Tuesday, December 29, 2020

How To Have A Good Divorce


The end of any relationship is always tough, but getting divorced magnifies the struggles further. While we often see divorces turn nasty, whether witnessing it personally or on the media, it doesn't always have to go bad - all it takes are shits in perspective. In today's episode, I'll be sharing tips on how you can come out of your divorce emotionally unscathed!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

What Are Advance Directives?


See a description of 4 advance directives which are important to have as one ages.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2021.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Incorporation and LLC's - By the People



Rene of By the People Document Preparation Service in Fairfield CA talks briefly about the basic differences between Inc. and LLC, and the benefits and features of each. Give Rene or Tammy a call at 707-428-9871 with any questions you may have so they can help you get the right product for your business.

See more at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Monday, December 21, 2020

What Types of Decisions Must Parents Share in a Joint Custody Situation?


Maryland Family Lawyer Marjorie G. DiLima, the Managing Partner of Fait & DiLima, LLP, answers: What types of decisions must parents share in a joint custody situation?

Friday, December 18, 2020

Children and Divorce


For children, separation and divorce can be an especially sad, stressful, and confusing time. But there are ways to help your kids cope with the upheaval of a breakup.

Helping your child through a divorce
A separation or divorce is a highly stressful and emotional experience for everyone involved, but children often feel that their whole world has turned upside down. At any age, it can be traumatic to witness the dissolution of your parents’ marriage and the breakup of the family. Kids may feel shocked, uncertain, or angry. Some may even feel guilty, blaming themselves for the problems at home. Divorce is never a seamless process and, inevitably, such a transitional time doesn’t happen without some measure of grief and hardship. But you can dramatically reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimize tension as your children learn to cope with unfamiliar circumstances. By providing routines your kids can rely on, you remind them that they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. And by maintaining a working relationship with your ex, you can help your kids avoid the stress and anguish that comes with watching parents in conflict. With your support, your kids can not only successfully navigate this unsettling time, but even emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong—and even with a closer bond to both parents.

How to tell kids about divorce
When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing what you’re going to say before you sit down to talk. If you can anticipate tough questions, deal with your own anxieties ahead of time, and plan carefully what you’ll be telling them, you will be better equipped to help your children handle the news.

What to say and how to say it
Difficult as it may be, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest—but kid-friendly—explanation.

Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.

Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from fixing their breakfast to helping them with homework.

Address changes. Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go.

Avoid blaming
It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce—and stick to it.

Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.

Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

Help your child grieve the divorce
For kids, divorce can feel like an intense loss—the loss of a parent, the loss of the family unit, or simply the loss of the life they knew. You can help your children grieve their loss and adjust to new circumstances by helping them express their emotions.

Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.

Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.

Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. They may blame you for the divorce but if they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.

Make talking about the divorce an ongoing process. As children age and mature, they often have new questions, feelings, or concerns about what happened, so you may want to go over the same ground again and again.

Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.

Let kids know they’re not at fault
Many kids believe that they had something to do with the divorce, recalling times they argued with their parents, received poor grades, or got in trouble. To help your kids let go of this misconception:

Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce. Sometimes hearing the real reason for your decision can help.

Be patient. Kids may seem to “get it” one day and feel unsure the next. Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience.

Reassure. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.

Give reassurance and love
Children have a remarkable ability to heal when given the support and love they need. Your words, actions, and ability to remain consistent are all important tools to reassure your children of your unchanging love.

Both parents will be there. Let your kids know that even though the physical circumstances of the family unit will change, they can continue to have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.

It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out. Knowing it’ll be all right can provide incentive for your kids to give a new situation a chance.

Closeness. Physical closeness—in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity—has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love.

Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully. If you don’t know the answer, say gently that you aren’t sure right now, but that you’ll find out and it will be okay.

Provide stability through the divorce
While it’s good for kids to learn to be flexible, adjusting to many new circumstances at once can be very difficult. Help your kids adjust to change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their daily lives.

Remember that establishing structure and continuity doesn’t mean that you need rigid schedules or that mom and dad’s routines need to be exactly the same. But creating some regular routines at each household and consistently communicating to your children what to expect will provide your kids with a sense of calm and stability.

The comfort of routines
Kids feel safer and more secure when they know what to expect next. Knowing that, even when they switch homes, dinnertime is followed by homework and then a bath, for example, can set a child’s mind at ease.

Maintaining routine also means continuing to observe rules, rewards, and discipline with your children. Resist the temptation to spoil kids during a divorce by not enforcing limits or allowing them to break rules.

Continue reading HERE

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

How Does a Trust Work?


A trust may not be right for everyone, but they may play a key role in proper estate planning!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Deeds - Some Ways To Make Changes - By the People


Rene at By the People talks about Deeds of trust and how they can help people make the necessary changes to their title for a number of different reasons. Call 707-428-9871 with any questions, and visit the website at http://www.bythepeopleca.com

Friday, December 11, 2020

9 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Living Trust

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Clients often think trusts can do everything – as if they are magical creatures – the unicorn of estate planning. All their problems are solved because they have a trust. That may be the case, but it may not. Different trusts do different things.

Living trusts are often the topic of small talk at social gatherings or on the golf course, but not many people know what they actually do. They are “living” because they are created now, while you are alive. You sign it and it becomes an enforceable document. Your living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be revoked or amended by you. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed by you once it is signed. Because an irrevocable trust cannot be changed, you want to be extra careful to understand its terms. The vast majority of people will start with a revocable trust.

A typical estate plan includes a will that “pours over” your assets to a revocable trust. On your death, any assets in your name alone will become part of your estate. Your will then directs the executor of your estate to hand them over to the trustee of your trust to administer them.

For estate planners, this is where it gets fun. A trust can address many issues, depending on the trust language. Below are nine things you can do with a living trust.

