Saturday, June 30, 2012

LLC Vs Corporation - The Similarities and Differences

The LLC and the corporation are the two competing choices when it comes to deciding on a legal entity for running a business. Both offer the same level of personal asset protection for the owners of the business.
While the corporation has been around longer and so has a longer history of legal enforcement of its liability protection, the LLC protection provisions are based on the same principles and language of corporate statutes. What this means is that the courts will apply the same precedence by analogy when it comes to limited liability companies.
A corporation must have a central body of management structure. This is accomplished with a Board of Directors. Every corporation has a Board and its members are elected by the shareholders to serve terms. The Board has the authority to manage the company. Generally the Board will hire officers to execute the day to day operations based on the overall decisions agreed to by the board. Shareholders in their capacity as shareholders do not have management authority.
The LLC is a flexible shell when it comes to management. There are no required structures and a central management body is not required. A limited liability company can be member managed - here, the owners (members) have management authority by virtue of being members. However, this entity can also be set up similar to a corporation and can create a Board of Managers as the management authority. In summary, an LLC can start with a blank slate when it comes to management structures and can define how it wants to be governed based on the specific circumstances.
Both entities issue a unit of ownership to its owners. For a corporation, shares of stock are issued while membership units are given by a limited liability company. For a corporation, every share must represent an identical unit of ownership. For an LLC, there is the option to define different rights and obligations to members separate and apart from the membership unit. Corporate shares can be publicly traded if the business ever gets big enough to want to go public. There is no option for public markets for an LLC. It is more suitable for privately held businesses.
Management Structure Options
A third of the benefits of an LLC is that it is a flexible entity when deciding how the business will be managed. The members of a limited liability company can choose between two simple management structures: (i) member managed or (ii) manager managed. The laws afford this benefit by allowing members great flexibility in deciding how they want the limited liability company business to be managed and what rules to impose upon the business when it comes to governance and management.
The corporation laws of each state generally mandate that a corporation hold certain meetings and document corporate decisions with shareholder or director votes and resolutions. The limited liability company is not legally required to maintain as much paperwork or hold mandatory meetings, but it is always a good idea to engage in some governance and record keeping. Still, it is is preferred by busy business owners because the owners can focus more on operating the business without worrying about a lot of formalities or maintenance.
Tax Matters
The limited liability company beats the corporation hands down when it comes to taxation. This is because the IRS lets it be taxed however it chooses. It automatically qualifies for pass through, single layer of taxation but it can also elect to be taxed as a C corporation or an S corporation. The corporation by default is subject to double taxation which means that profits are taxed twice. It does not have any automatic qualification of a single tax structure, but there is a limited option to elect S corporation status if a corporation can meet and continue to maintain a laundry list of qualifications and limitations.
In essence, the LLC is more of a small business vehicle while the corporation is for larger businesses and ones with a larger investor base.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate Orders Explained

An advance directive outlines what wishes your doctor must follow if you become unable to make your own medical decisions. When you're admitted to the hospital usually the staff will ask you if you have an advance directive, or you can hand your doctor and hospital staff a copy yourself if they don't ask.

An ideal advance directive would be to describe the kind of treatment you would want depending on how sick you are at the time. Also, an advance directive is made to describe what to do if you have an illness that you most likely have no chance to recover from, or if your in a coma what kind of care you wish. The most important thing on an advance directive is what you don't want your doctor to do otherwise a doctor will usually do everything in his power he feels is necessary. However it works both ways, you can demand certain treatments no matter how ill you become.

The laws and forms on advance directives are usually different for every state, its important you get your state's specific form that conforms to your state's laws.

The good thing about an advance directive is that you don't stress out your family and loved ones by putting the burden of making medical decisions for you. If your 18 years or over you can prepare an advance directive.

A do not resuscitate order is like an advance directive but very specific. A do not resuscitate order is made for you to request if you want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Usually if you don't fill this form out the whole hospital staff is trained in CPR and also trained to revive you using CPR if your heart stops or you stop breathing. Do not resuscitate orders are accepted in all states.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Transfer Of Ownership By A New Deed

There are some of you who many need to make changes in the ownership of your property. If you have owned a property in your own separate name and are now newly married and want to add your wife as part owner to the property, you would create a new Deed which would add her as a new part owner of that property. Normally a Quit Claim Deed is used to do this. In this case the title of this property would then be under your name and your wife as Community Property with Right of Survivorship. In this case if either party dies the property can pass directly to the surviving spouse without a court probate action.

A Deed is a legal document which transfers ownership or an ownership interest in a home, commercial building or parcel of land to another person, trust, living trust, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or any other legal entity which may own property under the law of that state. Real Property is always under the jurisdiction of the
state in which it is located.

This deed must describe the address of the property and have the legal description which legally describes the property printed or typed on the Deed. The party granting the deed transfer is called the "Grantor", and the party receiving the deed transfer is called the "Grantee."

This document lists all of the names of the parties that are involved in the real estate transfer. Once the deed has been signed it is recorded in the County of Record by the County Recorder and is made part of the public record, and any member of the public can view the deed transfer if they examine the public records.

There are many kinds of deeds with which real estate property is transferred. For example, a warranty deed guarantees that the "Grantor" owns the title, while the quitclaim deed only transfers the interest in the real property that a "Grantee" has. Most married couples normally hold title to real property under community property with right of survivorship. People who are not married can hold real estate ownership as Joint Tenants with right of survivorship. This means if one party dies then the other party's ownership interest will pass directly to the surviving spouse or partner.

Most deeds are recorded as a title transfer from a sale by the use of a title company which searches the public record and insures that the "Buyer" gets a clear title from the "Seller." This insurance policy assures the Lender there is a real estate loan being used to acquire the property that their loan documents will be in first or second position and that there are no deed restrictions, unpaid taxes, easements, bond assessments or other possible easements or encroachments on the property.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Benefit of Living Wills

When the time comes, wouldn't you love to save your loved ones from any unnecessary trauma and expense? It's a wise choice to take time to plan ahead for the day when you might not be able to make any more choices on your own behalf. Living wills can quickly be created without the help of a lawyer. They make your choices and desires known when you can't and so you're family won't have to.

