Choice of Business Entity, Things to Think About – Limiting Your Liability

Some thoughts about the problems small business owners face when choosing a business entity. Among other factors limiting the liability of the business owner must be carefully considered. It is important to remember that simply choosing to do business in an entity – corporation or limited liability company- is not enough to eliminate all the liability the small business owner has.These decisions go far beyond your living plans, states a prominent San Diego Probate Attorney

Small business owners, whether in San Diego or anywhere else in California or in the USA, inevitably give limiting their personal liability as a major reason for choosing a corporation or LLC over remaining or being a sole proprietor. Now I won’t say that this is wrong, but it is hardly fool proof. Remember nothing is as good as good insurance, whether you’re an entity or proprietor.

ate lawyer One of the more exotic exceptions to exemption from personal liability of a small business owner is the prosaic “piercing the corporate veil”. Boy does that sound unpleasant. It is of course, and by the way the limited liability company veil can be pierced on pretty much the same legal principals. At its essence, piercing the entity veil of limited liability is a remedy awarded the business creditor because the debtor business entity has operated in a manipulative fashion that deprives the creditor of its reasonably expected rights to collect its debt. The textbook case involves a business owner/manager, “Mr. Proprietor”, who used of a series of corporations, which owned distinct assets, perhaps different real estate parcels. It is not at all uncommon for investor owners to have a distinct entity for each unique property. Nothing per se wrong with that. Then there will be another entity that is the “management” company. All these business entities were owned by substantially the same person. This person will have all the debt from the operation of the real estate investments or other assets reside with the management company. In other words it manages the real estate or whatever the other entities owned, thereby incurring all the trade debt from operations and liability for personal injury-at least in part-.

As too often happens to small business owners and managers, there was a down cycle and things looked bad for Mr. Proprietor. He shut down the management company leaving a serious quantity of unpaid trade debt. One or more creditors sued Mr. Proprietor and the other entities. The Court found the management company was not a real business. Its only source of revenue was the result of Mr. Proprietor’s exercise of discretion to turn over the rental or other real property income. That effectively made the whole scheme a manipulation of the corporations to deprive the creditors of what they reasonably expected based on the appearance that was held out to them. Mr. Proprietor and the entities that had the assets had to pay the bills.

It is worth noting some things that this case is not about:

• It didn’t exam the corporate formalities or lack thereof. Whether Mr. Proprietor kept minutes of meetings he had with himself is not discussed.

• The case was not decided on the basis of fraudulent inducement, what the creditors know about the ownership of the assets and what Mr. Proprietor knew about their knowledge was not discussed.

• Finally, it wasn’t a transferee liability case. When things go badly it is tempting to transfer liquid or other assets to the owner/managers and leave a depleted shell for the creditors.

That violates a duty the small business owner has to the creditors. The transferee can be held liable for the amount transferred. The owner/manager who makes and implements the decision may be liable for the entire debt owed to an injured creditor. Creditors who are aware of them will often pool their resources to put the entity into bankruptcy and have the trustee recover valuable assets transferred to owner/managers and redistribute them to creditors.

Let’s hope your business is always strong and profitable and you never have to consider the best way to deal with economic stress. But if things go wrong as they often do, you will be well advised to get advice from an attorney with a strong background and understanding of the remedies that a small business creditor has as well as the legal responsibilities of the small business owner and manager.

3914 Murphy Canyon Rd Suite A202, San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 278-2800

Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Hollywood is constantly helpful for a terrific story about a cash dispute including somebody famous.

Actors, manufacturers, authors, and agents are permanently arguing about who gets what does it cost of the millions they make each year.

These stories rarely have any bearing to the average American’s life. Sometimes, nevertheless, a Hollywood story actually does strike home with the typical American, as when it comes to the current death of legendary RnB, jazz, and blues singer Etta James.

The legal fight relating to control over her financial resources that ensued in the last year of her life illustrates the requirement for even the typical individual to produce, and update, his/her estate plan. Etta James was a powerful force in the music world, yet lived a troubled life as do lots of musicians.

Convinced from an early age that her dad was the well-known swimming pool player Minnesota Fats, James spend a great part of her life looking for love and validation through music and, later, through drug abuse. James died just recently at the age of 73 after a lengthy battle with Leukemia that left her suffering from both dementia and Hepatitis. James performed a power of attorney back in 2008 that supposedly gave one of her children from a previous relationship control over her financial resources; however, her hubby of 42 years declared that Ms. James was already struggling with dementia when the file was signed, for that reason revoking it.

