Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Revocation Of Power Of Attorney

Revocation of power of attorney is when there is a legal document that says that the person is revoking the power they gave to another person or organization. The power is being withdrawn and the person or organization will no longer be the agent or attorney-in-fact for the person.

Any important document should be in writing and when revoking the power from an agent or attorney-in-fact this still holds true. Making sure that the revocation is in writing means that a person has proof that the power has been removed. This means that they are protected, as well as their interests too. Since a power of attorney form is very powerful and holds a lot of weight, in many areas of a person's life, it is important that there is the written revocation so that there are no questions about the person's intentions, wants or desires.

The good part of revocation is that no reason needs to be given when revoking the power from a person or organization. If the person is considered legally competent to make their own decisions, they understand their decisions and can make them themselves, the power of attorney can simply be revoked with no questions asked.

There is some basic information that needs to be completed on the legal form, such as the person's name and address and the name and address of the person that will have the power revoked from them. It will also need the date when the revocation goes into effect. However, reasons do not have to be listed and the person does not have to tell anyone why the revocation is taking place. The person that granted it can just as quickly and easily revoke it.

The revocation document will need to be notarized and signed in front of a Notary Public. After the notarization has taken place and it is signed, then a copy goes to the person or organization that had the power. It is given to the agent and the agent must give back any power of attorney forms that they have. They must return these to the person that is revoking the power of attorney. Copies of the revocation should be sent or showed to financial institutions and other businesses and dealings that the agent was handling.

If the power to buy and sell real property was given too, then it also needs to be recorded with the government, usually by going to the county property department. The power to sell real property is officially removed and the person that was acting as an agent no longer can have anything to do with the person's real property affairs that they were previously handling.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is Probate in California & Why is Everyone Trying to Avoid It?

California Probate is a legal proceeding for winding up a person's legal and financial affairs after he or she passes away. There are two main complaints about Probate in California. This video explores those complaints and offers a good way to avoid Probate through a Revocable Living Trust.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Estate Planning : How are Trusts Taxed?

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tips on Power of Attorney - How to Choose the Best Type For Your Situation

There's not just one kind of Power of Attorney, and you need to make sure that you choose the right kind. After all, conferring Power of Attorney means that someone will be able to act on your behalf on health decisions and financial matters, making decisions for you when you're unable. It's important to get the right Power of Attorney, and these tips can help you choose the kind that's best for your individual situation.

1. If you wish to confer Power of Attorney on someone, or are applying to act with Power of Attorney on someone else's behalf, it is important to ensure that you get the right type. There are several to choose from. Nondurable, durable and springing are three types, and all of these can be verbal or oral, witnessed or unwitnessed.

2. Nondurable power of attorney applies immediately upon being granted and is appropriate for a set amount of time or for the duration of a specified matter - such as the sale of a house - after which it ceases to apply. This is suitable when someone needs a level of help with a transaction or operation of some sort but still retains many of their faculties.

3. Durable power of attorney is more appropriate in cases which will continue either in perpetuity or for the foreseeable future. If an individual has suffered serious physical injury or mental degradation to the extent where they are unable to make decisions with confidence and consistency (most usually in cases of senility), they may confer power of attorney to a trusted member of their family or a friend.

4. Springing power of attorney is for many people the most desirable state of affairs as it comes into effect at a specific time - most usually when a doctor certifies you as incapacitated or other circumstances have become effective, thus making it unsuitable or undesirable for you to make your own decisions.

5. If you are the one on whom Power of Attorney is being conferred, it is worth ensuring that you have a witness to the conference - part of the nature of Power of Attorney is that the person who is conferring it may often become confused, irritable or unreasonable, and may switch between lucidity and confusion without notice. They may well accuse you of defrauding them.

6. For similar reasons to the above, it is worth asking yourself before you take on Power of Attorney whether you are certain you can emotionally endure what will result from being empowered in such a way. It will often require making very fundamental and seismic changes in the person's life, and to do this will require great emotional strength, particularly if they are someone to whom you are close.

7. When acting with Power of Attorney, it is possible that you will encounter interference and displeasure from their family - which may also be your family. It is important to have the full confidence of people to whom the individual is close and with whom they retain a strong bond of trust. This will allow transparency in all stages.

8. Inform yourself as much as you can about the concept of power of attorney. Find out specifically where you stand as a result of taking on power of attorney before you enter into an agreement. Although the situation is a strain on everyone, it is you who will be required to conduct financial and organizational details, and it is therefore important that you make sure you are protected and allowed to do so.

