The Importance of California Estate Planning

Establishing California estate planning strategies is one of the best gifts residents of the Golden State can give their loved ones. Estate planning refers to various protocols used to protect valuable assets and bequeath personal property. Without directives, estates must be settled according to California probate laws and the process can take months to complete.

California estate planning is essential for residents of the Golden State. California has some of the most stringent probate laws in the country, so it is highly recommended to work with a probate attorney or professional estate planner.

Estate planning can consist of multiple strategies. At minimum, individuals should execute a last will and testament, assign power of attorney rights, and establish healthcare proxies. Individuals with estates valued over $ 100,000 should consider transferring property to a trust in order to avoid probate.

Probate is required within the U.S. to settle decedent estates. Two types of probate processes are used. The first is known as testate and refers to estates which include a valid Will. The second process is known as intestate and refers to estates without a Will. Intestate estates require additional time because extra steps are needed to comply with state probate laws.

Testate probate typically extends for 6 to 9 months, while intestate estates can require an additional 2 to 3 months. Much depends on the estate value, court caseload, and family dynamics. In California, estates valued under $ 100,000 may be exempt from probate if a valid Will is in place.

In California, estates are required to undergo a 40-day waiting period in order to avoid probate. The estate executor is then required to submit a sworn affidavit to the probate judge stating the estate has been settled according to probate laws and directives outlined in the Will. Once the affidavit is approved, distribution of inheritance property can take place.

Estates which are required to endure the probate process must follow specific protocol. Probate typically involves validating the decedent’s last will; determining rightful heirs; paying outstanding debts; securing valuable property and obtaining appraisals; filing a final tax return; and distributing inheritance property.

The Will is used to provide directives as to who should receive the decedent’s assets. The Will is also used to designate a probate personal representative and establish guardianship for minor children. Intestate estates are required to undergo a probate proceeding to determine rightful heirs.

When California residents choose to disinherit heirs they should include a disinheritance clause within the Will. When disinheritance occurs, it is crucial to clearly state the reason heirs were disinherited. Otherwise, heirs can contest the Will which will prolong the probate process and add additional expenses to the estate. Defense legal fees can quickly bankrupt small estates and force estate administrators to sell inheritance property to cover legal expenses.

California estate planning is essential for establishing healthcare proxies. Having a healthcare proxy in place allows individuals to state which medical treatments they do or do not want. Individuals can include directives regarding life-saving measures or ‘do not rescesitate’ (DNR) orders.

California estate planning also allows individuals to grant Power of Attorney rights to another person. POA privileges allow another person to make decisions on your behalf. Individuals with POA privileges can sell real estate and other types of titled property; pay bills; and have access to banking and financial accounts. Therefore, designating power of attorney rights should not be taken lightly and should only be granted to individuals who can be trusted to make smart financial decisions.

Obtain additional California estate planning information from real estate investor and author, Simon Volkov. His website offers an extensive estate planning article library covering topics of how to avoid probate, establishing trusts, and tips for hiring probate lawyers and estate planners available at

The Seattle Real Estate Deeding Approach

The operation of Buying and selling of Seattle Real Estate Properties involve transferring of ownership from the relevant party to the customer. As per the law, this transferring event involves the presence of a witness, which is why gathering some local residents inside the Property is needed. All the people have scouted around the outside of the premise and then assemble at the center of it. this can be followed by the practice of providing papers to the purchaser and recitation of the terms. As the purchaser accepts the Property, the ownership gets transferred. However, the old deeding course of action has been successfully superseded by the modern procedures.

The modern system of deeding while Buying Seattle Real Estate Property is effortlessly understandable. It takes one newspaper sheet in place of the sod. Each time the Asset is sold; this deed should be produced for transferring ownership. Quite similar to the ancient method of transferring ownership of land or Asset, the modern process involves the three essential steps of execution, acceptance and post these two, the operation of delivery. The very first step involves signing, language, format and other things concerning the deed report. Many states have made the way for a short and simple deed by simplifying the overall matter. The approach if termed as statutory deed. With location and states, the Seattle Real Estate deeds undergo certain tiny variations. Like in some states need notarizing of document, while most people do not. It involves marking of signed papers in such a way which it seems that it has been marked by an official of the equivalent state, and which the signatures are valid. Nevertheless, the execution of the valid deed does not necessarily transfer the ownership. The deliver may either be made to the owner or his/her agent.

This means, which if a mother executes the deed of her Seattle Real Estate Property in the name of her daughter, and the deed daily news stay locked inside the mothers safe to decompose, until she dies, then after her death, her ownership will be not be legally transferred to her daughter. Moreover, if the delivery was made with an intention of providing security to a debt, then even the transfer will not happen. Acceptance is nothing, but a petty acknowledgement of the transfer. The Property will continue to be owned by the person holding the deed papers.

If, you might be in search of a nice Seattle Real Estate premise, then call us. We have been serving the market for years now. In case you are looking for Seattle Realtors in your area please go to our web site today by clicking on the backlink.

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Protecting Women and Children Through Estate Planning

All too often there is the case of women and children absolutely devastated by the death of a spouse or parent and then further devastated by the results of not having thought through the future. That is why it is so very important to protect women and children through proper estate planning. By learning the basics of the Louisiana laws of intestacy – dying without a will – and the different ways of protecting women and children, light can be shed on a subject that most people are uneducated about. Although these legal principles are also applicable to men, women and children will be the focus.

