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Estate Planning Lawyers: Experience is a Major Asset

Estate planning is a matter that you should always take seriously. Asset protect typically involves hiring a lawyer to help you turn your wishes into a documented plan. In order to do this, you need to make a solid choice to ensure that you have a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of estate planning law. How do you know which lawyer to choose? Your first tip is to focus on experience. Here is why experience is so important and why it is a major asset.

What Kind of Experience Matters?
In estate planning, you do want your lawyer to have a majority of experience in estate planning and asset protection. That experience is invaluable. Where you may not know a lot about asset protection or how to plan your estate effectively, your lawyer will not only know the basics, but he or she will have experience with cases like yours. He or she can help you to predict the future of your estate plan and to make sure that you cover all of your bases.

Some areas of law that could help in terms of estate planning is business law or family law. If you have children or if you own your business, then there may be special circumstances to your asset protection plan. Some areas of law can overlap when you are dealing with asset protection and estate planning.

How Do You Find an Experienced Attorney?
Fortunately, finding an attorney with experience in the areas necessary is not difficult. Not only do most lawyers have websites that announce experience, but if you speak to others who have an estate plan, they may be able to point you in the right direction of an experienced attorney. Often, experienced attorneys are going to have a reputation among clients. When you meet with a lawyer, you can ask him or her for testimonials from other clients. This can help reaffirm that the lawyer has the experience necessary.

Your estate plan is crucial to your loved ones future. It is never too early to start preparing for an estate plan. When you decide that it’s time to draft your plan, you would have the best luck with a lawyer at your side. This will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could hurt your estate plan later on. To learn more about experience and what an estate planning lawyer in Allentown, PA can do for you, schedule a consultation as soon as possible.

Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and the benefits of a lawyer.

Pierce the Corporate Veil: What You need to Know

Piercing the Corporate Veil

To pierce the corporate veil is to hold a corporation’s directors or shareholders personally liable for a corporation’s debts or actions. Normally, limited liability applies to these people. Most states have strong laws that try to discourage against piercing the corporate veil. The idea is that if you hold the shareholders or directors responsible, it may prevent company owners from taking risks. While this may be true in some instances, there are ways around these rules when a company engages in an egregious action.

Circumstances Behind Piercing the Corporate Veil

If you provide goods or services to a company, then you expect payment. Normally, if you are awaiting payment, you will consider suing the business for payment. What happens if that business is defunct or has no assets? In this case, you may feel like you have been cheated out of your services. If you have luck, then the business may have some assets that they plan to put towards starting a new corporation. If you have to, you can pierce the corporate veil and access the owner’s assets.

How to Pierce the Corporate Veil

LLCs and corporations are distinct from the people who own them. One of the major advantages of forming a corporation is to take advantage of the fact that the business is a separate legal entity. This means that the owners have limited personal liability when it comes to company debt. In the right circumstances, however, a court will ignore the fact that the owners have limited liability.

Courts may decide to do this if the owners of the business fail to maintain a separation between themselves and the business. This usually occurs if the owners and shareholders don’t keep their finances separate from the business. If a person pays his or her personal bills from the company’s accounts, then the court may ignore the fact that they are a corporation for the sake of settling debts. In addition, if the corporation is recklessly borrowing or making business deals with the awareness that they cannot pay them off, then the financial fraud may make the person accountable.

When it comes to piercing the corporate veil, most courts do not want to have to hold shareholders or directors accountable for business debt. When you form a corporation or an LLC, this is usually the protection that you have. However, it does not give corporations the ability to behave recklessly or fraudulently without being held accountable. If you are in the middle of a case where piercing the corporate veil seems likely, contact a business lawyer in Memphis, TN as soon as possible.

Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into business law and piercing the corporate veil.

couple celebrating with sparklers

Make Estate Planning Your New Year’s Resolution

As 2019 comes to a close, you are faced with the beginning of another year. In this case, the dawning of a new decade. Many people make New Year’s resolutions that involve getting organized, improving their financial health, or finally doing something they’ve put off for far too long. Why not combine all three and make planning your estate your 2020 New Year’s resolution?

 

Estate planning can be a satisfying and comforting process

Granted, planning for the end is not on everyone’s mind as the new decade begins. Furthermore, estate planning attorneys understand that planning for a time when you can no longer be with your loved ones can seem incredibly unsettling and intimidating to take on. After all, it involves discussing topics that can be uncomfortable, overwhelming, and sensitive. 

