Where should I incorporate?
This is a question that I am often asked, and although we can explore the legal issues as to where you should incorporate, there are non-legal issues to consider as well. People often hear advertising focusing on “Incorporate here, it is tax free!” The problem with the advertising is people don’t really understand how things work, and that will end up just costing more money when their only focus is to save money, and that just leaves people feeling ripped off.
Continue reading Where should I incorporate? (Part 1)
There are many things that can cause someone to move, and depending on the reasons, the method, or other decisions, it may be appropriate to update a trust or a will. Some of the reasons for moving, may be a reason to review, for example, is the move because of a change in marital status (marriage/divorce)? Is the move because you’re having another baby and need more room? Is the move because you were just hired in a fantastic new job? Were you just recruited to play on a professional sports team? Did you just win the lotto? Continue reading Do I need to update my estate plan if I am moving?
Proper estate planning can help save time, save money, and protect the privacy of an estate. Probate expenses can have a wide variance depending on where you live and how much you have in assets. Some states, like California, have specific fee schedules based on the assets you own upon your death. Other states, have subjective fees where the probate statutes simply state that the fees must be reasonable.
These fees for Probate also are based only on assets and ignore any debts, which this means if you own a $500,000 home, and owe $450,000, the probate fees are based only on the $500,000 value of the home, ignoring the mortgage. One thing to keep in mind while reading this is that a properly executed trust can avoid Probate entirely, negating these fees.
Continue reading How much does it cost for Probate?
In part 2, we explored some methods to limit liability for your business with limited partnerships and limited liability companies. In Part 3, we will explore Corporations and tax considerations in business formation.
The Corporation, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is an entity having authority under law to act as a single person distinct from shareholders who own it and having rights to issue stock and exist indefinitely; a group or succession of persons established in accordance with legal rules into a legal or juristic person that has a legal personality distinct from the natural persons who make it up, exists indefinitely apart from them, and has the legal powers that its constitution gives it. A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of the law…[I]t possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it.
Continue reading What do I need to know to start a business? (Part 3)
In Part 1, we explored Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships, neither of which limit liability for a business owner. In Part 2, we will explore some options to limit liability within a Partnership or a Limited Liability Company.
Limited-Liability Partnership Continue reading What do I need to know to start a business? (Part 2)
Starting a business can be a fun, exciting, and terrifying ordeal. It takes a vision, a plan, and the execution of the plan while also adjusting for events as they affect the plan.
During a lecture I was attending once, the speaker said, “Anyone can start a business, but not everyone can run a business.” That, combined with a recent conversation I had got me thinking that I should write about this topic, and all of the questions that come with starting a business. While this is a general discussion of legal principles, it will provide a good foundation of information to think about and discuss with your attorney. Continue reading What do I need to know to start a business? (Part 1)
The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare places requirements on some businesses to offer health insurance for their employees.
The Affordable Care Act has become a highly debated topic and this article is not addressing the merits or drawbacks to the law, it is simply explaining what is required.
Continue reading Am I required to provide insurance for my employees?
In Part 1, we started exploring do-it-yourself (DIY) legal products compared to hiring an attorney. DIY legal products can be appealing because they can be far less expensive than hiring an attorney, but it may not meet your needs.
In a comparison of a will provided by LegalZoom and a will from an attorney, I think most people would agree that a more educated and legally proficient person may be able to obtain a better end-result with DIY product than a less educated and less-proficient person. In exploring this theory, a Minnesota attorney named Gregory Luce decided to compare LegalZoom with a will drafted by an attorney. The article about his experience can be found here.
Continue reading Should I hire an attorney? (Part 2)
Do-it-yourself (DIY) options have become a lot more common in the world of legal services. You can now go on-line to prepare your taxes, write your own estate plan, and open your own business, among numerous other options.
While these DIY options to establish a plan do exist, the question remains of the quality of the plan that these DIY options create. Continue reading Should I hire at attorney? (Part 1)
In Part 1, we explored what a Testamentary Will was and the typical costs associated with Probate of the Will. In Part 2, we explored what a Revocable Living Trust was and started exploring the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust. In Part 3, we will finish exploring the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust and the benefits of a Testamentary Will.
Probate takes time and is often dependent on court schedules. As an example, there was one case that we followed in 2012-2013 that had a trust, and had to go through probate because some of the assets were not included with the Revocable Living Trust. In that case, the probated items took approximately nine additional months to resolve and cost attorney and personal representative fees were an additional $17,000. I am using this example because it was a very simple estate with one beneficiary (widower), with no disputes, and no delays in the processing of documents. It is important when you establish your trust; you ensure all of your property is properly included with the trust.
Continue reading Do I need a Trust or a Will? (Part 3)