What Can Happen to Children if Their Parents Die Without a Properly Drafted Will?

Many of us embrace the do it yourself (DIY) lifestyle.  Why pay someone to do something you are fully capable of doing yourself?  In many cases this is wise money management but it can be a disaster in the making.  Consider the plight of Jane’s children. Jane received a medical diagnosis that ensured her premature death.  She left behind four children (4, 8, 12, 15), a life insurance policy and a modest estate.  She Read More

Small Business Owners Should Plan for the Three D’s

You form a partnership with a business colleague.  Everything is going well, business is growing and life can’t get any better.  Then your business partner’s husband asks for a divorce.  Does your partnership agreement address the issues relating to the divorce of a partner?  What if your partner is your spouse and they have asked for a divorce? You are running a successful business as a sole proprietor.  Driving Read More

Issues to Consider When Forming a Partnership

Selecting your business structure is one of the most important decisions you will make.  You should take the time to consider all of your options before selecting a business structure. There are several types of partnerships available to business owners.  A partnership is created anytime two or more people come together to conduct business for profit.  Partnerships are governed by partnership agreements and each Read More

Issues to Consider When Choosing to Incorporate

Selecting your business structure is one of the most important decisions you will make.  You should take the time to consider all of your options before selecting a business structure. When you create a corporation you are creating an entity that is completely separate from the owners and shareholders.  The corporate entity will continue to exist until dissolved.  It is this separate entity status that provides the Read More

Four Basic Business Entities

Sole proprietor is the easiest business to start.  This requires nothing but that you begin providing a product or service and you must file an assumed name certificate in the county where you will be working. While this is the easiest form it has no liability protection at all. Partnership is a business structure that includes two or more people. If no formation papers are filed with the secretary of state what is Read More

What is a Living Will?

Directive to Physicians is the legal name for the document known as a living will.  This legal name is appropriate because the purpose of a living will is to provide direction to medical professionals and loved ones on the type of care you wish at the end of your life. A list of specific procedures that should or should not be performed can be included. A person can be named to make decisions for you if you are Read More

Four Documents Every Estate Plan Needs

The four documents that create the foundation of a good estate plan are a will, medical power of attorney, durable (financial) power of attorney and a living will.  Each of these documents provides protection for specific issues associated with death or incapacity. A will details your wishes after you pass away. A will allows for a smooth transition for the loved ones you leave behind.  It will designate someone to Read More

Different Types of Power of Attorney

The two types of power of attorney are medical and durable.  A medical power of attorney addresses who should make medical decisions if you are unable to make them for yourself.  A durable power of attorney addresses financial decisions.  Either power of attorney can be customized to fit the needs of your situation. A medical power of attorney allows any adult to specify who should or should not be allowed to make Read More

Executor’s Role in a Probate Proceeding

The executor’s role is to ensure that the terms of a persons will are followed or if no will exists to ensure the estate is transferred in compliance with state law.  There are several steps in this process. Identify the assets. Collect or otherwise take control of the assets. Identify the debts. Pay debts. Distribute any remaining assets. Identifying the assets is essentially determining what is owned and Read More

Why do I need a Will?

No one likes to think about their own death which makes it hard to prepare for this inevitable occurrence. Having a will provides a guide for those you leave behind and helps ensure they will be protected.  Furthermore, if you don’t have a will the state has one for you and it may not fit your needs.  A properly drafted will provides peace of mind for those you leave behind.  A good will answers four Read More