 

However, with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, the process of planning your estate can be much less of a hurdle. Indeed, it can be a thoughtful and comforting process that gives you satisfaction and peace of mind. Estate planning attorneys take pride in making intricate and challenging estate planning arrangements like wills, trusts, and estates approachable. With the right estate planning lawyer, you can design an estate plan that puts your affairs in order and meets all of your needs.

 

Start planning for the future now

Estate planning is the process of creating a plan detailing how your property and assets will be managed during your lifetime, naming who will carry out your wishes once you have passed on, and determining who will inherit your estate. Every adult needs an estate plan regardless of the number of assets and the dollar value of their estate.

 

All states have a legal system in place to handle your estate if you pass away without your affairs in order. Should you become disabled without an estate plan in place, you leave it up to the state to determine who will inherit your property and valuables. It is essential to start planning your future now so that the state and unintended beneficiaries cannot decide the fate of your life’s work. 

 

As the New Year begins, you should prioritize planning your estate 

Like many others, you may have put off planning your estate. After all, you would like to think that there is plenty of time down the road to get to it, right? Or, perhaps you believe that your family knows what your wants and wishes are and will put them in place after you pass. Regrettably, both of these lines of thinking can result in dire consequences. 

 

Without a pre-established estate plan, your loved ones could be left without enough assets to support them once you are gone. Without a plan, your estate is at the mercy of the state’s probate process. Probate rarely provides advantages for your beneficiaries, and it always costs them time and money. Taking the initiative to manage the estate planning process can save your loved ones inconvenience and stress down the road.

 

Step into the New Year with confidence

An estate planning attorney can help determine what options are right for you to help secure everything you’ve worked for and accomplished. To begin your estate planning today, contact an estate planning attorney to set up your free estate plan evaluation. Then, check that New Year’s resolution off the list!

When an Heir May Not Be Ready for an Inheritance

Each person will have their own personal struggles. Some may be exploring their path in life and still learning about what they want. If you are planning out your estate, these are situations that you should consider. There have been many cases in which heirs or beneficiaries fail to understand the value of what has been left to them. As a result, they are irresponsible with their choices. Money can be mismanaged, heirlooms squandered, and knowledge wasted. In some cases, the outcome can be disastrous. By ensuring you have the right estate planning tools in place, you can feel reassured that your heirs will be less likely to misuse what they have been given. 

 

Times in Which an Heir May Not be Ready for an Inheritance
When you speak with an estate and probate lawyer, he or she might ask you various questions to help you to understand your current situation, as well as that of your named heirs. As you consider this, you might come to realize that an heir is not ready to receive your inheritance. For example, anyone under 18 will not be able to sign legal contracts. This should be addressed in your estate plan. You would need to name a guardian who would control their inheritance, or establish a custody account or conservatorship. It is also possible that the probate court will choose how the minor is to receive their inheritance. If this should happen, there will be less control over how the inheritance will be managed. 

 

Once the minor turns 18 years of age, they may receive an inheritance in a lump sum. Eighteen years old is still young, and in general, giving a young person such a large amount of money is risky. As a probate lawyer would advise, sound investment strategies should be considered. In doing so, the inheritance will likely be preserved. 

 

Another problem might be when the heir is an adult, but struggles with a gambling or substance abuse disorder, is financially irresponsible, or has a disability. Others might be in excessive debt with creditors coming after them, and there are those who may be getting a divorce. Leaving an inheritance to a person like this could be considered risky. It might also cause significant probate litigation problems which would almost certainly require a probate lawyer. Whatever the reason might be for your heir’s financial unpreparedness, it is important that you plan ahead. Some estate and probate lawyers would recommend a testamentary trust to protect the inheritance. 

 

Understanding Testamentary Trusts
Testamentary trusts can be used when you wish to leave an heir an inheritance, but you don’t want to give them a lump sum. The trust will be managed by a trustee, which could be a trust lawyer, for the benefit of the beneficiary. There are many options to consider; for example, you will be able to:

  • Instruct the trustee to pay for specific expenses using the trust
  • Give the trustee discretion in choosing when financial distributions should be made
  • Make financial distributions conditional on the beneficiary maintaining a certain GPA, graduating, turning a certain age, and so forth
  • Give the trustee discretion on when the distributions can temporarily stop; for example when the beneficiary is gambling

 

Protect Your Heir’s Inheritance Today
Every family has their own estate planning needs. Some might require a strongly crafted will, others may be better suited to a trust. Regardless, there will be an objective to avoid any sort of litigation while keeping everyone satisfied. If you are ready to plan your estate, call an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer from Gilbert, AZ.

