Business and Industry Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Business and Industry.




China Approved Western Digital and Hitachi Storage Deal on Conditions

On 2 March 2012, MOFCOM published its conditional approval to the $4.5 billion acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd (a company directly holding Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Netherlands B.V. ,which holds Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Singapore Pte. Ltd.) (“Viviti”) by Western Digital Corporation (“Western Digital”).

Preparing for Your First Estate Planning Meeting

Beginning the estate planning process usually requires you to set up a meeting with your estate planning lawyer so you can get down to the concrete steps involved. To make this meeting go easier, there are several items you can bring with you. Always talk to your lawyer or his or her personal assistant before you come to any meeting so you know what to expect and what you should bring.

Common Questions about Florida Oral Wills

Oral wills were traditionally used when a person was too sick or otherwise unable to write. Question 1: What is a nuncapative will? - Answer: A nuncapative will is simply a fancy way to say oral or verbal will. With an oral will, the testator—the person who makes the will—states his or her wishes verbally instead of writing them down.

Giving to Charity Efficiently

When you sit down to evaluate your legacy, you may need to do some serious soul-searching. In the field of estate planning. you generally stick to the pragmatic financial realities, but when you are preparing to “meet your maker” as it were, a lot of things may enter your mind.

Expert Analysis and Advice is Invaluable

Over the course of your lifetime it is likely that you will have accumulated some considerable financial resources. Given the fact that it took you many decades to get to where you are arranging for the transfer of these assets after you pass away is not something that can be done by a layperson in the blink of an eye.

HECM Can Finance Purchase of Long-Term Care Insurance

The high and rising costs associated with long-term care are something to take very seriously when you are making preparations for the latter portion of your life. If you combine the typical length of stay with the average cost of nursing home care you could be looking at an expense that exceeds a quarter of a million dollars. This is an amount that a lot of people would find difficult to pay without seeing a significant portion of their legacies going down the drain.

Washington Oral Wills – 4 Facts

While everyone in Washington who is a competent adult can create his or her own last will, State law also allows some people to create an oral will in limited situations. These wills, known as nuncupative wills in the State statutes, can only be used in a very limited set of circumstances, and you should not rely on the oral will provisions to create your last will and testament.

Do You Have to Notarize Your Will?

In most states, to create a valid Will, you must sign your Will in front of two witnesses. Your witnesses must also sign your document in your presence. Typically, your witnesses should be impartial and have no monetary motivation for witnessing your Will. In many states, your local probate court will require the testimony of one or both of your witnesses when someone tries to probate your Will or admit it for filing.

Avoid Costly Probate Battles with Planning and Communication

No one wants their family members to fight in court over their assets after they pass away. Probate battles can be long, costly, and nasty. The damage to familial relationships is often never undone. The keys to avoiding a probate battle between your family members are proper estate planning and communication of your plans.

How to Choose Which Trust is Right for Your Estate

Estate planning often encompasses numerous different tools and strategies. While your Last Will and Testament may be the cornerstone of your estate plan, you will likely wish to use other tools as well such as a trust. Trusts can be beneficial for a number of reasons such as avoidance of probate or estate taxes or retaining some degree of control over the trust assets long after death.

How to Avoid Commercial Lease Disputes

The top 10 essential elements of a commercial lease... Most people are pretty familiar with the concept of leasing; most people experience leases when they rent an apartment or a car. Commercial leases are almost no different; they just involve space for a business. Commercial leases in Western North Carolina are frequently used to rent an office of warehouse.

Why Create a Company?

The advantages of starting a company and being your own boss... You have a unique idea, you have a fresh product, you have a desirable service, why NOT start your own business? Entrepreneurship is an exciting venture, and can quite literally change a person’s life. There are so many great advantages to taking on such a project. To start a business you need motivation, talent and desire.

Choosing Between Different Types of Corporate Entities

Starting a business is an exciting time, but there are important decisions to be made about the structure of your business. Here is a list of business entities and their differences. Once you decide to incorporate, one of the first things you will have to determine is the type of entity for your business structure.

Contract Disputes and What You Can Do to Resolve Them

Most businesspersons will enter numerous contracts over time. However, if a dispute arises over a contract, one or both parties may accuse the other of “breaching” the contract; therefore, making legal action a necessary tool. Whether your business is small or large, you are more than likely to enter into numerous business-related contracts as time passes.

