Business and Industry Law Articles

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

Adopted Children’s Probate Rights in Florida

Generally, Florida law does not allow an adopted child to inherit through intestacy from his or her biological parents. The limited exception to this rule is when an adopted child’s birth parent dies but his or her surviving parent remarries a stepparent who subsequently adopts his or her deceased spouse’s biological child. In this limited situation, the adopted child of his or her stepparent and biological child of his or her deceased parent can inherit from both parents.

Florida Estate Taxes

Many states enacted estate tax programs which supplemented the federal estate income tax laws. Known as “pick-up” taxes, state estate tax programs typically picked up where federal taxes left-off. Thus, since most estates did not owe federal income taxes, a small number of Floridians paid state pick-up estate taxes.

A GST Can Provide Tax Savings

One of the things that you have to concern yourself with when you are planning your estate is asset erosion. The most significant form of this erosion is the federal estate tax, and in the same way that a body of water can erode a landmass generation in and generation out the estate tax can keep coming in waves.

Making Your Medical Wishes Known

People can sometimes have very different perspectives on the same subject, and this is something to consider when you are devising a plan for aging and eventual death. If you don't make each and every one of your wishes known, your family members may wind up having to come to some kind of mutual decisions.

International Sale Contract

International sale is when one of its elements it is connected with the legal order of another state or country. Uniform regulation of international sales is contained in the Vienna Convention (IC) of the United Nations on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

Budgeting for Future Life Expenses

If you expect to retire when you are in your mid-60s, you are going to have to save enough money to provide for your needs for perhaps 20 years or more. Most people will require a thoughtful and practical plan to be able to accumulate the resources that they need to comfortably enjoy their retirement years.

How to Limit Anxieties about an Upcoming Nursing Home Move

If it’s time for a loved one to move to a nursing home, it is likely that your entire family is upset about the situation. This is because living in a nursing home is a big change. Luckily, there are steps that you can take that will make the move easier. Take a look at the following information to learn more. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss nursing home options, contact an estate planning attorney.

Dying Without a Will in Arkansas 4 Scenarios

Even if you don't have a lot of property, you can benefit by creating an estate plan that chooses how your property passes after you die. If you don't set your choices out in a legally recognized manner, Arkansas state law makes the decision for you through its laws of intestate succession. These laws are quite complicated and can lead to a number of different scenarios, so you should talk to a qualified estate planning attorney for specific advice about what might happen to your estate.

Arkansas Advance Directive

A properly drafted medical power of attorney in Arkansas, sometimes known as a durable power of attorney, is an essential part of a good estate plan. State laws have very specific rules when it comes to making these advance medical directives, and you must follow these requirements to ensure your power of attorney is legal.

Estate Pet Care – 3 Basic Concepts

For many of us, the idea of leaving our pets without adequate care after we die is not an option. While you know how much you love your pet, the law doesn't recognize the right for an animal to own property, which means you cannot leave your property to your pet after you die.

Estate Planning Basics

Many people hear the term “estate planning «and immediately think it doesn’t apply to them. After all, estate planning, is only for the rich or the elderly, right? Wrong. Basic estate planning is a necessity for everyone. As you age, or your estate grows, you can revise your estate plan to include more complex tools. Understanding some of the most basic estate planning tools, can help you on your comprehensive estate plan and should be started, preferably, early on in life.

Choosing a Nursing Home for Your Loved One

At some point in your life you may have a loved one who requires the care and attention that only a nursing home can provide. The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is never reached easily. Once you have reached the decision, it is important to choose the best nursing home possible for your loved one’s care.

How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

Although we may dread the aging process, most of us hope to live long enough to enjoy our “golden years». If you still have many years to go before your own “golden years», there is a good chance that you have a loved one who is currently enjoying his or hers.

Mechanism of the Investment Licenses - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Background - Mechanism of the investment licenses that is applied by BKPM to the investor covers provisions concerning business sector and business entity that could be managed by the investor in the territory of Indonesia. Principally, provisions on the mechanism of the investment licenses apply the same treatment to all of the investors, either foreign investor or domestic investor.

Limited Liability Companies as a Legal Entity which is Established under the Agreement - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Definition of Limited Liability Companies according Article 1 paragraph 1 of Law Number 40 of Year 2007 (“Company Law”), stated: Limited Liability Company (“Company”) means a legal entity which constitutes an alliance of capital established pursuant to a contract in order to carry on business activities with an authorized capital all of which is divided into shares and which fulfils the requirements stipulated in this law and its implementing regulations”

Pledge of Shares - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Law Number 40 of 2007 on Limited Liability Company (“Company Law”) only recognizes the classification of registered shares. However, Article 53 paragraph (1), (2) and (3) of Company Law states that, the Articles of Association may determine more than one classification of shares. If there is more than one classification of shares, then the Articles of Association determines one of them as common share.

Merger on Investment Company - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Background - Merger is a legal action conducted by one or more company to merge with another existing company causing the assets and liabilities of the merging company transferred by law to the surviving company. Moreover, the legal entity status of the merging company will be ended by law.

Investment Law Dispute Settlement through ICSID - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Background - International Center for Settlement of International Dispute (“ICSID”) was established on the basis of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States of 1966 (“ICSID Convention“). This ICSID Convention regulates the settlement of dispute between a country with foreign individual or company who have invested their capital in the country, by peaceful means through conciliation or arbitration.

Florida Living Wills and Health Care Surrogates

A living will becomes valid in Florida upon the incapacity of the person drafting or making it. An individual can revoke or cancel his living will as long as he is mentally competent to do so. You may cancel or revoke your living will by physically destroying it, creating a new one or in writing through a letter of revocation. You can also revoke or cancel your health care surrogate designation in the same way.

