Friday, May 31, 2019

3 Positive Points of Starting an LLC


When you start a business you will have to sift through the variety of options that are available to you in terms of running a full-scale operation. Even if you're the only person working within the framework of a company, you will still need to file paperwork with your state and city governments, and you will need to have a good plan of action. Sure, you could just go into business and wait for the penalties to pile up and then form a legitimate business, or you could look into the proper way to go about starting an LLC. The latter is far better in many people's views, and will definitely save you headaches later on. Consider the following positive points of starting an LLC.

Multiple Owners or One Owner - Whether you have a great deal of investors that want to be part owners or you are alone in the process you will find that an LLC allows you to run your company with a great deal of freedom. Not only that, you will be able to include others in a management or even ownership capacity later on as long as you have an operation document that will showcase your ideas moving forward.

Liability - The best part of starting an LLC is that you will not be liable for a great variety of issues that will come up. For instance, let's assume that you have a client that is hell-bent on suing you, and so they sue the business that you own and you have to go to court. If you file your paperwork properly, and you lose the case, you will only be liable for the money that is held within your business, and nothing else! That means if you own a home, a boat, a car or just about anything that is not part of the business proper, you could stand to lose nothing on a personal level. This is a great thing because you can protect your assets and not worry about what some might do to try and get your money.

Taxes - Dealing with taxes can be quite easy because they flow into personal income taxes in many ways. You will find that you will have to deal with your taxes in a manner that is a bit more simple than starting a larger company or a different option in terms of business. While it's not a matter of not paying your fair share, it's really a matter of ease when tax time comes around.

The above 3 positive points when starting an LLC are just 3 items that many find to be great. There are a number of other integral points to consider and each one seems to make the formation of this type of company a bit better than others. Only you can decide what path your business takes, but when it comes to starting something away from the traditional route of 40 hour work weeks, this is definitely one of the more attractive options. You'll find that it's easier than others, and it can bring amazing profits in time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pete_Morgan/604971

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Advance Healthcare Directives - Be Sure to Write Your Living Will


With modern medical technology advancements, it is becoming more and more important to consider writing an advanced healthcare directive. There are several kinds of advanced healthcare directives. A living will is one form of an advanced healthcare directive. It is a document that specifies what you want to be done medically if you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. A medical power of attorney or healthcare proxy is another form that appoints a specific person to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. It is advised that a person have both documents prepared and in place long before they will ever be needed.

With today's advancement in medical care, many people are left confined to nursing homes. Many elderly are in a vegetative state, fed through feeding tubes while their bodies slowly die. The emotional and financial burden the families of these patients experience is overwhelming. Lives are prolonged but there is no real quality of life. An advanced directive can prevent this from happening to those you love.

The living will was first proposed by Luis Kutner in 1969. His purpose was to make sure the living were able to make their wishes known when they were no longer able to speak for themselves. The living will gives direction to medical professionals about what procedures a person wants and doesn't want. It can forbid the use of medical equipment used to sustain life or direct it be discontinued when it only prolongs death. It can be general or specific depending on the wishes of the person writing it.

Advanced directives should be regularly updated to make sure they cover current medical technology. As advancements are made, changes need to be made to reflect that advancement. A living will that is current is more likely to be acknowledged and followed.

It is advised that a living will be combined with a healthcare proxy to assure your wishes are followed. No document can fully cover all the circumstances that might occur. Having a person on the scene making immediate decisions is important. By designating a person in advance to make decisions, you can be reassured that no decisions are made that might conflict with your desires.

The comfort and peace of mind an advanced healthcare directive gives is invaluable. Knowing you will not be a burden to your family allows you to calmly live knowing any necessary medical decisions will be made by someone you trust.

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

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Legal Document Preparation - By The People


Rene talks about how By The People Document Preparation Service in Fairfield CA can help people with uncontested legal matters in an inexpensive way. See more at http://www.bythepeopleca.com, or call 707-428-9871

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Probate Process - What Is Probate? The Steps to Administering an Estate


Most people have heard the word probate before, but they might be wondering 'what is probate?' The probate process can refer to several things. The probate court determines whether or not a will is valid. If an executor is not named in the will, the court will assign an executor to perform those duties. However, the entire process of administering the estate of the deceased according to the will's instructions can also be referred to as probate. Many people think that an executor simply reads the will and hands out the bequests to the heirs. There is so much more involved in the duties of an executor during probate.