 

Thanks to Citadel Law Firm for their insight into some reasons an heir might not be ready for inheritance and how to work around that. 

What is the Difference Between Alimony and Child Support?

Alimony and Child Support

If during your marriage you and your partner had children, both alimony and child support may be included in your divorce settlement. Alimony, known as a type of spousal support is a financial court-ordered obligation that is doled out to the partner who earns less in income. It can be paid out in payments, like monthly or annual ones, or can be a one-time lump sum. Alimony is given to ensure that the lesser earning partner can maintain the same standard of living and the type of lifestyle they would had they not divorced.

Alimony can be court-ordered during a separation as well, and never requires that you have children during your marriage to receive it. The payments usually end when one spouse remarries, has another child, begins cohabiting with a new partner, or in some rare cases the alimony is actually ordered to be indefinite. These rules vary depending on what state you live in and what the court orders. 

Child support is money paid to the custodial parent by the noncustodial parent. This is because the custodial parent will be paying for the majority of their food, clothing, and day to daycare. The payments usually end when the child reaches either 18 or 21. If the child has special needs, payments may be indefinite. There are several things that differ between alimony and child support besides the different reasons for receiving both. The sole purpose of child support is to help the child and provide for their needs, whereas alimony is meant to help the spouse and provide for their lifestyle.

Child support requires that the children be a result of the marriage, and alimony does not require any children to have been born. Child support can be paid by the lower-earning person to the higher-earning person because it depends on custody and not income. However, alimony is considered a type of income and is taxable and is paid to the lower-earning partner from the higher. If you are late on child support payments, there can be serious penalties like jail time. Missing an alimony payment is not considered to be a crime.

There is also a big difference in how the two amounts are calculated. Alimony determinations rely on the laws of the specific state where the couple lived at the time of marriage.  For alimony to be awarded, most states require that the marriage lasted at least ten years or more. In some cases, where one of the spouses stayed home to take care of the children, it is very likely that they will receive money so they can take care of themselves and the children in a similar way and that they will become the custodial parent. With child support, the only thing necessary to establish is that the couple had children together. If you have questions about a specific case, call an attorney, like a child custody lawyer in Arlington, TX, today for an appointment.

Thank you to the experts at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for their contributions to family law.

Writing a Demand Letter After a Trucking Accident

When victims of trucking accidents have suffered damages, it’s likely in your best interest to seek the support and counsel of a trucking accident lawyer to sort out how you will pursue your case. Trucking accident lawyers provide their clients with peace of mind so that they are able to focus on recovering from the extensive injuries they may be facing. Much of the time, trucking accident lawyers will recommend that you start with pursuing an accident claim with the insurance company to obtain compensation for your losses. Damages from severe accidents can include: 

  • Property Damage
  • Medical Expenses
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
  • Lost Wages

Once you have spoken with a lawyer, one of the first steps towards initiating the accident claim is by drafting a demand letter. There are a number of key elements that must be included, working with a trucking accident lawyer can help in making sure that nothing is left out. 

The Demand Letter
A demand letter is an essential component to the insurance claims process. A well crafted demand letter can be pivotal in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to for your losses. Laying out the circumstances of the accident and the impact it has had on you can help to kick off the claims process. Before negotiations with the insurance company begin you will work closely with your lawyer by gathering evidence and details in support of your case to draft an effective demand letter. 

Elements to Include
The average person has probably never had to draft a demand letter before. Because of this, you may be unsure of what should even be included within the document. The following are some essential elements that your trucking accident lawyer will help you to include within the demand letter:

  • The details surrounding the trucking accident within the document
  • Any defensive strategies used in your attempts to avoid the accident
  • The police report and witness statements
  • Provide supporting evidence that proves fault in the accident
  • Include all details of medical treatment, such as injuries, treatments, pain. This should also account for dates of treatments and names of providers
  • All medical expenses
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Outline a clear monetary demand that is complete with a breakdown of all damages

The demand letter provides a snapshot of the case that can assist your trucking accident lawyer throughout the process. As a victim, you have the right to damages for the great impact the trucking accident has on you. Working with a trucking accident lawyer when drafting a demand letter can provide essential to reaching a resolution in your favor.  

A Trucking Accident Lawyer Can Help
It’s important to keep in mind that it may be in your best interest to initiate the process of obtaining compensation for your losses by starting with an insurance claim. Lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming, because of this, the insurance company and liable party will be motivated to settle your case outside of the courtroom. Be aware that an experienced trucking accident lawyer can play a key role in initiating the process with a demand letter that is effective. They will work closely with you to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. Additionally, a trucking accident lawyer can also simultaneously work to prepare your case for litigation should it be in your best interest. 