But living wills are not your last will and testament. It doesn't involve issues like probate or distributing your assets to your family or friends. They are also called advance directives and are primarily used to either express your wishes if you are incapacitated or to appoint someone to speak on your behalf. Simply put, this person or the form itself speaks for you - fulfilling your wishes if you become unconscious or terminally ill.

How are living wills created?

The forms can be found online for each individual state. It's important to make it apply to the state you are a legal resident of, in order to comply with that state's law. These forms may also be obtained from your family doctor. This form may need to be witnessed by two people and it may also require notarization.

One of the most important aspects of this vital form is who you choose as your representative. They don't need to be related to you, but they certainly should be trustworthy. It's also helpful, but not necessary, for this person to live generally in the same area as you for close proximity in case of emergency.

Another great aspect of this form is for expressing your desire to be an organ donor and for your final arrangements. But, you are not locked into your decisions until you become permanently unconscious which must be determined by a medical expert. Up until that time, you still have the power to change your mind from the time of the form's creation.

Make sure you give a copy of your advance directive form to your representative, your physician, any other healthcare providers and any other family members or friends who may become involved.

Some of the medical options you will need to choose are the following situations. All of these are on a "as-needed" basis.

1. If CPR should be performed.

2. If you should receive oxygen.

3. If you should be kept alive through artificial feeding and hydration.

4. If you should need dialysis.

5. If you should need pain medicines.

It's not possible to cover every single aspect of living wills in this article, but I hope to have given you some food for thought.

Peace of mind is what you will receive - for you and your loved ones. Remember, they will already be going through a tremendous amount of suffering if this time comes in your life. You will want to make some easy choices now in order to save them more difficult ones later.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Can I Get Full Child Custody in Uncontested Divorce?

Divorce is hard as it is; which is why many couples who are getting divorced choose to go the uncontested route because it is easier, simpler and less painful in many cases. An uncontested divorce means that both parties reach an agreement as to a divorce settlement involving division of assets and property, child custody, child support, spousal support, etc. without the assistance of the court. The minute that one of the parties objects to a certain issue or the couple is unable to reach an agreement, the divorce becomes contested and is no longer uncontested.

If the couple has children, an officer of the court may still be involved to help determine child custody and child support issues. This is where a lot of divorces become contested, as both parties are hoping for full custody of their children. When this happens, both parties should speak with their attorney and the court at this point may get involved in determining custody and support. Still, if there are no objections to one parent receiving full custody, the divorce may stay uncontested, so to answer the question posed in the title, yes it is possible.

Parents should be aware that full custody often refers to full physical custody, meaning that the child will live with them permanently. However, the non-custodial parent is often still granted visitation rights on weekends, holidays, etc. Physical custody may also be joint in which both parents share physical custody of the child. Even if one parent has full physical custody, joint legal custody is often granted. Legal custody refers to who is making decisions regarding the child's health, education, religion, etc. Many divorces end in full physical custody and joint legal custody, but it varies from one case to the next.

Uncontested divorce is a great way to avoid animosity that often arises when the couple is fighting over certain issues. When children are involved, animosity in the divorce may be very stressful on them, especially when they are being tugged in two directions. This is why some couples choose to keep the courts out of it as much as possible and reach an agreement on their own. This may not only help reduce the stress on the child, but may also help reduce the stress on the couple getting divorced. The uncontested divorce may also be less expensive than a contested divorce, adding to its appeal.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Broad Look Into Guardianship

Guardianship often referred to as conservatorship is the care, attention and the overall management of a person in need. It is administered to the incapacitated. It is synonymous the legal proceedings in the courts in which a guardian is appointed to take care of an incapacitated person. The guardian is anyone either an institution or an individual appointed by the courts to exercise the full control of incapacitated persons.

An incapacitated person is legally known as a ward. Minors, children who have not attained the threshold age of adulthood usually eighteen years are all incapacitated. Moreover an adult individual with mental, physical or any disability is greatly incapacitated since they cannot provide basic needs for themselves manage their health or make any sound decision. A guardian should be in place to take care of them.

The conservatorship is dully administered by a guardian who a wide spectrum of duties and responsibilities to perform. The guardian should provide day to day care of the incapacitated. They should make sure that everything is smoothly running in the life of the incapacitated. Provision of food, health, clothing, security, education and shelter is all their responsibility. The guardian is expected to show love, respect and attention to the incapacitated.

For minors, the guardian should contribute fully towards their development. They should help the children grow up morally and spiritually straight. They are obliged to morally support the children as they grow up. This can be achieved by teaching them how to cope with the challenges of life, how to achieve success in any undertaking, how to socialize with their peers and working hard. They are entirely responsible for the behavior and discipline of the children.

The guardians are as well required to make the final decisions regarding the affairs of the incapacitated. They should decide where to live, which school to take them, the hospitals they should attend, which culture or religion they should embrace or any change in their names. In a nutshell they take the overall parentage responsibilities.

Conservatorship can arise from a number of ways. A parent can list a person in their will to be the guardian in case the parent dies. This care giver is often called a testamentary guardian. They are trustees anointed by the parent to take their responsibilities in case the parents pass away or become incapacitated. They posses all the power, duties, rights and responsibilities as are the real parents of the incapacitated. A testamentary guardian is often a trusted friend of the parents.

Conservatorship can also be granted by the courts. The court can appoint a trusted institution or an individual as the guardian. The guardians take the overall responsibilities of the parents but are answerable to the courts. Moreover, the court can appoint somebody usually child youth and family services to represent the court in Conservatorship related petitions.

Guardianship is not permanent. If the person recovers from the condition making them incapacitated, conservatorship terminated. Equally true is the situation where a minor reaches the age of eighteen. The rights of the wards are hence restored. The courts can also nullify the conservatorship if the guardians fail to honor their responsibilities.

