How to Successfully Develop a Real Estate Project

growth-Real-Estate-MarketTo receive a highly professional legal advice based on experience in Real Estate will be vital to make sure that the land you want to purchase for starting a real estate project (horizontal or vertical condominiums, houses, gated communities or commercial) is ideal and doesn’t have any kind of building restrictions.

With the ‘Due Diligence’ lawyers make ensure that the client’s investment is not at risk.

Before a person buys a land, it takes place a study related to legal and procedure aspects, that will allow to inform the person if the property he/she is considering to purchase for the real estate project is suitable for that business.

The ‘Due Diligence’ includes, among other aspects:

– Making a study of the property and checking if it has liens
– Examine if the land was legally purchased and, therefore, can be transferred without inconvenience
– Check whether it is located or not on a restricted area or a maritime zone, and if its use won´t be in conflict with the Ley de Aguas (Water Law) and the Ley Forestal (Forest Law)
– Consult with the respective municipality to verify if the taxes of the property are up to date
– Ask for a Certificate of Use of the land to determine which are the viable options for the development of the property
– Study the Regulatory Plan of the municipality where the land is located

Get in contact with real estate professionals

Once the ‘Due Diligence’ ensures us that the land is suitable for developing a real estate project, lawyers put the customers -especially when it comes to foreigners- in contact with professionals in Real Estate.

Components of a Good Estate Plan

estateplanningA thorough estate plan should be designed to avoid probate, save on estate taxes, appoint someone to act for you if you become disabled, and protect assets if you need to move into a nursing home.

A will is only one element of a complete estate plan. All estate plans should also include a durable power of attorney. A trust is useful to avoid probate and manage your estate during your life and after. Medical directives and beneficiary designations are supplements you should consider.

Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows a person you appoint as your “attorney-in-fact” to act in your place for financial purposes should you ever become incapacitated. The person you choose will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Appointing an “attorney-in-fact” prevents additional time and expenses incurred in court during the finalization of your estate.

Will
A will is a legally binding statement outlining who will receive your property at your death, and appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes (executor). It also allows you to name a guardian for any minor children you may have.

Trust
A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” There are several different reasons for setting up a trust, but the most common is to avoid probate. If you establish a revocable living trust that terminates when you die, any property in the trust passes immediately to the beneficiaries. This can save time and money for beneficiaries.

Specific trusts can help donors qualify for Medicaid, result in tax advantages both for the donor and the beneficiary, or be used to protect property from creditors.

Medical Directives
A medical directive can encompass multiple documents including:
•Health care proxy,
•Durable power of attorney for health care
•Living will
•Medical instructions

These documents designate someone you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so, and instruct your health care provider to withdraw life support if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state.

Beneficiary Designations
While not formally considered a part of your estate plan, you should make sure your retirement plan beneficiary designations are up to date. If you don’t name a beneficiary, the distribution of benefits may be controlled by state or federal law or according to your particular retirement plan and could be subject to negative tax consequences.

Bankruptcy vs Other Options

When you think about filing bankruptcy you really want to understand all your options. This is the quick overview of bankruptcy vs other other options.

If you are considering whether bankruptcy is right for you, solid information is needed before making a decision. You may be considering doing nothing, debt consolidation, or even litigating with creditors. Today, we are going to compare bankruptcy with other options.home-bankruptcy

Bankruptcy vs Doing Nothing

If you are in debt and it is bad enough to start research on the internet, doing nothing is not the best option for you to consider. Not really knowing about what your options is never a good idea Consider if you were sick, you would get an opinion about the outcome.The same goes for bankruptcy. At some point with money problems there is only so much you can do yourself. This applies to all of us. Money is difficult for most of us to manage. Sometimes you are going to need advice about the pros and the cons of your specific situation. If you are starting to get harassed by the creditors and debt collection agencies, you can leave yourself open to a lawsuit. If you are sued for whatever reasons you have just a few weeks to determine how you are going to respond. Doing nothing means that assets that you can protect go unprotected.Not protecting your 401k or the equity in your homes to try desperately to pay off bills has a devastating on your retirement . You need to start with getting some advice before, due to lack of information, you can make a bad thing worse.

Bankruptcy vs Debt Consolidation

First of all, no one wants to file bankruptcy. It is an urban legend that people who file bankruptcy are doing so lightly ..they are not. But, if you are driving down the road thinking about the money issues and you hear the advertisements for debt consolidation ..it sounds like a good thing.The Great Recession is still plaguing many of us. News outlets are reporting that jobs aren’t being created and that the only reason unemployment claims are down is that for many, their benefits are exhausted. With all these stressors, one might think people would be flocking to bankruptcy protection in droves.In proportion to the economy, the upswing in bankruptcy filings has been fairly modest.

