Monday, August 31, 2020

Do I Need a Will?


You can't take it with you. Unless you plan on living forever, there will eventually be a need to divide your property amongst the relatives and loved ones you leave behind. By having a will, you determine who gets what. Without one, the law will do it for you by the operation of statutes. Many people believe that they are not wealthy enough to need a Will. But if you own property that is titled (a car or house), after your death, those items cannot be transferred without opening an estate. If you don't have a Will, the cost of processing your estate goes up significantly.

When a person dies and leaves property behind, that property is known as an estate. In order to transfer ownership of the property in the estate from the deceased to surviving heirs, the estate must go through the probate process. A Will not only identifies who will inherit the property but names an executor to administer the estate. Without a Will, not only will statutes determine who gets your property, but the court will have to appoint an administrator to handle the estate. This is a costly process.

The most obvious benefit to having a Will is controlling what property passes to which heir. This is important if there are pieces of personal property that you want to go to a specific loved one for sentimental or other reasons. A Will also allows you to place conditions on the bequest, such as that the heir completes higher education or attain a certain age, before receiving his or her inheritance.

If these benefits of having a Will are not enough to convince you to take action, then consider those who you are leaving behind. A Will invariably makes the probate process smoother and easier for the survivors. In addition to controlling exactly where the property goes, a Will names the person or persons who will "execute" the estate, meaning the person who will gather the property and distribute it to the named heirs. This is often no small undertaking - it can involve selling stock, closing and consolidating bank accounts, liquidating assets, and more. In drafting a will, you should be sure to select an executor who has knowledge of the property in your estate and the competence and willingness to perform the job, all of which makes for a more efficient probate process. Without a Will, the court must appoint an administrator (obviously not of your choosing) to perform these tasks. Unfortunately, this is more costly and can lead to disagreements amongst family members.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

What is Guardianship and Power of Attorney?



Learn what the difference is between guardianship and power of attorney.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Probate Court Will Appoint a Personal Representative to the Estate


The probate court will appoint a person to represent the decedent and to administer the decedent's estate; this is called a personal representative. This person has a variety of names in the absence of statue to the contrary depending on various circumstances. This being, if the decedent died testate and designed such a person in his will. The court usually will appoint that person the executor (man) or executrix (woman).

If the will does not so designate any such person or the person so designated is unavailable or is unqualified to be the personal representative; the court will appoint someone else as the appointed one is called the administrator. If the personal representative cannot complete the duties, the court will appoint a new personal representative.

The responsibilities of the personal representative is to administer the decedent's estate. This is in accordance with the legal directions as expressed by the testator in the will. All is within accordance with the statute of descent and distribution with respect to an intestate estate.

This involves the collection do to the decedent's property which forms the decedent's estate. Payment of claims against the estate is distribution of the remaining property. Directions are provided in the will or pursuant to the statute on descent.

The personal representative must post a bond to assure that he one she properly carries out their responsibility, unless the will expressly waives the requirement of a bond. If you'll simply file a Living Will, then your family will not have to go through probate court system. This is if you have a small estate however, if it's a large estate then you'll probably have to go through probate.


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Sunday, August 23, 2020

What Happens if a Person Dies Without a Will?


If someone dies without leaving a valid Will, the person is said to have died intestate - that's legalese for without a will - the property she held in her own name as his or her own separate property passes to the person or persons specified in the laws of the deceased's state of residence, after any bills and taxes are taken care of.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Annulment Versus Divorce



There are various ground upon which an annulment or a divorce could be granted by a court. The legal consequences could be very important, since an annulment basically erases a marriage, whereas a divorce simply terminates it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Who is Entitled to a Copy of a Will?


When a person dies and leaves a will, who gets a copy of that will? Watch this video and learn more about who is entitled to a copy of a will.

Friday, August 14, 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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Setting Up an LLC - The Benefits and Steps of a Limited Liability Company


A limited liability company (which is commonly abbreviated as LLC) offers limited liability to its owners as a legal form of business company in the United States. Many small business owners are drawn to this type of business formation because it offers limited liability for the actions and debts of the company. This type of business formation excludes personal liability from the general debts and other obligations of the company and limits the liability of the owners to the extent of their equity. An LLC has characteristics of both a partnership and corporation; the primary partnership characteristic is the availability of pass-through income taxation while the primary corporate characteristic is limited liability.