Beware of Trademark Scams

Recently, McDole & Williams has received multiple requests to evaluate official-looking trademark registration notices received by clients. These official-looking notices claim to be from governmental trademark offices, alleging that the client must pay fees in order to maintain his/her trademark and rights.

New Regulation on Procedures for Filing and Use of Limited Liability Company’s Name - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Background - Background or purpose of the issuance of Government Regulation Number 43 of 2011 on Procedures for Filing and Use of Limited Liability Company Name (“GR No. 43/2011”) is to implement the provisions of Article 9 paragraph (4) and Article 16 paragraph (4) of Law Number 40 of 2007 on Limited Liability Company (“Company Law”).

Estate Planning and Tax Consequences

There are two basic reasons why estate planning is so important. First, estate planning allows you to decide what will happen to your assets upon your death. Second, by planning ahead, you can substantially decrease the tax consequences of transferring your estate assets to family members or loved ones. In the absence of planning, your estate assets may be subject to either estate or gift taxes, both of which can significantly drain estate assets.

You Have Choices

You have choices when planning your estate. You are not required to utilize a last will to direct the distribution of your assets after your death. Instruments such as revocable living trusts are viable options and they are not exclusively for the wealthy.

Generic Forms Are Not the Answer

These days you see various entities offering blank generic legal forms. They would like you to believe that anyone can plan his or her own estate. All you have to do is purchase one of these forms and fill in the blanks. You then have an ironclad estate plan in place and you have no need for any further action.

Sacrifice Can Come With Rewards

Military service is demanding on many different levels and it is not something that everyone is going to be suited for. Without question there are a lot of sacrifices that go along with serving your country but at the same time there are some rewards to be had, especially if you serve for a significant period of time.

JAA v FAA An Overview of Aviation Regulation: Beginnings, Functions and Licensing Practices

In that aviation has helped advance the globalization of our world, it is important to review our beginnings and look forward to where we see ourselves in the future. This article will concentrate on the origins, functions and licensing of modern air transportation systems throughout our world; in particular, where we started and the direction we are headed.

The Washington State Death with Dignity Act

After much debate, the Washington Legislature finally passed the Washington State Death with Dignity Act in 2008. The law allows certain physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients. Terminally ill patients, according to the Washington State Death with Dignity Act, are those with six months or less remaining to live, who reside in Washington, and who are at least 18 years old.

Free Trade Zones Law of Turkey

In this article you will find general information on Free Trade Zones regulation of Turkey that will help foreign investors to make transit trade through Turkey without involving to any domestic trade area.

Estate Planning for Non-U.S. Citizens Spouses

When a married couple consists of two U.S. citizens, the estate planning rules treat them differently than if one spouse is a non-U.S. citizen or if both spouses are non-U.S. citizens. Although the differences may only affect the postponement of Federal estate taxes, the marital deduction set forth in the Internal Revenue Code may affect your estate plans.

Prenuptial Agreements and Your Estate Plan: 3 Tips

Tip 1: Consider the children. When people with children from a previous relationship get married the new spouses automatically become entitled to a portion of the other's estate. This can impact how much the children stand to recover. You can use a prenuptial agreement to waive your right to inherit from your spouse and ensure your children aren't left out in the cold.

What You Never Did: The Top 3 Regrets of the Dying

A nurse in Australia recently wrote a book detailing her experiences in dealing with the dying and coming to understand what they regretted the most. Though it can be hard to contemplate such thoughts, we can all benefit by learning from those who have faced their own mortality and understanding what it is they regretted so we might be able to avoid such regrets when our own time comes.

Probate Litigation -- How to Avoid It

A lengthy probate battle can drain estate assets and leave beneficiaries without access to them until the matter is settled by the court. Although you may be under the impression that probate litigation is only for the rich and famous, rest assured it is not. In addition, you may be counting on the fact that you won’t be around to worry about it in the event a probate battle does come to pass.

