Advantages of being Self-employed

Being your own boss is a dream for most, particularly as this will usually mean you’re not answerable to anyone. This is perfect for people who can’t tolerate the idea of being on command, giving significant flexibility and freedom to follow their own intuition and develop their own business ideas. Though not for everyone, there are significant advantages of being self-employed, and some of these are outlined below.

You’re in Control

Being your own boss means escaping the rat race, governing yourself entirely and controlling how your work is completed. Despite your client having a say in the final product or service you are delivering, everything else is in your own hands, creating a great element of freedom and flexibility to do other things.

Higher Earning Potential

On average Freelancers earn up to 50% more than those in traditional employment, and can even capitalize on more favourable tax benefits through expense deductions. It’s important to remember, however, that there is a lot of hard work, dedication and motivation involved to reach a level of financial prosperity, but once there you can maintain your earnings at your own leisure, potentially reducing your involvement with the business and outsourcing a greater quantity of the work for

The Top Four Things You Need To Know About Estate Law

download (48)What most people don’t realize is that we all have something worth protecting in the event of our eventual passing. While some assets are obvious, some aren’t. Most people tend only associate the word “assets” with the possessions of wealthy individuals. Not true. Here are five of the top things everyone, including you, need to know about estate law in order to protect your family and assets, current and future.

#1: No Estate Is Too Small

The thing that you have to realize about estate law is that it encompasses more than just your assets. It also allows you to provide detailed instructions for your care (in the event of your mental disability) or the care of others under your purview, at the time of passing. In addition, most people don’t realize that their insurance policies and retirement plans are also considered assets, which can definitely help keep you organized.

#2: A Will Is Not Enough

Estate law can be pretty complicated, given all the different aspects that are included. As such, a simple will just won’t suffice as enough planning or direction in the event of

The Importance of Estate Planning Attorneys In Protecting Assets

download (47)The only way to ensure that your belongings are appropriately distributed according to your wishes after death is to leave behind an airtight plan. Estate planning helps eliminate uncertainties surrounding estate distribution and attempts to maximize value by reducing taxes and expenses. Ultimately, the format, length, and content of your plan will depend on your specific goals and needs. Estate planning attorneys are available to aid you in this process. Large estates typically result in more complicated preparation, but regardless of its size the following tips will help you make sure your assets are divided according to your wishes.

You need to keep all of your documents and information up to date. Your will or trust can be invalidated by a number of major life events, including marriage, divorce, relocation, and the birth of a child. You should also be aware of changes in laws and regulations. Keep your personal and legal information as current as possible. Your lawyer should regularly review your will or trust to make sure it is legally binding. Despite how clearly you convey your intentions for your belongings, it

Even Supreme Court Judges Need an Estate Planning Attorney

download (49)You should take the time to sit down with a good estate planning attorney to handle the disposition of your estate. It’s an investment of time and money, but it can be critical to ensure your loved ones are provided for after your death. Today, there are a number of websites offering do-it-yourself will documents. While comparatively low in cost, would-be buyers should be mindful of the old adage that you get what you pay for. These generally come as forms for you to fill in, and while this one-size-fits-all approach might work for you, be aware that an estate planning attorney is a highly trained specialist, and the money you spend on one today might be paid back many times over to your estate.

The Professional Career of Warren Burger

In fact, even other lawyers can benefit from the specialized knowledge of an estate planning attorney. Consider the case of Chief Justice Warren Burger. Warren Burger attended the University of Minnesota and graduated magna cum laude from St. Paul College of Law. Burger first served as an Assistant Attorney General in 1953 before being

Estate Planning Lawyers Are the Components That Make Up an Ideal Estate Plan

download (46)The main reason we might seek out estate planning lawyers in our area is to establish a last will and testament. This document serves a variety of functions. First off, it allows you to appoint a guardian for your children upon your death. Second, it protects your business and allows the company to be transferred to a co-owner or heir. The next, and perhaps the most important reason, is that it determines who will receive your assets whether it is a family member or a charity.

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

It is best to ensure you have a last will before you pass on. If not, the state will have the rights to your assets and will choose who receives them. While it may vary by state, the typical distribution channel depends upon your marital status and children when you die.