Of course, had the power of attorney not been signed so late in her illness, there may not have actually been any need to question its credibility. Updating San Diego estate planning files can be as important as producing them in the first location. When the popular author Michael Crichton died, he existing spouse was six months pregnant. Sadly, not only had Crichton failed to upgrade his Will to include the new child however had language in his existing Will that omitted any future kids. After a court battle between his adult daughter and his partner, the kid was awarded a part of the estate, but the cost– both mentally and economically– will be felt by all involved for several years to come.

The lesson here is clear. Take the time now to create or upgrade your estate plan. Be clear and concise. Talk to your estate planning attorney to guarantee that your loved ones do not wind up on the opposite sides of a courtroom when you die or end up being seriously ill.

3914 Murphy Canyon Rd Suite A202, San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 278-2800

Medicaid Change in Place for 2018

Many people are surprised when they hear just how expensive long-term care has become these days, says a Temecula probate lawyer.  If you look at the average length of stay which is between two and four years, coupled with the average costs you may be faced with an expense that exceeds $200,000 toward the end of your life.

Before you say that you are not worried about this because you will be on Medicare you would do well to understand the fact that Medicare does not cover long-term care. The government program that will pay for it is Medicaid.

However since Medicaid is intended to assist those who have financial need there is an upper resource limit that you cannot exceed if you want to qualify for Medicaid. This limit is just $2000, but it is important to note that a lot of your valuable personal possessions are not considered to be countable in a Medicaid eligibility context.

In addition, let’s say that you need to enter long-term care but your spouse does not. He or she can keep his or her half of the community assets that are of a countable nature up to a certain prescribed limit. This limit has been adjusted upward for 2017. In 2011 it was $109,560; now that we are in 2018 it is $113,640.

Medicaid can provide a solution for many people who need long-term care. It is however important to aim toward eligibility in advance to optimize your position. The best way of doing this is to get together with an experienced Sarasota elder law attorney who will analyze the specifics of your situation and make the appropriate recommendations.

41593 Winchester Rd #200, Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 223-7000

Transferring Assets Outside of Probate

Moving properties to your loved ones is the goal when you are planning your estate, and it is essential to understand the fact that you have several choices to this end.

You might automatically believe that you will be using a last Will to reveal your wishes, but when you look into the details you might find that this is not the very best option for you. It works to comprehend the realities of probate when you are making this decision.

When you use a last Will as the document that will be directing your assets transfers, your estate is going to need to pass through the process of probate. Throughout this time the court of probate will identify the validity of the Will and monitor the administration of the estate. In Florida the individual who is accuseded of the obligation of really handling the tasks included is called the individual representative.

The two main reasons that probate is often avoided are since it is time-consuming and it can be costly. Your member of the family will not get their inheritances up until the estate has been probated, and the overall worth of your estate can be reduced by perhaps 5% to 10% once probate expenses have been paid.

There are nevertheless a variety of ways to move possessions outside of the probate process, and one popular option would be to create a revocable living trust.

If you wish to explore all of your choices, merely take a minute to schedule a consultation with a good Temecula Probate Attorney,
CALL Steve Bliss!

41593 Winchester Rd #200, Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 223-7000

How To Reduce Your Estate Taxes

If your estate is valued above a certain amount, your heirs will be faced with the possibility of paying the federal estate tax.

At the present time the estate tax exclusion is $5,120,000 and the rate of the tax is 35%. So the part of your estate that goes beyond the exemption amount undergoes the 35% tax. This arrangement is just in place through the end of this year nevertheless.

The estate tax exemption is decreasing to just $1 million and the rate is rising to 55% when the tax relief bill that was signed into law in December of 2010 expires at the start of 2013. The estate tax is merged with the present tax so this present $5.12 million exemption consists of both your estate and any gifts that you give throughout your life.

So, due to the fact that the unified exemption is being reduced at the end of the year it might be a smart idea to think about giving gifts in 2012. In addition to this, there is a $13,000 per person yearly gift tax exemption that does not affect the life time unified exemption. So you can give as much as $13,000 each year to any variety of gift recipients devoid of the gift tax.

