Securing Your Assets: Why Probate Isn’t as Intimidating as It Sounds

Woman talking to an expert to secure her assetsPeople often view probate court as a frightening experience. It seems to bring images to mind of an estate bogged down by the bureaucracy of the legal system as heirs wait in vain for the release of their assets. But most estates disputes don’t drag on for decades. Through a simple conversation with a professional, people can often put their fears to rest and get everything in order.

Which Estates go to Probate Court?

Most estates end up in probate. Whether the benefactor has a will in place or skipped on end-of-life planning altogether, passing through court is part of the disbursement process.

Those with a last will in place, however, are at an advantage. When the benefactor dies, the executor can easily take charge of the distribution of the property and arranges for the payment of debts and expenses. Those without an executor, on the other hand, will have to depend on the court to designate an administrator to divide their assets according to the provisions of the law.

Avoiding the Probate Process is Possible

While the probate process is often easy to navigate, delays can leave potential heirs with less than what the deceased may have planned for them. Some options to help prevent a lengthy probate process includes the following:

  • Joint property ownership – Upon death, a deceased joint owner can pass on their property and assets to the living joint owner.
  • Payable on death accounts – Naming a beneficiary for bank accounts or investments are incredibly simple to set up: banks simply require a person to fill out a form naming a beneficiary to inherit the account balance without going to court.
  • Online probate – Companies like EZ-Probate make it easy to preserve family heirlooms by developing an online probate process through ready-to-submit court documents.
  • Revocable living trusts – Setting up a revocable living trust means naming a trustee who can step in and transfer all assets and property when a person passes on.

Passing on family assets without the probate process is possible. This way, individuals can ensure that their heirs receive what is rightfully theirs.

Writing Your Will: 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Senior talking to lawyer about his will

Senior talking to lawyer about his willNo one really likes to think of the day that they would die and leave their loved ones behind. As unfortunate and sad as it may seem, it is important to prepare not just yourself, but also your loved ones of this inevitable reality. Other than emotional preparation, important legal matters should also be considered as early as possible.

One of the legal aspects of death is the presence and execution of one’s last will and testament. If you live in Townsville, an estate lawyer would be able to help you. When it comes to writing and executing wills, Connolly Suthers recommends keeping a few important things in mind.

Work with a lawyer

It might be easy to jot down your last requests and state how you want your assets and valuables distributed, but it is important to work with a lawyer. This would ensure that your last will can be properly and smoothly executed when you are gone.

Choose the right witnesses and executors

Witnesses and executors are essential in making sure that your final requests are granted. Choose individuals who would be ready for the task and who can be fully trusted.

Leave clear and direct instructions

The law is very technical. Leaving clear and direct instructions is one way of ensuring that your requests would be honoured. In addition, pay attention to names; always use legal names to avoid discrepancies in your will.

Update it from time to time

Circumstances change. The longer you live, the more changes would happen in your life that would affect your will. It is, therefore, important to update your will from time to time.

Let people know where it is

No one knows when their last day on earth is. As such, letting your family members know the whereabouts of your will is a must.

Make sure your heirs would get what they deserve. Plan your last will and testament carefully, so you can peacefully leave this world knowing that you have fully done your part.

Landlord Rights: Four Reasons Behind Tenant Eviction

Tenants Being Evicted

Eviction notices are stressful. Landlords, however, have the right to send them and kick stubborn tenants out. In this article, know the four major reasons behind tenant eviction.

Non-Payment

One of the major reasons behind tenant eviction is non-payment of rent. Despite being a legal obligation, many tenants fail to recompense due to financial difficulties.

When a tenant’s arrears continue to increase, property owners have the right to evict the lessee and turn to residential or commercial rent recovery services.

Persistent Late Payment

Tenants who pay but consistently pay late are also candidates for eviction. Landlords provide payment schedules that tenants should respect and adhere to. If a landlord sets the payment schedule to every 15th of the month, constantly paying rent on the 17th or 18th are grounds for eviction.