Agency Agreements

In 2006 a tennis tournament sponsor sued Venus and Serena Williams for non-attendance at their event. The sponsor claimed that the tennis stars were obliged to attend by virtue of a commitment to that effect made by their father. The case rested upon whether the girls’ father had authority to bind them contractually.

Updating Your Will -- There May Be More Reasons to Do So Than You Realize

Your Last Will and Testament creates the foundation for your estate plan.

3 Questions about Estate Planning and Prenuptial Agreements

Answer: Though prenuptial agreements are available to any couple, those entering into a second marriage or who already have children, stand to benefit the most by making sure a good prenup is part of their estate plan. Once you get married in Arkansas, you are automatically entitled to a portion of your spouse's estate when he or she dies.

Real Estate Transfers to Heirs: 4 Options

If you’re creating an estate plan and want to leave your home to your family, there are a wide variety of options that allow you to do this. Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, and each state may have different laws that impact the transfers. Always talk to your estate planning attorney for detailed advice before you decide on any particular method.

Anti-Lapse Laws

When a beneficiary who stands to receive a gift under a Will dies before the testator dies, the gift has no one to go to. This is called lapse. When this happens, that gift passes according either to the terms of the Will or to your state's intestacy laws and not to the deceased beneficiary's descendants.

Trust Administration FAQ

Whenever someone establishes or creates a Trust, the Trust property must be managed and looked after through a process known as Trust Administration. Depending on the kind of Trust involved, Trust Administration can be fairly simple or extremely complicated.

Gift Tax Exemption and Exclusion

For anyone with a substantial estate, the never-ending search for mechanisms to transfer those estate assets without incurring estate taxes should include the use of both the gift tax exemption and the yearly gift tax exclusion. With estate taxes typically running at 35 percent or more, any tactic that can be employed in the estate planning arsenal to avoid the payment of estate taxes should be considered.

Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Most of us listen to the never-ending stories about money disputes in Hollywood and shrug them off as having no relevance to our lives. While most don’t, there are some lessons to be learned from some of the infamous Hollywood money disputes that make the headlines on a regular basis. Take, for example, the recent death of music legend Etta James. The last year of James’ life can be an example for all of us about the importance of estate planning.

Estate Tax Parameters Subject to Change

After you pass away, the transfer of assets to your loved ones may seem like a relatively simple and straightforward task. It should be but the realities of the tax code can make it rather challenging to avoid a significant portion of your legacy being consumed by the IRS.

MetLife Releases New Long-Term Care Survey

If you are serious about being prepared for all of the eventualities of aging, you need to understand the fact that the majority of senior citizens will need living assistance someday. Given this reality, proceeding with the notion that it is unlikely that you will ever need such care is tantamount to a wager against the odds.

A Solution for the Unprepared

If you are expecting to retire in relative comfort you are going to have to acknowledge that this is a goal that will take effort to reach rather than viewing it as an entitlement. With the above having been stated, statistics tell us that a very high percentage of people are unprepared for retirement.

How Have Past Tobacco Lawsuits Impacted Outcomes for Plaintiffs Today?

Tobacco litigation in the United States has been going on since the 1950s when the first reports were released linking tobacco to injurious health consequences, such as cancer, explains a lawyer. Although the first big win for plaintiffs came in the California case Henley v. Philip Morris, battles continue to rage on regarding what tobacco companies’ obligations are to smokers personally and to the public at large.

Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Law, 2011

The Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2011 has among other things consolidated all the personal income tax reliefs or allowances into one consolidated tax allowance/relief of 21% of an individual's gross annual income. The residue of a person's income is then liable to a graduating personal income tax charge of between 7% to 24% per annum. The rules concerning expatriate income earned from businesses in Nigeria has also changed.

Probate Expenses Can Pack a Wallop

Many people equate the process of estate planning with the act of drawing up a last will. You may go this route if you choose to, but it is important to recognize that the probate court will be involved. While the estate is hung up in probate, interested parties who may have business with the estate will have an opportunity to seek payment.

You Can Increase Your Full Social Security Benefit

The unfortunate truth is that a significant percentage of Americans do not plan ahead diligently with retirement in mind and they wind up being overly dependent on Social Security. The Social Security Administration states that in excess of 60% of Social Security recipients rely on their benefits as their primary income source. This can be a problem because the average monthly benefit is less than $1,100.