The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

3 Reasons You Should Have an Operating Agreement for Your LLC

Forming an LLC, or limited liability company, is a sound strategy for even the smallest new business. It offers legal protection for your assets, and gives you more options regarding how your taxes are handled than you would have as a sole proprietorship or independent contractor. If these sorts of protections are what prompted you to go the LLC route, an operating agreement is practically mandatory. These agreements can offer you further protections while ensuring you maintain the proper level of control over your LLC management.
Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements Give You More Control of Your Business
When you begin the process of forming an LLC, you will learn that the government has already established a set of general guidelines for how these types of businesses should be governed. What may not be quite as clear in the documentation, though, is that without an operating agreement these guidelines are applied to your business by default.
In essence, your LLC management structure, and even the allotment of your profits, is automatically determined by state and federal guidelines. Luckily, these guidelines tend to have one commonality across the board: the ability to individualize aspects of your LLC management through the use of an operating agreement.
Of course, your agreement may not include any rules that violate the law, but you still have quite a bit of freedom to make your own adjustments, provided you do so in the form of a formal operating agreement.
An Agreement Helps You Solidify Your LLC Management Structure
This aspect is particularly important if you are forming an LLC with one or more partners. An operating agreement detailing each partner's position, responsibilities and even voting rights in regard to major issues can save you from significant hassles down the road.
As any successful business owner can confirm, comprehensive written policies are the backbone of a good company. Consider the agreement your company's very first official policy.
You Can Further Protect Your Assets Should the Worst Occur
Your goal, of course, is to stay on the good side of the law so that you will never have to defend your assets in court. If, however, you do find yourself in the legal situation such as filing for bankruptcy, an operating agreement can help you keep your business and personal assets separate.
If you are the sole owner of your business, this precaution is likely part of the reason you decided on forming an LLC as opposed to a sole proprietorship. While this should be enough to keep your assets legally separated, in some cases the courts will require further evidence of the separation. An operating agreement that lays out exactly which assets and property belong to the business keeps the waters from being muddied, offering you the best possible protection even in the worst-case scenario.
An Operating Agreement is an Essential Part of Forming an LLC
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to writing an operating agreement, whether you plan to be a business of one or 100. Creating more paperwork for yourself may be the last thing that you want, but the control and protections it can provide make it a worthwhile endeavor, if not an essential step in building your limited liability company.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Power Of Attorney - What Is It

A durable financial power of attorney is a writing that grants authority by a person to another person to handle his or her financial affairs. The financial subjects contained within the writing typically include: real property; tangible personal property; stocks and bonds; commodities and options; banks and other financial institutions; operation of entity or business; insurance and annuities; estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests; claims and litigation; personal and family maintenance; benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service; retirement plans; and taxes. With a durable type form, the agent's authority would not be cancelled if it was later determined that the principal had become incompetent due to an illness or injury as it would be with a nondurable power of attorney.

The principal can also list a successor agent who could replace the agent in a situation where the agent is unable or unwilling to carry out his or her duties, or resigns. If the agent is the spouse of the principal and one of them began divorce proceedings, the spouse's powers as agent would automatically be revoked by law and the successor agent could immediately step in and begin to handle the affairs of the principal.

A durable financial power of attorney is effective at the time it is signed by the principal, but there is also a "springing" durable type form. In the springing type form, the agent is authorized to begin handling the affairs of the principal upon a future event, contingency or date specified in the form. The principal may choose anyone that is an adult to determine that the event or contingency had occurred. If the event is incapacity and the principal has not chosen anyone to determine that this event had occurred, the determination can be made by a licensed physician or psychologist. The springing type form is not permitted in all states, so it is necessary to check your state laws prior to using one.

There are certain important tips that are quite useful in handling the issues related to using a durable financial power of attorney. You should choose an agent whom you can trust. It can be any adult member of your family or an adult friend. You can also verbally communicate to your agent or list instructions in your form to provide your agent with guidance and to make him or her aware of your financial assets and obligations and what acts you want him or her to perform on your behalf.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

California Advance Health Care Directive

The California Advance Health Care Directive explained

BY THE PEOPLE can help assist you in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Advance Directives and Why You Need One

You've probably heard of advance directives, but are unsure of what they actually do and how they can help you. The truth is that these are a great way to plan ahead for your future, but they do require a bit of work upfront first. This is a good thing though, since it will save you time and energy later. It's better to have the work done before you actually need to do it so in a time of emergency everything is already sorted out beforehand.

The first thing to be aware of is the medical power of attorney, also called a healthcare proxy. This person is lawfully able to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to. This includes when you are suffering from dementia and when you are not conscious. This is a big shoe to fit into, so to speak, so it is important that you select someone that you trust completely. Sometimes, you may want to select a backup healthcare proxy in the event that something happens to your original choice for POA. This doesn't happen often, but when it does you will want to be prepared. So having another person you trust on deck allows you to not worry about constantly updating your POA paperwork.

You also need to know that your POA will not be able to make decisions that override your decisions. This is to benefit you, of course. If you were to wake up out of a coma, you would then be able to once again make your own decisions and not have to worry about your POA making a decision that you do not want them to.

Some states do not actually honor other states' advance directives. Some do. So it will require a little research, either on your own or with your attorney, to make sure that if you are moving from New York to California, for example, that your advance directive will hold up under the scrutiny of the legal system. The easiest solution to this problem is to have an advance directive made up for each state that you will be residing in. So if you do move into a California retirement home, make sure that you set up an advance directive as soon as possible once you are a resident there.

A final consideration for the State of California is that if you are in a skilled nursing facility and want to set up an advance directive, you must have a patient advocate sign the paperwork as a witness. Again, this is to protect you and your rights.

Basically, the State of California wants to ensure that the patient is of sound mind and that they are not being taken advantage of. This is why an advocate must sign-they look out for their patients' best interests.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Is Limited Power Of Attorney?

A limited power of attorney, also known as a special power of attorney, is designed for a specific purpose. The person appointed as the agent does not have the broad authority or powers over the financial affairs of the principal that a general type form would give to them. But, the agent is authorized to complete the specific task that they have been granted the power or authority to do for the principal. This type of form is used by people for a financial transaction, health care or another need like the sale of real estate. However, the appointment of an agent in a limited type form will not give them any other authority or powers than those specified that could affect the finances or property of the principal.