Single

Your parents are the first in line to receive your assets. If they are deceased, then they will be handed over to your siblings. In the event you have children, the assets will be split evenly between them.

Married

This is where the

Four Estate Plans You Should Consider

download (45)At some point you have to decide what you want done with your assets after you pass. It can make things much easier for your family during their time of grief if you have something set up. There are several estate plans that you can choose to utilize.

1. Wills

One of the most popular options is the will. It is one of the easiest processes to complete. You can do this yourself by filling out a one or two-page document, signing it, and having it witnessed. You can also go to an attorney and have them assist you. This is a good step if you have assets that need to be distributed among several heirs. An attorney can also help ensure that the document will hold up in probate court once you are gone. A will is essential for parents under 18, as it can serve as a way to say who should take custody of the children.

2. Revocable Living Trusts

If you want to forgo the hassle of probate for your loved one, you might consider having a revocable living trust as part of

The Truths About Estate Planning That You Need To Know

download (44)Do you have financial goals? Of course you do. Everyone has some financial goal they would like to reach. Maybe your goal is to provide for all of your family’s needs. Maybe you are looking at traveling. Retirement might be on your mind. However, there is one financial goal that many seem to neglect. Many ignore the need to save and ensure assets that will keep their family from dealing with a huge financial burden should something happen.

Unfortunately, some people believe that having only assets in the market is a safe way to go. This isn’t a good strategy, as the wellbeing of the future is in the hands of how the market is going at the time. If it drops unexpectedly, or something happens and at the time the market isn’t up, you may be looking at a huge problem.

In 2008 there was a major financial crisis. It was considered to be one of the greatest financial crises since the Great Depression. The housing market suffered, resulting in evictions and foreclosures. There was a period of prolonged unemployment. The crisis played a

Israel Inheritance Law, Probate and Estates

images (8)The property of a deceased individual is called his or her Estate. The Succession Law governs a person’s estate in Israel after their passing. A person’s estate includes their property at the time of death, as well as any rights, actions and obligations. The estate and the heirs to the estate may not absolve themselves of any actions performed by the deceased before his or her death. For instance, if a woman sold her car to another person before her death, the estate is entitled to the agreed upon compensation, but may not withdraw from the sale.

The estate of a deceased individual in Israel is meted out according to a person’s will (if a will exists), after a probate order has been issued, or according to the dispositive stipulations of the Succession Law in Israel (if there is no will or it has been found to be invalid), after an inheritance/probate order has been issued. In many cases, the estate is distributed, in some cases an estate manager is required. This procedure is common where there are debts attached to the estate or

The Benefits Of Using Mediation For Estate Planning

download (43)Estate planning is the complicated process involving the older generation passing on its wealth to the younger generation. Unfortunately it can be the source of many disagreements, and even court litigation. With all good intentions, many parents create a plan so their loved ones won’t have to deal with lengthy probate court proceedings. However, parents often talk to attorneys only, and don’t involve their heirs in the discussion, assuming they will embrace the estate gifts they receive. This can lead to families disputing the estate plan after the death of a parent, family members suing one another in court, and even suing the parents’ attorneys for malpractice.

The biggest problem in estate planning is the lack of communication among family members. Many parents don’t feel comfortable talking about their own death, and what will happen to their property once they pass away. If day-to-day communications are a challenge for a family, then conversations about planning can be very difficult and painful to handle. Most heirs have no idea how the estate will be divided until the parent is gone and by then, they may

How Charitable Remainder Trusts Help You During and After Your Lifetime

download (42)A charitable remainder trust is a tax-free, unalterable vehicle which will ensure that the beneficiary has to pay nothing for their income. This is a surefire way to give you and your significant other a steady income for the rest of your lives, and an excellent financial tool if you’re looking for better estate planning so you can help those in need.

The idea behind charitable remainder trusts is to reduce the taxable income for which individuals have to pay taxes. This is done by pledging a set sum of money to a charity, and then having it pay the beneficiary a stipend over a set period of time. After this set period expires, the remainder of the estate is given to the charities named as the beneficiaries.

Benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts

There are many benefits to creating a charitable remainder trust as part of your estate plan. Not only can you receive a percentage of the sum from your trust, you will also enjoy additional benefits like:

  • When you create the trust, you will get an immediate income tax deduction for giving funds to charity.
  • Any

Five Practical Steps for Critical Estate Planning

download (41)According to data from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, over 120 million Americans don’t have updated plans to protect their families when accident, sickness, or death happens.