Many entrepreneurs choose to setup an LLC for tax reasons. LLCs avoid "double taxation" because the income of the LLC itself is not taxed at the company level. Instead, taxes on profits and deductions of losses are computed at the individual level on the personal tax return of each LLC member (owner). LLC owners can elect for the IRS to tax the LLC as a sole proprietorship, partnership, C Corporation, or S Corporation. Owners make this election through the IRS after the company forms with the state.

After setting up an LLC, the bottom-line profit of the business is not considered to be earned income to the members, and therefore is not subject to self-employment tax. But it is still important to consider that the managing member's share of the overall profit of the LLC is considered earned income, and is subject to self-employment tax.

Members of an LLC are compensated using either guaranteed payments or distributions of profit. Guaranteed payments represent earned income to the members, which qualifies them to enjoy the benefits of tax-favored fringe benefits. A distribution of profit allows each member to pay themselves by merely writing checks. However, as a member of an LLC, you are not allowed to pay yourself wages.

Another important perk of setting up an LLC is that the managing member of an LLC can deduct 100 percent of the health insurance premiums he pays, up to the extent of their pro-rata share of the LLC's net profit.

The basic steps to setting up an LLC are fairly simple:

Step 1: Find a copy of the LLC Articles of Organization Form for your state. This is usually located at the Secretary of State's office. It is also a good idea to check there are any rules concerning business names in your state.

Step 2: Choose a name for your business. Almost any name will work so long as it is not the same or deceptively similar to a name being used by another entity that is filed with the State Filing Office which is usually the Secretary of State's Office. The name must end with the words Limited Liability Company or an abbreviation such as LLC or L.L.C. The ending such as LLC or Inc is not considered part of the name when searching for availability.

Step 3: Complete and File the Articles of Organization form with the State Filing Office. The State Filing Office where you turn in the form is usually the Secretary of State where you are required to pay a filing fee. The Articles of Organization form is a relatively simple document that includes the name of your business, its purpose, office address, the registered agent who will receive legal documents, and the names of each initial member of your proposed LLC. A registered agent is simply a person or incorporated company who can accept service of legal papers if your company is sued or the person who can receive mail from the State Filing Office. You can act as your own registered agent, however, the address you use must be a street address and not a P.O. Box. The address is important to make sure you receive papers that are served or sent to your company.

Step 4: Submit a notice to your local newspaper for publishing. This step is sometimes required by your state, you may want to check to make sure. Some states even require this step to be done before filing your Articles of Organization form. This notice should detail your intention to setup an LLC.

Step 5: Prepare and Sign an Operating Agreement. This is not required by the state but is a very important step in maintaining your liability protection and preventing disagreements between the members. The Operating Agreement is an essential document which sets forth the rights, duties and obligations of each member of the LLC. It also usually sets the ownership percentages between the members, the division of profits and the distribution of income. This document can also strengthen your liability protection by demonstrating that you have completed the organization of the company and are in compliance with the process.

The State Filing Office usually does not provide Operating Agreements, this will be something that you have to come up with. Many people use online services such as settingupllc.com, and other people go further and hire attorneys which can be much more expensive.

Step 6: Obtain an Employer ID Number (EIN) from the IRS. As a separate legal entity, your LLC requires its own federal tax identification number from the IRS. This can sometimes be avoided if an LLC is owned by only one person, in which case the person has the option of reporting taxes on his own social security number. To get the Employer ID Number you can acquire from SS-4 from most post offices and then file it with the IRS.

Step 7: Setup a Separate Bank Account for the LLC. A separate legal entity requires a separate bank account. It is important that you do not co-mingle your funds between business and personal bank accounts. The courts will look at this if you were to ever get sued.

Step 8: Document Ownership Interest Percentages of the LLC. To avoid disputes and ownership conflicts in the future, it is important to assign ownership percentages when the company is first formed. This step is not necessarily required, but it would be very wise.