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

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Different Types of Power of Attorney

Although power of attorney is essentially handing control of your affairs over to another person, there are different uses of the position which vary depending on the situation. These largely depend on the reason behind power of attorney being transferred from the 'principal', the individual who wishes to relinquish control of their affairs, and the 'attorney-at-fact', the person who takes control of the principal's business and legal dealings.
Non-Durable POA
Non-durable power of attorney is used for short-term transactions, which for whatever reason the principal cannot handle themselves. Any such power of attorney that is non-durable has an expiration, primarily when the principal becomes incapacitated for some reason and is no longer able to give permission for the power of attorney to continue, nor can they revoke it. Usually, non durable power of attorney is limited to a specific time frame, in which any particular deal that is needed to be completed is given time to be dealt with. When this particular instance is complete, power returns to the principal.
Non-durable POA is effective immediately.
Durable POA
This type of power of attorney is similar to non-durable power of attorney, only it continues in the event that the principal becomes incapacitated or mentally ill. All powers of attorney come to an end when the principal dies, but durable power of attorney continues right up to that point. Power of attorney that is durable is often used in terminally ill cases, where the principal asks their attorney-at-fact to allow any lifesaving equipment to be removed or authorize a Do Not Resuscitate
Durable POA is effective immediately.
Springing POA
Springing power of attorney is used in cases where the principal cannot actively give permission, either verbally or in writing, for someone to act as their attorney-at-fact. To obtain springing power of attorney, a doctor must certify that the principal is incapable of thinking for themselves and an attorney-in-fact is required. Springing power of attorney is used predominantly in cases of sudden deterioration of health, such as deterioration of a mental illness or a serious accident.
These are the three main types of power of attorney, governing time and how the power is assigned. However, power of attorney does not have to be granted for all of the principal's affairs - it can sometimes only apply to one aspect, such as financial. The differences are as follows:
Special or Limited POA
Predominantly used with non-durable power of attorney, special or limited power of attorney is used for specific cases. It often just applies to financial dealings or a specific property sale, and though an attorney-in-fact is appointed, they have no control over any aspect of the principal's life apart from the sector they are charged with.
Any other type of POA is called General Attorney, which applies to all affairs and dealings of the principal.
Health Care POA
This is a specific power of attorney that is used for those who are terminally or mentally ill, and gives the attorney-in-fact power over medical decisions but nothing more. It is similar to special attorney, though is specifically used for medicinal purposes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Hercules Power of Attorney

Hercules Power of Attorney

Need help with Power of Attorney paperwork? BY THE PEOPLE is a Document Preparation Service located in Fairfield, California available to help you represent yourself in many uncontested legal matters.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LLC Operating Agreement: The Basics

Your LLC Operating Agreement is a document kept internally, signed by all members and kept on file with the limited liability company itself. It is not filed with a specific government entity, nor does it have a deadline or due date -- but that doesn't mean it isn't one of the most important documents your LLC has at its disposal.
Sometimes called a Member Control Agreement or an Operating and Member Control Agreement, this document is an important source of guidance and direction for your business, and you cannot afford to overlook this part of your business paperwork.
What is an LLC Operating Agreement?
An LLC Operating Agreement is really the limited liability version of Corporate Bylaws -- it lays out specific direction for various contingencies and processes for the business to follow.
What sort of information must be included in this Agreement?
An operating agreement typically includes the following:
  • Responsibilities and duties of the members and managers
  • Whether management is vested in members, or managing members
  • Rights afforded to those members
  • Specific distribution of profit or loss among the members
  • When and how much members contribute financially to the business
  • How a member will be replaced upon leaving or death
  • How a member can be removed
  • Percentage of members required in order to legally have a membership meeting
  • The amount of money the corporate officers can spend without member approval
  • Method by which members can transfer their ownership interest (like corporate shares) to another entity
Why does my business need an LLC Agreement?
First, because it may be the law; some states require limited liability companies to keep an Operating Agreement on file.
But regardless of whether you're legally required to have an agreement on file, it's crucial that you address those potential instances now, when everyone can agree on what will happen if one member is acting improperly or another passes away.
Without an LLC Operating Agreement, your LLC has no procedures in place for dealing with business actions or inner conflicts, and your business could end up in a legal battle, wasting your hard-earned resources.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Quitclaim Deeds

Defined in its most elementary form, a quitclaim deed is a document a home owner uses to pass along legal and financial ownership of their home to another individual. Quitclaim deeds can also be used as a means to remove a homeowner from the title to that home. 
Sometimes - though incorrectly - called "quick claim deeds" or "quit claim deeds", quitclaim deeds possess several key uses, including: 
  • Having a former spouse removed from title after a divorce
  • Adding a new marriage partner to a title
  • Assigning a home to a trust or entity
Whatever your reasons for using a quitclaim deed, you must have the legal right (as a grantor) to assign your home to a another person (the grantee).  Otherwise, your quitclaim deed is not going to be worth the paper it is written on.
Here is an example: 
Say you quitclaim your interest to the Brooklyn Bridge to your best friend.  It is highly unlikely that the quitclaim deed you write will be worth anything, seeing as how it is likely that you likely do not own the Brooklyn Bridge. 
This is where quitclaim deeds are different from warranty deeds (otherwise known as grant deeds), which represent the types of transfers that take place when real estate is sold. 
As always,prior to issuing a quitclaim deed on your own home, consult an estate planning or real estate attorney. Transferring real property can wreak havoc on a will.  It can also trigger taxes.  As such, you may also want to ask your accountant to take a look at the transaction.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 Great Reasons to Make a Will

Amazingly, over 70% of people do not have an accurate and up to date will. Make sure that you are not one of them - or you risk dying intestate (in other words without indicating who should inherit your property). This is likely to result in a very uncertain future for your friends, family and even business partners. Making a will is common sense and is probably less expensive than you might imagine - most wills solicitors offer value for money fixed prices for simple wills. The consequences of having no will can be significant and include:

1. You have no control over what happens to your property - instead the intestacy rules will apply which set out in law which family members should inherit your property and in which proportion.