Don't Forget Fido When Estate Planning

If you have a dependent in the home, you have to make sure that you have made provisions with regard to a guardian should this child be left on his or her own. This is one of the reasons why estate planning is as important for younger adults as it is for senior citizens.

Long-Term Care Insurance Financing Strategy

Long-term care is extremely expensive and the fact is that Medicare does not pay for it. So, if you truly want to be prepared for all the eventualities of aging you are going to have to be proactive about addressing these potential expenses.

Top 5 Ways of Avoiding Family Estate and Inheritance Fights

Famous celebrities continue making national celebrity news headlines posthumously when their heirs challenge their last will and testaments. For example, consider Anna Nicole Smith. Her heirs have spent millions in legal fees challenging her will.

Commercial Dispute Resolution: The International Approach

Considering some facts regarding disputes in the International Trade arena. Most of the time parties in international trade develop all kind of businesses without primary concern of a potential conflict between them.

Probating Your Will Before You Die

State laws vary as to when custodians must file a decedent’s Will with their local probate courts. Most states allow testators or Will drafters to file their Wills with their local probate courts before they die. This way, Will drafters can avoid potential confusion as to where they stored their Wills.

Waiving Your Rights Through Nuptial Agreements

Generally, Florida courts will uphold nuptial agreements if entered into and signed properly. This extends to both prenuptial (before marriage) and postnuptial (after marriage) agreements unless one party can prove there was no full disclosure of financial assets or that he or she signed it under duress, fraud or mistake. In the absence of extenuating circumstances, courts will uphold them. Courts will also allow spouses to waive their inheritance rights through nuptial agreements.

Probate Expenses Can Add Up

You may think that arranging for the transfer of assets to your loved ones after you pass away is something that should be easily done without incurring a lot of expenses. Unfortunately, there can be costs involved, and probate expenses would be among them.

One Tax Bill Beats Two

If you were to ask the typical person walking down the street he or she would probably tell you that a certain amount of taxation is necessary. Most Americans don't mind paying their fair share of taxes. The problem arises when you feel as though you're being taxed unfairly or taxed twice on the same resources. When you look at the federal estate tax closely you see that it is in fact an instance of double taxation and this rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages: A Brief Overview

A home equity conversion mortgage is a reverse mortgage that is supported by the federal government. As the name implies with a reverse mortgage a homeowner receive payments from a lender rather than making them. In return, the lender in essence purchases equity in the borrower's home.

Directing Resources to Charities

Estate planning can involve a good bit of soul-searching, and when you are making plans for the future you may feel the urge to engage in acts of generosity. Some people who have considerable means will create private family foundations and this is an option that is available to you.

Same-Sex Partners Must Plan Proactively

In the past gay marriages were not legal anywhere so people who were involved in long-term same-sex relationships had absolutely no protections under the law in terms of succession. As a result, executing the appropriate Estate Planning documents was absolutely essential. The phenomenon of legally recognized marriages between individuals of the same sex is a relatively recent one.

Probate Litigation -- How to Avoid It

Even without litigation, an estate with only moderate assets can take twelve to eighteen months to clear probate and can incur a sizable sum in legal fees associated with the process. An estate that ends up in litigation can take years to resolve and may incur a staggering sum in legal fees in the process.

What is a HECM?

In the field of financial planning, a HECM is a home equity conversion mortgage. These are reverse mortgages that are supported by the federal government. These loans are totally legitimate, and in fact you must complete an informational session that is approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development before you can close on such a loan.

Streamline Your Accounting When Giving to Charity

A lot of people are interested in diverting resources to charity when they are devising a long-term financial plan. Indeed, charitable giving is its own reward but there are also tax advantages that can be realized through acts of generosity. Weaving your philanthropic intentions into your estate plan in an efficient manner is key.

The Indiana Trust Code’s Provision Regarding a Trustee’s Compensation

The Indiana Trust Code gives each Trustee a legal right to receive monetary compensation for his/her work administering the Trust. absent language within the Trust document prohibiting compensation. Indiana Trust Code Sections 30-4-15-1-17 and 18 set forth their rights to compensation.

