Business and Industry Law Articles

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



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Don't Underestimate Probate Expenses

  January 12, 2012     By Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law
Everyone knows what a last will is intended to achieve, and it is indeed the most commonly utilized instrument in the field of estate planning. However, it is important to recognize the fact that this is not your only option when it comes to transferring assets to your loved ones after you pass away.

A Brief Glance at Family Limited Partnerships

  January 12, 2012     By Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law
You see a lot of acronyms when you are trying to learn about some of the tools that are used in the field of the estate planning and one of them is the FLP. These initials stand for family limited partnerships, and they are primarily useful for people who want to gain tax efficiency when they are giving gifts to family members.

NY Probate Basics - Surrogates Court-1

  January 12, 2012     By The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C.
All states have their own set of probate laws and procedures that govern what happens to your property after you die. They also have their own court systems that handle probate cases. In many states, these cases are heard by probate court judges, while in others they are handled by district or circuit court judges. In New York State, probate cases are heard in front of the Surrogate's Court.

Cumulative Voting Explained

  January 11, 2012     By Matt Dickstein, Business Attorney
Cumulative Voting. Under CA Corporations Code §708, CA requires cumulative voting for the election of directors. To invoke cumulative voting, one or more shareholders must give notice prior to the meeting of the intention to vote cumulatively. Any candidate for whom shares are to be voted cumulatively must have been placed in nomination prior to the voting.

Operating a California Corporation

  January 11, 2012     By Matt Dickstein, Business Attorney
The purpose of this Memorandum is to discuss certain procedures and operations relevant to a newly-formed California corporation. The summaries below are not a complete analysis of the areas discussed, rather they are provided to give a basic understanding of the legal requirements which California corporation should follow.

Legal Compliance Checklist for a Start-Up Business

  January 11, 2012     By Matt Dickstein, Business Attorney
Forming a business can feel overwhelming. You worry about all the things you know, and you worry about all the things you don’t know. I write this checklist to fill in the great unknown. This checklist gives you a bird’s eye view of legal compliance for your start-up business. Let's start at the beginning - incorporation.

Pet Planning as an Integral Part of Estate Planning

  January 10, 2012     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
To pet lovers, the fact pet planning as part of estate planning has now become commonplace, is a “What took you so long?” In recognition that our pets are beloved members of our families, animal advocates, the Massachusetts state legislature, and estate planning attorneys have brought pet planning to the forefront of many estate planning discussions.

Do I Need to Worry about Estate Taxes?

  January 10, 2012     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
In America, it seems as though we are always worrying about one tax obligation or another. Everything from our income to the food we purchase is taxed. Most Americans devote a considerable amount of time and effort to limiting their tax burden throughout the year and looking for every possible deduction and credit at the end of the year.

Foreign Loans in Belarus

  January 9, 2012     By Glimstedt Law Firm
Loan agreement is one of the most common ways of financing in Belarusian companies when a foreign shareholder provides a loan to the Belarusian Company. This article covers some crucial issues of receiving loans from foreign companies including currency and tax regulations.

Do You have Enough Life Insurance Coverage?

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
If you are planning for the future, you probably have considered the use of life insurance. This can be a great tool to help protect your loved ones. However, many people don’t carefully consider their life insurance needs. Take a look at the information below, to better understand the need for enough life insurance coverage. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss life insurance options, contact an estate planning attorney.

Make Sure that Your Loved Ones have an Estate Plan

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
If you have friends and family members who mean the world to you, it’s important to discuss their need for an estate plan. This can be easy to approach if you’ve recently handled your planning affairs. You likely want to make sure that your loved ones will always be protected with an estate plan, throughout all of life’s events.

Is Aging at Home a Good Long Term Care Option?

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
If your loved one is in need of long term care, you’re probably taking the time to compare different long term care facilities and options. Many seniors prefer to age at home so that they’re able to live a more comfortable life in a familiar environment. If you’re considering at home care for your loved one, you will need to carefully consider his or her needs.

A Bullet Point List for Talking to Your Family

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Few people want to have to talk about estate planning because it involves uncomfortable subjects like money, health, disability, death, and dying. However, having a conversation or series of conversations over the years truly will benefit you and your family.