Is debt consolidation ever a good idea?
The question I ask is: Will the borrowers have a lower monthly payment over the next five years in their proposed debt consolidation than in bankruptcy Chapter 13 ? If the answer is yes, they should consider debt consolidation. If they may be unable to qualify for Ch. 7 or 13 (i.e would have to be in a Ch. 11!) or for other reasons bankruptcy would have serious and unwelcome consequences like sacrificing property the borrowers own, they should consider debt consolidation. Disqualifying factors can be that the borrowers are over the debt limit for a Ch. 13. Yes, there is a debt limit for Ch. 13. Two limits, actually; one for secured debt and one for unsecured. [Chapter 7 has no debt limit.] Those are the two conditions under which I refer a potential bankruptcy client to a debt consolidator. Otherwise, typically a Ch. 7 bankruptcy gives the client a fresh start, and the problem can be solved years earlier than other options.

Bankruptcy-Chapter 7 VS Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually runs five years, which is about the same or longer than debt consolidation. This type of bankruptcy provides you protection from creditors while the outstanding debt is settled through a repayment plan. It can be used to halt home foreclosure. Filing Chapter 13 is sometimes called the home-saver bankruptcy. Depending on what the debts are for, the court may reduce the amount repaid to some creditors. However, once the creditors have received the agreed upon payment via the court, the debt is considered paid in full. This will mean that your credit rating will stay low for the period of time of the Chapter 13 length. Furthermore, Chapter 13 requires a monthly repayment of 100% of your disposable monthly income.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is shorter, less complicated, and less expensive. It allows you to have all of your unsecured debt wiped clean. The process usually takes no more than three months and it is the most common type of bankruptcy. Compared to Chapter 13, which takes three to five years, Chapter 7 is the best option for those who qualify. Furthermore, Chapter 13 requires a monthly repayment of 100% of your disposable monthly income. A “fresh start” or “clean slate”, Chapter 7 is a form of bankruptcy designed to let people (and sometimes businesses) get out of debt without repaying any of the “unsecured” creditors. While Chapter 7 also requires the person(s) filing go turn over to the bankruptcy trustee all “non-exempt” assets, skilled planning with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can usually ensure all the filer’s assets are exempt (i.e., the filer gets to keep the property.)

With Chapter 7, the Court, not the creditors, decides whether any assets should be sold to pay creditors. While there is both an art and a science to actually completing the documents to be filed in a Chapter 7, much greater skill is needed to plan for minimum loss to the person filing. If the person filing Chapter 7 can’t pay reasonably necessary living expenses and pay something to the unsecured creditors, the Chapter 7 filer should sail through the process pretty smoothly. However, with Chapter 7, Debt consolidation cannot even do this.

What Are the Questions I Need to Ask My Lawyer in a Child Custody Case?

16Child custody cases can be some of the most contentious. They can also be complex, and the way that they are decided varies from each state and region. To better prepare for a custody dispute, parents may retain the services of family law lawyers to help advise them of the process entailed in a child custody case.

What Is the Difference in Sole Custody and Joint Custody?

The family court may order sole custody or joint custody. Sole custody is when one parent has nearly all of the rights and responsibilities related to raising the child. Some states differentiate between physical and legal custody. Legal custody means the right of the parent to make decisions for the child. In some cases, one parent receives physical sole custody and both may receive legal custody. In sole custody cases, the other parent may have visitation rights with the child or supervised visitation. The non-custodial parent may be responsible for financially contributing to the child’s upbringing through child support.

Joint custody means that parents more equally share the rights and responsibilities of raising the child. However, their time may not be exactly equal. Additionally, even if parents have joint physical custody, one parent may still be ordered to pay child support to the other.

How Does the Court Determine What Type of Custody to Award?

Generally, the court will consider the best interests of the child when determining to whom and in what manner to award custody. The factors that the court looks at are usually based on a family law that specifies relevant factors or case law in which judges have stated in past cases what factors can influence their decisions.

The court may consider factors specific to the child, such as the child’s age, sex and development. The court may also consider how close the child’s bond is to each parent and to siblings. If the child is old enough, his or her preferences may be considered by the court.