  1. Reduce estate taxes. If you are married, the trust can provide for estate tax savings. In Massachusetts, for example, a properly drafted and administered trust can save a couple approximately $100,000 in estate taxes on the death of the second spouse.
  2. Protect minor children. A trust can hold the money for minor children until they are responsible enough to manage the money themselves. Many clients prefer to give the children access to the monies staggered over a period of time i.e. at ages 25, 30 and 35.
  3. Save your grown-up kids from themselves. If your child will most likely not ever be able to manage the money himself due to a drug or alcohol issue, or because he is just bad with money, the trustee can hold the money in trust for your child’s lifetime and distribute it as needed.
  4. Keep your assets in the family. If your child is getting married and you do not like her fiancé, you should have a trust. In the event they divorce, you do not want half your assets winding up with your ex-son-in-law.
  5. Take the sting out of the fling. If you are concerned that in the event of your untimely death, your grieving spouse will take up with the pool boy, or the cocktail waitress at the country club, putting the assets in trust with a professional trustee will make sure your spouse does not take all the money and give it to his or her latest fling.
  6. Avoid probate. If you put your assets in the trust during your lifetime instead of relying on your will to do that when you die, you can avoid probate. It is not difficult to do – you need to transfer ownership from your regular “Mary Smith” bank account to a “Mary Smith, Trustee of The Mary Smith Trust” account – and an experienced financial advisors or lawyer can assist you with this.
  7. Ensure your family’s privacy. If you have a will that is probated, it will become a matter of public record along with certain other information such as the value of your assets, and often, an inventory listing your assets. A living trust, on the other hand, is a private document.
  8. Protect yourself while you are alive. If you fund the trust during your lifetime and later become incapacitated, the successor trustee will be able to manage the trust assets for your benefit. This is important for people who are single, and for those who do not have children. You want a trust in place that will provide for you in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

While I often tell clients that trusts are not the Pepto-Bismol of the estate planning world, the reality is most people can benefit from a living trust. Talk to your lawyer about whether a living trust can indeed help ease your estate planning heartburn.

Article Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinefletcher/2018/08/16/9-reasons-why-you-should-consider-a-living-trust/amp/

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

How Can Someone Protect Their Credit Rating as They Go Through Divorce?


I’m concerned that my credit is going to be affected as I go through my divorce. What can I do to protect myself?

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

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Power of Attorney Revoking Tips


Power of Attorney Revoking Tips. Part of the series: Personal Finance Tips & Advice. Power of attorney can be revoked at any time with a simple signature. Understand how to revoke power of attorney and how it is carried out with tips from an experienced financial adviser in this free video.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Do I Need Two Trusts for My LLC if I'm Married? | Mark J Kohler


Mark breaks down an important question about integrating your Estate Planning with your LLC and Business Planning. Married...2 trusts or 1 Joint Revocable Living Trust.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Legal Document Preparation - By The People


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

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Can You Afford Effective Estate Planning?


"Can I Afford Effective Estate Planning?"

That's Really Not the Right Question.

What you should be asking yourself is: "Can I Afford Not to Do It?"

You may be asking yourself whether you can really afford to do the effective estate planning that you know needs to be done. That's not the question to ask. The real question is whether you and your family can afford to be without the protection and security that the right planning provides.

Would you drive without car insurance? How would you feel without the protection that liability and property coverage offers??

Would you leave your home uninsured?

Would you go without health insurance, knowing that any major medical bills could wipe you out?
In the case of the car, home, and health insurance, you're protecting against the possibility of something happening. If an insured event occurs, then your insurance will cover you, and the premiums you paid for the insurance will be more than worth it.

Estate planning is protecting against the possibility that you might become incapacitated during your lifetime, and the certainty that you will pass away one day.

So what protection and security does the right kind of planning provide?

Protecting You if You Become Incapacitated. If you become incapacitated and need help managing your financial affairs and your medical care, the people you want helping you will need the proper legal documents in order to have the authority to act for you.

Protecting Your Loved Ones. The right kind of estate planning will protect your loved ones from any of the following:

  • Creditors - whether they have creditor problems now, or some that arise in the future.
  • Predators - people who would take advantage of them after they receive an inheritance from you.
  • Poor Financial Judgment - sometimes our loved ones just aren't good at handling money.
  • Loss of Benefits - if you have a loved one with Special Needs, then having the right plan will protect their continuing benefits.
  • Family Feuds - Unfortunately, when your planning is not done correctly, horrible feuds can arise between family members, even among siblings who previously got along.
  • Divorce Loss - if one of your loved ones got divorced, would you want their ex-spouse to receive half of their inheritance? Without proper planning, that can happen.
  • Blended Families - in families where there are children from other marriages, then the right estate planning will protect against one side of the family being inadvertently disinherited.
Protecting Your Assets. The right planning will protect your assets from unnecessary expenses, and the potential for loss from creditors or a nursing home spend-down.

  • Probate Expense - If your estate goes through Probate, then your family will pay a much higher cost to administer your estate. The attorney fee to pay in Probate is calculated as a percentage of your assets, starting as high as 4.5%. For example, in Lucas County, the attorney fee for probating a $400,000 estate (gross value) would be $15,000. With the right planning, that cost could be significantly reduced, resulting in savings of up to $11,000!
  • Creditors or Long Term Care Spend Down. If you're concerned about the potential for losing your savings to a nursing home, and if long term care insurance is not an option for you, then the right kind of estate planning can help protect a large portion of your assets and preserve them for your loved ones.

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8050727

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing You and Your Family a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2020

What is the Difference Between a Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?


George F. Indest III and The Health Law Firm's attorneys lecture on the difference between a Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Power of Attorney



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

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

Monday, November 16, 2020

What Is Probate in Relation to a Will?