2. There may be disagreements as to how your assets are divided between your loved ones. Sadly it is increasingly common for relatives to take court action amongst themselves in arguing over family property. Don't leave any uncertainty -- make your wishes crystal clear.

3. Your family might become involved in unnecessary costs or delay - the financial cost alone of challenging a will can be significant - amounting to many tens of thousands of pounds.

4. You do not choose who looks after any young children - if you do have youngsters, it is much better to clearly indicate in your will who you would like to care for them should you die.

5. If you were cohabiting without being married, your partner will have no automatic right to any of your property. Worse still they could even be evicted from your home.

6. There may be insufficient money left to comfortably provide for your partner or spouse.

7. Your family home might need to be sold to distribute your estate unless you make the position clear. This could even leave your spouse homeless.

8. There is a risk that your estate may have to pay more tax unnecessarily. Those who don't consider tax planning as an essential part of making a will may find that they run the risk of their estate having to pay significant amounts of unnecessary tax - leaving less to distribute amongst family and friends.

9. You could find that your business partners are left without protection which could result in a forced sale of your business.

10. Making a will is common sense and is probably less expensive than you might imagine.

To maximise your peace of mind, consult a specialist wills solicitor who should be able to offer value for money fixed prices for simple wills.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do You Really Need a Living Trust?

There are folks who are willing to sell a living trust to anything that moves. They frequently claim that everybody needs a living trust or two. Well, almost everybody. At the other extreme, there are those claiming that (almost) nobody needs living trusts.

No wonder many of you are confused. So, do you really need a living trust?

A living trust is just one of many different tools in financial and estate planning. But, living trusts can help you achieve goals not possible with other planning tools. At the same time, they require effort, time and resources.

Living trusts can serve you well while you are alive. They can also serve your family members and others you love long after you are gone. Just like with a will, you can provide for distribution of property after death.

Property held in living trusts avoids probate. This alone makes them very attractive. Probate is a legal process. It takes place in probate courts. In some states these courts are also known by other names, such as surrogate.

You and your property may be subjected to probate proceedings even if you are still alive. This may occur if you become physically and/or mentally incapacitated. In this situation, living trust (along with other documents) can help you avoid a potential nightmare.

Probate can be a very expensive and time-consuming procedure. By the time its over, a significant part of your estate may evaporate.

At the same time, living trusts are not the only way to avoid probate. If probate avoidance is your primary (or only) goal, you should at least consider other options. Such option may be less costly and time consuming.

If you own substantial assets or reasonably expect to do so in the future, you should at least consider a revocable living trust. Such trusts do not diminish the control you have over your property. They can be amended or even terminated. You can continue using your property the same way.

By contrast, irrevocable living trusts mean a loss of control over your assets. Once these trusts are executed, all provisions become fixed. You won't be able to change or terminate your irrevocable trust. Why would anyone want to give away the control over assets?

Well, irrevocable trusts can come with benefits. Your children, grandchildren (and others) can receive much more in the event of your death. Properly designed and drafted irrevocable living trusts can result in substantial income, estate and gift tax savings. They can also provide an additional layer of protection against creditors.

Testamentary trusts take effect after death. They are provided for in a last will and testament (a will). The advantage here is that no additional paperwork or actions are necessary during lifetime. In other words, you avoid extra headaches.

A big drawback is that a will must be probated for testamentary trusts to take effect. Wills can be lost and even intentionally destroyed. In addition, your will may be invalidated by the probate court in part or in full. In short, your testamentary trust may never come into existence.

Once again do you really need a living trust? At the end, it boils down to what you want to achieve during life and after you are gone. Living trusts can help you accomplish things not possible otherwise. But, there are also many other financial and estate planning tools available to you.

Decide what you really want, examine all available options and make your decision accordingly.

Article Source:

Saturday, October 20, 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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Friday, October 19, 2012

How Is Child Custody Percentage Determined in an Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested divorces are generally cheaper and less of a hassle, making them very popular options for couples who are pursuing a divorce. One of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce is child custody, although when an uncontested divorce is pursued both parties must agree on an arrangement. Otherwise, the divorce turns from an uncontested one into a contested one. Lawyers may still be consulted during the divorce process when the other spouse does not contest it, but generally both parties must agree on all issues outlined in the divorce agreement including child custody, child support, visitation rights as well as asset division and other legal matters. The moment that any of these items cannot be agreed upon, the divorce turns contested in which case the Court may ultimately determine the terms of the agreement and child custody.