Jumpstarting the estate planning process can be the most significant present you give your family so that your loved ones aren’t left with uncertainty and conflict. These five steps can help you start the process and provide clarity to your family about your last wishes.

1. Create a Will

If you die without a will, the court will decide what to do with assets, debts, and even your children. This is called dying intestate, and it leaves the distribution process up to the state law where you reside. To write a valid will, simply focus on stating exactly who you choose to inherit your property, and also write who you want as a guardian for your kids in case something happens to the other parent as well. If proper planning is not completed, your family will be stuck in probate court, which is time-consuming and expensive.

2. Consider a Trust

If you want to avoid the probate process

Five Crucial Things to Understand About Trust and Estate Law

download (40)Do you have children, elderly parents, a home, or savings? If so, it’s important to have a plan for what will happen in the event of your untimely death or incapacitation. If you think that planning is only necessary for the wealthy with millions of dollars in assets, you should understand that most families need adequate protection after a loved one is gone. Here are five important things you should understand about trust and estate law.

1. A Complete Strategy Involves More Than Just Legal Documents

Although it is always difficult to think about incapacity or death, the truth is that everyone will pass away, and it is better to be prepared rather than leaving your family caught off guard. Educating yourself about trust and estate law is a good start, and completing all of the necessary legal documents is the first step. Beyond documents, it’s also critical to make sure that your assets are owned in the same manner as detailed in the documents. You should also understand the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and consider whether you need life or disability insurance.

2.

What It Is and Why You Need It

images (7)If you are interested in planning to accumulate and conserve wealth during the course of your life, and eventually want that wealth distributed to your family, friends, and favorite charities efficiently and in a way that accomplishes your tax and nontax related goals, then you are interested in estate planning. In a nutshell, estate planning is about managing your property both before and after your death. And, the reality of the matter is that if you do not actively plan for the distribution of your estate, the government has a plan set up for you – a plan that may result in your family spending a lot of time in court and seeing a substantive portion of your estate dwindled down by taxes.

But, if you take action now, you have the power to decide what happens to your wealth and when. Proper estate planning allows you a systematic method for uncovering potential problems and finding solutions in seven major areas of your life – before they can wreak havoc on your loved ones when you are gone. These seven areas are: (1) liquidity

Delaware Statutory Trusts

download (38)A Delaware Statutory Trust (commonly referred to as a DST) is, as the name suggests, a legal entity created as a trust under Delaware state law. A DST is created for real estate investment purposes, and is especially useful in a 1031 exchange.

Under a DST, investors each own a pro rata share of the DST itself. The DST in turn holds title to various real estate interests, and distributes any income received from the properties (either through rental income or the sale of the property) to the investors in proportion to their ownership share in the DST.

The DST, via its signatory trustee, makes all decisions related to any property held by the trust, freeing up investors from this responsibility. One important thing to note about a DST is that the trust is not considered a taxable entity, so any profits or losses are passed through to the investors of the trust.

When it comes to 1031 exchanges, the IRS has determined that any beneficial interest in the DST is treated as identical to a direct interest in real estate. This means that DST-held properties

Estate Planning: What to Think About Before Meeting Your Lawyer

download (39)In my estate planning practice, it is not uncommon to meet with a new client who wants an estate plan prepared, but is a bit vague as to what should be included in that plan. Quite frequently, the initial conversation begins with the client saying something like, “I would like a will… or should I have a trust? Do I need anything else?” Actually, those are good questions to begin a discussion.

Most folks recognize that their estate plan should provide for the distribution of their assets upon their death. That, of course, is an essential element of an estate plan, but there is more to consider in a well-designed plan. Prior to meeting with your attorney for the first time you should also be thinking about such things as who you want to handle your affairs should you become incapacitated; whether you would want your doctor to keep you alive should you be near the point of death with little chance of recovery; who you want to have the authority to sign important legal papers for you if you are unavailable; and, who

Living Trusts – Who Can Get a Copy of My Trust

images (6)Who’s Entitled to See Your Living Trust?