Estate Planning and Tax Considerations

As part of the Federal Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Congress temporarily eliminated estate taxes for the year 2010 only. However, they returned in 2011. Currently, estates worth over $5.12 million owe federal estate taxes. In some states, these large estates owe state death taxes, too.

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and Taxation of Controlled Foreign Companies (“CFC”) in Turkey

Although it has been long time to have CFC regulation in Turkey, in parallel with the increasing rate of growth of Turkish economy, many major entrepreneurs making Turkey related businesses required to focus on management of their taxation policies in consideration of CFC regime in Turkey.

Just When You Thought Covenants Were Enforceable

Recent decisions by the Texas Supreme Court have resulted in a “pro-enforcement” trend for covenants not to compete, and have eroded the holding in Light v. Centel Cellular Co. of Tex., 883 S.W.2d 642, 647 (Tex. 1994) requiring contemporaneous consideration to enforce a covenant not to compete against an at-will employee.

Competition Law in Bulgaria

Bulgarian Competition Law is designed to protect and foster competition and free enterprise in economic activity. Over the years the law was repeatedly changed by the legislature to meet the requirements of economic life.

Differences Between Joint Tenancies

In Indiana, joint tenants can own real property jointly as tenants in common or as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Residents can also own certain personal property jointly as tenants in common or as joint tenants with right of survivorship. For example, two individuals can own their bank account jointly as joint tenants with survivorship rights or as tenants in common.

The Elective Share Statute in Indiana

Pursuant to the Indiana Law, surviving spouses have legal rights to renounce their inheritances in favor of their statutory elective shares. Based on the Uniform Probate Code, the Indiana Law contains an elective share allowance whereby one spouse cannot entirely disinherit the other in the absence of a valid nuptial or marital agreement.

Free Economic Zones in Moldova and the Benefits Offered by Them

In accordance with national law, free economic zones (free enterprise zones) are part of the customs territory of the Republic of Moldova, economically separated, with strictly demarcated perimeter, where for local and foreign investors, according to the law, are allowed on preferential conditions different types of business activities.

Prepaid Funeral Plans

People creating an estate plan often wonder about how funeral expenses will be paid, and may turn to prepaid funeral plans as one option. If you're considering a pre-paid funeral plan, you should first educate yourself about how they work and what they offer. There are two basic types of these plans: guaranteed and non-guaranteed.

Indiana Health Care Directives

In the state of Indiana, each adult citizen has the right to make his or her own decisions about the kind of medical care provided by health care workers. Your physician's job is to properly inform you about your options and to provide you advice on what to do, but in the end, it is up to you to make the final decision. But what happens when you are no longer able to make your decisions for yourself, or you lose the ability to express your desires?

Increase of Capital - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Background - A Limited Liability Companies (“Company”) may gain their capital by increasing its capital, the process is performed based on General Meeting Shareholder’s (“GMS”) Resolution. According to Article 41 paragraph (2) of Law Number 40 of 2007 on Limited Liability Companies (“Company Law”),

Examining the HECM

Some of the financial planning instruments that are routinely utilized can be a mouthful to say and can also be a little bit difficult to understand. On the other hand, there are some that are pretty self-explanatory and reverse mortgages would fit this category.

Making Efficient Philanthropy a Part of the Plan

A lot of people want to satisfy certain philanthropic urges that they have when they are making preparations for the future. We have all heard of famous private family foundations started by high profile wealthy individuals. Though it might be nice to make such a foundation part of your legacy, the costs associated with creating and maintaining a foundation dissuade many people from going this route. A popular alternative would be to contribute money into a donor advised fund.

Agents - Term “Agent” or “Agency” in Cyprus

The term “agent” or “agency” must be used with particular caution in Cyprus as the law attaches a special significance to an agency relationship. In some cases the term “agency” will be used in commerce where in fact, legally speaking, there is no such relationship and similarly, in some cases where common commercial jargon refers to something other than agency, in fact (legally speaking) an agency relationship can be said to exist.

Avoiding Identity Theft — What You Can Do

Someone uses your credit card to charge a Caribbean vacation. Or accesses your bank account and drains it of funds. Or uses your ID while committing a crime. Identity theft refers to a broad range of crimes, including misuse of your financial information, name, Social Security Number and reputation. Identity—it’s more than your name, it’s life as you know it.