To develop a smart strategy that lowers the taxable value of your estate you’re going to want to sit down and discuss your unique situation with a great Sarasota Estate Planning legal representative.

This is especially important right around now with changes to the estate tax criteria looming just over the horizon, says Steve Bliss, a probate attorney in Temecula

41593 Winchester Rd #200, Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 223-7000

GLBT Life-Partners Things to Know About Estate Planning

probate, estate planning, living trust, trusts, bankruptcy

If it’s crucial for many people to have all of their estate planning documents in place ahead of something disastrous happens. It is even more crucial for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. This is because different states have different laws about GLBT life-partnerships. These laws can change your end-of-life financial and medical directives as well as who will get your estate. You should speak to San Diego Estate Planning Lawyer. today to be aware of the laws in your state and prepare your important documents.

If you die without a Will, your assets will normally go to your closest living relative under your states laws of intestate succession. For straight people, this often means that a spouse gets most of the estate’s assets.

However, not all states will treat GLBT life-partners as a spouse in this case. Thus, if you want your partner to receive an inheritance from you, it is necessary that you say so particularly in a Will or a Trust. Do not count on current laws in your state that protect life-partners in civil unions. However, in today’s political climate, civil union laws are subject to change.

You will also wish San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys if you want to appoint a life-partner as the person to make medical choices if you are unable of doing so. This will make sure that doctors and hospitals respect your wishes. Don’t wait until something happens to start making plans.

3914 Murphy Canyon Rd Suite A202, San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 278-2800


The Estate Planning Process

The Estate Preparation Process

( NC) – How do I begin? Start by making a list of those you want to remember in your Will. You will want to offer your dependants initially, however here is your chance to be innovative. You can provide a meaningful product to a favourite relative, honour a friend or set up gifts to companies and charities that you think in and support.
Prepare a list of the names and addresses of all the people that you wish to include in your Will. File this list in your Essential File File.
Precision in naming the individuals and companies to whom you want to leave money or home is essential when you make your Will. Your Will should leave no room for doubt. Identify each recipient plainly and precisely. Use care, various organizations might have almost identical names. Organizations will happily provide you and your consultant( s) with all required details.
Decide upon an Administrator or Co-Executors
Among a Will’s important functions is to name an Administrator (your individual agent) to settle your estate and carry out your Will’s terms. Select your Executor with care. You might want to call co-Executors, one a relative, the other an attorney, bank or trust business. The role involves submitting income tax return, investing assets and valuing and selling (or keeping) residential or commercial property. The job of estate settlement includes submitting the Will for probate (proof of credibility), securing and inventorying all your possessions and liabilities, paying your debts and taxes, then distributing exactly what is left as your Will directs.
Among your essential estate planning choices is your choice of Administrator. Even the best-laid plans will stop working if the individual you choose is not up to the job. An Administrator needs to be:
Willing, and have the time to act.
Objective toward all beneficiaries.
Able to make choices in a prompt style.
Proficient in business, financial investment and administrative matters at a level adequate to manage your estate.
Experienced and knowledgeable in estate and trust law and administration.
Preferably, your Administrator ought to be below you
Name an alternate in case your Administrator can not act or passes away before you
An Administrator, whether an independent professional or a relative, is entitled to sensible cost from the estate
Ask the person first to make sure they comprehend all the tasks included
If you do not have a Will, or if your Will has not been updated just recently, perhaps it is time to meet with an attorney and get the job done. Take the first step; call Ontario March of Dimes
toll-free at 1-800-263-3463 x 383 for a totally free copy of “My Individual Organizer” – a convenient estate planning tool

Why A Will Is Not Enough To Save Anna Nicole Smith’s Baby Daughter?

Why A Will Is Not Enough To Save Anna Nicole Smith’s Baby Daughter?

Source: Flickr

With much discomfort I have been forced to watch the Anna Nicole Smith probate proceedings and much more information than I wanted to know about Anna Nicole’s life events. Her reported death is everywhere: on TV, in print, magazines, online and everywhere else you can imagine. The media has made a circus of showing the legal battle going on in open court about the six-year-old will and interpretation thereof.


Would you want this to happen to you? The legal battles over the Anna Nicole Smith’s estate will go on for years. An unintended myriad of problems and a legacy left behind about her life living and beyond the grave.

