Recently, a former client contacted me about starting a business. The conversation started as conversations with an attorney often start "I just want something simple". So I asked, "what are you looking to do?"
We discussed the formation of the business, and all of the various complexities that are involved, and then I asked, "So what happens if you die?". Needless to say, Estate Planning should be a consideration when starting a business. It is a lifestyle change- so consider how it affects your entire life and plan for it.
LGBT Community and Estate planning- why you should take the plunge. Married couples (same sex or not) proper estate planning will provide that you receive all of the state and federal benefits. Most importantly, you will have a master plan of what happens to your assets, and of utmost importance your children. Unmarried couples (same sex or not) a proper estate plan will provide you with legal rights to make health care decisions, asset protection and probate avoidance.
Legal GuardianshipThere are a number of steps you need to take to become the legal guardian of a child. In general, filing to become a guardian doesn’t require a lawyer, but the process can be complicated and prolonged without one, especially since there are complicated notice provisions, and other documents that must be filed correctly. Incorrect filings often result in rework that prolongs the matter.
A lawyer can help you present your case to the court, especially if one or both parents object to the guardianship.
If you are curious the California Courts have a really well prepared overview of the process.
You should seek legal advice from a lawyer before taking on any legal matters yourself.
What is the best time to look for an attorney? Now. Even if you currently think you do not have any need for legal advice nor have a legal issues present, You should still seek out a trusted advisor. You want to have someone that knows you and your family so that they can guide you appropriately.
When it comes to legal issues you do not want to be scrambling for help. You, instead, want to be in a position where you can call someone and get advice immediately. Building a relationship with an attorney not only gets you their area of expertise but it also opens you to their professional network of advisors. Most attorneys will be able to put you in touch with a specialist for any issue you may be facing.
U.S. tax laws provides a single tax credit which allows you to make gifts during your lifetime and to transfer estate property tax free up to a specific amount. The amount is adjusted for inflation. For 2017, it is $5.49 million. It is $40,000 more than the 2016 total.
Most people's estates will not rise above this amount and most people will avoid federal estate taxes. However, an estate can grow quickly, and you want to make sure that you have a professional by your side to help you. It is never too early to start planning your estate.