Federal Income Taxes on Inheritances

In most cases, the Internal Revenue Service does not impose federal income taxes on inheritances. Thus, recipients of large inheritances may not have to pay income taxes on the value of their gifts. Instead, Congress enacted tax laws imposing the federal income tax liabilities on estates.

Seven Steps to Set Your Pest Control Company Apart from Your Competitors

The appearance of your pest control technician matters. How something or someone looks impacts customers and their experience with your company. Study after study shows that consumers purchase with their eyes. Presentation matters. There is no doubt that how something or someone looks impacts customers and their experience with your company. Study after study shows that consumers purchase with their eyes.

The New U.S. Patent Law - Pros and Cons

A brief summary of some positive and negative consequences of the America Invents Act. America Invents Act: Pros and Cons - by Todd Juneau

Texas Pet Trust – 3 Questions

In 2006, Texas enacted legislation that allowed residents to create pet trusts, specific types of trusts that allow you to leave property for the care of your pet. The trusts are an ideal way for any pet owner who wants to leave their pets safe and secure after they die. Let’s look at some common questions about Texas pet trusts.

How to Get the Most Out of a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

Given the typically high rate of both gift taxes and estate taxes, the grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT, has become a popular estate planning option over recent years. Although the rules for a GRAT are complex and ever-changing, the basic concept is simple enough to understand.

Contractual Disputes in Cyprus

A contract is a written agreement made between the parties which states the terms of their legal relationship. Every contract will contain different terms and conditions concerning the bargain it embodies. A dispute will occur when any of the terms and conditions are breached by either party, when there is disagreement as to interpretation of the written agreement or in the event that the written agreement has failed to address a specific matter.

How Does an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Operate?

The avoidance of estate taxes and the often costly and lengthy process known as probate, are two important goals of many estate plans. For those who have substantial assets that they anticipate leaving to family and loved ones, estate taxes are a prominent consideration when estate planning. Although the estate tax rate changes on a regular basis, it is typically extremely high -- often hovering around 50 percent.

Kazakhstani Content in Procurement of Subsoil Users

During the recent one and a half year we could view a sharp increase in the interest of subsoil users and their contractors to the issues of Kazakhstani content in the procurement of goods, works and services. In the first instance it is connected with changes of subsoil and subsoil use legislation, as well as with toughening of the policy held by the Kazakhstan Government with regard to development of Kazakhstani content.

3 Estate Plan Changes to Make Now

An estate plan, once created, is not set in stone. You can, and should, make changes to your plan as time goes on. If you haven't made changes recently, there are several areas you should look at and update as necessary.

Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney

It is important to be aware of just how likely it is that you may go through a period of incapacitation before you pass away. Alzheimer's induced dementia is very common among our nation's elderly, and this is one of the reasons why it is good idea to be prepared. However, there are other causes of incapacity as well and it is better to err to the side of safety rather than leaving things to chance.

Communicate Your Wishes While You Can

A high percentage of people are not at all prepared for the eventualities of aging. One of the primary reasons for this is the fact that many individuals don't want to consider unpleasant possibilities. While this may be understandable on a particular level it is actually quite irresponsible. There are certain realities that are facts of life and there is really no excuse for refusing to accept them.

The Value of a Probate Attorney

When you use a last will to direct the transfer of your assets after your death it is not just passed around among your loved ones. The probate or surrogate court must determine its validity, and most lay people have no understanding of the expectations of the probate court. This is one of the reasons why the guidance of a good central New Jersey probate lawyer is important when you are drawing up your will.

Bulgarian Corporate Income Tax Rate 2012

Planning all corporate taxes: income taxes, VAT, withholding taxes, dividends taxes and considering the tax impact on your business, should play a significant role in every financial step your company in Bulgaria undertakes. Even if you consider that your business is not currently in need, you can seek for taxing information as at the moment Bulgarian system almost apply tax free levying of income for residents and non residents.

Reform on Hong Kong’s Charity Law

Introduction - There are over 6,000 charities in Hong Kong, responsible for raising more than HK$ 8 billion dollars in the fiscal year 2008-2009. However, the charity sector lacks a comprehensive framework for the establishment and regulation of charities as compared to other overseas jurisdictions.

2012 Estate Tax Exclusion: First the Good News

One of the things that critics point out about the estate tax is the fact that the exclusion frequently moves around. So one family could be forced to pay an exorbitant tax on a particular sum of money during a particular year while another family could pay nothing at all on the same amount of money because a loved one died during a different year.

Arizona's Minimum Wage Increased in 2012

January 1, 2012, the minimum wage in Arizona became $7.65 per hour. Arizona’s rate is .40 cents per hour higher than the federal minimum wage and you are required to pay the higher of the two. Arizona's minimum wage law ("AMWA") has some important variations from the federal minimum wage law. By: Gary J. Jaburg, Esq.

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange for Indian Issuers

Indian companies are accessing the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (“FSE”) and other foreign capital markets in search of capital and liquidity for their shares. The Entry Standard of the FSE is an appealing option for Indian issuers seeking an access point to European capital markets. By Brenda Lee Hamilton, Attorney

Deutsche Börse AG Suspends New Listings on the Open

On December 20, 2011, Deutsche Börse AG suspended new listings for the First Quotation Board due to fraud and new cases of suspected market manipulation among several shares listed in the First Quotation Board. Deutsche Börse AG stated, “prosecution according to criminal law and supervisory legislation only seems to have a limited deterrent effect. By Brenda Lee Hamilton

Don't Underestimate Probate Expenses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Estate Tax Exposure

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

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?

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?

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

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”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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