A limited power of attorney can be given to a person or an organization. An organization can be appointed agent and granted the authority or power to do what is specified within the limited type form in the same manner as an individual is granted authority or power. The authority or power granted to the agent will last for as much time as needed to complete the specified task and can be revoked at any time by the principal. But, why do people use the limited type form? The main reason is to avoid giving the agent more authority or power than is necessary to complete the task. Limited powers of attorneys are allowed by state law. The powers that can be granted to the agent in this type of form include banking transactions, security transactions, real estate transactions and maintenance, debt management, handling government issues, business management, child care, financial decisions, endorsing paychecks or government checks. The powers are not limited to only the powers listed above, but there are many possible options when using a limited type form.

This limited type form is also routinely used by persons who want to give another person the authority or power to handle business decisions or financial transactions. For example, a business owner may be traveling outside the country for a business meeting, or there may be health issues that prevent him or her from completing a business task.

The execution requirements for a limited power of attorney may not be the same in different states. However, in most of the states, you will need to sign your form in the presence of a notary public. But, you can also revoke the limited type form at any time and for any reason. When a person has granted authority or powers to another person in a limited type form, the principal can still make his or her own decisions or do the same task that they have given their agent the authority or power to do, although the agent can complete the specific task for them too.

When a principal is choosing the person they want to appoint as their agent in a limited power of attorney, there are certain factors that should be considered. The agent should be a person the principal can trust and who will act in the principal's best interest. The agent can be a family member or a close friend or relative.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Business Incorporation - Why It Is Necessary

When starting a business, the first step should always be to first determine the best ways to protect yourself and your assets from being lost due to unforeseen problems and challenges that could come up when operating a business.

The first and most important step is business incorporation. Business incorporation involves setting up a separate legal entity to be the operator of the business. You can be an owner of the entity and you can also be actively involved as a director, officer and agent of the business. When you incorporate, it is the corporation that is party conducting the business. When you are representing the business, you are acting as an agent or employee. What this does is it creates a layer of protection between you personally and the business activity.

It is business activity that can give rise to liability. Lets say your business enters into a supplier contract and there is a dispute. Or, another example might be if your business has a store and someone slips and falls. Or, say you have a rogue employee who sues the business for wrongful termination. In all these cases, the party that needs to address the dispute is the legal entity business. Without business incorporation, it would be you personally who would be the target of the problems.

And, if in the end of any of these kinds of disputes, you are found liable, then your personal assets are at risk for making good on the liability. On the other hand, if you run your business through a separate legal vehicles such as a corporation or a limited liability company, then it is the company's assets that are at risk- but not your personally.

Because business disputes and challenges are inevitable in almost any entrepreneurial venture, this protection is so important. Furthermore, with the substantial rise of small business lawsuits (a trend that is only continuing), this becomes even more essential for business owners.

Business Incorporation can be handled as an administrative matter with the state agency that processes formations. You can handle it yourself but it is critical that you learn all the specific requirements because an improper incorporation can put your liability at risk. Another option is to hire a lawyer or for a more affordable alternative, you can use a reputable incorporation services provider - just make sure they are experienced.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

10 Benefits From Making A Will

Perhaps you have been thinking for a while about making a will but have never quite found the time to get around to it; here are 10 Benefits that you will immediately get.

1. Children - If you die and don't nominate guardians for your children who are under the age of 18 then the local Social Services and the Courts will do it for you. If you have children from a previous relationship you can ensure that they will be financially looked after when you have gone.

2. Protect Your Spouse/Civil Partner - If you wish to ensure that your spouse receives what you actually want to leave to them and not have to rely on current government legislation you must document your wishes. The law imposes a limit on the amount of money that passes to a spouse, this could well be a lot less than you wish them to get.

3. Unmarried Couples - It doesn't matter how long you may have been living with your partner, in law nothing will automatically pass to them. Unmarried partners have no legal rights to inherit anything whatsoever.

4. Divorced? - Maybe your divorce was not bitter or acrimonious and you have still left something to your ex partner in your will. But what if they were to remarry? How would you feel if assets ended up in the hands of their new spouse?

5. Separation - For those that have separated but not yet divorced there can be a nasty sting in the tail. Until you receive your Decree Absolute, the marriage is still extant. Should you die, your spouse - even though you don't think of them as such - will be legally entitled to receive your estate, up to the spousal limit.

6. Pets - Most pet owners are very attached to their pets and want to have the peace of mind of knowing what would happen to the "family friend" after they have gone. Writing it down ensures that your wishes are known.

7. Property - The only way to ensure that the full value of your property is protected from attack by the tax authorities, levy of care home fees and creditors is to make a properly structured will. This will mean that all of the value will be left for your family.

8. Funeral Plans - A lot of people have very specific wishes about how they want their funeral to be conducted. Making detailed plans relieves your family from the responsibility of trying to guess what it is that you would have wanted.

9. Small businesses - If you are a sole director or there are only one or two of you the business can be left without a decision maker and nobody who can authorise payments - such as staff wages. You should also make plans for the sale of your share so that your family can receive the benefit of your hard work with as little interference as possible from the tax authorities. If it is your business partner that dies it will ensure that you don't have to liquidate the business to pay their beneficiaries.

10. Living Wills - If you are of unsound mind or unconscious and not able to make your wishes known to the medical profession they have no way of knowing what treatments - if any - that you may not want to receive. Making a living will removes that doubt.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Establishing Your Own Corporation

You want to set up a new business in California and you want it to be a corporation. Establishing a corporation will be no simple task, though. There are forms to fill, concepts to think about, and positions to fill. Below are things to remember when you are looking to incorporate in California.

Name your business

Be sure the name you chose for your corporation is not the same as others in the files of California's Secretary of State. Avoid any similarities with those names as it can bring about copyright infringement lawsuits on your corporation.

The board of directors

The next step is the creation of your corporation's board of directors. California law states that a corporation needs at least three board directors, except when there are only one or two shareholders. The number of directors should be in the Article of Incorporation or the by-laws.