Whether to pursue a 50/50 child custody arrangement or a 60/40 arrangement or any other division of time spent with the child is largely up to the parents in an uncontested divorce. Cases of joint physical custody typically involve an arrangement that has both parents spending relatively equal amounts of time with the child. In cases of sole physical custody, the child may live with one parent, but that does not mean the non-custodial parent is not able to see the child. Visitation rights (holidays, weekends, etc.) are still involves in many cases of sole physical custody. Joint legal custody, which means both parents may make decisions involving the child's health care, religion, education, etc., may be present even if sole physical custody is present.

When determining the child custody arrangement while pursuing an uncontested divorce, it is important that both parties be fair with the other. Joint custody, whether physical or legal, should only be an option if both parents provide a safe, nurturing environment for the child. If this is the case with both parents, finding a way to divide the time equally will be helpful in the pursuit of a non-disputed divorce. The parents may also opt for sole physical custody in which one parent sees the child on weekends and holidays while still pursuing an uncontested divorce as long as both parties agree to the arrangement.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

FAQs - Know More About DUI Record Expungement and Get Your Life Back on Track

Most states in the US allow DUI record expungement. Expunging your DUI arrest or conviction record eliminates all the consequences it has in your life and helps getting your life back on track. To help you in regards to expungement, this article answers some of the most frequently asked questions.
DUI record expungement - Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What does expunging your DUI record mean?
DUI expungement is a legal process through which your DUI arrest or conviction record is completely physically destroyed.
2. Are you eligible for an expungement?
You are eligible to expunge your DUI record:
- if a certain amount of time has passed since your arrest or conviction.
- if you have completed all the terms and conditions of probation.
- if you have no new pending charges.
- if you have paid all the fines, completed jail time, community service, rehab and fulfilled all the conditions imposed by the court.
3. What will you benefit from expungement?
Once you are notified that your DUI records are expunged, you are, thereafter, to be relieved of all the disabilities resulting from your DUI arrest or conviction.
It means you do not have to disclose your conviction or arrest to your prospective private employer or when applying for a home mortgage loan or under any other circumstances.
4. How much does expungement cost?
Hiring an attorney to expunge your DUI records costs around $400 to $4000 depending on many factors like the nature of your charges i.e., misdemeanor or felony, number of charges and experience of your DUI expungement attorney. In addition to this, court and filing fees can cost $100 to $400.
5. Do you need an attorney for expunging your DUI record?
You can expunge your DUI record with or without the help of an attorney. A DUI expungement attorney ensures that your records get expunged on time. So if you can afford an attorney fee you can hire one. Otherwise you must make sure every phase in the expungement process is completed on time and correctly.
6. Will they need your presence at the court?
If you have hired an attorney, he/she will take care of all the matters on your behalf. But if you have not, you must represent yourself in the court.
7. How long does the DUI expungement process take?
If you want to expunge your misdemeanor record, it will take roughly 2 to 6 weeks from the time the application is filed.
Or if you want to expunge your felony record or want to reduce it to a misdemeanor it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks from the time the application is filed.
8. What expungement will not do for you?
Your expunged DUI arrest or conviction can still be used to increase your penalties and punishments if you get another DUI in the future.
Now that you know the answers for some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can take steps to expunge your existing or older DUI conviction and arrest record and get your life back on track.

Article Source:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Need A Living Will

Many people think a living will is not something they need unless they reach senior citizen age. However, this could not be further from the truth and you could end up seriously regretting not taking the time to make one out. Life is unpredictable and often uncontrollable which is enough reason for adults of any age to invest in a life will in order to protect themselves when bad fortune arises. Below are five reasons every adult should take the time to make out a living will no matter how old they are.
1. Protects You When You No Longer Can Communicate
The most advantageous part of having a living will is that it protects you in a future situation in which you no longer can communicate your wishes. If something was to happen the medical professionals in charge of treating you have a big say in what happens to you once you are in a state in which you cannot communicate what you want to be done.
2. Prevents Major Arguments Between Family Members
Having a living will prevents major arguments between family members when the decision is not up to the medical professionals in charge. The other people that have a say in what happens to you are your family members. If they disagree on what should be done with you it can cause relationship ending arguments between members of your family. This is the last thing you want happening during such a tough and difficult time. With a living will it will be your choice and no one else's. This will eliminate any argument or debate as to what should happen to you.
3. Gives You Control Over Medical Treatments/Procedures
A living will also gives you control over what medical treatments and procedures take place in a situation where you are ill to the point of not being able to communicate. In this situation a living will orders doctors to fulfill your wishes in writing. This way you take the decision out of their hands.
4. Reduce Potentially Unwanted Medical Bills for Your Family
In the situation that you get into an coma or vegetative state, a living will decides exactly what is done with you. Many people would rather die than live an additional 20 years on life-support. The reason being is because if they are on life support it will rack up enormous medical bills in which their family will have to pay. If you do not specify this, then your family may be left paying insurmountable medical bills. If you do not want to see something like this happen then you need a living will that specifies exactly what you would like to happen in a given situation.
5. Gives You Peace of Mind
Last of all, making out a living will give you peace of mind. These are designed to give you the control to prevent more bad things from happening in tragic situations. Tragic situations are hard enough and you want to know that your family as well as yourself will be taken care of properly in such a situation.
The last thing you want to do is be lazy and end up giving people outside of your family control over what happens to you under bad circumstances. Get your living will made today. It is so easy to put off but it is probably one of the best decisions you can make.