A will is a legal document that outlines what one would want to happen after their death in terms of their funeral, care for their children and most important of all, distribution of their estate. When a person dies having drafted their will, they are said to have died testate in legal terms. The opposite of this would be dying intestate. A will usually specifically states the name of an executor, a person entrusted by the testator or testatrix with the task of executing the will after their death. An executor could be a close family member, a relative, trusted friend or even an attorney. An executor is usually referred to as a 'representative of the estate in probate' in a will in order to cover executors of both genders.
A will is very important because it makes things a lot easier for the family of a deceased person especially when it comes to estate distribution issues. A will reduces the possibility of disagreement or misunderstanding between family members when trying to figure out the deceased's death wishes. Administering a will is however not as easy as it may sound. This is because the law requires wills to be validated by a court which could take a couple of months to do. Validation of a will is done by the executor by applying for a Grant of Probate in a probate court.
Probate is the legal process of identifying, validating and distributing the estate of a deceased person under strict court supervision. The probate process includes payment of outstanding debts to creditors and payment of outstanding taxes such as death and inheritance tax. A probate court is a special court that interprets the will and validates any claims on the estate made by third parties such as the creditors of the deceased. The court oversees the probate process right from when the executor files for a grant of probate, up to when it is granted and ownership of the estate is transferred to the beneficiaries.
For the executor of a will to be granted probate, they will have to first present to the probate court registry, the deceased's will and a solicitor approved oath. The oath shows that the executor is committed to administering the wishes stated by the deceased in the will. The executor named in the will is usually not recognized by the law until the probate court officially appoints them as the representative of the estate in probate.
If a will was properly drafted, it takes the court a shorter time to grant probate. In case the beneficiaries are not completely satisfied with the court's decision, probate law allows them to contest the validity of the will in the same court. In such a case the estate remains frozen until the court makes a validity judgment. In the event of intestate death, or if there is no executor is named in a will, the grant of probate is referred to as a 'Letter of Administration'. It is also acquired through a court process and is issued to the person that the court deems fittest to execute the will or distribute the estate.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9326024

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Family Law Basics: What is Legal Separation?


Wisconsin family law attorney Kathryn Grigg explains how legal separation is different from divorce in the above video.


BY THE PEOPLE in Fairfield, CA 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. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

DIVORCE - Easier than you think? - By The People


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 http://www.bythepeopleca.com, or call them at 707-428-9871

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Know This Before You Sign a Power of Attorney


A power of attorney is used when you want to give someone the right to act on your behalf and in your place. The rights and powers are whatever is written on the document. This video covers the areas that you need to consider so that you can give away only the power that you intend for someone to have.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Irrevocable Vs Revocable Trust


Establishing a living trust is critical to the ability to protect your assets and beneficiaries when you die. But many people don't know that there are two types of trusts - irrevocable trusts and revocable trusts. With irrevocable trusts, the grantor's assets are moved out of the estate. In a revocable trust, assets stay in the grantor's estate. There are advantages to each type depending on the grantor's specific circumstances. Here is a rundown on the differences between the two types of trusts.

Irrevocable Trust

Most people are unaware of the advantages that this type of trust provides:

  • Asset Protection - Moves assets out of the grantor's hands, keeping it safe from lawsuits or creditors. A trustee has the power to make decisions with or without the input of the grantor.
  • No Estate Taxes - Many people are attracted to these trusts because they are protected from federal estate taxes.
  • No Capital Gains Taxes - A skilled lawyer will be able to move assets into irrevocable trusts so as to avoid capital gains taxes. This cannot occur with a revocable trust.

Before placing assets into this type of trust, make sure that the grantor will never need them. While it is possible to retrieve assets, it is very difficult and time-consuming.

Revocable Trust

Most people have an idea of what this type of trust is. Grantors without complicated tax issues that want to still maintain control over their assets, often choose to have this trust.

  • Mental Disability - Individuals who fear that they will one day be incapacitated, may want to designate a trustee to handle their assets which can include extensive instructions that the trustee must carry out. This is called a Disability Trustee.
  • To Protect Beneficiaries and Property - Keeps your property and assets out of probate. This ensures that your documents stay private and out of the public record. If privacy is important to you, consider a Revocable Living Trust as opposed to a Last Will and Testament which becomes a matter of public record that can be seen by anyone.
  • To Avoid Probate - Assets at the time of a person's death will pass directly to the beneficiaries named in the trust agreement and avoid probate.
  • For Flexibility - These types of trusts can be changed. If you have a second thought about a particular item or beneficiary, you can modify the document through a trust amendment. If you don't like the trust as a whole, then you can revoke the entire document.
Word of Caution: These trusts offer not creditor protection. If the asset holder is sued, the items in the trust are fair game. Upon your death, those assets will be subject to federal and state estate taxes.


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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9016957

Friday, November 6, 2020

Understanding a Power of Attorney for Finances


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

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Aging, Communication, and Preparation


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

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

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

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


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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5654284

Monday, November 2, 2020

4 Things You Need To Know About Advanced Directives


It is a sad truth that death is an inevitable part of life. And, even though many of us are reluctant to face this fact, it is no excuse to fail to plan for your end-of-life healthcare, particularly if you are past retirement age. Although it may be scary to think about your end-of-life decisions, it can greatly improve the quality of life for your family after you are gone, and will reduce the chance your passing is a burden on your family. Advanced directives offer you the assurance that your last wishes will be fulfilled. Here are four things to know about them.

1. What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?

An advanced directive is a generic term for a legal document that describes to and instructs others about your medical care, in the event you are unable to make your decisions known. A directive only becomes effective under circumstances described in the document, but in general, allow you to do two things. The first is to appoint a health care agent or power of attorney. This person will make decisions on your behalf. Secondly, the directive will provide instructions about exactly what forms of health care you want and do not want.