California does not have a minimum age or residency requirement for the people who will comprise your board of directors. You and the others looking to incorporate in California can recruit or appoint someone in New York to be a member of your board.

Filing with the Secretary of State

You can now see California's Secretary of State and file the articles of incorporation (sometimes called a "charter" or a "certificate of incorporation") with that office. Some of the common information in the charter includes the company name, the company's legal address, its incorporators, the purpose of the business, and the names of the board members. There is a fee for the filing, around $100.

The corporation's bylaws and statement of information

In California, incorporation needs the would-be corporation's bylaws. The state does not set any rules for the content. You should just include the rules and procedures you want for your corporation, definition of roles and responsibilities for its offices, the size of the board, and other important details. You do not have to file the bylaws with California's Secretary of State, but you should always keep a copy.

Next, you have to file a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. This has data similar to the bylaws, but also includes complete address of the corporations' board of directors and its upper management, the name of the Agent for Service of Process (the person who will accept lawsuits in behalf of your corporation), and other important details.

Meetings, stocks and taxes

You must hold an organizational meeting that includes the owners and the directors. Here, you appoint the corporate officers, approve the bylaws, authorize stocks, set the accounting (or fiscal) year, adopt a stock certificate form, designate a bank, and choose a seal.

This is where you issue stock certificates to the owners of the corporation. The board is the one that sets the amount received for each stock, unless otherwise stated in the articles of incorporation.

Finally, you must know what tax and other regulatory obligations your corporation has. This will include requesting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRA), and the state of California if you will be paying $100 to an employee or several of them in the quarter.

Once these procedures in the California incorporation are done, open a bank account for the business. Depending on the bank, you might need your EIN, a copy of the articles of incorporation and a resolution that states who the authorized signees are.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

How Does A Quit Claim Deed Work?

People who own several real estate properties may, at some point in their lives, turn over a house to another person such as a sibling, give it as a gift to a child or grandchild or sell it. During these instances, the owner is required by law to execute a quit claim deed to make sure that he or she will no longer claim interest on the property.

A quit claim deed is a legal document that clears title to the property. It is used in the transfer of an interest on a property to another person. By its name alone, it means the owner quits any claim on a house or land. The person who is quitting claim is known as the grantor while the one who accepts the property is called the grantee. The grantee assumes all risks especially if no guarantees or warranties are made on the title.

The deed, however, only transfers interest and does not guarantee if the grantor actually has ownership rights on the property concerned. It also does not ensure that the property is without debt.

In order for it to be enforceable, the deed has to be signed by the grantor after which a notary public should sign and stamp it. In some states, though, the grantee and other witnesses are required to affix their signature as well. Apart from a notary public, officials from states other than where the property is located can also notarize the deed.

There are different situations in which a quit claim deed can be of great help. For married couples, a spouse who was able to purchase a property before marriage can add or remove the name of his husband or wife to or from the property title. In a divorce situation, a couple can transfer ownership of their conjugal property to one spouse.

During the sale of a house, a quit claim deed executed at closing transfers the property interest from the seller to the buyer. In other words, the seller totally disposes of the property rights and guarantees that he or she will no longer go after it whatever happens.

Another situation where the deed can be used is if a certain homeowner plans for an estate or a living trust. In this case, the deed transfers the ownership of his house into a trust fund.

If a life estate is involved, the grantor can still keep his right to possess the property even after signing a quit claim deed. A life estate usually gives the owner the absolute right to stay at the property until death. It is only after the owner's death that the grantee is able to get the right to possess the property.

It is important to understand that once the deed is signed, it will be hard to reverse or undo the deed. Only if the grantee agrees to quit claim the property back can the previous owner possess the property again. Otherwise, the grantor will have to show proof that the transfer was invalid.

A quit claim deed is a valid option for giving up property interest. But since transfer of title or ownership rights is not guaranteed by this document, it is best accompanied by a warranty deed.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Five Types of Power of Attorney Privileges

Establishing power of attorney privileges is an essential element of estate planning. POA authorizes another person to make decisions related to finances and healthcare for someone else in the event they are unable to make decisions on their own.

Before bestowing power of attorney privileges it is crucial to understand how the process works and the rights the person will be given. The person appointed to this position ought to be capable of making difficult decisions that might go against what other family members want.

Individuals who are granted authority to make decisions must be at least 18 years of age. It's important to choose a person who will remain true to decisions pertaining to medical and financial transactions.

There are five different types of power of attorney rights and responsibilities differ based on powers authorized. Each consists of two individuals that include the 'Principal' and 'Attorney-in-Fact.' The Principal is the person that sets up the contract and the attorney-in-fact is the person who carries out the duties on their behalf.

Durable Power of Attorney is the most common type of contract. This legal document authorizes the attorney-in-fact to make financial and medical decisions based on directives provided by the Principal. Powers remain in effect until the Principal dies or until powers are revoked.

The next most common document is the Non-Durable Power of Attorney which authorizes the attorney-in-fact to make decisions for specific types of transactions. Non-durable POA is generally used when the Principal must undergo surgery or some type of medical treatment that might prevent them from being able to make decisions. Powers are granted for a specific transaction and expire once the transaction is completed.

A Limited Power of Attorney is typically used to grant authorization to the attorney-in-fact to sell or transfer real estate owned by the Principal. This document revokes privileges when the transaction is completed.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is needed to authorize a person to make medical decisions on behalf of the Principal It is vital to discuss the types of medical procedures wanted or not wanted with the person who will be in charge of making decisions to ensure they will abide by your desires.

People often feel uncomfortable discussing these topics, but it's best to openly talk about what kind of treatments should be given or avoided if the unthinkable happens. If a person is adamant about not being placed on life support if declared brain dead, they need to make their decisions known in a healthcare POA. Otherwise, medical personnel must abide by state laws and provide life saving treatment.

A Springing Power of Attorney is required to authorize release of medical records and information. The attorney-in-fact is required to obtain court authorization before they can make decisions on behalf of the Principal.

It's recommended to talk with a lawyer before drafting Power of Attorney documents. Lawyers can advise which document is best suited for the situation and help Principal's select an appropriate attorney-in-fact to carry out required duties.