Article Source:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Valuable Information for People Planning to Form an LLC

Putting up a business is a good way to earn money. While it can be rewarding, it can also come with a few potential risks. For instance, starting a corporation during challenging economic times may not be ideal. This can cause substantial losses especially when you are putting up the corporation on your own for the first time. Forming an LLC can be your best option when looking for an alternative that is less formal but is as flexible as a corporation.

What is an LLC?

A Limited Liability Company or LLC is a relatively new business model slowly becoming popular among small business in the US. This type of business combines the limited liability feature of a corporation and the operational flexibility of a partnership.

The concept of an LLC was introduced in the late 70s. In other countries, this business model came much earlier and has different statutes and guidelines than that of the US.

Advantages of forming an LLC

LLCs in the United States normally call its partners "members." These members benefit from the incorporation while maintaining small business setups. They also report losses and profits on their individual tax returns much like in a partnership or proprietorship. On the other hand, members also have protection from personal liability. This means they are not responsible for any company debts just like in the setting of a corporation.

Moreover, if the company encounters any legal trouble, only the company assets are at risk. Credit companies cannot go after any of the members of the LLC and their respective personal assets. This is the reason many people today want to form an LLC.

How to form an LLC

The first step is to choose a business name. It must be distinct from other businesses in the state. It also needs to have a clear labeling as an LLC. There are states that do not allow using certain words in the name of the LLC. "Bank" and "Insurance" are two examples. Make sure to choose the proper words for the company.

The next step is to file for the Articles of Organization. This document contains a complete overview of your business. The Articles of Organization include basic information such as your business name, address, and its members. It also documents the stocks that your LLC may issue and legitimizes the operation of your enterprise.

Another important document is the Operating Agreement. It contains the written code of conduct of your company. This actually works as a binding contract among the members. This document also needs formal adaptation and amendment. While this may be not required in most states, people who want to form an LLC are advised to at least draft one.

Like other business models, you also have to secure the necessary licenses and permits. These may vary depending on the nature of the business and the state laws. Document filing companies can be of great help when you are too busy to file the necessary documents.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

10 LLC Secrets To Protect Your Assets And Financial Future

Most are unaware that a Limited Liability Company may be taxed in four different ways: disregarded, partnership and S or C corporation.

Let me share with you 10 LLC secrets that will not only keep you out of tax trouble but help you better avoid pitfalls down the road.

1. Can an IRA invest in a Limited Liability Company? There are a couple of major issues with this strategy that could create problems with the IRS. First, if you are the manager of the LLC and you are on the LLC checking account that has IRA funds, that means you have "check book control". There are prohibited transactions in where you can not use that money, but more importantly if the signer on the account uses the LLC money for personal use that is a big problem and could create serious IRS issues. The second issue centers around who can be the manager of the Limited Liability Company. Can it be you? Is that self-dealing? That means you are running the same entity that is owned by the IRA and that is an issue with the IRS. It appears that having a separate self directed IRA only to own the real estate may be a better approach. You do want to isolate the safe and risk investments.

2. What are the advantages of a Limited Liability Company over an S corporation? When you capitalize an S corporation, code section 351 allows shareholders to transfer appreciated assets to the corporation taxfree. But, the shareholder who is transferring the asset MUST own 80% of the S corporation.

3. When should an entity convert to an LLC? Many times if you formed a corporation it may be less steps and cheaper to form a new LLC. Many statutes authorize the merger of an LLC with another entity like a partnership or corporation. Some state LLC acts provide that an LLC may NOT merge with another entity unless there is unanimous consent of the members for such merger.

4. What are the consequences if an LLC is "doing business" in a state but is not registered as a foreign LLC? Typically, the entity will need to foreign register where nexus (or a business presence) is located. Even an internet business can make the argument you can be based from anywhere, but if you are working in your home office in California with a Nevada LLC, you have nexus in California. Besides how do you claim a home office deduction when the LLC is not in your state doing business?

5. When do LLC members have limited liability? No member of the Limited Liability Company is personally liable for the LLC's debts and obligations (as opposed to by individual action, such as by personal guarantee or commission of a tort). A member of the LLC has personal liability if a creditor of the LLC has the right to require a member to satisfy a debt of the LLC to the extent that the Limited Liability Company assets are insufficient to satisfy the LLC's debt to the creditor.

6. How will a single member LLC, taxed as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes be treated for state tax purposes? Where state laws follow federal laws, a single member LLC would be disregarded for state income tax purposes when disregarded for federal income tax purposes. At least two states have indicated that a single member Limited Liability Company would be taxed as a partnership for state tax purposes, New York and Wisconsin.