The demand letter is a key component to pursuing compensation for losses after a trucking accident. As a victim who is in the process of recovering from injuries, it can be difficult to value your case on your own. Pursuing the process yourself can put you at risk of not asking for the compensation you deserve or accepting an offer that is well undervalued. To discuss the details of your specific case, contact a trucking accident lawyer, like a truck accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, for guidance. 

Thank you to the experts at Kamper Estrada, LLP, for their insight into truck accident law.

Federal Regulations Governing the Trucking Industry

Estate Lawyer

Truck drivers bear a considerable responsibility, literally. Tractor-trailers are roughly 80 feet long, and the weight is dependent on what kind of load they carry. Suffice it to say, trying to traverse roads with that large of a vehicle takes a certain type of driver.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is responsible for overseeing the trucking industry. It sets rules by which drivers and companies operate. When something goes amiss, and a truck crash occurs, the FMCSA wants to know who was responsible. When it comes to guidelines for truckers, vehicle drivers will want to know that there is some oversight watching over their safety. Take some time to know a few of the many rules truckers must follow.

The Number of Hours a Driver Can Work

One of the hottest issues in the trucking industry is the hours of service rule established by the FMCSA in the 1930s. It sets the time a trucker can drive before having to stop for rest. The goal of the practice was to prevent drivers from attempting to haul a load with little to no sleep. When the rule was set, technology was not where it is now, and drivers kept handwritten logs. Since such a record could be manipulated, crashes due to fatigue still occurred.

Many trucks now have an electronic log in the engine, which makes it easier to track the number of hours a driver is on the road. Crashes due to fatigue have gone down systematically over the last decade. Even so, the debate over the benefits of the rule versus its negative impact on driver income has been raging for decades. Truckers want some changes to the rule, and currently, it appears that some of those changes will occur. Only time will tell if these changes start increasing the number of accidents.

Special License Required

The FMCSA also sets out the requirements a person needs to meet to become a truck driver. One of these is a commercial driver’s license or CDL. This license is in addition to a regular motor vehicle license. An applicant for a CDL needs to meet physical requirements, undergo training on how to operate a large truck, and pass a test before getting the license. Issuance of a CDL also subjects the driver to stricter driving regulations, such as the use of alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel of a semi.

Truck drivers are a vital part of the American economy, and those who choose to partake in this career understand the rules beforehand. If you find yourself the victim of a crash involving one of these big rigs, an auto accident lawyer in Memphis, TN may be your best resource and ally.

 


 

Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and federal regulations for trucks.

What Your Will Can and Cannot Do

What Your Will Can and Cannot Do

If you are beginning the process of putting your will together, you probably have a lot of questions. What is a will actually used for? Can you use your will to name a new guardian for your children? What can a will not do? Before you begin working on your will, it is a good idea to know the answers to these questions. This is just one of the reasons why it is so beneficial to work with an estate planning attorney to create your will. This guide will provide you with the answers you need, although you should not use it as a substitute for the expertise of an attorney.

What Can Your Will Do?

There are three primary purposes of a will:

  • Determine who will receive which of the estate owner’s possessions
  • Establish who will be the guardian of any minor children
  • Name the executor of the will

You are probably already aware of the first purpose. Most people think of a will as being exclusively for describing who of your loved ones should receive what. Importantly, a will also names who will be the guardian of your minor children in the event you die. If the other parent of any children is still alive, he or she will automatically assume guardianship. Your will describes who the guardian should be in the event both parents are deceased or otherwise unable to be a guardian. Finally, a will determines who should be the executor. The executor of a will ensures everything in it is carried out correctly.

What Can Your Will not Do?

There are some things that people assume their will can do, even though it cannot. These include:

  • Give funeral directions
  • Put conditions on certain possessions
  • Avoid taxation or probate
  • Pass on certain types of possessions

Your will can point out a separate document that will give funeral instructions, however. If you wish to put conditions on certain possessions, such as a grandchild only receiving a car if they have a driver’s license at the time, you may want to consider using a living trust. Trusts can put any conditions you like on your possessions. All wills are subject to taxation and probate. If that is a concern for you, a living trust may also avoid these things. Finally, you should speak with an attorney or do your own research to learn which kinds of possessions cannot be included on a will in your state. It is always a good idea to work with an attorney, like an estate planning lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, to put your will together.