Courts also look at the lifestyle of each parent to determine which one would provide a better home environment for the child. The court can consider how involved the parent has been in parenting, whether each parent can cooperate with the other, the emotional, physical and financial stability of each parent and any history of domestic violence on the other parent or another member of the household.

Do I Have to Go to Court?

The way that custody cases are approached vary in each jurisdiction. Some states require parents to attend mediation before a court will hear the case. Through mediation or private conversations, the parents may be able to reach a decision regarding such issues as child custody, visitation and child support. The judge may give greater deference to agreements reached by the parents. However, some states do not require the judge to make an order consistent with the agreement if he or she does not believe that the agreement is in the child’s best interests or if the child support is not in line with state laws.

Reaching an agreement outside of court can be preferable on many levels. For example, visitation schedules can be made to specifically coordinate with the parents’ work schedule. Additionally, legal expenses tend to be less when lawyers do not have to argue the case in front of a judge.

However, if the parents are not able to come to an agreement, they will likely have to go to court for a hearing in which the judge will make decisions regarding custody. He or she will document decisions by making an order that states his or her mandates in writing.

Can I Change an Order?

Typically to change an order, the parent who wants to change the order, he or she must show that a material change in circumstances that justifies making such a change.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

Child custody laws can be complex and usually require the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer. It is important that parents know about the experience and background that a family law lawyer can lend to assist with the case.

Pros and Cons of Forming an LLC for Real Estate Investments

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) for real estate investments has been a common practice in Florida for more than 30 years because an LLC can help investors protect their personal assets from any liabilities associated with their real estate investments.

Although some real estate investors may elect to rely solely on liability insurance to protect themselves from a potential lawsuit, there are some risks to this approach. Liability policies generally have exceptions and limits that do not wholly protect investors from litigation; an LLC’s protective power is typically broader and more beneficial.

Here are the advantages of forming an LLC for real estate investments:images (2)

Pros

Limits personal asset exposure to legal judgments relating to the LLC’s investment properties.

Offers pass-through taxation benefits. Although “S” corporations also offer this benefit, they are subject to other requirements and restrictions that may limit their usefulness to real estate investors.

Foreign ownership and investment in U.S. real estate is allowed through an LLC.

Transferring ownership in real estate holdings can easily be accomplished via gifting of membership interests. This can be done without having to execute and record a new deed, thus allowing property owners to avoid transfer and recording taxes and fees.

LLCs can be managed by an owner or third party manager, while corporations are required to have officers and directors.

Offers flexibility in profit distribution options. LLC owners can determine their own distribution structure, whereas “S” corporations require pro rata cash flow distributions.

Cons

Although there are many advantages, not every real estate investor will want to take on the responsibility of managing a company and may instead elect to protect personal assets by purchasing liability insurance.

In order to maintain personal liability protection, LLCs do require that owners observe the legally required corporate formalities such as maintaining separate bank accounts, maintaining a registered agent and maintaining sufficient company records to keep the LLC in good standing.

Real estate investors considering forming an LLC for their investments should do so prior to purchasing investment property since it is easier to purchase property through the LLC than to transfer it later when you may need your lender to consent to the transaction.

A single-member FL LLC may not offer the same level of liability protection as a corporation.

Inheritance Laws

Property-Ownership-–-An-Estate-Planning-Basic-770x262Inheritance laws are determined on the state level. These laws come into effect when the person who died left no will or his or her will is invalidated due to not following legal formalities, being the product of undue influence or duress, the testator lacking the requisite capacity or for other reasons as determined under state law. Additionally, some inheritance laws take effect even if a valid will was left and if the will says something that contradicts state law.

Rights of a Spouse

A spouse who survives his or her spouse often has several rights. The nature of these rights often depends on whether the decedent died in a state that recognizes community property or common law.

Community Property

California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Idaho, Wisconsin and Washington use the community property system. Alaska couples can opt in to community property rules, but they must have a signed written agreement in order to do so.

In community property states, each spouse is considered to be the equal owner for any income or property acquired during the marriage, generally speaking. Some property is exempted, such as property acquired as a personal gift or inheritance or property that was designated as separate property due to an agreement between the spouses. A spouse can only dispose of his or her one-half interest in community property and not that of his or her spouse. Additionally, a spouse can dispose of the entirety of separate property as he or she sees fit.

Common Law States

In all other states, spouses are not entitled to a one-half interest of the marital property. However, state laws usually prevent a spouse from disinheriting his or her spouse. Common law states often allow a spouse to take an elective share or to take what is listed for him or her in the will, whichever he or she chooses.