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Monday, August 10, 2020

Adult Guardianship



Many families struggle with how to manage the finances, health care and other personal matters of adults who are unable to care for themselves. You may decide to pursue an adult guardianship if an adult is mentally or physically unable to make his or her own decisions and does not have a living will and power of attorney that provide a competent person to make those judgments.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Probate and Administrative Process, Know Your Rights


Probate is the system in which the court's system's method of processing the estates of a dead person. It is a legal document that enables the administration of the estate of the deceased. It allows for the resolving of claims and distribution of the deceased's will. Any grievances surrounding a deceased person's estate are filed in the probate court also known as the surrogate court. Once probated, the will becomes a legal instrument that can be enforced by the executor.

Administration process

Administration process of an estate on the other hand is the process by which the deceased person's assets are collected, maintained and distributed. An estate administrator sees to the proper administration of the will.

The Probate process

The probate process begins after the death of a person. An interested person files an application to administer the estate; a fiduciary is then appointed who is to administer the estate and at times may be required to pay a bond to safeguard and to insure the estate. Creditors are notified and legal notices published. There may be filed a petition to appoint a personal representative may need to be filed and letters of administration obtained. All these processes must be done in accordance with the limitation clause.

Property that avoids probate

Property that passes to another person contractually upon the death of a person does not enter probate for example a jointly owned property with rights of survivorship. Property held in a revocable or irrevocable trust that was created when the grantor's was still alive does not also enter probate. In most of these cases the property is distributed privately and without many issues thus no court action is required.

What happens in the probate and administrative process?

After a probate case has been filed in court, an inventory is entered and the deceased's property collected. The debts and taxes are paid first then the remaining property distributed to the beneficiaries. The probate and administrative process may be challenged at any time as a whole or part of it. The issues that arise during such hearings include will contests and paternity issues and these have to be solved before the matter is decided.

The need for the appointment of an administrator arises where the deceased left no will, some assets are not disposed of by the will, in cases where there is a will however, the case goes to probate directly. The estate administrators act like will executors but where the will does not state how to distribute of property, they follow the laid down laws.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Considerations in Filing for an LLC


Setting up an LLC and other states has become a popular option for many small business owners because of the many benefits it offers. A limited liability company puts together the advantages of a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and a corporation all in one business entity. This means compete control, tax benefits, and limited liability. The interest in LLCs continues to grow as more and more business owners are able to realize its advantages over other business types.

Before starting an LLC, there are some considerations that should be kept in mind. Taking note of these considerations will ensure that the processing of its registration with the appropriate government agencies will go faster and smoother. When the paperwork is completed properly, there will be no questions as to the LLC's legality.

First, the members filing for LLC should decide on the name of the business. This should meet the standards in LLC names set by the state government. To know the availability and aptness of the name, the business name database can be utilized for verification. Also, the name for an LLC can be reserved for four months by filing an application as well.

The next step is submitting the LLC's Articles of Organization. These articles should include all the necessary information about the LLC such as the name and address of LLC, its registered agent, and its duration. Also, how the LLC will be managed and who will manage the LLC should be stated in the Articles of Organization. Under the law, these are all filed with the office of the Secretary of State through mail.

The Operating Agreement should be processed after the filing of the Articles of Organization. Though this is not required by the state's government, it is still highly advisable. This is essential to define each member's responsibilities and liabilities. With Operating Agreement, the members can be protected from being personally liable if ever the business becomes bankrupt. Aside from the statement of responsibilities and liabilities, other information can be included as well. This includes the business nature, concept, and mission statement.

Lastly, business permits and licenses should be acquired. These vary depending on state laws. The business licenses that need to be obtained depend on the nature of the business and its location. Aside from that, the LLC businesses are all required to submit annual reports. This is also submitted to the Secretary of State on the designated date and can be done through mail or online filing. Knowing about all these requirements will help business owners keep track of their filing schedules to ensure that they are always compliant with all the government's documentation and reportorial requirements.


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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What Is Estate Planning and Is It Useful?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, August 2, 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