As a California attorney for 30 years, I’m often asked the question:

Is anyone entitled to receive a copy, for example, of my parent’s living trust before one, or both, have passed away?

The answer depends upon whether their trust is revocable or irrevocable.

If the trust is irrevocable, then the answer is generally yes. Irrevocable trusts mean just that – they can’t be changed or amended. However, there are some exceptions where, for example, the trustor (the person who creates the trust), trustee (person who carries out the terms of the trust) and all beneficiaries agree in writing to a change or amendment. Sometimes this would require court review and approval.

Since the general rule is that an irrevocable trust is “etched in stone”, the law recognizes the named beneficiaries as having certain rights, including the right to receive a copy of the trust.

Conversely, revocable trusts may be amended or revoked by the person who created the trust (the trustor) and the beneficiaries therefore have no assurance that the trustor won’t later change his or her mind and remove one

Administration Of Estates In Cyprus

download (37)ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES IN CYPRUS

Estate denotes the movable and immovable property someone processes during his/her lifetime. As a result, estate administration is strongly related to all the procedures of gathering and distributing assets and debts of a dead person to his/her descendants. In Cyprus, all matters related to administration of estates are regulated by the Administration of Estates Law (Cap. 189) and the Probates (Re-Sealing) Law (Cap. 192). Note that the rules under these Law are read together with the Wills and Successions Law (Cap. 195).

In case a person dies without leaving a will or he/she is not able to administer his/her estate then the court grants a “letter of administration” to an individual, the “administrator”, in order to administer such an estate. On the other hand, if the testator wishes that a specific person administers his/her estate and states this provision in his/her will, on proof of the will, the court will grant the administration of the estate of the deceased to that person (the “executor”). It should be pointed out that the instrument in writing issued by the court declaring that

What Are the New Estate Laws in Ontario?

download (35)Ontario has introduced a new Estate Administration Tax (EAT) starting in 2015. The gist of the new tax is that reporting requirements will be much more stringent and will have to be done more quickly than in the past. The reporting is also more complicated and the penalties more onerous, so dealing with estates will be less fun that it was in the past.

The Estate Administration Tax rate ranges from 1% to 1.5%, topping out at 1.5% in the $5 million range or higher for the estate value. This fee will apply to most assets – real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and registered accounts that have no named beneficiary. Any asset that does not pass through the estate would not be subject to this tax – Life Insurance policies with a person as a named beneficiary, real estate outside of Ontario and CPP death benefits are some examples. This tax is generally payable at the time of application with a refund for adjustments to the valuation given later on in the process.

What Is the Process?

The process starts with the executor applying to

Is An Inheritance Loan Worth It?

download (36)It is seen that a lot of people who make estate plans are focused on one very thought, which is how can they avoid the probate procedure. The primary reason for doing this is people do not want the property or estate being caught in legal formalities of the court. Instead, they want that the estate passes on directly to the respective beneficiaries.

However, if the estate plan is not a good one, there are chances that the property might get stuck in such legal compliances. Sometimes what happens is that despite putting in effort, the asset or property does tend to get stuck in the process of probate. When this happens, it is the beneficiaries of the asset, who are sure stuck in a difficult situation.

What probate problems you must avoid?

One of the most common problems happens with the personal representative of any property. That is a person who must be compensated for the time and expenses, pertaining to settling of the debts and maintenance of the assets of the estate.

One of the problems that may arise is that the representative may not

Don’t Make the Great Estate Mistake

download (34)“Daddy, what happens to your guitars when you die?”

My daughter has a habit of asking jarring questions like these, especially when she’s unable to overcome the urge – inscribed in our house rules – not to bother me in my office during working hours, unless it’s an emergency.

That’s pretty much always. The first time she asked that question I didn’t have a ready answer. After all, it’s hard to explain the concept of “probate” to a 7-year-old.

But I have an answer for her now… one so simple that even a child can understand it.

The Probate Pit

Probate is the compulsory legal process when a person dies. It inventories your assets, ensures that all your debts are settled and distributes the rest to the heirs designated in your will.

If you didn’t leave a will, however, each state has its own rules defining who is entitled to receive your property, and how much. This “intestate” probate process can be lengthy, during which time your heirs have nothing – sometimes, not even access to your life insurance proceeds. Most states have minimum periods that creditors are allowed