Beneficiary Designations

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Your will or revocable living trust may indicate that if you are legally separated or divorced, your ex will be deemed to have predeceased you and cannot inherit from you. However, certain plan documents containing beneficiary designations – such life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, and pensions - do not have this same provision. These later plan documents rule and can result in your ex inheriting from you.

This Estate Planning

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Sometimes the unthinkable can occur, and it can be all the more tragic if there are no estate planning tools in place to address the ‘what ifs. It’s unfortunate that more young couples don’t have an estate plan in place, neither a basic will nor durable power of attorney. They often wait until after they have started a family, or when they purchase their first home or even when they reach their 30’s or 40’s.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
There are people out there who feel as though estate planning is something that is only relevant to those who reach an advanced age. Of course it is pure common sense to recognize the fact that the likelihood of your death becomes greater as you age, but this does not mean that estate planning is something that only senior citizens need to engage in.

Gift Giving and Your Estate

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Estate planning attorneys will often say that it is important to avoid asset erosion when you are engaged in legacy planning. This causes a lot of people to scratch their heads. They wonder why there should be any reason to be concerned about the value of their assets being reduced simply because they pass away and want to transfer them to family members.

Three Reasons to Avoid Probate

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
You hear a lot about probate avoidance when you start to delve into the subject of estate planning, so let's take a look at three of the most common reasons why people choose to avoid probate. When you use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer there could be disgruntled parties who learn of your wishes and feel as though they want to contest them.

CRUT Can Provide Asset Protection

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
A charitable remainder unitrust or CRUT is a financial instrument that is utilized to provide the grantor with tax efficient income while simultaneously protecting assets placed into the trust. The grantor would generally act as the beneficiary and the trustee, but he or she must also name a charitable beneficiary.

Maxing Out Social Security Benefits

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Once in a while you hear a statistic that is so jaw-dropping you question whether or not somebody made a mistake in passing it along. In the elder law community there is one of these that has been circulating for the past several months that is really attention-getting.

LLC for Asset Protection

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
The initials “LLC” in a financial planning context stand for a "limited liability company." (Note that the “C” stands for company rather than corporation.) The limited liability company is somewhat of a hybrid enterprise that has some of the characteristics of a corporation while also resembling a sole proprietorship or partnership depending on whether or not there is more than one member.

Super Committee Cuts Could Impact Seniors

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock you are aware of the fact that the powers that be in Washington are consumed with the matter of the federal deficit. A while back a deal was struck to raise the debt ceiling so that the government could remain operable. This agreement included the appointment of a congressional committee that must come up with a plan to reduce the federal debt by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

2012 Social Security COLA Announced

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
When you're making plans for your retirement it is important to have a cogent and realistic understanding of the limitations of Social Security. You can't get into the head of every person who is unprepared for retirement, but it would be logical to assume that a high percentage of individuals have unreasonable expectations regarding how far Social Security will get them.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts

  January 7, 2012     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
It could seem as though there should be no problem transferring assets to others without incurring any undue expenses. Unfortunately, the IRS code does in fact stand in the way of cost-free asset transfers in many cases and this is largely due to the existence of the gift tax.

Incapacity Planning Documents

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Atlanta elder law attorneys can help you get prepared for all the eventualities of aging, and it is truly best to have a comprehensive plan in place. When people get interested in estate planning they invariably recognize that they may well experience a period of incapacity before passing away, and this is something to recognize and address through the execution of the proper documents.

Repeal of Estate Tax is a Possibility

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
When the tax relief measure was signed into law in December that extended the Bush era tax cuts the estate tax parameters were affected. If the Bush cuts would have been allowed to sunset with no new legislation having been passed the estate tax would have returned to the 2001 level of 55%, and the estate tax exclusion would have been just $1 million. Instead we now have a $5 million exclusion and a 35% maximum rate of taxation.

What Will Your Social Security Benefit Be?

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
If you are like most people when you're planning for your retirement, Social Security is going to be a factor. The majority of Americans polled say that their Social Security benefit is going to be their primary source of income when their working years are behind them.

An Intelligent Response to Estate Tax

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
On the surface it would seem as though you no longer have to worry about the estate tax if your estate is worth $5 million or less. Unfortunately, this is not completely true because the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 is going to expire at the end of 2012.