2. Why Are Advanced Directives Important?

According to recent surveys, the majority of people would prefer to die in their own homes. However, many terminally-ill patients meet the end of their life while in the hospital, typically while receiving ineffective treatments that they may or may not really want. Occasionally, this confusion can cause conflict between the surviving members of the family, leading to fights and arguments. Meanwhile, the dying person's thoughts and wishes remain unexpressed. An advanced care directive prevents all of this. From documenting the treatments you want to describing your wishes for your remains and personal effects, advanced care planning is highly beneficial.

3. Creating an Advanced Care Directive

An advanced care directive and living will do not have to be complicated, however, the content may be complex and should be considered carefully. In general, it will consist of short, simple statements about what types of treatments you would accept or deny, given particular circumstances where you are unable to speak for yourself. It is important to create this document with the help and guidance of your family, legal, health, and financial professionals for maximum effectiveness.

4. Talking With Your Loved Ones About Your Choices

A vital step in advanced care planning is to clearly communicate your wishes to your loved ones and family about your decisions, and why you are making them. For most of us, this conversation can seem like a daunting task. You may be uncomfortable bringing up your own death with your loved ones, or it may seem like poor timing to have that conversation, but it is much better to have this conversation now, before there's a problem, so that everyone can remain calm and relaxed.


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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9054211

Friday, October 30, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020

By The People FAQs


  • Are BY THE PEOPLE Personnel attorneys? No, we are not attorneys. We are Legal Document Assistants. In California, we are a licensed and bonded profession.

  • What if I need legal advice? You can always consult with an attorney of your choice. We can provide you with a referral for an excellent local attorney who specializes in cases similar to yours if you have questions we cannot answer for you, or your situation is more complicated than our services are meant to help with.

  • Do you have a Notary Public? Yes, whenever we are open we have a Notary Public on staff. If you are a BY THE PEOPLE customer, all Notarizations of your documents are included in our fees. If you have documents not prepared by BY THE PEOPLE, we charge $10.00 per signature you need notarized, in Cash Only. You must sign the document in our presence and provide valid photo identification.

  • Does BY THE PEOPLE handle Criminal Matters? No, we only handle uncontested civil matters. However, if you would like to contact us, we may be able to refer an excellent local attorney to you.

  • I need to have my documents prepared immediately. Do you have Rush or Same-Day document preparation services? Yes, we can prepare certain documents within a few hours, if necessary. Rush and Same-Day services are available for the following documents: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Deeds, LLC and Incorporation Articles. A modest Rush Fees will apply to these services.

  • How long will it take to prepare my documents? The documents we prepare at BY THE PEOPLE are typed specifically at your direction. All documents are then rigorously proofed to ensure you receive the highest quality legal documents available anywhere. Most of our documents are prepared and ready for you to sign within one week, depending on your situation. 

For more information please visit http://bythepeopleca.com/

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

How To Have A Good Divorce


The end of any relationship is always tough, but getting divorced magnifies the struggles further. While we often see divorces turn nasty, whether witnessing it personally or on the media, it doesn't always have to go bad - all it takes are shits in perspective. In today's episode, I'll be sharing tips on how you can come out of your divorce emotionally unscathed!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Conservatorship Information



A conservatorship is a court proceeding that grants one or more people the authority to make financial or health care decisions for another because of a mental or physical incapacity that renders a person unable to make informed and sound decisions.

A conservatorship can be over the person, the estate, or both. The person appointed by the court to make decisions is called the conservator, and the person about whom decisions will be made is called the conservatee.

Conservators are generally family members or a professional conservatorship company and in some cases, the Public Guardian's office may be appointed. Regardless of who the conservator is, their duty is to act solely in the best interests of the conservatee. To insure this, court evaluation, supervision and monitoring of the conservatorship is established.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce


Many states these days give couples the ability to go through a simple uncontested divorce. In fact, this is the way most couples do divorce. It's relatively simple and inexpensive, and it preserves both parties' dignity and privacy.

Divorce is expensive no matter how you slice it, but if you do need to get a divorce, an uncontested divorce will let you save yourself time and money, and as much heartache as possible. This situation is difficult enough, and you don't have to make it more difficult to make the divorce itself contentious unless it's absolutely necessary to do so.

If there are particularly contentious issues in your marriage still to be resolved (such as child custody), then an uncontested divorce may not be the way to go, since of course you'll need to make sure your rights and those of your children are taken care of. In fact, in some states, if there are children involved, an uncontested divorce may not even be an option for you.

However, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on relatively good terms and simply need not to be married anymore, and if issues such as child custody are already worked out between you, then an uncontested divorce is going to be easier for everyone. Yes, the process of getting divorced is still painful, but an uncontested divorce makes it as simple a process as possible, too.

Privacy is also an issue with divorce. The disclosures you make to each other don't have to be a matter of public record unless you each want them to be if the divorce is uncontested. The agreement you make will have to be a matter of public record, but only that. By contrast, contested divorce is likely to have every single little nuance of the divorce a matter of public record simply because spouses in a major battle with each other make such things a matter of public record. So if you want to protect your privacy, work out the details of the divorce between you and simply make the final agreements a matter of public record, not every little discussion you to have had as well. This is easier on your children, too.

If you think you can't negotiate an uncontested divorce with your spouse, that's fine. Perhaps you can't. However, make sure that your spouse and you are both aware of the problems an uncontested divorce can help you avoid. It may very well be that simply faced with the differences in navigating through a contested divorce versus an uncontested one will convince the spouse who doesn't want the uncontested divorce to go through with it.