The elective share is usually between one-third and one-half of the decedent’s property. However, some states determine the amount of the elective share by assessing the length of the marriage. Spouses who have been married for only one year may only be entitled to three percent of the estate, according to some state laws. Taking an elective share may require the spouse to assert this right with the probate court.

Other Provisions

Inheritance laws often protect other rights of the surviving spouse. For example, inheritance laws may state that the spouse has the right to live in the family home until his or her death. A spouse may also be entitled to an allowance to support himself or herself while the case is pending in probate court. He or she may also have the right to claim personal property in the marital home.

Children’s Rights

Generally speaking, children do not have the right to inherit a parent’s property if the will does not include them. However, state inheritance laws do protect children who were unintentionally omitted. For example, if the will was created before the child was born and was never changed, the child may have a right to part of the decedent’s estate. The same may apply for a grandchild or other descendant if the child pre-deceased the parent.

Parents who wish to intentionally disinherit a child may be required to specifically mention this information in the will in order for it to be valid.

Intestate Succession

The laws of intestacy of each state determine who stands to inherit and in what proportion. If there are no surviving descendants, the surviving spouse may be lawfully entitled to all of the estate. If there are surviving children, the spouse and the children may share in equal parts. Intestate succession tables often compare the degree of kinship in order to determine who should inherit if there is no surviving spouse or child. In some circumstances, a parent, grandparent, sibling, grandchild, aunt or uncle may be entitled to a certain portion of the estate if closer relatives have not survived the decedent.

Inheritance Tax

Some states impose an inheritance tax on the person who receives property from a decedent. There is no federal estate tax at the time of publication. That tax is assessed on the estate itself while inheritance tax is incurred on the recipient, if applicable. Even if inheritance tax exists in a state, many beneficiaries are exempt from it. Many states exempt a spouse, children and other close family members from having to pay an inheritance tax.

What Happens in a Debt Collection Lawsuit?

Concept keyDebt collection companies are often given a specific protocol to follow when collecting debts. Their owners may set out specific rules for these transactions. Additionally, federal and state laws often impose additional requirements regarding the collection of debt.

Common Collection Procedure

When a debtor is delinquent on his or her account, the original creditor will attempt to collect the debt on its own. However, if the attempts go unanswered and the debtor does not respond by paying the bill in full, the creditor may submit the debt to a third party debt collector. When a creditor refers a debt to a third party collector, it usually does so by selling the debt to the third party collector for cents on the dollar. The debt collector becomes the new owner of the debt and receives the rights of the original creditor to the balance owed. In other situations, the original creditor remains the creditor and pays the debt collection company a portion of the amounts collected on delinquent accounts.

Debt Collection Law Firm

If the third party collector is not able to collect on the debt, the debt may be sent to a debt collection law firm. The debtor is often made aware of the assignment to the debt collection law firm by receiving a letter. State and federal rules and regulations sometimes dictate the information and documents that must be included with this communication. The letter will usually state that the creditor has retained the law firm in order to represent it in collecting the debt. The letter also demands payment.

Normally, the letter will also state that the debtor has 30 days to dispute the debt and gives instructions on how such a dispute is commenced. The letter may also state that the debtor may face a civil lawsuit if he or she fails to respond and pay off the debt.

Role of the Debtor’s Attorney

Individuals who receive notice of involvement by an attorney may choose to seek their own legal counsel. A debt settlement attorney will handle all communications with the collection firm once he or she is retained and the firm receives notice of his or her involvement. Once the debt collection firm receives this notice, the attorney is authorized to act on behalf of the debtor. If the debt collection firm communicates with the debtor after notice of the debt settlement attorney’s appointment, such communication will likely be deemed improper.

The debt settlement attorney handles all negotiations with the debt collection firm. In many cases, a settlement can be reached in which the debtor pays a portion of the debt in satisfaction of the debt.

Filing of a Lawsuit

If the debt collection firm and debt settlement attorney cannot reach a settlement, an attorney for the debt collection firm will file a lawsuit in the state where the debtor resides. The debtor has a limited amount of time to respond to the legal complaint. If he or she does not file this response within the provided time, the debt collection firm can seek a default judgment against the debtor in which the court can rule in favor of the creditor who can then take steps to collect on the judgment.

Pleadings and Motions

A debt settlement lawyer can help protect the debtor’s rights by providing a response, filing certain motions and responding to certain motions and requests. If there are any applicable defenses, the attorney will raise them. For example, a statute of limitations may apply that bars recovery for an unpaid debt. A statute of limitations is the time limit in which a legal action must be filed in order for the court to provide relief. Other potential legal motions may include motions for discovery purposes, motion to quash the summons or a motion to dismiss the complaint.

