Estate planning does not necessarily need to be complicated. The vast majority of people can have an effective estate plan without creating complex documents. But everyone does need to understand the legal interplay between a will, jointly owned assets and assets governed by designated beneficiary provisions outside the will.
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Posted in: Elder & Disability Planning Articles
When it’s time to find a nursing home for yourself or a loved one, how you start? A good first step is Medicare’s website, www.medicare.gov. On its homepage you will find a tab labeled “Find a Nursing Home.” Following that link will take you to the Nursing Home Compare page. That page will help you evaluate nursing homes in your area. It features ratings of nursing homes in every state based on federal inspection and data collection.
A power of attorney allows you (the principal) to appoint another (your agent) to handle your legal and financial affairs, if necessary.Deciding what authority to give to your agent is very important. To understand your options you should speak with an attorney. Equally important is the person you choose as your agent. Many people automatically choose close family members for this job. But you and your potential agent should be aware of the legal duties your agent will be accepting. The law in Pennsylvania sets out a number of legal duties of an agent. Some are mandatory and some are optional.
There are both mandatory and optional legal duties of an agent under a financial power of attorney. The optional duties can be waived by the principal in the power of attorney. Before waiving any legal duties of the agent, the principal should consult with an attorney and consider the possible consequences.
A trustee should seek legal advice before taking on his duties so he knows how to legally and properly establish the trust accounts. The trustee needs to be sure the attorney is knowledgeable in estate and trust laws. A trustee should seek sound legal and financial advice at the beginning and annually to comply with the Uniform Trust Code or risk personal liability.
Posted in: Business Law Articles
In addition to estate planning, business owners must make arrangements for succession planning if they want to protect heirs and employees. Creating a business succession plan allows for the orderly and lawful transfer of control of your business, avoids disrupting business operations and negatively impacting the business’s value.
Posted in: Contract Law Articles
A contract must have three essential parts: an offer, an acceptance and consideraton. The offer has two parts: a promise to do something and a statement of what the person making the promise wants in return. The acceptance occurs when the party to whom the offer was made agrees to give the other person what she asked for in return. The consideration is what each party gets and gives.
Posted in: Contract Law Articles
Summary: If you are in the market for expensive products or services offered by multiple sellers, use this effective strategy: research what you need and want, who offers it and each seller’s reputation; write out your specifications and establish the rules for how the sellers are to give you their best price. This will give you your best alternative deals (B.A.D.).
Posted in: Consumer Protection Law Articles
People have the right to be treated fairly and honestly by lenders. Borrowing terms should be easy to understand. When borrowers have a question or concern, lenders should respond to them in a reasonable time and try to resolve issues. When lenders don’t follow these simple rules who can we turn to? Congress enacting The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in 2010. Part of Dodd-Frank created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to protect consumers from illegal and misleading lending practices. The CFPB website explains its goals this way: “We aim to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole. We protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law. We arm people with the information and stepstools that they need to make smart financial decisions.” On July 21, 2016, the CFPB celebrated its fifth anniversary and published its report card. The CFPB has: Provided $11.7 billion in relief to more than 27 million consumers; Handled nearly one million consumer complaints; Clarified and simplified loan disclosure forms; The CFPB is attacking abusive debt collection tactics. Consumers now have an advocate with enough clout to make a difference. People can rely less on private attorneys to address disputes with lenders and debt collectors. The CFPB saves people money, opens the door for many who otherwise could not get help and gives people the power to stand up for their rights against big companies.