A will does not avoid probate. A will does not eliminate the estate tax. If you die with a will or without a will your personal and real property has to go to probate. If you have property in more than one state, each states’ probate court has jurisdiction to probate the will.

What’s probate? Probate is a public process whereby a local court of jurisdiction (probate court) assumes the responsibility of determining who gets what. The court will determine the legitimacy of your will? Was it written with undue influence? Is it the last will? Who is the true executor (i.e. the person who will make the distributions under court jurisdiction)? Did it assign custody for minor children?

The probate court will take inventory of your personal and real property. In addition, the probate court will assign and investigate claims made against your property from potential and real creditors and even assign accountants and lawyers to drag the process.


There are two legitimate reasons for having a will. The will enables:

(1) The assignment of a custodial guardian of minor children.
(2) The assignment of an executor.

The assignment of choosing a guardian for your minor children is the most important aspect of having a will. Choose your custodian well, based on the love of your children as if you were going to be there. Traditionally, you would not choose the executor of your will to be the guardian of your minor children.

There’s a balance to be had between the Executor and the Guardian of your children. The Executor would have some degree of control if there were to be any uncontemplated issues, later in time. All other aspects of the will can be highly contested by anyone having an interest in the outcome of any distributions. Even a very well drafted will becomes a public document and must go to probate in each state where the decedent had property.

Anna Nicole’s will is a public document; even you can get a copy if you’re interested. Final disposition and battle over her estate is going to play before our eyes for years to come. Is this what you would want?


What can you do to avoid the type of media circus over your assets? Can you avoid leaving this painful legacy? An absolute and resounding YES.

Aside from the custody of minor children, a will does not provide any type of safety net over your assets. Only a Trust will avoid this public disclosure of what should be a private matter between you and your assets you leave behind.

A Trust is a Contract. If you choose to be private about your private matter, a Trust, any Trust, will avoid probate; revocable or irrevocable, grantor or non-grantor type Trusts will avoid the probate process. A Trust is not just for the rich. Any one with $200,000 or more should have a Trust.

A perfect Trust for under $500,000 is a living Trust, or a revocable Trust to avoid the probate process. Any one with significant assets should have an Irrevocable Trust. While any Trust will avoid the probate process, only an Irrevocable Trust will avoid the probate process and avoid the inheritance tax or the estate tax.


With a Revocable Trust the word “revocable” means that you have sufficient strings to revoke the contract; nullify and void it. While it will avoid going to probate and drag your dirty linen through the public process, it will not avoid the inheritance/estate tax, because on the date of your death you still owned your assets in your name.

For purposes of taxation and civil liability the “revocable” strings attached, means that you did not give up power to control and “own” on a long-term basis your assets; therefore, you are the “deemed” owner of the assets. The Estate Tax is based on what you own in your name at the date of your death. So, the Probate Process is about who gets what; the Estate Tax is about who owns what and what’s it worth for the purpose of taxation.

The estate tax is based on the “fair cash value” of your property of personal estate or real estate at the time of your death not at the time you bought it. Items that are included in your estate are cash, CD’s, real estate, investment accounts, IRA’s, vacation spot, art, jewelry, antiques, boats, planes or anything of value that could be converted to cash or near cash. Only an Irrevocable Trust avoids both the Probate Process and the Estate/Inheritance Tax.


An Irrevocable Trust is a Contract whereby you give up “any ownership claims” against your assets repositioned/transferred from you to your Irrevocable Trust. The key to dissolve your ownership claims is with an Independent Trustee.

Your “Trustee” must be “independent.” The Trustee cannot be you or any one related to you by blood or marriage. It could be your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or any in-law, but it would not be prudent. I do not recommend it since it could cause disharmony of your family unit. Death changes people; money changes people. It’s not worth the risk of forever splitting your family for the love of money. Choose your independent Trustee well.

As mentioned before, no matter how well drafted, a will must go to probate where it becomes a public document for every interested party to view and review. The only method of avoiding the probate process is to have your possessions and valuable assets titled to a Trust.