Now, it should be noted that you don't have to agree as to why the divorce is happening to make it uncontested. You only have to agree on the terms of the divorce to make an uncontested divorce possible. Therefore, at first blush, it may certainly be true that you think you cannot manage an uncontested divorce. However, after a bit of time has gone by and tempers have cooled, you may think that having an uncontested divorce is best for you after all. Think about it, think about the cost both financially and to your children, and then decide whether or not an uncontested divorce is your best bet.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jon_Arnold/41272

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1462471

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Power of Attorney



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

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Benefits of Legal Separation


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6612183

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

How To Divorce Peacefully


Divorce is never easy but there is no reason for it to destroy both of you. Watch this video as Dr. Paul Jenkins enlightens you to go to a better option of having your divorce peacefully and specific ways on how you can do it.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Features of a Revocable Living Trust


Financial advisor Ric Edelman discusses why a revocable living trust is a key part in the estate planning process.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

How Does a Trust Work?


A trust may not be right for everyone, but they may play a key role in proper estate planning!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Top 5 Effects Of Divorce On Children


We all know that eventually some people grow apart, and eventually end up in divorce. It may be a sad time but sometimes it is for the best. But what about the children? What happens to them and what are the effects of a divorce on them? Let's talk about that in today's episode.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Living Wills and Advance Directives for Medical Decisions


Living wills and other advance directives are written, legal instructions regarding your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives guide choices for doctors and caregivers if you're terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life.

Advance directives aren't just for older adults. Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it's important for all adults to prepare these documents.

By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. You also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.

Power of attorney

A medical or health care power of attorney is a type of advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. In some states this directive may also be called a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care proxy.

Depending on where you live, the person you choose to make decisions on your behalf may be called one of the following:

  • Health care agent
  • Health care proxy
  • Health care surrogate
  • Health care representative
  • Health care attorney-in-fact
  • Patient advocate

Choosing a person to act as your health care agent is important. Even if you have other legal documents regarding your care, not all situations can be anticipated and some situations will require someone to make a judgment about your likely care wishes. You should choose a person who meets the following criteria:

  • Meets your state's requirements for a health care agent
  • Is not your doctor or a part of your medical care team
  • Is willing and able to discuss medical care and end-of-life issues with you
  • Can be trusted to make decisions that adhere to your wishes and values
  • Can be trusted to be your advocate if there are disagreements about your care

The person you name may be a spouse, other family member, friend or member of a faith community. You may also choose one or more alternates in case the person you chose is unable to fulfill the role.

Living will

A living will is a written, legal document that spells out medical treatments you would and would not want to be used to keep you alive, as well as your preferences for other medical decisions, such as pain management or organ donation.

In determining your wishes, think about your values. Consider how important it is to you to be independent and self-sufficient, and identify what circumstances might make you feel like your life is not worth living. Would you want treatment to extend your life in any situation? All situations? Would you want treatment only if a cure is possible?

You should address a number of possible end-of-life care decisions in your living will. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about any of the following medical decisions:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) restarts the heart when it has stopped beating. Determine if and when you would want to be resuscitated by CPR or by a device that delivers an electric shock to stimulate the heart.
  • Mechanical ventilation takes over your breathing if you're unable to breathe on your own. Consider if, when and for how long you would want to be placed on a mechanical ventilator.
  • Tube feeding supplies the body with nutrients and fluids intravenously or via a tube in the stomach. Decide if, when and for how long you would want to be fed in this manner.
  • Dialysis removes waste from your blood and manages fluid levels if your kidneys no longer function. Determine if, when and for how long you would want to receive this treatment.
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications can be used to treat many infections. If you were near the end of life, would you want infections to be treated aggressively or would you rather let infections run their course?
  • Comfort care (palliative care) includes any number of interventions that may be used to keep you comfortable and manage pain while abiding by your other treatment wishes. This may include being allowed to die at home, getting pain medications, being fed ice chips to soothe mouth dryness, and avoiding invasive tests or treatments.
  • Organ and tissue donations for transplantation can be specified in your living will. If your organs are removed for donation, you will be kept on life-sustaining treatment temporarily until the procedure is complete. To help your health care agent avoid any confusion, you may want to state in your living will that you understand the need for this temporary intervention.
  • Donating your body for scientific study also can be specified. Contact a local medical school, university or donation program for information on how to register for a planned donation for research.

Do not resuscitate and do not intubate orders

You don't need to have an advance directive or living will to have do not resuscitate (DNR) and do not intubate (DNI) orders. To establish DNR or DNI orders, tell your doctor about your preferences. He or she will write the orders and put them in your medical record.

Even if you already have a living will that includes your preferences regarding resuscitation and intubation, it is still a good idea to establish DNR or DNI orders each time you are admitted to a new hospital or health care facility.

Creating advance directives

Advance directives need to be in writing. Each state has different forms and requirements for creating legal documents. Depending on where you live, a form may need to be signed by a witness or notarized. You can ask a lawyer to help you with the process, but it is generally not necessary.

Links to state-specific forms can be found on the websites of various organizations such as the American Bar Association, AARP and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Review your advance directives with your doctor and your health care agent to be sure you have filled out forms correctly. When you have completed your documents, you need to do the following:

  • Keep the originals in a safe but easily accessible place.
  • Give a copy to your doctor.
  • Give a copy to your health care agent and any alternate agents.
  • Keep a record of who has your advance directives.
  • Talk to family members and other important people in your life about your advance directives and your health care wishes. By having these conversations now, you help ensure that your family members clearly understand your wishes. Having a clear understanding of your preferences can help your family members avoid conflict and feelings of guilt.
  • Carry a wallet-sized card that indicates you have advance directives, identifies your health care agent and states where a copy of your directives can be found.
  • Keep a copy with you when you are traveling.

Reviewing and changing advance directives

You can change your directives at any time. If you want to make changes, you must create a new form, distribute new copies and destroy all old copies. Specific requirements for changing directives may vary by state.