Budget Woes

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
It is important to recognize the fact that Atlanta estate planning is an ongoing process because if there's one inevitability in life it is that of change. If you get started planning your estate early enough it is very likely that you will be revisiting it consistently throughout your life. Sometimes the changes that take place are personal and specific to you, such as changes in marital status, a windfall of money, or the selling of a business.

When Planning Your Estate Remember Your Pets

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
It is easy to neglect some of the smaller details when you are planning your estate. Legacy planning is a truly profound endeavor as your final act of giving, and when you combine the logistics with the emotional aspects the sum total of all that you have to take into account is considerable.

Don't Underestimate Long-Term Care Expenses

  January 7, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Atlanta elder law attorneys must keep their fingers on the pulse of all of the trends that are relevant to planning for aging. One of the matters that has gotten the attention of the elder law community is that of the high and rising costs associated with long-term care.

MetLife Study Indicates Elder Financial Abuse is on the Rise

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Elder financial abuse is one of the major issues that is a hot topic in elder law circles at the present time. Though it is hard for reasonable people to understand how anyone could target vulnerable senior citizens, it is something that happens with alarming frequency. The MetLife Mature Market Institute does a lot of very valuable work that shines a spotlight on matters of interest to seniors.

Atlanta Estate Planning

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
There is a lot more to estate planning than simply writing out a last will. As a matter fact, a lot of people find that using a last will as their primary vehicle of asset transfer is not in their best interests. There are other ways to transfer assets to your family members after you pass away, and the best combination is going to vary depending on the specific nature of your situation.

Have You Considered Your Final Arrangements?

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Focusing on the well being of your family is key when you are engaged in Atlanta estate planning. As we all know, making sure that your assets are transferred to your heirs in an efficient manner is at the core of the exercise. But there are other details that go along with the territory, and if you don't identify and address them you can be leaving your family members in a challenging situation.

Estate Tax

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
There are a lot of things about the estate tax that many people simply can't digest, and this is why there is always pressure being applied from some quarters to repeal the tax permanently. At the top of the list is the fact that the estate tax is imposed on assets that you have been able to accumulate after paying taxes throughout your life.

Planning for Retirement

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Everyone who has a pulse is well aware of the fact that the federal debt is a matter of great concern. Back at the beginning of August a deal was struck to raise the debt ceiling, but it came with an agreement to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. A bipartisan congressional group that is being called the "super committee" is charged with the responsibility of coming up with a plan to achieve this goal.

Estate Plan Alterations Are Usually Necessary

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
If you are like many people, you may have been first exposed to estate planning as a young adult without necessarily even realizing it. Life insurance is one of the foundational building blocks of many estate plans, and when you start your career you are usually going to be offered life insurance as one of your benefits.

Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Whether you are newly married and thinking about having children, well into middle age and thinking of future grandchildren or entering your golden years and worried about your own well-being, making plans for your estate in the event of your death or incapacity is a wise decision.

Raiders Will Be Guided by Mark and Carol Davis

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
Al Davis, the longtime owner of the Oakland Raiders, passed away on October 8 at his Oakland residence at the age of 82. The Raiders have fallen on hard times of late, but Al Davis crafted a legacy of winning over his 40 years as Raiders owner. The Raiders won an American Football League championship back before the merger, and after the NFL and AFL merged they captured three Super Bowl titles.

Estate Planning: Americans Surprisingly Unprepared

  January 6, 2012     By Pyke & Associates, P.C.
If you are one who is prone to procrastination, you are not alone. A lot of people in Fayette County place things on the back burner intending to get to them another day. We live busy lives and you have to prioritize things and this is quite understandable. But it is important to have your priorities in order.

Succession Planning for Your Small Business

  January 6, 2012     By Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC
Just as estate planning is important for your personal assets, succession planning is equally important for your business. Failing to create a comprehensive succession plan can leave your business in limbo upon your death or incapacity as well as potentially leave your loved ones without the benefit of the value of your interest in the business.

Estate Planning Steps

  January 6, 2012     By Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC
Whether your primary goal when planning your estate is financial security, avoidance of probate or limiting taxes, the estate planning process can be time consuming and complicated. No two estates are exactly the same; however, there are some basic steps that are typically involved in the estate planning process for all individuals. Understanding the process, and the steps involved, can make the process less complicated and more effective.