Contract Breaches

Rentals, whether residential or commercial, all come with a lease agreement. Tenants and landlords must adhere to this contract to ensure fairness and security. When a tenant breaches their lease, property owners can file for an eviction. Some common breaches to a lease agreement include:

Tenant Move-In

Tenants must state all parties living in the property upon signing a lease agreement. Failure to do so may call for an eviction.

Unauthorised Pets

Condominiums and apartments typically forbid pets. Landlords expect tenants to follow this rule.

Refusal to Pay Rent Increase

Landlords have the right to increase the amount of rent legally. Tenants who refuse to follow may leave or just wait for eviction.

Illegal Use of Property

There is a reason residential properties are for living and why commercial properties are for business. When a tenant rents a residential apartment and decides to use it for business, he or she is using it illegally. Apart from violating their lease, this contravenes zoning ordinances as well.

Nobody wants to be homeless, especially when it is just because of a contract breach. Respect lease agreements as landlords have the power when it comes to eviction.

Racketeering and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Acts (RICO)

Simple handcuff in white backgroundRacketeering occurs when organized groups or crime rings operate rackets or illegal businesses or when they utilize legal organizations for embezzling funds. These acts are illegal because they could have catastrophic consequences for private and public institutions.

Common Examples of Rackets

In past decades, rackets usually dealt in evidently illegal industries including sex trafficking or prostitution, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, and trafficking of illegal weapons.

These rackets organized groups of individuals to keep their “business” covert and profitable, which in turn enables them to offer illegal products publicly and conveniently that authorities have a difficult time making prosecutions and arrests.

Additionally, when crime rings breach the corporate world, they could rob huge corporations via many different white collar criminal strategies, which in turn could put their target company in financial ruin, along with its employees and shareholders.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Prosecutors found it nearly impossible to end racketeering before Congress enacting laws for specifically fighting organized crime. Before, they could convict only the low-ranking members or henchmen of crime rings since these were the individuals who actually did the illegal work.

But the brains behind the entire operation usually go free since prosecutors could not connect them directly to the crimes. Fortunately, Congress enacted the RICO or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in 1978.

This law offers prosecutors provisions they require to combat organized crime rings, says a renowned white collar lawyer here in Houston.

Plenty of states have likewise enacted similar statutes. Under this act, prosecutors would not need to prove that a suspect committed the illegal activity personally. Rather, they should only show that the offender manages and owns the alleged criminal organization.

What to Do If You Are Facing Charges

Although your charge might not come close to infamous mob rings of yesteryears, conviction of a RICO crime could result in severe consequences. But being accused does not necessarily mean that the opposition could prove that you committed a crime.

There are relevant defenses might apply to your case, and the best way to learn about these is by consulting an experienced attorney to review your case.

The Marital Settlement Agreement: What Divorcing Spouses Need to Know

Lawyer discussing marital agreement to her clientsA marital or divorce settlement agreement articulates a divorce’s specific terms. The divorcing couple negotiates the terms included in the agreement along with their lawyers, but could likewise be reviewed by the court. Once a judge approves it, it would automatically be official.

Function and Features of Marital Settlement Agreements

A marital settlement agreement states all divorce terms that a divorcing spouse has agreed upon. It is a written record or proof of all the couple’s understandings so that they could easily determine and remedy violations in the future.

It likewise offers peace of mind for divorcing spouses since it has gone through thorough review by the court, which means that their terms adhere to state law and are therefore protected by it.

Common Problems

Divorce issues commonly included in marital settlement agreements include spousal support or alimony, child custody, support, and visitation, as well as property and debt division. But it could also include indemnifications or waivers.

Do note however that while the divorcing couple has discretion over the issues contained in the agreement, the court could still review it and if it deems proper, modify the agreements, explains Lewis & Matthews, P.C., a top divorce attorney in Summit County, CO.