You should discuss changes with your primary care doctor and make sure a new directive replaces an old directive in your medical file. New directives must also be added to medical charts in a hospital or nursing home. Also, talk to your health care agent, family and friends about changes you have made.

Consider reviewing your directives and creating new ones in the following situations:

  • New diagnosis. A diagnosis of a disease that is terminal or that significantly alters your life may lead you to make changes in your living will. Discuss with your doctor the kind of treatment and care decisions that might be made during the expected course of the disease.
  • Change of marital status. When you marry, divorce, become separated or are widowed, you may need to select a new health care agent.
  • About every 10 years. Over time your thoughts about end-of-life care may change. Review your directives from time to time to be sure they reflect your current values and wishes.

Physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST)

In some states, advance health care planning includes a document called physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST). The document may also be called provider orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) or medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST).

A POLST is intended for people who have already been diagnosed with a serious illness. This form does not replace your other directives. Instead, it serves as doctor-ordered instructions — not unlike a prescription — to ensure that, in case of an emergency, you receive the treatment you prefer. Your doctor will fill out the form based on the contents of your advance directives, the discussions you have with your doctor about the likely course of your illness and your treatment preferences.

A POLST stays with you. If you are in a hospital or nursing home, the document is posted near your bed. If you are living at home or in a hospice care facility, the document is prominently displayed where emergency personnel or other medical team members can easily find it.

Forms vary by state, but essentially a POLST enables your doctor to include details about what treatments not to use, under what conditions certain treatments can be used, how long treatments may be used and when treatments should be withdrawn. Issues covered in a POLST may include:

  • Resuscitation
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Tube feeding
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Requests not to transfer to an emergency room
  • Requests not to be admitted to the hospital
  • Pain management

A POLST also indicates what advance directives you have created and who serves as your health care agent. Like advance directives, POLSTs can be canceled or updated.

Article Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/living-wills/art-20046303

Thursday, October 1, 2020

What is a Living Trust?


A living trust, created while you're alive, lets you control the distribution of your estate. You transfer ownership of your property and your assets into the trust. You can serve as the trustee or you can select a person or an institution to be the trustee.

Monday, September 28, 2020

What Are Advance Directives?


See a description of 4 advance directives which are important to have as one ages.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Living Trust and Wills - By the People


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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

How Can Someone Protect Their Credit Rating as They Go Through Divorce?


I’m concerned that my credit is going to be affected as I go through my divorce. What can I do to protect myself?

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

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Do I Need Two Trusts for My LLC if I'm Married? | Mark J Kohler


Mark breaks down an important question about integrating your Estate Planning with your LLC and Business Planning. Married...2 trusts or 1 Joint Revocable Living Trust.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The 40 Do’s and Don’ts During a Divorce


After counseling hundreds of clients through the divorce process – and having experienced it as a child and adult myself – I have seen the good, the bad, and all the ugly. Too many times in the midst of divorce, unresolved anger takes over a person’s behavior and they become something that they usually are not. This can happen to the nicest of people; no one is free from the temptation of hurting their Soon-To-Be-Ex (STBE) as much as, if not more than, they have already hurt them.

To help keep things civil as possible, I have compiled a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” as a reminder of what ethical behavior during a divorce looks like.