The actual court probate process is only a part of the responsibilities of the will's executor. The first duty is to file a petition to start probate in each of the states where the deceased owned property. Because each state has slightly varying probate laws, the answer to the 'what is probate?' the question will change a little depending on a specific state's legal code. However, there are some common events between states when it comes to processing wills and other estate administration. Before the executor of the will can even be formally appointed or approved, a petition has to be filed, a notice of petition must be published with a certain amount of lead time (usually at least 15 days), the legal documents must be given to the judge for approval, and the concerned parties (such as beneficiaries) must be notified.

Following these notifications, the court hearing will formally begin the probate process and approve the named executor of the will. After the court hearing, the executor needs to inventory all of the deceased's assets. This information has to be filed with the probate court. Next, all creditor's claims are addressed and paid off. The IRS also has to be paid. It is the executor's responsibility to file all taxes, including income, estate, and others, by their respective deadlines. The timelines are not adjusted due to the death of the taxee. What is probate? It's probably a lot more than most people realize.

Once all debts and taxes are paid, the executor of the will file a petition for the judge's approval of the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. The concerned parties are notified, and there is a court hearing where the judge approves the distribution of assets. Finally, in the probate process, the executor transfers those assets to the beneficiaries. These steps are the main answer to the 'what is probate?' question.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

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


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

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

Healthcare Power of Attorney

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

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

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

  • Deciding whether or not you will receive medical treatment
  • Withdrawing life-support

Living Will

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

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


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

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Power of Attorney



Rene at By the People in Fairfield CA talks about just some of the reasons for a need for a Power of Attorney. These documents can be really important aids in helping loved ones.

For any questions about the types of Power of Attorney, and what may be beneficial for your individual needs, call Rene or Tammy at 707-428-9871 and visit the website at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What You Should Know About Annulment


An annulment is a declaration by the circuit court that there is a defect in the marriage such that the marriage is void. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot have your marriage annulled because you did not consummate the union or because you changed your mind shortly after the ceremony. To qualify for an annulment there must be a defect which goes to the heart of the marriage. If the marriage is valid, the only recourse is to file for divorce. A divorce dissolves a valid marriage, whereas an annulment recognizes and declares a marriage to be so defective as to be non-existent.

A marriage may be void or voidable. The grounds for the annulment determine whether the marriage is void or voidable.

Void Marriages~The following marriages are void from the start and consequently not recognized at law: 1) marriage to someone who is already married and 2) marriage to a close relative. Under these circumstances, the marriage is void from the start. Either party may petition the court for an annulment. There is no limitation as to when the suit may be filed. It is important to note that if one party was married to someone else at the time of the marriage, the subsequent death of the other spouse or the subsequent divorce from that spouse will not validate the marriage. The only way to validate the marriage in such a case is to remarry after the problem has been resolved.

Voidable Marriages~A voidable marriage is legally valid unless one of the spouses files for an annulment. Marriages are voidable, if one of the spouses: 1) was physically or mentally incompetent at the time of the marriage, 2) consented to the marriage under fraud or duress, 3) was a felon or prostitute without the other's knowledge, 4) was impotent, 5) was pregnant by another man without the other spouse's knowledge, or 6) fathered a child by another woman within 10 months of the marriage without the other spouse's knowledge. Please note that it is the "wronged" spouse who has the grounds for annulment and not the spouse who perpetrated the fraud.

Unlike void marriage, courts will not grant an annulment of a voidable marriage if the spouses continue to cohabit or live together as husband and wife after discovery and knowledge of the circumstances constituting grounds for the annulment. If there is cohabitation with knowledge of the circumstances or if you have lived with your spouse for two years or more before filing a petition for annulment, you will be required to file for a divorce instead of an annulment. We had the unpleasant task of telling a man who had been married five years that although he had grounds to annul his voidable marriage, he waited too long to file for an annulment. He had to file for divorce.

The Procedure~The procedure for an annulment is the same as for a divorce. The only procedural difference is the grounds for the lawsuit. However, the relief available in an annulment is different than in a divorce.

The Relief~While the court may make a temporary order for spousal support and attorney's fees, during the pendency of the annulment suit, the court has no authority to grant post-annulment "spousal support" or equitable division of property and debts. If there are children, the court may rule on custody and child support, even if the marriage is void.

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Do You Need a Registered Agent When You Form an LLC or Corporation?


When you're busy planning the formation of an LLC or corporation, its easy to overlook some details, even the important ones. Every corporation or LLC must have an agent who is designated to receive official correspondence and notice in case of a lawsuit.

Registered agents are also known as resident agents or statutory agents, and they serve an important role in your company.