7. How much capital must be contributed to an LLC? Except when required by state law, there is no minimum amount that must be contributed to an LLC in exchange for an interest in the LLC.

8. What type of reporting is required if real estate is contributed to an LLC in exchange for a membership interest? According to the Treasury Regulations Section 1.6045-4(b)(1), a transfer of real estate to a partnership must be reported, even though it is tax-free under Code Section 721 (a).

9. When can a Limited Liability Company make distributions to members? LLCs generally can distribute cash or property, whether income or capital, to the members as provided in the Operating Agreement, or otherwise agreed by the members.

10. What is a series Limited Liability Company and what issues does it bring? The series LLC is similar to a corporate controlled group with several operating corporations, but there is only one legal entity. The benefit is that you could put 10 rental properties into one series LLC and provide protection of each property from the other because each is owned by one cell.

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Saturday, October 13, 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

Friday, October 12, 2012

What Should the Last Will and Testament Include?

Apart from the sorrow that is brought about by a person's passage, sometimes there's more sorrow that follows when it comes to dealing with the assets a person leaves behind. So many siblings and families have been torn over battles to control inheritance - that is why persons with a significant amount of assets are often advised to prepare a last will and testament long before they get to their death beds.

A Last Will and Testament is a legally binding document that indicates the planning, management and distribution of a person's properties, estate and assets based on his approved instructions and specifications. Last Wills and Testaments can take on two forms that address distinct and significant roles regarding the treatment and management of a person's related funds, assets and estates.

The first, a will-based plan, usually helps a person decide on the manner of distribution of his assets by clearly enlisting the details about who gets what and under which conditions, in case of his death. This plan covers substantial points, primarily covering the selection of a Personal Executor and the scope of authority and power to be granted to the same, and the identification of the individuals or parties who will inherit the properties and assets. Terms, conditions, mode of transfer and other necessary details are also outlined in this will-based plan.

The second form is a Trust-based Plan which covers a person's Revocable Living Trust and takes care of the points outlined in the will-based plan. In this case, the equivalent of a Personal Executor is called the Administrator or Successor Trustee once the person owning the assets dies. The Revocable Living Trust is tasked to manage unfunded property of an individual, and the same individual needs to finance his assets into the trust prior to his death so the trust agreement can take effect n any further action regarding his assets after his death. In the even this has not been carried out, the last will and testament will be required to take care of the unfunded asset and channel it to the trust.

A Last Will and Testament must be designed, prepared and documented under the jurisdiction of a lawyer who can objectively guide the asset owner through the intricacies of estate distribution and the legal conditions that go along with it.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adult Guardianship

After an accident or health catastrophe, an individual may be left with the care of a loved one and not quite know what to do with oneself regarding medical decisions, financial decisions, and a host of other life-impacting decisions for the person. Other individuals may realize that their parents are getting older and have to come to terms with an unfortunate truth: older adults frequently have periods toward the end of law when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. While it is most common among older people, younger individuals involved in accidents may also have this problem. If the individual has an advance health care directive or durable power of attorney, there will be a person designated to care for the individual. The same cannot be true for individuals who lack these important documents.

If a person who has become unable to care for him or herself lacks the documents that place control of their life in the hands of another, a conservatorship, or adult guardianship, may come in handy. This situation is not easy to arrange and typically involves a lawyer. Once the documents are drawn up, a judge generally has to approve the plan. Despite all of the inconveniences, an adult guardianship can solve the extremely large problem of who is in charge of making the major decisions that involve an injured individual when he or she is unable to do so on his or her own.

Conservatorship and adult guardianship are, most of the time, essentially the same thing. Different states use different terms but they signify the same thing. These two terms indicate that an adult is unable to make decisions for him or herself and so a judge has appointed someone, called the "conservator," to make the important decisions about life for him or her. Any of the decisions made by the conservator have the legal backing of the court. The court can appoint a conservator to oversee finances, medical care, personal care, or a combination of all.

In order for it to be appropriate for a court to appoint a guardian, there must be two things in place. The first one is that the person must be physically or mentally incapable of making important decisions for him or herself. The second condition is that the individual in question does not have the legal documents in place to cover such a situation.

Individuals who are not elderly who have become disabled to the point of requiring a conservator may be eligible for disability, if it can be shown that the individual cannot hold a job due to some injury or impairment. This can become a major source of income for the individual and lessen the financial burdens on the family.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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?' 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 files 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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Tuesday, October 9, 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

Monday, October 8, 2012

What to Consider When Creating Your Will

As the old saying goes, there are only two things that are certain in this life: death and taxes. While most people plan and think about their taxes on a regular basis, wills are not usually something that people like to plan. Perhaps the reason is that in order to prepare a will, a person must face his own mortality.

Creating a will can be a very complex process or not depending upon various factors. Basically, a will ensures that the wishes of the deceased are carried out after his or her death. This includes distributing the assets owned by the deceased. Wills are not just for the wealthy. In fact, anyone can create a will.