Do:
  1. Spend this time working on yourself instead of focusing too much on the other person. This way you are better prepared to be without your STBE.
  2. Stop arguing with them and yourself. Remember, you are getting a divorce for a reason.
  3. Eliminate emotional, verbal, and physical intimacy from the relationship to prevent as much confusion as possible.
  4. Respect your STBE’s physical personal space as if the two of you were strangers.
  5. Answer only the question your STBE asks you. Try to prevent expanding the conversation in a way that will only cause further harm.
  6. Have one or two good friends that support you in this process. Just like with any trial life throws at you, a support system is essential to keep you secure.
  7. Respect new boundaries of ‘This is my space and that is yours’. Crossing those newly set lines will only lead to greater conflict.
  8. Discuss any and all surveillance with your attorney. Try to keep the process legal to benefit both you and your STBE in the long run.
  9. Make sure to have a witness with you when speaking with your STBE if you feel unsafe.
  10. Think of divorce as a business transaction instead of an emotional one. As difficult as it may be, by eliminating those emotional aspects you are more capable of cleanly handling the process.
  11. Allow your attorney to mediate as a way to help navigate through any tricky areas of marital dispute.
  12. Communicate strictly via text message or email as best you can. This will help maintain a healthy barrier between you and your STBE.
  13. Communicate to your STBE only what is necessary or needed. Allowing any extra interaction has the potential to complicate the situation exponentially.
  14. If you have children, all kid transitions must take place in a safe location.
  15. Remember to consider that your kids are ½ you and ½ your STBE, so even in the trickiest situation treat your STBE with respect. This will not only set an excellent example for your children, but it will also minimize any trauma from the divorce that they may be going through.
  16. Always answer only the questions your kids ask about the divorce, don’t elaborate. Providing details can be unnecessarily painful for you and your children.
  17. Reach out to your kids daily when you are not with them. It is important to keep strong lines of communication to let your children know that they still have you as a source of love and support.
  18. Give your STBE the first right of refusal when caring for the kids.
  19. Have a standard line as the reason for the divorce that doesn’t cause shame or embarrassment for you, your STBE, and/or your kids that you can use as a public or general response. Remember, you’re trying to make it through this process as painlessly as possible, so don’t put your family through any unnecessary negative attention.
  20. Remember your code of conduct and act accordingly. You are representing yourself, and your behavior is a significant reflection of who you want to become by the end of the divorce process.
Don’t:
  1. Focus so much on your STBE that you neglect self-care. Your top priority must be taking care of yourself.
  2. Belittle your STBE or try to instigate them: this is a sad reflection on your character and can cause further aggravation.
  3. Have sex with your STBE: this only confuses them, yourself, and the situation – even if you tell yourself “it doesn’t mean anything” or “it’s the last time.”
  4. Hit any part of your STBE, push or shove, verbally threaten harm, throw things, or block your STBE from leaving. This will only provide more for them to potentially use against you throughout the process.
  5. Overuse texting or emailing just to point out the flaws in your STBE. At this point, it is useless to point fingers and only adds stress and anger where it’s not needed.
  6. Undermine your STBE’s friendships or try to alienate them from family. You need to start focusing on you and becoming negatively and overly involved in your STBE’s life will not help you accomplish that.
  7. Go rifling through your STBE’s stuff. Nothing you will find will satisfy what you are feeling – that is something you have to do on your own.
  8. Track your STBE or record their conversations without permission. This is a violation of privacy that will inevitably make the entire situation worse.
  9. Be alone with your STBE, if at all possible. Just like emotional interaction and sex, this will make moving on and a cleaner divorce less of a possibility.
  10. Let your emotions override your logic during the divorce. It’s easy to get caught up in your head and what your feeling during this process, but to remain healthy and stable for yourself and your children, you must be able to be objective.
  11. Rehash reasons for getting a divorce. Both you and your STBE know why the divorce is happening – reopening old wounds can only cause further harm.
  12. Communicate verbally unless the communication is about the kids. With such a sensitive topic, keeping it as business-like as possible will benefit all parties.
  13. Send excessive text messages or emails for any reason. Try to limit them to a few per day at the absolute most.
  14. Ask your kids, instead of your STBE, to modify any transitions involving them. This will help to limit contact.
  15. Bad ever mouth your STBE in front of your kids. Your STBE is still their parent and creating a toxic relationship between them and the STBE is never healthy.
  16. Talk to the kids about the specifics of the divorce, money, separation of assets, or support. Try to limit anything you tell to just what is necessary.
  17. Keep your kids from speaking to your STBE when they are with you. Just because your contact with them must be limited, doesn’t mean the kids should feel pressured into cutting contact with them as well.
  18. Supervise your kid’s communication with your STBE. Make sure your STBE is respecting any boundaries that the two of you made for when it comes to communicating with your children.
  19. Spread rumors about your STBE. Often, you end up only hurting your kids and you looking petty in the process.
  20. Lose your values, morals, or ethics during the divorce. Always hold fast to what you stand for, and do not let the process of divorce negatively dictate your behavior.
Following these guidelines won’t guarantee a favorable outcome during your divorce – every situation and process is different. However, sticking to these basic rules will help you ensure that you do not lose yourself amidst the chaos of the process.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

9 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Living Trust

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Clients often think trusts can do everything – as if they are magical creatures – the unicorn of estate planning. All their problems are solved because they have a trust. That may be the case, but it may not. Different trusts do different things.

Living trusts are often the topic of small talk at social gatherings or on the golf course, but not many people know what they actually do. They are “living” because they are created now, while you are alive. You sign it and it becomes an enforceable document. Your living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be revoked or amended by you. An irrevocable trust cannot be changed by you once it is signed. Because an irrevocable trust cannot be changed, you want to be extra careful to understand its terms. The vast majority of people will start with a revocable trust.

A typical estate plan includes a will that “pours over” your assets to a revocable trust. On your death, any assets in your name alone will become part of your estate. Your will then directs the executor of your estate to hand them over to the trustee of your trust to administer them.

For estate planners, this is where it gets fun. A trust can address many issues, depending on the trust language. Below are nine things you can do with a living trust.

  1. Reduce estate taxes. If you are married, the trust can provide for estate tax savings. In Massachusetts, for example, a properly drafted and administered trust can save a couple approximately $100,000 in estate taxes on the death of the second spouse.
  2. Protect minor children. A trust can hold the money for minor children until they are responsible enough to manage the money themselves. Many clients prefer to give the children access to the monies staggered over a period of time i.e. at ages 25, 30 and 35.
  3. Save your grown-up kids from themselves. If your child will most likely not ever be able to manage the money himself due to a drug or alcohol issue, or because he is just bad with money, the trustee can hold the money in trust for your child’s lifetime and distribute it as needed.
  4. Keep your assets in the family. If your child is getting married and you do not like her fiancé, you should have a trust. In the event they divorce, you do not want half your assets winding up with your ex-son-in-law.
  5. Take the sting out of the fling. If you are concerned that in the event of your untimely death, your grieving spouse will take up with the pool boy, or the cocktail waitress at the country club, putting the assets in trust with a professional trustee will make sure your spouse does not take all the money and give it to his or her latest fling.
  6. Avoid probate. If you put your assets in the trust during your lifetime instead of relying on your will to do that when you die, you can avoid probate. It is not difficult to do – you need to transfer ownership from your regular “Mary Smith” bank account to a “Mary Smith, Trustee of The Mary Smith Trust” account – and an experienced financial advisors or lawyer can assist you with this.
  7. Ensure your family’s privacy. If you have a will that is probated, it will become a matter of public record along with certain other information such as the value of your assets, and often, an inventory listing your assets. A living trust, on the other hand, is a private document.
  8. Protect yourself while you are alive. If you fund the trust during your lifetime and later become incapacitated, the successor trustee will be able to manage the trust assets for your benefit. This is important for people who are single, and for those who do not have children. You want a trust in place that will provide for you in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

While I often tell clients that trusts are not the Pepto-Bismol of the estate planning world, the reality is most people can benefit from a living trust. Talk to your lawyer about whether a living trust can indeed help ease your estate planning heartburn.

Article Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinefletcher/2018/08/16/9-reasons-why-you-should-consider-a-living-trust/amp/

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Children and Divorce


For children, separation and divorce can be an especially sad, stressful, and confusing time. But there are ways to help your kids cope with the upheaval of a breakup.