What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse

  January 6, 2012     By Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC
As some point in your life, you are likely to have an elderly loved one who is unable to fully care for himself or herself. As people in the United States live longer, the population of people over the age of 65 continues to increase. Many people now live into their 80s and 90s with a great deal of independence. Even those who are relatively independent, however, eventually need some type of assistance in most cases.

Texas Advance Directives: 4 Types

  January 5, 2012     By John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC
Making decisions about the kind of medical care you want to receive when you get older or become too ill to communicate is important. In Texas, you have a wide range of methods available to ensure your medical wishes are followed.

The Reluctant Franchisor

  January 5, 2012     By Jaburg Wilk
A client may believe that they only want to do a license instead of a franchise due to the the heavily-regulated nature of franchising, but they are most likely drawing a conclusion that disregards the facts and/or the law. What is a franchise? What must franchisors disclose? By Susan E. Wells, Esq., Jaburg & Wilk, P.C.

Advance Directives Should Be in Place

The wise course of action when you're planning for the future is to take every eventuality into account. A lot of people hear about estate planning and immediately flash on the financial aspects. Yes, making sure that your loved ones are provided for financially is one of the major goals. But there are some other things to take into consideration as well, including medical contingencies.

Estate Tax Exposure

  January 5, 2012     By Parman and Easterday
A lot of people call the federal estate tax the "death tax, “and many consider it a sarcastic term. Some probably do use it in this spirit, but the reality is that there is literal truth in this description.The assets that you accumulated throughout your life after paying taxes are sitting safely in the bank or otherwise invested.

Many Benefit From Charitable Remainder Unitrusts

  January 5, 2012     By Parman and Easterday
When you are exposed to the estate tax you have to make a serious commitment to gain estate tax efficiency. There are a number of ways you may achieve this, and the best strategy will vary depending on the nature of your assets and what exactly you are trying to achieve. This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to retain the services of a savvy estate planning attorney.

I Have an Addicted Son; Should I Disinherit Him?

  January 5, 2012     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
Sadly, many Americans have trouble with drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions However, if you have an addicted child, you don’t have to disinherit him. In most cases, disinheritance causes great emotional trauma as inheritances represent the love of a parent for a child (whether we want to admit it or not.)

Can I Change My Trust?

  January 5, 2012     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
One of the common goals of estate planning is staying in control; often, clients want to know if they can change their trust. The main rule is: If the trust is revocable, the trust can be changed; if the trust is irrevocable, the trust can’t be changed. There are exceptions.

When You Should Start Estate Planning

  January 5, 2012     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
Though many people don't start thinking about estate planning until later in life, there is no single best time when you should begin to plan on structuring your estate. The truth is that everyone can begin at least some part of estate planning immediately. Whether you're single, recently married, a parent or anyone else, you can get a leg up on your future by tackling estate planning issues now.

SEC Amends Definition of “Accredited Investors”

  January 1, 2012     By Schwell Wimpfheimer & Associates LLP
Last week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) amended its rules to exclude the value of a person’s home from net worth calculations used to determine whether such individual qualifies as an “accredited investor”. The amendment is not “new law” but rather simply conforms the SEC rules with the Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) which already became law on July 21, 2010.

Gay Partners must Plan Ahead

  January 1, 2012     By Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd.
The subject of same-sex marriage is a controversial one and the legalities surrounding these unions are always being questioned. At the present time, at the federal level marriages between people of the same sex are not recognized. Most states don't recognize marriages between gay couples either, and this would include the state of Nevada.

A Look at the Gift Tax

  January 1, 2012     By Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd.
We have all experienced the indescribably pleasant feeling that goes along with an act of giving. Making someone else happy is a great experience because, as they say, it is better to give than to receive. However, the powers that be seem to take a dim view of giving for some reason.

Tax Discounts with Family Limited Partnerships

  December 31, 2011     By Augulis Law Firm
Significant gifts come with a cost in the United States via the imposition of the federal gift tax. This tax is carrying a 35% rate at the present time, and any tax that consumes over a third of the amount in question is attention-getting. However, 35% looks almost good when you consider the fact that the gift tax is scheduled to rise to 55% once 2013 rolls around.