In addition to making a plan for distributing assets, a will also specifies an executor. The executor of the will is responsible to ensure that the assets are distributed as stated. In order to do this, the executor may enlist the services of a lawyer or other individual to ensure that everything is done properly.

Sometimes, parents with young children create wills in order to specify who will take care of their children should they die. These types of wills appoint a guardian of the children. The will may also specify if assets should be sold and used to pay for the children's expenses or education.

Wills may also include instructions about other assets including real estate, bonds, stocks, retirement funds, and even life insurance policies. A will may also provide for the care of any animals that may outlive the deceased. In some cases, a person may even specify that a specific charity or organization receive a portion of their assets.

In some cases, family can become very angry and upset over how the deceased wished to divide up assets. Becuase of this, it is important to make sure that a will is carefully and correctly drawn up. Any errors in the document can create huge problems further down the road. In order to fix the errors, it may be necessary for the heirs to go to court to make sure that things are done correctly. Of course, this will take time and money.

This is also true if a person died intestate, or without a will. In that case, the court will appoint an administrator to help with the process of distributing the assets.

The first step of the process is for the executor to file a petition with the local court. Outstanding debts will be paid and the assets will be totaled. The court will decide that the will is authentic and correct. At this point, the court may agree to divide up the assets to heirs.

Taxation laws vary depending upon a variety of factors. In some cases, estates may be taxed while in others, they may not be. For example, assets that have been left to a charity organization are usually not taxed. This is also true for assets that have been left to a spouse. Any assets that are valued at an amount greater than $5 million will be taxed.

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Sunday, October 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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What Is an Expungement?

As human beings, we are prone to making a mistake now and then. The vast majority of us get through the event with nothing worse than being taught a good lesson. Some, however, do not. In some cases, a poor decision can lead to a criminal record that can follow a person around for the rest of our life. This hardly seems fair. What is an expungement? It is a method for keeping this from happening.

Public Policy

In California, the state government invokes public policy positions that shape the law and conduct of people and businesses in the state. For example, a rather benign policy is to promote green energy production by forcing utility companies in the state to buy a certain percentage of their power from solar and wind energy generation companies.

California has a fairly forgiving public policy regarding criminal records. Specifically, there is a policy of giving the courts discretion to reconsider whether a person who has a single criminal blemish on their record should have that record swiped clean. This process is known as expunging one's record and there are a number of different methods for pursing an expungement in California.

Petition for Dismissal

A person with one blemish on their record can file a Petition for Dismissal in some situations in California. Upon filing, the court will reopen the past criminal matter. The judge will determine if all the conditions dictated to the defendant in that criminal action have been met. This can include tasks such as paying all restitution and fines handed down as well as completing any probation period successfully.

If the judge finds all these conditions have been met and it is in the interest of justice to expunge the criminal record, he or she will dismiss the past action. This allows the defendant to truthfully and legally answer that they have not been convicted of a criminal charge should such a question be answered in the future in, for example, a job interview.

It should be understood that the successful petition for dismissal is not entirely the end of the matter. Should the petitioner subsequently be convicted of another crime, the expunged matter can be revived and returned to the person's record. Juvenile Records

The old adage that boys will be boys has proven to be no less true in modern times. Of course, now we have to include the adage girls will be girls, but such is society. The question is should a poor decision made when a boy or girl is, for example, 13 haunt them for the rest of their life? In California, the answer is generally no. Once a minor turns 18 years of age, they are considered an adult and can petition to have their juvenile records sealed. This effectively vacates their past criminal record and gives them a fresh start as they head into their adult life. Certificate of Rehabilitation

The third process for dealing with a past criminal conviction is the Certificate of Rehabilitation. This process is applicable to a defendant who was convicted of a crime and actually served time in a state prison. The petition doesn't actually seek the expungement of the criminal record because state law does not allow for it. Instead, it places positive remarks on the person's record that are designed to show that while they committed a crime in the past, they have turned their life around after jail and are acting as a law abiding citizen.

A petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is filed with the Superior Court. To qualify for it, the petitioner has to show that they have been living in California for the previous five years. They then must also show that they have been crime free for the prior seven years. If the court finds these requirements are met, it will issue the Certificate and automatically send a request for pardon to the Governor of California. Pardons are rarely granted, but the small chance it will is more than worth sending it in.

What is an expungement? It represents a second chance at getting one's life in order from a legal perspective. It is the rare individual who hasn't made a serious error or two in their life. If this error was criminal in nature, California law provides the potential for relief in a number of ways as detailed above.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Copyright or Trademark Your Business

In my business consulting, I have found that a lot of people do not know the difference between copyright and trademark. They do not know how to copyright a logo, website, blog or business name. Or in using the actual term, TRADEMARK their business. I used 'copyright' in the title because most people confuse the two. However, as I researched this subject I found out some interesting things...