In most states, the resident agent must be either an adult living in the state of formation with a street address, or a corporation or LLC with a business office in the state that provides registered agent services. If you form an LLC or incorporate in your home state, any officer or director, or manager or member in the case of an LLC, may act as the resident agent. Having a third party act as the statutory agent comes with some advantages, however, including increased privacy and reducing the risk that you will be surprised at home with court papers for a lawsuit.

Doing Business in Another State

So, what happens after you incorporate in Delaware, for example, and then decide to start doing business in New Jersey? At this point, you will need a registered agent service in the new state. The agent's address can also be where the state sends annual reports, tax notices, and notices for yearly renewals of the business's charter.

You will be required to maintain a resident agent in any state where your company does business, and the agent's office address and name must be included in the articles of incorporation giving public notice.

Finding a Statutory Agent

Most corporate service companies provide registered agent service, which includes forwarding any tax notices or official documents from the Secretary of State and the acceptance of legal service of process to forward to your company. Basic levels of service include a legitimate working office, compliance management, information shielding, and document organization as well.

Agents, or statutory agents, serve an important role. After all, you will lose by default if you can't be served or the paperwork isn't passed to you properly, so a reliable registered agent is your first line of defense against opportunistic lawyers. It's usually best to choose someone else as your registered agent, as you don't want to be served in front of employees or customers in a working office, and a good agent will protect your personal information from appearing online.


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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Living Trust and Wills - By the People



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

Friday, May 17, 2019

Understanding a Power of Attorney for Finances


Carolyn Rosenblatt discusses a Power of Attorney for Finances. This important document may be necessary to help care for your elderly parents. It can prevent financial elder abuse.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Situations Where Your Last Will May Be Considered Void


Drafting a last will and testament is something we only hope to do one time. Creating a document that specifies our wishes after our deaths can cause some anxiety in that we are reminded of our mortality, but more than that making changes to a will can cause headaches if not done correctly. You also risk voiding your will under certain circumstances. In order to keep your friends and loved ones from inheriting any headaches along with your estate, it is important to know exactly what events can void your will.

If your will is judged void after your death, it opens the door to any number of disputes between family and friends as they argue over dispersing your assets. Charities you wished to benefit from your generosity may not receive the funds you set aside for them, and even your burial plans may be altered. It is important, therefore, to make sure you following everything to the letter. Here are a few situations that could lead to voiding your will.

1) You make unauthorized changes. When you complete a will, it is typically signed and witnessed, and notarized. If you make written additions or deletions anytime after that period, somebody could contest the validity of the will and cause problems. If you want to make corrections after the legalities are complete, you can either destroy the current will and start over, or draft a codicil to accompany the will you currently have.

2) You were not of sound mind when you wrote the will. Some people may be pressured or heavily encouraged to draft a document in order to bring peace of mind to your family. However, a will written under duress or other influence could be proven invalid if somebody believes you were not of sound mind at the time. You want to make it perfectly clear that your wishes are your own, and that you have not been forced to write anything you didn't want to write.

3) Changes in marital status. Depending on the laws in your state, a will drafted before a legal marriage or divorce could allow a party to contest your will if you do not have it changed. If you have a will ready and decide to marry or remarry, speak with your attorney about what needs to be done to ensure your wishes are kept intact.

Take care to know what factors could render your last will and testament void.

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

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Wednesday, May 15, 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.

Tuesday, May 14, 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

Monday, May 13, 2019

Estate Planning 101 - Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Trusts


Estate planning sounds so overwhelming: Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Trusts, Guardianships, etc., etc., etc.

What does it all mean and what do you really, really need to ensure that your family will be cared for when you pass away?

While the following definitions are by no means intended to be all-encompassing, or cover all of the variations of each document, they are helpful for the estate planning novice in determining what documents are right and necessary for them.

What is a will?

A will is a written legal declaration by which a person makes known how their property will be disposed of upon their death. Property includes not only real property (land, house, condominium, business storefront, etc.), but also personal property such as jewelry, art, sports memorabilia, even pets.

What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document, by which a person makes known his or her wishes regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical procedures, such as resuscitation. A living will can also be called an advance directive, health care directive, advance medical directive, or physician's directive.

What is power of attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal document by which Person A gives Person B the power to make decisions about their legal and/or financial affairs upon Person A's incapacitation. Powers of Attorney expire upon your death.

What is a trust?

Trusts come in all forms and can be straightforward or extremely complex. Simple stated, trusts are a financial arrangement that allows a third party (the trustee) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. How and when the assets pass to the beneficiary can be controlled by establishing a trust.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll have the peace of mind in knowing that your family will be cared for when the inevitable happens.

Even if you have completed estate planning, it's never really 'done.' Life is going to come along and make you re-do it.