Gift Tax Raises Questions

  December 31, 2011     By Augulis Law Firm
We have a federal gift tax in place, and at the present time it is carrying a 35% rate. When you think about any tax that will consume over a third of the resources in question such a high rate may get your attention. And when you are talking about a levy that is imposed when you are attempting to engage in an act of generosity this rate and the tax itself may cause you to scratch your head a bit.

Estate Planning Tools

  December 31, 2011     By John Rogers Burk, A Law Corporation
Planning your estate is likely one of the most important projects you will embark upon within your lifetime. Although no two estates are the same, there are common tools that can be used during the estate planning process. Understanding these tools is an essential starting point for your estate planning project.

Small Business Succession Planning

  December 31, 2011     By John Rogers Burk, A Law Corporation
As the owner of a small business, you likely have enough on your plate trying to keep the business running smoothly and profitably. Without taking the time, however, to create a small business succession plan, all the time, effort and hard work you have put into growing your business could be in vain in the event of your death or disability.

Irrevocable Trusts and Probate

  December 31, 2011     By John Rogers Burk, A Law Corporation
Trusts are often used as part of an estate plan. Trusts offer numerous benefits to the beneficiaries of a decedent upon death such as avoidance of probate as well as potentially avoiding payment of estate taxes. Benefits to the decedent include the ability to control how the trust assets are used even after death.

Limited vs. General Powers of Attorney

  December 31, 2011     By Davidov Law Group
Powers of attorney are legal documents you can use for any number of purposes. Powers of attorney transfer to someone else, called an attorney-in-fact or an agent, your ability to make decisions or enter into agreements. When you appoint a power of attorney, you give your agent the right to act on your behalf as a stand-in, and the decisions your agent makes are just as legally binding and enforceable as if you had made them yourself.

In Blended Families

  December 31, 2011     By Davidov Law Group
When you design your estate plan, don’t make your children wait for an inheritance, especially if you’re in a blended family and want to keep the peace. Having your children wait until your spouse, who is not their parent, dies, pits your loved ones against each other.

China Released the Industrial Catalogue for Guiding Foreign Investment 2011

  December 30, 2011     By Guo Lian Law Firm
The new version of Industrial Catalogue for Guiding Foreign Investment (“Catalogue”) was formally released on 24 December 2011. It will come into effect on 30 January 2012 and supersede the Catalogue published in 2007. The 2011 Catalogue brings significant adjustments to China's industrial policy towards foreign investment.

A Few Keynotes on Mexican Labor Law

  December 30, 2011     By G&M Consulting, SC
Enacted on May 1, 1970, the Mexican Labor Act (the “MLA”) governs all labor relations in Mexico falling under the scope of article 123, section A, of the Federal Constitution (which refers to private employment as opposed to bureaucratic employment). The spirit of the law is to provide protection to employees and this explains the basis for numerous provisions of restrictive and prohibitive nature.

Real Estate Transactions in Mexico in a Nutshell

  December 30, 2011     By G&M Consulting, SC
The Mexican Constitution expressly forbids the direct acquisition of real estate by foreign individuals or foreign entities in the so-called “restricted zone”. The restricted zone comprises an area of 100 kilometers along the borders and 50 kilometers along the seashores. In this restricted zone, only Mexican individuals and Mexican companies (notwithstanding any foreign investment in them) may directly acquire land and buildings.

How Do I Get Assets Out of My Living Trust?

  December 30, 2011     By Byrd Garrett PLLC
You maintain full control of all of your living trust assets, so you’ll be happy to know that you have the power to take your assets out of your living trust, so long as you are alive and well. You transfer assets out of your trust the same way you got them into your trust. You change the title (or the beneficiary designation.)

What are Revocable Living Trusts?

  December 30, 2011     By Byrd Garrett PLLC
Revocable living trusts allow you to distribute your assets through written documents, similar to wills. Also similar to a will, if you create a revocable living trust, you can revoke or amend your trust to change the distribution of your trust assets.

North Dakota Law on Nuncupative Wills

  December 30, 2011     By German Law Group
A nuncupative will is an oral will. Several states allow their residents to create oral or nuncupative wills under limited circumstances. Commonly called “deathbed wills,” testators make nuncupative wills during their final hours before at least one impartial witness.