For instance, the terms cannot invalidate the power of the court to make decisions regarding child custody and related issues according to the child’s best interests.

Decree Issued

Once a judge has issued the decree or order that officially terminates the marriage, the agreement incorporates into the court order. This would signify a mandated, lawful relationship involving strict and mutual responsibilities between the divorced spouses.

Additionally, because a court order authorized the marital settlement agreement, if one of the spouses violates the terms of the agreement, he or she could be held in contempt.

Some Crucial Considerations

There are states, such as Colorado, that allow bifurcation of divorce. This enables the divorcing spouses to be divorced legally even if they have not resolved their property issues and done to allow one of the spouses to remarry or for tax purposes.

This could be a viable option if you need to get divorced as soon as possible but have not gotten around to resolving your settlement issues yet. Speak with an experienced divorce attorney to learn more about your options.

Hiring an Accident Lawyer: Don’t Let Road Accidents Take You to the Brink of Financial Ruin

Police CarBad things can still happen to good people. Picture this: You are driving home from work, all excited to be back to your family. You’re tuned to your favourite radio station and singing along to your favourite jams as you navigate the traffic. As a careful driver, you keep to the speed limits, obey the lights and give way at intersections. Unfortunately, not everyone shares your enthusiasm for the rules. As you are waiting to for the light to turn, you hear a sudden bang and you are pushed into the oncoming traffic. The last thing you remember is a truck barrelling down on you.

Excruciating Pains

In serious road accidents, victims tend to pass out only to wake up later in excruciating pain. If you're lucky, the paramedics arrive on the scene quickly and take you to the nearest medical facility. If not, you have to endure the pain as the fire fighters cut through the car to free you from the motor vehicle wreck. Such an experience serves to add psychological trauma on top of the physical injuries you suffer from the accident. Bone fractures, lacerations, head, back and brain injuries are common in road accidents. In some cases, you might need to undergo surgical operations or require specialised help to overcome the injuries.

Sky-Rocketing Bills

Specialised health care and assistance necessary to recover from road accidents often runs into tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, it can even overrun your health care coverage, forcing you to dig into your life savings. In extreme cases, families teeter on the blink of bankruptcy as they seek to help a loved one recover from their injuries. Rather than endure such a situation, seek help from reputable car accident lawyers in Townsville. Legal counsel can pursue compensation on your behalf and save you a considerable amount of anguish.

Getting into a road accident is a tragic occurrence that could ruin your life and cause you pain and anguish. With the help of legal counsel, you can hold the person liable for the accident and pursue compensation.

Untimely Wage Payment: Know Your Rights as an Employee

Hands on top of legal papers

Hands on top of legal papersAs a hardworking employee, you deserve to receive the income that you and your employee agreed upon on the day or date indicated on your contract. Unfortunately, some employers don’t abide by the local and federal rules or the Labor Standards surrounding wages and paydays.

When this happens to you, you must know that you have the right to file a complaint. With the help of employment lawyers in Minneapolis, MN, you can protect your rights and receive fair compensation.

What the law states

As the Federal law mandates, employers must establish regular pay dates for all employees, and put everything in writing. Of course, they need to make good on this agreement. In Minnesota, employers also have to set pay dates for their workers. For instance, they can pay their employees twice a week, once a week, twice a month, or every month.

In the event that you haven’t received your wage on these dates, the legal procedure you have to take depends on the situation. There are several ways to resolve the problem. You and your employer may work on a fair settlement or you can take the matter to court.

The complex world of wage laws

Paycheck laws are complex and extremely technical. As such, you need to acquire sufficient and accurate information in order to boost your chances of getting a favorable outcome. As such, it’s best that you get the services of an employment lawyer in Minneapolis.

As someone who works hard to put food on the table and pay your own dues on time, you must receive your wages on time. If not, then make sure you consider taking the necessary legal steps to bring attention to these untimely wage payments. Your lawyer will help you prepare the documents and make careful decisions regarding your case.