Copyright is actually not the same as a trademark. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a copyright provides protection for original works in the realms of music, poetry, movies, literature, etc. In fact, copyright exists as soon as the publication exists. It is just advised to register your publication with the U.S. Copyright Office for legal purposes. Some people also like to publish the copyright facts on their publications and make sure there is a public record. Registration fees vary from $35 to $80. It cost more money to renew, get copies, or search copyright records. Believe it or not, people steal ideas so you want to make sure you are protected. And for a mere $35 at least, I'd say it's a good idea to make sure your writings are safe, LEGALLY.

Now to the good stuff. A trademark is what is used to protect patents, trademarks, and ideas. This is handled in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). So, a business name, logo, or even business idea would fall under the trademark category. It is often confused with copyright but now you know the difference. The reason you would want to register for a trademark is to get legal use of a service mark (™, SM ,®) for your word, phrase, symbol, or design.

The benefits of getting the service mark is to protect your name. To keep people from stealing your ideas. Just like with copyright, if you claim ownership, you can use the ™ and SM symbols on your business name or logo at any time. But owning the federal trademark registration obviously has it's benefits legally. Some of which include, being able to defend your logo in federal courts, being listed in the USPTO database, and the use of the ® symbol. YES! You MUST be registered with the USPTO to use that symbol on your logos, etc. You cannot even use it if your application for registration is pending. So, there are great benefits to registering your business name and logo.

Now, keep in mind, the USPTO has the right to deny your registration application. Especially if there's a similar logo. So, you need to research and make sure your business name and logo are UNIQUE and fit federal regulations. When filing an application for trademark registration (or to get a service mark) you must file one application per category(class) you the need the service mark for. FOR EXAMPLE, if you need a service mark for a t-shirt logo AND for the store marquee, you must submit two applications. Application fees vary from $275-$325, depending on the type of application you submit.

I know it sounds a bit complex and confusing but registering your business name and logo are so worth the protection. Especially if you're an owner that offers services/goods, merchandiser, designer, or inventor that's about to BLOW UP! You can of course find out more and get an application at

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Does a Widow Need to Probate After Her Spouse's Death?

A woman who's recently lost her husband is faced with many legal and financial issues. One such issue is whether or not she needs to Probate her husband's estate after his death. Here's how you know if you must start a Probate.

When do you need to file a Probate? If there are any assets in your husband's name only, those assets will have to be "probated" before they can be legally transferred into your name.

Here are some examples: if your name is on the asset with your husband, Probate is not necessary. If an asset passes by beneficiary designation, for example a life insurance policy, and at least one of the named beneficiaries is alive, Probate is not necessary. But if your husband holds stock in just his name, a Probate will be necessary.

What is Probate?
Probate is a court procedure that transfers ownership and title of the assets of a deceased person to his or her heirs. It involves filing the Will (if one exists), having the Will accepted by the court, listing the assets and the value of each asset, paying the deceased's debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the persons named in the Will. If there is no will, the assets will be distributed according to the laws of the state in which the probate takes place.

Determine if you have to Probate
Here's how the completed Inventory will tell you if you need to start a probate. You will notice on the Inventory Form that there is a space that asks how each particular asset is titled, i.e. your name; your husband's name; joint names (more than one name); or in the name of your husband's trust or your trust. If there is an asset or assets in your husband's name only, you will have to probate those assets.

Review the column entitled "How Asset is Titled." A probate will be necessary if:
o ANY asset listed on the Inventory is titled in your husband's name only; or
o The beneficiary of your husband's life insurance policy, annuity, retirement plan or IRA is listed as his "Estate"; or
o The primary beneficiary of your husband's life insurance policy, annuity, retirement plan or IRA is deceased and there is no secondary beneficiary named; or
o Both the primary and secondary beneficiaries of your husband's life insurance policy, annuity retirement plan or IRA are deceased.

It does not matter if your husband has a Will, a probate is necessary if any of the above situations exist.

Who Receives Assets if there is a Will?
If your husband left a Will, the assets will be transferred to the person or persons named in his Will. If you are that person the assets will be transferred to your name.

Who Receives Assets if there is no Will?
If your husband died without leaving a Will, the laws of your state will determine who receives his assets. In most states, the surviving spouse receives a portion if not all of the assets. Consult an experienced probate attorney.

Attorney Necessary?
In most states it is possible to probate an estate without an attorney. But if you live in a large metropolitan area with a busy and crowded probate court or if you don't want the frustration and the responsibility of probate, retain an attorney to probate the estate for you. If you decide to retain an attorney, find an experienced probate attorney.

Discuss fees and court costs with the attorney at your first meeting. If you are satisfied with the proposed fees, request that the attorney prepare a written" Fee Agreement" that documents your verbal agreement. You and the attorney should sign two copies of the Fee Agreement with each of you retaining a signed copy.

When to Start Probate
It takes many months to probate an estate; so the sooner you start the sooner you'll be done. Do not ignore the problem if a probate is necessary. If there are assets in your husband's name only, you will not be able to transfer them to your name nor will you be able to sell them without a probate. Act now if you determine that a probate is necessary.

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