Judgment

If the court rules in favor of the creditor, the creditor may then take steps to collect on the judgment. The creditor can take steps to receive the money it is owed by asking for a lien on un-exempted real estate owned by the debtor, the sale of the debtor’s property or a garnishment on the debtor’s wages. The debtor’s attorney may be able to work out a consent judgment in which some of these actions are avoided. Such a judgment may be the result of a repayment plan that the debtor and creditor agree to.

Individuals facing a debt collection lawsuit may wish to talk to a debt settlement attorney in order to learn about their rights and responsibilities.

High-Profile Custody Dispute

download (2)Child custody is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of any divorce, but contrary to common beliefs even teenaged children can become caught in the crossfire.

The child custody dispute between pop superstar Madonna and ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, has recently heated up in the High Court of England. Despite divorcing in 2008, the couple continues to fight over custody of their 15-year-old son, Rocco.

Specifically, Madonna and Guy Ritchie cannot reach an agreement on whether Rocco should complete his schooling in the United Kingdom – where Ritchie resides – or in the United States, where Madonna maintains a primary residence. Rocco was on tour with his mother while simultaneously enrolled in a Manhattan private school before a December 2015 visit to the UK allegedly derailed his studies. Upon staying with his father in London, Rocco reportedly expressed disinterest in returning to the United States, according to Madonna.

Guy Ritchie maintains that Rocco has since been enrolled in school in London. New York Supreme Court, First Judicial District Judge Deborah Kaplan earlier this month ruled that Rocco can remain a student abroad but refused to rescind her earlier order that Guy Ritchie must return his son to the United States. At a hearing before the High Court of England, Judge Alistair MacDonald joined with Judge Kaplan in urging the estranged couple to set their differences aside for the sake of their son.

Longstanding child custody agreements that have been honored for a decade or more can be jeopardized once a child reaches an age to voice a preference for one parent over another. When those same parents reside in different countries, a refusal to return to the home of a custodial parent can invoke international law and lead to prolonged absences between a parent and child. Divorce lawyers note that whenever a former spouse voices their intent to live abroad, both parties must strive to honor their custody agreements and immediately seek relief in court if and when an agreement is violated.

Child Custody

Claims Against Real Estate Agents

images (1)Real estate agents occupy a position of trust. Quite often, they are involved in transactions that represent the largest monetary value that their clients have ever encountered. As such, real estate agents may be subject to a number of legal claims.

Fraud

One common claim made in this context is that of fraud. In most cases,
fraud requires showing that the real estate agent had the intent to defraud, deceive or misrepresent facts to the detriment of the plaintiff. This may be affirmative action such as telling a lie, or it may be fraud by omitting certain information. Some states have laws or case law regarding a concept called constructive fraud, which is when the real estate agent gains an unfair advantage by using deceitful or unfair methods. Intent is not required in these cases.

Fraud may arise when the real estate agent knew that information in a listing was incorrect, such as the square footage of the home, but still maintained this information was true. Fraud can also result when the real estate agent new about damage to the property or a termite infestation and failed to disclose this information to his or her clients. Additionally, fraud may lie when the real estate agent knew about future development plans and failed to disclose this information to the plaintiff in order to only look out for his or her own interests.

Breach of Contract

Another claim that is common within this context is a breach of contract claim. This legal claim asserts that the real estate agent violated the contract between the agent and the plaintiff. Normally, a real estate agent would not be sued for breach of contract under the real estate contract because he or she is not usually a party to the contract. However, he or she may be sued for violating the broker’s agreement or other contract.

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty claim may arise in conjunction with a breach of contract claim. A real estate agent has a fiduciary duty to act in his or her clients’ best interests. This requires the agent to zealously represent the client even if doing so would result in a lower fee for himself or herself since the client’s needs are paramount to the agent’s own.

Additionally, maintaining this duty of care requires the agent to act with all of his or her skill, care and diligence in his or her representation of the client. A breach of duty claim may arise when the real estate agent fails to disclose important information to the client, such as an ongoing feud with a neighbor or a known encumbrance on the property.

Negligence

A common claim in civil cases in general is negligence. This legal claim asserts that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff but breached this duty. As a result, the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer some harm. In the real estate context, the duty may be expressly provided in the contract. In contrast, it can be a general duty of care that the real estate agent was expected to exhibit given his or her relationship with the plaintiff.