Though the tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith and her baby daughter’s plight cannot now be avoided, we can learn from this situation and apply remedial steps to our own life. Here are some things for you to consider in your life:

– All Trusts, revocable or irrevocable, grantor or non-grantor avoid Probate.
– A will does NOT avoid Probate.
– A will does NOT avoid Estate Taxes.
– Only an “Irrevocable Trust” avoids Estate/Inheritance Taxes.

What is the Difference Between a Power Of Attorney and a Guardianship? Which is Appropriate for Someone With Alzheimer’s?

Exactly what is the Distinction In between a Power Of Lawyer and a Guardianship? Which is Suitable for Someone With Alzheimer’s?

A power of attorney is a legal file in which a single person (the principal) licenses another (the representative) to act on his/her behalf. Financial powers of lawyer enable your agent to make decisions regarding your property. Healthcare powers of attorney enable your agent to make decisions concerning your healthcare needs.
A power of lawyer allows you to appoint another person to manage your monetary and business affairs when you can not do it yourself anymore.
This document can be a lifesaver when crisis scenarios take place after a mishap or illness. The representative can do whatever the document allows, such as withdraw bank funds, pay bills, money checks, and buy and sell real estate. The power of attorney is less pricey and more private than a guardianship.
Guardianship, on the other hand, is a legal relationship where a probate court provides an individual (the guardian) the power to make individual choices for another (the ward).
A relative or a friend can start the proceedings by submitting a petition in the court of probate in the county where the private resides. A medical examination by a certified doctor may be required to develop the person’s condition. A law court will then determine whether the individual is not able to satisfy the important requirements for his/her health and safety.
A conservatorship is a legal relationship whereby the court of probate gives an individual (the conservator) the power to make monetary decisions for another (the protectee). The court proceedings are extremely much like those of a guardianship other than the court determines whether a specific does not have the capacity to handle his/her monetary affairs. If so, the court designates a conservator to make financial choices for the individual. Typically the court appoints the same individual to act as both guardian and conservator for the individual. Like the guardian, the conservator is required to report to the court annual.
With all this in mind, you must examine your situation.
Exactly what would you do if you could not manage your own affairs? You may wish to seek advice from a lawyer concentrating on Elder Law, who will have the ability to help you and recommend you in this matter. By doing this now when you still have the time, you will save yourself and your liked ones heartache and monetary expenses in the future.

Essential Subjects of Online Paralegal Studies

Essential Topics of Online Paralegal Researches

A paralegal degree or education made through online paralegal studies must have the same quality of education as that of regular paralegal schools; for it is through education that a paralegal acquires the germane and crucial lessons he needs in being successful in the paralegal occupation.
Online paralegal studies need to have a curriculum approved by the American Bar Association and other international associations for paralegals to guarantee that trainees who would take the online paralegal degree would have the competitive and quality type of online paralegal studies.
In online paralegal studies, it is very important that the trainees must take the necessary subjects primarily law topics due to the fact that this is going to be the foundation of themselves as excellent and competitive paralegals. A few of the topics to be consisted of in online paralegal research studies are:

* American Jurisprudence– this is necessary to trainees taking online paralegal research studies and planning to work in American countries. It consists of a comprehensive study of the nature of the judiciary and the court system; the federal and state court distinctions; special and/or inferior state and federal courts; the nature of jurisdiction and location; the administrative process and the nature of law and corresponding judicial power.
* Estates, Trusts and Probate— this will inform students of online paralegal research studies in information the preliminary planning and preparation required for an extensive estate plan.
* Torts and Personal Injury– a subject that would inform and teach the students about the torts and the tort law.
* Legal Composing– must be taught likewise in online paralegal studies because most of the paralegal tasks involve composing and preparing.
* Legal Research study– a paralegal needs to know how to conduct a research study, that’s why this subject should be likewise provided priority.
* Ethics and Professional Responsibility– It is an extensive review of the law of expert duty as it impacts paralegals, recognizing and resolving ethical issues, and useful suggestions to use in everyday practice. The modes and guidelines of this that will be consisted of in online paralegal research studies need to be in accordance with the requirements of ABA and National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
* Civil Lawsuits– this would be an intriguing subject considering that some paralegal are allowed to come in court and do some preparations for litigations.
* Other laws such as household law; criminal law; work law and other useful law subjects. Paralegals, however are not thinking about going into the law school to become attorneys, they must understand or have understanding on these subjects because as they go into the paralegal occupation, they would be handling these subjects.