Helping your child through a divorce
A separation or divorce is a highly stressful and emotional experience for everyone involved, but children often feel that their whole world has turned upside down. At any age, it can be traumatic to witness the dissolution of your parents’ marriage and the breakup of the family. Kids may feel shocked, uncertain, or angry. Some may even feel guilty, blaming themselves for the problems at home. Divorce is never a seamless process and, inevitably, such a transitional time doesn’t happen without some measure of grief and hardship. But you can dramatically reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimize tension as your children learn to cope with unfamiliar circumstances. By providing routines your kids can rely on, you remind them that they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. And by maintaining a working relationship with your ex, you can help your kids avoid the stress and anguish that comes with watching parents in conflict. With your support, your kids can not only successfully navigate this unsettling time, but even emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong—and even with a closer bond to both parents.

How to tell kids about divorce
When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing what you’re going to say before you sit down to talk. If you can anticipate tough questions, deal with your own anxieties ahead of time, and plan carefully what you’ll be telling them, you will be better equipped to help your children handle the news.

What to say and how to say it
Difficult as it may be, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest—but kid-friendly—explanation.

Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.

Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from fixing their breakfast to helping them with homework.

Address changes. Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go.

Avoid blaming
It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce—and stick to it.

Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.

Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

Help your child grieve the divorce
For kids, divorce can feel like an intense loss—the loss of a parent, the loss of the family unit, or simply the loss of the life they knew. You can help your children grieve their loss and adjust to new circumstances by helping them express their emotions.

Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.

Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.

Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. They may blame you for the divorce but if they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.

Make talking about the divorce an ongoing process. As children age and mature, they often have new questions, feelings, or concerns about what happened, so you may want to go over the same ground again and again.

Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.

Let kids know they’re not at fault
Many kids believe that they had something to do with the divorce, recalling times they argued with their parents, received poor grades, or got in trouble. To help your kids let go of this misconception:

Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce. Sometimes hearing the real reason for your decision can help.

Be patient. Kids may seem to “get it” one day and feel unsure the next. Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience.

Reassure. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.

Give reassurance and love
Children have a remarkable ability to heal when given the support and love they need. Your words, actions, and ability to remain consistent are all important tools to reassure your children of your unchanging love.

Both parents will be there. Let your kids know that even though the physical circumstances of the family unit will change, they can continue to have healthy, loving relationships with both of their parents.

It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out. Knowing it’ll be all right can provide incentive for your kids to give a new situation a chance.

Closeness. Physical closeness—in the form of hugs, pats on the shoulder, or simple proximity—has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love.

Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully. If you don’t know the answer, say gently that you aren’t sure right now, but that you’ll find out and it will be okay.

Provide stability through the divorce
While it’s good for kids to learn to be flexible, adjusting to many new circumstances at once can be very difficult. Help your kids adjust to change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their daily lives.

Remember that establishing structure and continuity doesn’t mean that you need rigid schedules or that mom and dad’s routines need to be exactly the same. But creating some regular routines at each household and consistently communicating to your children what to expect will provide your kids with a sense of calm and stability.

The comfort of routines
Kids feel safer and more secure when they know what to expect next. Knowing that, even when they switch homes, dinnertime is followed by homework and then a bath, for example, can set a child’s mind at ease.

Maintaining routine also means continuing to observe rules, rewards, and discipline with your children. Resist the temptation to spoil kids during a divorce by not enforcing limits or allowing them to break rules.

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Legal Separation vs. Divorce


In both a legal separation and a divorce, there is an agreement between the two spouses (either a separation agreement or divorce decree) that has been ordered by the court. This agreement sets the rules that you and your spouse will now live by since you are no longer living with one another: how your finances will be separated, how child custody and child support will be divided, how the property will be divided, who will pay spousal support, etc.

This agreement might be reached amicably by the two of you, or you may need the help of an arbitrator or mediator. If you can't mutually come to a decision, it may even have to be court-ordered, but at the end of the day, there is a written, court-ordered document that sets the rules and boundaries for how you and your spouse will live, separately from one another.

Differences between legal separation and divorce

With a legal separation, you are still married in the eyes of the law. You can't remarry, and you'll even record yourself as married on most government forms. With divorce, the marriage is over.

Benefits to Legal Separation

If legal separation is allowed in your state, here are some reasons why you might choose it:

  • It’s required in some states before you can get a divorce. The amount of time you must legally separate before the court grants a divorce varies from about six months to a year.
  • To keep the health insurance coverage provided by a spouse’s plan.
  • There are social security, military or pension benefits that you might qualify for if you remain married.
  • There may be tax advantages to filing as a married couple vs. filing single after a divorce.
  • You are unsure about divorce and need to spend some time living apart from your spouse to see if you can resolve your differences.

It's important to remember, however, that each state mandates legal separation differently. Some states do not allow legal separation (or limited divorce as Maryland calls it) at all, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas. However, Maryland does have a ‘limited divorce,' and Georgia has ‘separate maintenance,' which are both like a legal separation.

Legal separation in some states also requires that the two spouses be living apart from one another in different residences at different addresses. So, you can't be living in different rooms of the same home and be legally separated.

Disadvantages to Legal Separation

  • You may still be responsible for your spouse’s debts.
  • Your spouse is still considered the next of kin and can make medical and financial decisions for you and may still retain property rights if you die.
  • You are not free to marry anyone else.

If your marriage is in trouble, it is essential to contact a qualified, local attorney in your area who can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of any next steps you might take. As you can see, a legal separation can be just as complex as a divorce, and as costly, and may be a step you don't have to take depending on the laws in your state.

Article Source: https://talkingparents.com/blog/march-2019/legal-separation-vs-divorce