Irrevocable and Revocable Trusts

  December 30, 2011     By German Law Group
A trust is a legal type of property ownership which allows a grantor to transfer legal title to trust property to a third-party trustee. The grantor gives another person the right to manage and temporarily retain ownership of his property for his benefit. To create a valid trust, a grantor must create the trust through a written instrument.

Will There be an Inflow of Chinese Money in Ukraine?

  December 30, 2011     By Avellum Partners
In recent months, China has been dominating media headlines in connection with exchange rate disputes with the Unites States and possible participation of China in the bailout of some Eurozone nations. China seems to be proving the truth behind the Chinese proverb that says that ‘the saving man becomes the free man’.

Joint Implementation Projects in Ukraine: Tips for Prospective Investors

  December 30, 2011     By Avellum Partners
On 4 February 2004, Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This gave Ukraine an opportunity to engage in various types of projects purported at reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (the “GHG emissions”), in particular and especially joint implementation projects (the “JI projects”).

North Dakota Augmented Estates and the Uniform Probate Code

  December 30, 2011     By German Law Group
North Dakota is only one of 10 states to adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s augmented estate concept. Augmented estates allow disinherited spouses to claim a share of their spouse’s property if they were disinherited.

Avoiding Will Challenges

  December 30, 2011     By Parman and Easterday
One of the things you should take into consideration when planning your estate is how your family members, or former family members, may feel about your wishes. Of course you have every right to leave your assets in any manner you see fit. But to make sure that the rightful heirs to your estate don't run into problems after your death you need to do what is necessary to avoid challenges.

Estate Planning: Don't Be Among the Unprepared Masses

  December 30, 2011     By Parman and Easterday
Your would probably be surprised if you heard that someone died without leaving behind a last will or some other type of estate planning document directing distribution of his or her assets. Many people view estate planning as a simple, basic responsibility that everyone has to engage in for the well-being of their family members. So for many it comes as a surprise to learn that not everyone understands how important it is to have an estate plan in place.

Proving the Validity and Authenticity of a Will in Florida

  December 29, 2011     By Robert J. Kulas, P.A.
Once a custodian of a will locates a decedent’s will, he must file it within 10 days of receiving notice of the decedent’s death. After the custodian files it with the probate court in the county where the decedent died, the probate court will conduct a cursory review of the will to establish its validity and authenticity. Probate courts can validate a testator’s will by using one of three different validation and authentication methods.

Creating a Self-Proving Will in Florida

  December 29, 2011     By Robert J. Kulas, P.A.
To get around the judicial process of authenticating a will, the Florida legislature enacted Section 732.503 of the Florida Statutes within the Florida Probate Code. To create a self-proving will, a testator must comply with the legal requirements to create a valid will. In addition to signing a will in front of two impartial witnesses who also provide their signatures, a testator will self-prove his will in front of a notary using a statutory acknowledgement form.

Florida’s Elective Share Statute

  December 29, 2011     By Robert J. Kulas, P.A.
In Florida, Chapter 732 of Part II of the Florida Statutes is the Florida Probate Code. Pursuant to Section 732.201, Florida law allows married spouses to receive elective shares of probate property. As such, spouses cannot disinherit one another from receiving at least some of their estate assets. The Florida Statutes allows a spouse to receive one-third of a spouse’s elective estate.

Bulgarian Business Advantages

  December 27, 2011     By Belcheva & Associates Law Office
The location of Bulgaria makes it strategically advantageous for accessing the developing markets in Eastern Europe and Turkey. It is also a largely unspoilt rural country with enormous business tourism potential. It has a coastline along the Black Sea and lovely mountains making for potential investment opportunities.

Do You Have a Retirement Date in Mind?

  December 26, 2011     By Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law
Intelligent long-term planning is essential for most people if you want to be prepared to enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.

A QPRT Can Be the Solution

  December 26, 2011     By Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law
Home ownership has long been the key to wealth building in the United States, the recent downturn in the housing market notwithstanding.

Alterations to Estate Tax Parameters on Tap for 2013

  December 26, 2011     By Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law
If you want to be prepared every step of the way you have to go forward with the understanding that estate planning is an ongoing process.

Veterans Aid

  December 25, 2011     By Law Office of Roy W. Litherland
Serving your country in the military is a supreme sacrifice, but there are some rewards that go along with it. Most people are aware of the fact that veterans who have served at least 20 years are eligible to receive a retirement pension.