Following are a few examples of life circumstances that necessitate your updating your estate planning documents:

  • IF you had a baby
  • IF you got married
  • IF you got divorced
  • IF you adopted a child
  • IF you have a new grandbaby
  • IF a relationship within your family has changed
  • IF tax laws have changed
  • IF your estate value has dramatically increased (or decreased)
  • IF you moved to a new state
  • IF you retired
  • IF you changed your investments

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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day!


“To the world, you are a mother, but to your family, you are the world.” 
—Unknown

Friday, May 10, 2019

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

Thursday, May 9, 2019

QDRO Forms to Divide Pension Benefits in Divorce - "Shared Interest" Or "Separate Interest" Approach


Many people facing the prospect of divorce are surprised to learn that pension benefits accrued during the course of a marriage are considered marital property (or, in some states such as California, community property) that is divided between the spouses upon divorce. A pension plan falls under the category of retirement plans known as defined benefit plans. These types of retirement plans generally provide that upon retirement, the participant (employee) is entitled to a monthly annuity that is payable over his or her lifetime.

Because of certain provisions contained a Federal law known as the Employment Retirement Security Act, a divorce judgment or matrimonial settlement agreement, standing alone, is not a legally sufficient mechanism for dividing a pension plan. It is essential that a further order, known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) be entered by the court and approved by the pension plan administrator.

In situations where the participant spouse is not yet retired, the QDRO form can utilize two different methods for dividing pension benefits. These include the "shared interest approach" and "separate interest approach."

If a QDRO form uses the Shared Interest Approach, payments to the Alternate Payee cannot begin until the Participant chooses to retire and begins to receive a retirement allowance. Furthermore, payments to the Alternate Payee must end upon the Participant's death unless the Alternate Payee was designated in the QDRO as the surviving spouse of the Participant for the purpose of electing a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity and such election was elected by the Participant at the time of the Participant's retirement.

If a QDRO form applies the Separate Interest Approach, a "separate interest" is carved out for the Alternate Payee and adjusted to his or her actuarial life expectancy. In addition, the Alternate Payee controls the timing and manner of his or her receipt of the benefit payments. The Alternate Payee can commence receiving benefits at the Participant's earliest retirement date, rather than wait for the Participant to begin to receive a retirement allowance.

In most instances, it is highly beneficial for the non-participant spouse that the QDRO form utilize a separate interest approach. Sample QDRO forms are available for download. Upon completion of a proposed QDRO form, the document must be submitted to the pension plan administrator for approval, and, thereafter, to the divorce court adjudicating the matter.


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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Monday, May 6, 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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Sunday, May 5, 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.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

What Are the Different Business Legal Structures?


There are several common legal structures that you can set your business up under. Which one you chose is going to depend on what kind of business you are setting up, who else is involved in this plan with you, your own personal preferences, among several other factors.

Here is a quick overview of your options.

Sole Proprietorship

This is still the most common type of business structure, particularly for small businesses that are just starting out. This means that one person owns and is responsible for the business. They make all the decisions, but they also hold all the financial responsibility. The profits or losses from the business are reported on the proprietor's personal taxes.

General Partnership

This is very similar to a sole proprietorship, except that there is more than one person involved in owning and operating the business. The business is still connected to you, but also to your partners. This means you all share in the management and financial responsibilities of the business.

Corporation (LTD or INC)

A corporation is an entity that is formed and does business on its own, separate from anyone personally. This means that the financial situation of the business does not roll over onto the person who owns the business.

While this may seem like the better option to avoid personal liability if something happens within the business, it can be extremely tedious and expensive to set up and maintain. This is not a viable option for most small business owners because most of them cannot afford the set up fees or maintenance of records required.

Limited Liability Company/Corporation (LLC)

This is a newer and very popular type of business structure because it offers the benefits of a corporation, does not require a lot of the same hassle. Unlike a limited liability partnership, you can set up this type of company with only one person. It provides a lot of the financial protection of a corporation, but does not require as extensive measures to upkeep.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

This is a different type of partnership, but it also provides some of the financial protection of a corporation. Unlike an LLC, you must have at least two partners. However, it is easier to maintain and keep your structure than an LLC. This business structure is also much more common in the UK, which LLCs are more popular in the US.

How you set up your business is an important decision. The structure you choose could make a big financial and legal difference. It will depend on many factors, including local laws. Take the time to research your options and talk to an accountant or other business professional and anyone else involved in your business before making your decision.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9689433

Friday, May 3, 2019

What Is Estate Planning and Is It Useful?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Estate Planning - More Than Just A Legal Will


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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