Bulgarian Company Formations

Bulgarian legislation allows several company formations. The matter is under regulation of Bulgarian Commercial Act regarding incorporation, corporate transaction, liability, bankruptcy etc. Unregulated matter are redirected at general Bulgarian civil legislation.

New Competition Regulation Aimed at M&A Transactions Commences

  By MMLC Group
This article looks at the long awaited regulation that outlines penalties for non-compliance with transactional approval aspects of the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law. This new regulation commenced on 1 February 2012.

Legal Events and Legal Documents

Over the years in my legal practice I have noticed that, much as I would wish, advise, and preach to the contrary, most of my business law clients come to the firm, not because they have recognized a need and seek to avoid or prevent some problem or event from happening, but in response to that problem or event after it has occurred. In other words, the demand for our legal services is reactive, not preventative.

Trademark Registration in Ghana

The information in this article is intended as quick reference for a person or business thinking about Trademark Registration in Ghana. Trademark registration in Ghana is governed by the Trademarks Act of 2004, Act 664. Before an application for registration of trademark is submitted to the Registrar, it is advisable for a trademark lawyer to review the application and conduct a preliminary search.

Do's and Don'ts on How to Use Google for Legal Work

Unfortunately, about two out of three new clients come to our firm because they have a problem with their signed contract or legal documentation. Too late, they have received the previously unconsidered information that their contract does not have a jurisdictional provision (so they are being sued in Idaho); or their contract doesn’t allow for....

Big Cases Don't Just Happen to Big, Bad Clients

An understandable, but false, assumption of some potential law firm clients is that a small case will cost less than a big one. After all, if I buy a small coffee I expect to pay less than I would pay for a larger size, so why do legal fees not adjust to the size of the case? Well, first of all, they do in some cases. Legal fees can track the size of the deal in transactional matters; that is, where the parties are negotiating a deal and entering into contracts re same.

Estate Planning Terms: Executive Bond Waivers

Once a person dies leaving behind property, someone has to take on the responsibility to manage that property and then transfer it to new owners. This person, known as an administrator or an executor, has a special duty to protect the estate property and to see the decedent's wishes are followed.

How to Address Your Pet’s Estate Planning Needs

Section 11.118 of the Revised Code of Washington, governs pet trusts. Pursuant to this code section Washington State law allows individuals to set up trusts for the care of their pets. Animal or pet trusts are similar to trusts for children. You must appoint a competent adult to take care of your animal, just as you would for a child.

Pretermitted Adopted Children

In a few states, including Texas and Kansas, adopted children can inherit from their biological parents through state intestacy laws in the absence of a Will but parents cannot inherit from the children they gave up through adoption if the child does include them in their will.

Charitable Giving: Keeping it Simple

Many people decide that they would like to provide for charitable organizations when they are making long-term financial plans. This can be personally rewarding of course, and there are often tax benefits to be gained through philanthropic efforts.

Choice of Business Entity, Things to Think About - Limiting Your Liability

Some thoughts about the problems small business owners face when choosing a business entity. Among other factors limiting the liability of the business owner must be carefully considered. It is important to remember that simply choosing to do business in an entity - corporation or limited liability company- is not enough to eliminate all the liability the small business owner has.

The New Check Regime of Turkey

The Turkish Parliament has recently adopted a legislation that brings down penalties on bounced checks. Accordingly, contrary to the former legislation the issuers of bounced checks will only be subject to administrative fine rather than imprisonment. During the years of high inflation and the several economic crises in Turkey, the checks especially by textile and raw materials sector have been preferred as the payment tool in Turkey.

Lending a Helping Hand Can Reduce the Taxable Value of Your Estate

You gain a sense of satisfaction from acts of generosity that really cannot be adequately described in words. Being in a position to help others can be extremely rewarding, and even if you are giving in a totally selfless manner, there could be tax advantages realized through acts of giving.

Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Hollywood is always good for a great story about a money dispute involving someone famous. Actors, producers, authors, and agents are forever arguing about who gets how much of the millions they make each year. These stories rarely have any bearing to the average American’s life. Occasionally, however, a Hollywood story actually does hit home with the average American, as in the case of the recent death of legendary R&B, jazz, and blues singer Etta James.