 

Thank you to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning.

 

Choosing between In-Home Elder Care Nurses or Home Care Helpers

Choosing between In-Home Elder Care Nurses or Home Care Helpers

If you are researching alternatives to placing your loved one in a nursing home, you may be wondering if in-home elder care nurses or home care helpers may be the best option. When people age and their healthcare needs increase, many prefer to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own home rather than move into a long term facility. Very often, their family members prefer this as well because they can visit their elders in the family home and a suitable nursing home may not be conveniently located near them. At we understand the often difficult and emotionally challenging decisions that must be made when choosing how best to serve an elder’s needs in the twilight years of their life. We encourage family members to call us and discuss their concerns as well as ask questions of our staff about our in-home elder care nurses and the services that we offer.

The Struggles of Family Members Who Care for Their Elders

When family members can manage to care in part or in whole for their elder, many find it a physically and emotionally draining endeavor. And though their hearts are in the right place, in lacking the specialized training of in-home elder care nurses or home care helpers, they may be ill-suited to provide the level of care that the elder needs. This is especially true when it comes to medical needs. Though a home care helper can assist with daily chores such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, in-home elder care nurses have the medical training and experience to handle more complex issues. In fact, in-home elder care nurses are registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who provide quality nursing care in the patient’s home. Consider these points when comparing the professional abilities and skills of in-home elder care nurses to home care helpers:

  •  In-home elder care nurses provide medical services and treatment that includes wound cleaning, respiratory treatment, emergency tracheotomies, diabetes diagnostic testing and administering of medications, colostomy care, medical injections, and much more.
  • Home care helpers provide non-medically oriented services for an elder such as performing daily living chores like laundry, cleaning, shopping, food preparation, and companion care. Depending on the needs of the elder, they may also offer assistance with hygiene matters, and sleepover to be on call or else live in the home with the elder. They may be scheduled for days, evenings, overnights, weekends, or holidays if they are not full time in the home. On their days off, they may be relieved by another individual from the same agency who will temporarily take over for them.

Many families opt to hire in-home elder care nurses to provide medical care for their family members, with occasional visits from a home care helper to lighten the burden of family members. If you would like to know more about our in-home elder care nurses and learn whether or not this may be a good solution for your family, please contact us.

If you need legal advice about in-home care or nursing home care please contact an attorney, like a nursing home lawyer in Memphis TN.

Thank you to Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their information on in-home elder care vs home care helpers. 

Tips for Dealing with Parenting Plan Violations

Working out a parenting plan that is not only in the best interests of the child but fair to both parents can be a difficult, drawn-out process. That being the case, it’s no wonder that you may feel frustrated and angry if you feel that your ex-spouse is violating it. Persistent violations over time may be grounds to go to court to enforce the parenting plan. However, if you remain calm, rational, and patient, you may be able to resolve the issue with your ex without having to return to court. Here are some things you can do before reopening legal proceedings.

1. Identify a Pattern

If your ex is late returning the child from visitation once or twice, that may be an oversight or an honest mistake rather than a parenting plan violation. On the other hand, if your ex is consistently late returning the child, that is a different matter. A parenting plan violation consists of systematic and repeated failure to comply with the parenting schedule. If it gets to the point where you must take your ex back to court to enforce the parenting plan, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your ex’s noncompliance is repeated and systematic.

2. Communicate with Your Ex

However, before you automatically assume that your ex is willfully depriving you of your rightful time with your child, communicate your concerns. It may be an honest misunderstanding that you and your ex can work out on your own without the court’s involvement.

If there are guidelines regarding post-divorce communication with your ex, you should of course follow them, but if not, you may open the lines of communication with a face-to-face conversation. If the behavior persists after that, you can try communicating in writing, referring directly to the parenting plan as detailed in the divorce agreement. It may also be a good idea to send a copy to your ex’s attorney, who may be more persuasive at convincing your ex to cooperate.

3. Remain Cordial

It is difficult when you are frustrated by your ex’s behavior, but in all your communication with your ex, remain cordial. Choose the method of communication that will allow you to do this most effectively. For example, if you feel like you may lose your temper during a face-to-face discussion, contacting your ex through writing may be the more constructive solution. Antagonizing your ex is unlikely to yield the result you want.

If you need legal advice about post-divorce dealings with a difficult ex, a child custody lawyer in Dallas, TX may be able to provide it after performing an assessment of your situation. Contact a law office for more information.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and dealing with parenting plan violations.