Negligence is a legal theory that is not based upon the intent of the defendant. Instead, it can rest on the theory that the real estate agent should have known that there was a defect and accidentally forgot to disclose it.

Identifying Defendant

When a plaintiff has suffered an injury or economic damage due to the acts or omissions of a real estate agent, he or she may begin identifying people or entities that share in the legal liability. The first named defendant is often the real estate agent. However, other parties may share legal responsibility, depending on the circumstances of the case.

For example, real estate agents may be hired by real estate firms or brokerage companies. Employers may be liable for the conduct of their employees. Additionally, employers or other parties may have the real estate broker act as their representative, which may subject them to liability.

Insurance

Due to the potential for expensive litigation, some insurance companies offer a type of insurance that is similar to malpractice insurance. This type of insurance is usually referred to as “Errors and Omissions” insurance and includes coverage for instances when real estate agents make contract errors, make mistakes related to the value of the property, make mistakes in the escrow process, make errors related to the structure, sewer, well, moisture or title issues. This type of insurance does not cover intentional conduct, such as fraud.

What to Consider When Considering An Estate Planning Attorney?

The list of reasons supporting the consideration of consulting with an “Estate Planning Attorney” is long and an important consideration by those of us wanting to assure that our assets get divided and passed on to our loved ones and others in a way that reflects your wishes.

It may look like a term for people of considerate wealth, but everyone has an “estate.”

In fact, your car, home, other real estate, investments, checking account, and even furniture and other personal possession comprise your estate. Naturally, you cannot keep these things when you pass away, but you can control how your estate is given to the loved ones and organizations you care about. In short, estate planning is a clear set of instructions that dictate whom you want to receive something of ydenver-estate-planningours, what they’ll be receiving, and when and how they’ll receive these items. An “Estate Planning Attorney“ plays a key role in ensuring that your estate is fully and clearly drafted, and for when that day comes, an attorney provides proper management and distribution of the estate.

Importance of Estate Planning

It’s not easy to plan for death, but we have also seen, first hand, how an improperly managed estate can create complications for the surviving family members. Likewise, without an estate, the respective state’s Probate Laws may then control and determine the whom, what, when, and how of your estate. Effectively planning and estate administration isn’t an expensive process, and regardless of your assets, you may find endless benefits for you, your family and loved ones, and others. This is especially true when setting up a trust, for example, that allows significant tax benefits for the assets you wish to pass on.

Practice Areas

The following is a list of some of the common practice areas by those Law Firms specializing in Estate Planning.

Charitable Trusts: An irrevocable trust where your assets are given over or used to establish a charitable foundation. Includes complex tax breaks for the donor, and can provide lifelong income for family.

Contested Wills: After death, surviving family members may contest the making of a trust or will. Homer Law has extensive experience in will contest and estate litigation to ensure your wishes are properly administered.

Health Care Directives: These comprise several types of directives for end-of-life care and health care for when you’re unable to make decisions by yourself.

Last Will & Testament: The most common, and essential, component of an estate plan. Last wills and testaments name the executor of the estate to, according to your wishes, distribute assets among loved ones and organizations.
Life Insurance Trusts: An irrevocable, non-amendable trust that gives you greater control over your life insurance policies and the benefits paid by them.

Living Trusts: A living trust helps avoid complex, costly, and time-consuming probate processes. It also eliminates the requirement for public notices while streamlining the distribution of assets.

Power of Attorney for Property: A legal document that transfers legal right to an attorney or agent for management of your property if you are unable to do so (either through disability or death).

QTIP Trusts: Used by married couples to ensure unlimited marital deductions while guaranteeing that assets pass down to children upon death of the survivor.

Special Needs Trusts: Protects the inheritance of a disabled person while ensuring that, upon receiving the inheritance, the disabled person does not lose access to essential government benefits.

Supplemental Needs Trusts: Similar to a special needs trusts, but allows the establishment and funding by someone other than the Beneficiary or spouse.

By examining your assets and defining a plan that will best protect your family and loved ones, you will be giving yourself as well as your family considerable peace of mind.

Conclusion:

No estate is too big or too small; everyone has an estate and when the time comes—it is a “when” and not an “if”—ensuring greater financial security and peace-of-mind to your family is one of the most selfless, loving things that you can do. Furthermore, estate planning is not solely for the retired. Mortality or the possibility of being unable to decide matters for yourself can come at any time, and it is essential to be prepared.