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BY THE PEOPLE can help assist you in preparing the paperwork for many different uncontested legal matters! We try to make each process is simple and fast as possible, as well as affordable. Our fees are a fraction of the cost that you would pay at an attorney’s office. Please call or stop in for more information. There is no cost or obligation to stop in and have an initial consultation with us. We offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at our office, which we think you will find very comfortable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Essentials of a Promissory Note

A promissory note is a "promise to pay" a certain amount of money borrowed. It is usually signed between a "payer" and "payee". Lenders, who are unsure of lending money to the borrowers, often attach a security as collateral.

These include auto, house or any other valuable thing which can be used in case the borrower fails to pay back the loan. Such loans are called secured loans which are often based upon the borrower's ability to repay. Many lenders also issue loans without any security i.e. collateral against loans. These loans are not safe, while the lenders can end up not being paid back at all.

A promissory note is a legal binding which specifies the details of a monetary transaction. The note must provide particular details related to the amount of the loan which is referred to as the "principal amount". It must also include the repayment schedule of the loan, applicable rates of interest, penalties for defaulting and any grace periods.

Any of the parties can bring up a promissory note. However, it is in the best interest of the lender to do it. It ensures that all the mandatory items and provisions have been included. Once both the parties i.e. the payer and payee sign the document, the terms of the contract will be applied in the future in case of any legal proceedings. A best example is when as person buys a car and is short of cash. To settle on this, the person secures the car with a lender. The lender will put forth any repayment specifications before any exchanging money. The document will be called a promissory note which is legally binding. And it is not the same as an "IOU" as many people think of. An IOU is not always taken as a legal document even if it approved through a notary seal. It acknowledges the existence of a debt; it does not include any specifications related to the note as opposed to a promissory note. IOUs are not taken as valid and important as a promissory note because they do not contain sufficient details about the financial transaction.

A properly signed promissory note is important for any legal proceedings; however, if a borrower proves extreme duress during from the lender, the note may be judged as unenforceable. To make it legally binding, a borrower should always read and then sign the completed document.

A promissory note should not be inclusive of condition that would make it an illegal document elsewhere, for example, additional penalties and high rates of interest not mentioned in writing. There can be some other specifications in this case as well; you should ask your legal advisor upon this.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Best Time To Make A Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Living Will and Healthcare Power are the most important estate planning documents that you can make. This is for the simple fact that they affect you and have huge ramifications for you while you are still alive. The question that matters most is when is it the best time to make sure that these documents are in place.

The simple answer is that the best time to make a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney is before you need them. After you need them it is too late to go back and make them or change the fact that you did not make preparations. Healthcare documents are meant to be in place to make sure your wishes for medical treatment or lack of medical treatment are honored when you can no longer speak for yourself. You are considered to be no longer able to speak for yourself when you become incapacitated through disability such as a coma or stroke. Advance directives also take the stress and potential difficult decisions out of the hands of family members that may be grieving or unable to think rationally. Leaving a family member with a difficult choice of whether to keep you alive or pull the plug is never something that you should do. It is better to take this decision out of a family member's hands and make sure that your healthcare wishes are clearly stated in writing.

The best way to do this is to plan ahead and make sure your documents are in place before you need them.

This will be before you are in a hospital or nursing home and when you have a clear head and enough time to make an informed decision. If you are already in a hospital or nursing home you might be under stress or pressure to make a decision. If you are already admitted in a hospital or nursing home then you may still make a Healthcare Power of Attorney without additional steps, but to complete a Living Will in some states you will need someone from the state Ombudsman's office present. This additional step may take more time and interfere with your wishes. While nobody wants to think about the possibility of their own mortality or possible incapacity, it is a reality that adults that have people that care for them and depend on them must face. Having advance directives in place can take worry from your mind now and prevent worry and stress from loved ones later on.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

6 Common Misconceptions About The Advanced Healthcare Directive

You may have heard a lot about the importance of creating an advanced healthcare directive whether in the form of instructions or appointing a person, so that the desired line of treatment can be followed if you are not in a position to take your own decisions at a future date. However there are a number of misconceptions surrounding this concept which can put doubts in your mind.

The following will address some of the more common myths about an advanced healthcare directive.

Myth 1 - Only older people need to make an advanced directive

Illness and accidents can happen to anyone old or young; in fact the advances in the medical field may end up keeping a younger person alive for years without any improvement. Ideally any individual above the age of 18 must make a directive or appoint an agent.

Myth 2 - A directive is meant to stop treatment

An advanced directive is prepared to express your wishes and can include directions to stop treatment as well as those to carry on a specific treatment in certain cases. Also you can customize it in a way where invasive treatment may be stopped but certain pain relievers may be administered to ensure comfort.

Myth 3 - Appointing an agent takes away the right to make personal decisions

This is a common fear faced by many and is completely misplaced. Remember that such a directive comes into effect only when you are not in a position to decide for yourself due to a certain health condition. Furthermore when you regain capacity to make decisions you can override the agent's decision and also modify the rights or revoke them completely.

Myth 4 - It is best to wait if you are unsure about the contents of the directive

Everyone has at least a broad idea about the way their treatment should be done incase such a situation arises. Accordingly you must make an advanced directive incorporating your current wishes no matter how brief. The directive can be modified as often as you wish and you may add more specific instructions in the future to make it more effective.

Myth 5 - A completed directive is work done and does not require any further intervention

Preparing an advanced directive is a sensible decision but by no means is your work over. You must communicate and handover a copy to your doctor, and will have to continue such communication if you happen to get transferred to another medical facility or make any changes in the directive so that the new doctor is aware of your instructions.

Myth 6 - A lawyer is needed to make a directive

A lawyer is not necessarily needed to make an advanced directive but can be useful to make one based on their experience. Similarly you can seek assistance from other personnel trained for such purposes by approaching your healthcare provider or through the internet.