Why Having a Small Business

  December 25, 2011     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
Most people realize the importance of estate planning and keeping up to date with their plan; however, if you are a small business owner, creating a succession plan is equally as important. A succession plan is basically the same as an estate plan, except it focuses on what will happen to your business, or your interest in a business, upon your death.

What is an Insolvent Estate?

  December 24, 2011     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
When you start considering estate planning issues, you do so with the intent to pass on as much of your wealth and property as possible.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Funeral Rule

  December 24, 2011     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
Unfortunately, many complaints filed by consumers alleging deceptive trade practices or illegal contracts involve senior citizens.

Advanced Estate Planning Suggestions for Alzheimer’s Patients

  December 24, 2011     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
There are a number of considerations to make during your estate planning process, of which includes getting your affairs in order prior to creating a will.

New Baby

  December 24, 2011     By The Law Offices of James A. Miller
If you have a new baby, adopted a child, or have a step-child or other special child you want to provide for, you need a new estate plan.

Veterans Benefit Can Defray Long-Term Care Costs

  December 24, 2011     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
There are some statistics that you run across that are kind of hard to believe if you have not already done some research into the subject in question.

Should Dying Be a Taxable Event?

  December 24, 2011     By Kevin Pillion - Co-Executor PLLC
There are those who refer to the federal estate tax as the "death tax, «and though this can sound like a flippancy there is actually reasonable logic to support this name. To explain, let's take a look at the anatomy of this levy.

Your Business Needs a Succession Plan

  December 24, 2011     By Purcell & Amen, L.L.C.
Most people think to create a plan for their personal assets in the event of their death; however, if you are an owner, or part owner, in a business, you need to include your business assets in your estate planning.

Lessons Learned from a Famous Supreme Court Justice’s Will

  December 24, 2011     By The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C.
Even U.S. Supreme Court Justices are required to leave legally valid written wills to save their executors from unnecessary probate fees.

How to Use an AB Trust

  December 23, 2011     By Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC
One of the biggest concerns for individuals and couples with a sizable estate is how to accomplish the transfer of assets upon death without incurring estate taxes.

Without a Will

  December 23, 2011     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
Some people never get around to planning their estate or creating a will. In this situation, there is no will to determine how affairs are to be handled and how assets are to be distributed.

Baby Boomers Becoming Caretakers

  December 23, 2011     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
A recent survey reported by the newspaper USA Today had some surprising findings for the growing group of Baby Boomers that are anticipating caring for their aging parents - only half could name any medications their parents take.

The Most Important Key to an Estate Plan That Works

  December 23, 2011     By Deborah Sexton Law Office, PA
Most people sign their estate planning documents, breathe a sigh of relief, pat themselves on the back for completing the task, and don’t think about their estate plan again.

What is Probate and Why is it Sometimes Avoided?

  December 23, 2011     By Esther Wang - The Elderly and Disability Law Firm
Everyone is aware of what a last will is in a general sense and what it is used for, but there are those who think that it is a document that is only read by family members.

The Tax Advantages of Gift Giving

  December 23, 2011     By Esther Wang - The Elderly and Disability Law Firm
Some people are surprised when they hear about the details of the federal estate tax. They are under the impression that this tax does not apply to them because it is only imposed on the super-wealthy.

Giving Gifts Can Provide Tax Savings

  December 22, 2011     By Law Office of Roy W. Litherland
The federal estate tax looms as a significant source of asset erosion and taking steps to mitigate your estate tax exposure is a big part of what estate planning is all about.

The Pitfalls of Probate

  December 22, 2011     By Law Office of Roy W. Litherland
A lot of people equate the process of estate planning to the execution of a last will. While it is true that you can choose to use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer and a lot of people do, it is not always the best choice.

Direct Asset Transfers Free of the Gift Tax

  December 22, 2011     By Ryan, Hicks, Cumpton & Cumpton, LLP
Taxation is an interesting thing, and a lot of people would question why you should have to pay a tax when you give someone a gift.

When Will You Be Retiring?

  December 22, 2011     By Ryan, Hicks, Cumpton & Cumpton, LLP
If you want to be prepared for the future you need to engage in careful and intelligent advance planning.