans usually have names that include words like Supplemental, Excess Benefit, SERP or even Non-Qualified, and are offered to key, high-ranking employees as a means of providing additional retirement benefits beyond those allowed under ERISA. The language of many of these plans specifically preclude payments to anyone other than the employee, and no court order can change this.
Non-ERISA and Government Retirement Plans - ERISA specifically excludes any federal government retirement plans. While these accounts are divisible, it is done with a document other than a true QDRO. While the name QDRO may be used generically to refer to any order related to retirement account division, government plans each have their own mechanisms for division and it is important to understand each. You can learn more about these plans at www.tsp.gov and www.opm.gov. Rules governing state and local government plans vary by state, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules specific to your jurisdiction.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9504337

Thursday, January 3, 2019

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 loses out financially. So while you 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 fairness in the way your children are dealt with, but also means that your children who do take a role in the business will not to lose their livelihood following your death. Additionally, it means that they will not be forced to sell the business to pay their siblings, a move which may mean they also lose out financially.

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


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

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!


Nights will be dark but days will be light, wishing your life to always be bright – Happy New Year.