You will now have a clearer picture of what advanced healthcare directives are and what they can do for you, thus helping you to create an advanced directive that is useful and effective to your particular case.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Writing a Promissory Note

Promissory notes should include legal bindings between the borrower and the lender. It should contain all the information required to show that the money is borrowed and the time period for the repayment. This document should contain every minute details of the loan so that the document can have legal binding in a court. Most of the times, this kind of documents are prepared by an attorney, financial institution or a bank. Individuals also can write the document by themselves, but should include the details required to have a legal binding for the money borrowed.

The most important point to remember while writing a promissory note is to include a date at the top of the document because based on this date the terms of the document is created. Also write the amount borrowed which is referred as the principal amount. The principal amount has to be written in numeric with decimal places, if any. You can write the amount as you will write the amount in a check. The amount should be written in the document to avoid any kind of misinterpretations regarding the money to be returned.

The terms and conditions should also be described in the promissory note. The document should explain whether the money has to be returned on demand, monthly payments, quarterly payments, weekly payments or any kind of balloon payment required at certain point of time. You should include the due date, month, year and day of the first payment. You have to include the final payment year, month and date in the document. Some of the documents need to be included with amortization schedule that shows every payment and balance during that time depending up on the interest rate. The rate of interest also should be listed in the document.

The interest rate of the amount borrowed must be written both in numerics with percentage symbol and in words. Whether the interest rate is fixed or flexible also should be explained in the promissory note which is usually seen in home mortgage loan payments. The interest rates of home mortgage loans can be increased as time passes and because of this the interest rate also will be increased. Next, you have to explain whether this is an unsecure or secured note. Majority of the mortgage loans shows that their promissory notes are secured using a Deed of Trust. Deed of Trust is a record whereas the promissory note is not a record.

The promissory note should contain the note holder's name. The name can be of a person, company, financial institution or individuals who has borrowed the amount and to whom the money to be returned. Write the address to where the repayments to be sent. The notes should contain the signature of the borrower towards the bottom of the note.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Expungement Versus Pardoning

Through two methods, known as pardoning and expungement, the law's reaction to a person's crimes may be changed. Although the concepts may seem similar to those unfamiliar with the law, pardons and expungement work in significantly different ways. While both of these legal concepts modify a person's criminal history, they differ significantly in how those changes work.

Perhaps the largest and most obvious difference between a pardon and an expungement is how these orders work. A pardon does not remove the crime in question from a person's record. Instead, it can protect them from legal prosecution, drop any penalties for a crime, or modify the sentence. For example, some states include a death penalty, but may have governors that provide pardons to commute these sentences to life imprisonment.

An expungement, on the other hand, removes the record of a crime. All punishments must be served according to the law, and, for most cases, there cannot be pending legal procedures for the convicted individual. In some states, an expungement is used to clear the charge or allegation from a person's record, while the actual verdict of the crime must be vacated, which is a similar process. In many jurisdictions, expungement makes it legal for these convicted individuals to then state that they were not convicted of the crime in question if a prospective employer asks.

To be granted either of these orders, there are different requirements. In particular, pardons are only given by the heads of the state and federal executive branches. This means that governors and the president may pardon people according to their own judgment. Expungement, on the other hand, is a court order, filed under the jurisdiction of the judicial system. These orders, unlike pardons, have strict rules regarding what kinds of records can be expunged.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Expungement Process

An expungement is the process wherein certain convictions are removed from public records. The relief is only afforded to those persons convicted of misdemeanors. In order to qualify for an expungement, the person would have completed his or her probation with no incident, and must have complied with all conditions of the court. Seeking an expungement of a conviction when a new case has been picked up or there has been a violation of probation, will likely be opposed by the prosecution.
There are certain felonies that may qualify for an expungement. If you have been convicted of a felony that is a "wobbler" then you may be eligible for said relief. A "wobbler" is that statute in the penal code that may be either filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. The language is present in the statute, and would contain wording reflecting the following: "punishment by imprisonment in the county jail, or in the state prison."
If you have been convicted of a felony known as a "wobbler," then a motion would have to be made in court to have the court reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. Once the court reduces the conviction to a misdemeanor then the conviction may be expunged.
Please note that the restriction to reducing felonies to misdemeanors is limited to those cases where the person has not been sentenced to state prison. There is no relief afforded to those persons convicted of felonies and sentenced to state prison.
Finally, please know that even though an expungement has been granted, law enforcement and immigration will still have access to you criminal history.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

By The People Fairfield CA

Rene talks about how By The People in Fairfield can help people with legal matters in an inexpensive way. See more at

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Defining Legal Terms - By The People Fairfield CA

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIVORCE !!! Easier than you think? - By The People Fairfield CA

Rene goes over how a divorce does not always need to involve a full legal team. He explains the process of how By The People can help file the paperwork necessary for the courts. See more at

Monday, June 4, 2012

Why You Need to Incorporate

Having a company means making important decisions for its growth. If you run a company and you are now faced with a decision whether to choose forming an LLC or to incorporate, now is the best time to know more about these business setups.

What is incorporation?

Incorporation is the act of establishing a business identity. When you and your investors go for incorporation, your company can get tax benefits and reduced liability towards debts accrued in business deals. This step can also help you appropriate your firm's value in case you plan to sell it in the future. You also have more choices when it comes to raising more funds, as you can sell shares to the public.

What are the most important aspects?

Limiting personal liability is the most important feature of incorporating a business. You will not be personally liable for any potential debts and obligations incurred by the company. Of course, this does not mean you easily get off the hook if you happen to commit illegal or negligent acts. Overall, however, you get personal property protection, as possible creditors cannot go after your personal assets. Incorporation, in most cases, amounts to securing your future as an individual while engaging in business practices.

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is similar to a corporation in terms of various benefits for taxes. An LLC also protects the shareholders from liabilities incurred under the company's name. One important feature of an LLC is management flexibility. This business setup quickly gained popularity over the years. Today, small-scale businesses often end up forming an LLC to reap its advantages.

How will companies benefit from forming an LLC?

Forming an LLC is also about drawing clear lines between business and personal property. It means creditors can't go after personal properties of members within the LLC setup. There are certain differences. For instance, LLC shareholders are "members". As a member of an LLC, you cannot sell your membership to others unless all members have agreed to this provision before you formed the business. If a member dies or suddenly leaves, all members have the prerogative to dissolve the company.