Can You Keep a Secret? Tips for Negotiating Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-Disclosure Agreements (also commonly known as Confidentiality Agreements) are used in a variety of business relationships. Here are some of them: A prospective employee, independent contractor or consultant to a business will be asked to sign one as a condition to being hired.

Substitution of Subcontractors Listed by Mistake in Bidding on a California Public Works Construction Contract

Correction of subcontractor listing errors and substitution of subcontractors listed by mistake in bidding on a California public works construction contract, per public contract code sec. 4107.5.

Architectural Contracts, Disputes Architects, Design Professional Liens, Mechanics Liens and Copyrights

Contracts with Architects are different from many other construction industry contracts. First of all, the contracts are usually form contracts drafted by the American Institute of Architects (“A.I.A.”), and are typically more favorable to the architects, and not the property owner or client.

Medicaid Change in Place for 2012

Many people are surprised when they hear just how expensive long-term care has become these days. If you look at the average length of stay which is between two and four years, coupled with the average costs you may be faced with an expense that exceeds $200,000 toward the end of your life.

Transferring Assets Outside of Probate

Transferring assets to your loved ones is the objective when you are planning your estate, and it is important to understand the fact that you have multiple options to this end. You may automatically think that you will be using a last Will to express your wishes, but when you look into the details you may find that this is not the best choice for you.

Reducing the Taxable Value of Your Estate

If your estate is valued above a certain amount, your heirs will be faced with the prospect of paying the federal estate tax. At the present time the estate tax exclusion is $5,120,000 and the rate of the tax is 35%. So the portion of your estate that exceeds the exclusion amount is subject to the 35% tax.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Basics

Estate planning has truly become an art form. Along with deciding who will receive what when you die you must attempt to create a plan that limits or avoids estate taxes and the often lengthy probate process. For those with an estate of considerable value, an irrevocable life insurance trust, or ILIT, is an estate planning tool worthy of consideration.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

In the never-ending quest to pass down assets without paying the often exorbitant estate taxes due on estate assets, a grantor retained annuity trust or GRAT, can be an attractive option. Although a GRAT has very specific rules that must be adhered to in order to benefit from the trust, the benefits can be substantial.

Estate Taxes - How to Plan Your Estate to Avoid Them

Most people are accustomed to taking into account the tax ramifications of purchases expenses and investments as they apply to personal income taxes; however, estate taxes can potentially have an even bigger impact, yet are often forgotten.

A Revocable Living Trust vs. a Last Will

There is more than one way to arrange for the transfer of assets to your loved ones after you pass away. Because a last Will is the most well understood estate planning document a lot of people simply assume that they will utilize this document to record their wishes.

Estate Tax Parameters in Flux

2012 is going to be an interesting year in the field of estate planning because there are significant changes looming. Due to provisions that were contained within the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 the estate tax exclusion is $5,120,000 this year and the maximum rate of the tax is 35%.

Your Family Home and Your Estate – 3 Transfer Methods at Death

1. Transferring to a Spouse: Married couples often own property as equal owners with a joint tenancy. Each owner in a joint tenancy may have the right of survivorship, which is the right to automatically inherit the ownership rights of his or her spouse upon that spouse's death.

Texas Intestacy Scenarios 4 Common Situations

If you die in Texas without leaving behind a valid last will and testament, all your property goes to owners that are pre-determined under Texas law. These laws, called intestate succession laws, give your property to those related to you. The only way to change these laws from applying to your estate is by creating a valid will and making your choices yourself.

All Attorneys Are Not Created Equal

Picture this: you find out you need heart surgery, and you bypass the board certified heart specialist in favor of your family practitioner, just to save some money. It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it? And yet, when the issue is estate planning, people are quick to make a similar decision. All too often, clients entrust the future security and well-being of their families to lawyers who just aren’t equipped to do the type of detailed, careful planning that is necessary.

Estate Planning for a Special Needs Child

Every parent should consider estate planning as important, but it is extremely important if you have a special needs child. When a parent has an estate plan, they are given a chance to decide who will raise their minor children, and how best to set money aside for those children so that they can be cared for if the parent is no longer there to provide for them.


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