Wednesday, September 29, 2021

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. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

How Does a Trust Work?

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

Thursday, September 23, 2021

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, or call them at 707-428-9871

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tax Benefits of LLC | LLC Taxes Explained by a CPA - How Does a LLC Save Taxes?

LLCs are by far the most popular entity type amongst small businesses.

But what exactly are the benefits of a LLC? How does it protect your business? And more importantly, what are the tax benefits of choosing a LLC over another entity?

The answers to these questions may influence the entity structure that you choose for your business, and… how much money you end up paying the IRS.

That's why in this episode, I’m going to explain all of the tax benefits related to LLCs.

Friday, September 17, 2021

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.

  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.
  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 14, 2021

What is a Financial Power of Attorney? And Why Do I Need One?

More important than having a Financial Power of Attorney is giving the power to someone you trust. Attorney Carol Bertsch will tell you what you need to know about this document and what it means for you and the person whom you give financial power.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

How To Find Peace After Divorce

Divorce is tough and it's something that no one really dreams of going through. Is it possible to find peace after divorce? Maybe, maybe not. Here are some things you can do.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

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

Sunday, September 5, 2021

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, September 2, 2021

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.

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