One benefit of being an LLC member is never having to deal with mandated meetings. Corporations traded publicly may have this requirement, but LLCs do not. This means members within the LLC can hold as much or as little meetings as they wish. There might also be less pressure as government bodies will not be watching what LLCs do all the time. Authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will not be inspecting finances closely. Auditing is also less tricky for LLCs as this setup does not require annual audits.

So which one is better?

It depends on how you want to look at a long-term business setup. For example, duration and public share offerings are two drawbacks for LLC. This arrangement cannot last forever if members die or leaves. Transferring a member's share might only happen if all members agreed to this beforehand. You also need to realize that incorporation has its limits. While it can last indefinitely, shareholders need to prepare for annual audits and scrutiny from the SEC.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

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.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to Avoid Probate Through Estate Planning and Assignment of Beneficiaries

Learning how to avoid probate can save heirs' time and money, prevent family disputes, and allow easy transfer of inheritance property upon death. Many people are not even familiar with probate let alone how to prevent it from occurring. Probate is required within all states of the U.S. to ensure decedent estates are settled according to inheritance laws. It is a time-consuming process that can take several months to complete.

Becoming educated about how to avoid probate is as simple as conducting research on the Internet or consulting with a family law attorney or estate planner. Many banks, credit unions, and financial advisors offer estate planning services for a nominal fee.

The only way to completely avoid the probate process is to transfer assets into a trust. However, trusts are generally reserved for individuals with assets valued over $100,000. Individuals with smaller estates can take measures to keep certain assets from undergoing the probate process.

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is executing a last will and testament, along with healthcare directives and designating Power of Attorney rights. POA allows a person to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated and unable to make important decisions. Power of attorney rights also allow individuals to pay bills from your checking account, transfer titled property, and make legal decisions. Therefore, the person granted these powers should be someone whom can be trusted to make decisions based on your best interests.

Healthcare directives allow you to state what type of medical care you do or do not want. These can include being placed on life support, receiving nutritional support, organ donation, and do not rescesitate orders.

The Will is used to designate an estate administrator to handle all facets of estate management. Required duties vary depending on estate value, inheritance property, and family dynamics. Small probated estates can settle in three to six months. If heirs contest the Will, estate settlement can be prolonged until attorneys can work out acceptable agreements. Legal fees from contested Wills often bankrupt estates and leave nothing for heirs to inherit.

If people die without executing a legal will, the probate process takes longer. An estate administrator must be appointed through the court and additional work is required to locate heirs, inventory property, and other details which are normally included in the last will.

Individuals who hold bank accounts, retirement accounts, financial portfolios, and life insurance policies can assign beneficiaries to receive proceeds upon death. Beneficiary forms can be obtained through the financial institution where the account is held. Account holders can assign multiple beneficiaries and state the percentage of funds they will receive.

Beneficiaries must abide by each financial institution's policy regarding distribution of inheritance funds. Most states require beneficiaries to submit date-of-death value forms to the county tax assessor's office. As long as decedents are current with taxes, the Assessor's off will stamp the form so proceeds can be distributed.

Titled property can be kept out of probate by establishing joint ownership. When real estate or motor vehicles have joint titles, the property automatically transfers to the co-owner. When joint ownership is with a person other than your spouse, you might need to establish Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship.

A lesser known way to avoid probate is through gifting inheritance property while you're still alive. The Internal Revenue Service allows gifting up to $12,000 per individual or $20,000 per married couple per year. If gifting limits exceed maximum level, recipients are required to file a federal gift tax return and pay appropriate inheritance taxes.

Implementing strategies to avoid probate is one of the best gifts you can leave loved ones. Regardless of how little or how much you own, it is important to put your affairs in order and execute a last will. Probate is not a fun process, so take measures to protect inheritance property and minimize the time required to settle your estate.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Do You Always Need an Attorney to Complete a Divorce? Short Answer Is NO

Is a Do It Yourself - Divorce for you? That question should be asked and assessed early. There are pros and cons in every decision and information is critical.

To start the only time you really need an attorneys on either side is when it is contested. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse can agree on the terms of the divorce then an attorney is not necessary in most states. Simply you can do all the paperwork and negotiations yourself and then take it to court to be confirmed.

A divorce can be accomplished by completing the documents, filing with the court in your local jurisdiction and then serving the filed documents on the other party. Even if you both agree to the divorce the initial documents will need to be filed at your courthouse.

After doing so that starts the process. In most state there is a waiting period which I like to call a "cooling off" period. This waiting period gives time for the other party to contest and file the appropriate paperwork, time to negotiate and agree and maybe a time to reconcile.

It is important that you have a reason for the divorce when you file. You don't want to say "just because" that is not a reason. Keep in mind almost all states look at a marriage essentially as a contract and many contract laws come into play. So have a reason for the divorce.

The reason for divorce can be a subject onto itself which I will not go into in this article. But another type of divorce, depending on the state you live in, is a "no-fault" divorce. You don't need to point blame but just acknowledge the marriage is over and you will not likely get back together. I once had an attorney say that you can get caught cheating in bed and under a No-Fault divorce state that is irrelevant and is not even an issue in court.

As you might image that adultery and abuse is the main culprit in divorce filings. Adultery is self-explanatory but abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. They are verbal, sexual, physical, and emotional and so on. Either way you go you must be able to prove it. Don't just throw it out to hurt the other side because a judge will probe the reason for your claims. Shy of the spouse fully admitting it - a trial will proceed to either prove or disprove the claims.

It is a typical trial where each side has the right to question the other and to call witnesses and have those witnesses cross-examined.

Now if you complete your own divorce and your spouse is amenable then most of the work is done. After the waiting period the court will confirm and finalize the divorce under the terms agreed to in the court documents.

Once attorneys get involved on both sides watch out it will likely get quite expensive and often can drag on and on. So the alternative may just be a do it yourself divorce also know as DIY divorce which is cheaper and less contentious.

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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, we 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.