The best way to make sure women and children are properly protected is for women to become educated and then to take action. Knowledge alone does not change lives, but applied knowledge does. So the protection becomes “real” for a woman and her children when the proper documents are in place.

What is your particular set of circumstances? How old are your children? Do you have a permanently disabled child of any age? Have you or your spouse been married more than once? Do you have a blended family? Do you have elderly parents?

Let’s start with the first one. How old are your children? If you have a child under the age of 24 or one that is permanently disabled you have a “forced heir.” A forced heir is one that must inherit a portion of your estate. If you have a will, you have some control over that portion. If you do not have a will, your estate will be distributed according to Louisiana’s laws of intestacy.
The distinction between separate and community property is important to know. Community property is property acquired during a marriage. Separate property is property brought into the marriage, inherited property or property received as a settlement (such as money from a personal injury case). Generally, if a prenuptial agreement is executed by a couple before marriage, the agreement will provide that property acquired prior to and during the marriage will be the separate property of each party. However, the standard agreement can be modified by the parties to provide that property acquired during the marriage will be community property.

By determining your classification from the following list you will know how your property will be distributed if you die without a will. Understand that “usufruct” means “use of something” but does not include ownership of that something.

Classifications of individuals at the time of death and how property will be passed to heirs

• Single without children: Property passes to siblings with lifetime usufruct in favor of parents.

• Single with children (or married but spouse deceased, with children): All property passes to the children outright.

• Married with children: Community property-spouse has usufruct for life or until remarriage but children are actual owners. Separate property-children inherit and spouse does not have usufruct.

• Married without children: Community property passes to spouse. Separate property passes to siblings with usufruct for life in favor of parents.

• Married without children, no living parents: Community property passes to spouse. Separate property passes to siblings outright.

It is very important for singles living together to understand that Louisiana does not recognize common-law marriages. People can live together 50 years yet have no inheritance rights under the laws of intestacy. Without a will, the woman is totally unprotected in this situation.

Please note that under Louisiana law the protections for the security and welfare for the surviving spouse are very limited. Notice there are no provisions for who will raise surviving children.

With that said, what can you do in a will? Here’s the good news. If you have no forced heirs, that is no child under the age of 24 or permanently disabled of any age, you can leave your estate to whomever you want! Most married people in this situation leave everything to the spouse in full ownership, which totally protects the spouse from conflict among children and especially from children of prior marriages. It cannot be stressed enough what an important protection this is for women.

We have discussed the distribution of property. Now we need to talk about the children. With forced heirs, a spouse needs to be protected in order to have more control of the assets for a longer period of time. This can be done in a properly drafted will.

If you have minor children and if by some unfortunate turn of fate, you and your spouse are killed in a common disaster, who will raise the children? How will they be financially supported? Would you like to have your wishes known in this matter? No matter how good your relationships are with your family and in-laws, when you do not have a will designating the persons you want to raise your child, you are leaving that important decision to someone else. This seems to be the hardest decision for young couples to make. Often it’s a process of elimination of whom don’t they want to raise the children.

Take the example of Brian and Tiffany who had three young children and were killed together in boating accident. They had agreed that Tiffany’s oldest sister and her husband would do the best job raising their children if something ever happened to them. They also agreed that they did not want other relatives raising the children for a multitude of reasons. However, because there was no legal designation, a huge battle occurred between the relatives over who would get the children. The case eventually ended up in the court system and Brian and Tiffany’s desires were not realized by the court’s decision. It is extremely important for a young couple to make this decision about the raising of the children and have it formalized in a will.

There are many types of trusts and trusts aren’t just for people with a lot of money. Most people who set up trusts are ordinary people who have made plans to leave something for their children. Parents of young children frequently set up trusts within their wills that go into effect at the death of the parent. This trust provides that the assets going to the children will be held in trust by a trustee and will be distributed to the children at a designated age.

If you have a permanently disabled child of any age who is now receiving or will receive governmental assistance monies such as SSI and Medicaid, you need to know that your child will lose these benefits if he inherits outright in his name. A special need trust shelters assets of a disabled person so they can qualify for or maintain their SSI and Medicaid benefits.

If you’re frustrated with your teenager and are thinking of cutting him or her out of your will, the law says you cannot, as they are forced heirs who are entitled to a portion of your estate. Forced heirs are children 23 years of age or younger or children of any age who are permanently disabled. Once a child turns 24, he is no longer a forced heir, unless he is disabled.

Many very sad cases have come to light in recent years involving women whose husbands have died and were previously married. It is easy for someone who was not the first wife to lose a house and other important assets because a will was not in place prior to the death of the current wife’s husband.

Many women are shocked to learn they have no ownership in the house they’ve lived in for years with their second or third spouse. This frequently happens when one spouse moves into the other spouse’s home after the marriage and the husband did not transfer partial ownership to the new wife nor did the husband have a will.

Often, women come out of a previous marriage with a poor credit rating and in order to purchase a house with a new spouse the house is purchased in the husband’s name only in order to get a better interest rate on the loan. Usually, the wife is required to sign off at the act of sale and on the mortgage acknowledging the house is being purchased as separate property with separate funds. There is nothing wrong with doing this if a will is written giving that wife ownership of the house.

Sometimes these cases end very poorly for the wife and other times they end really well, depending on the relationship the wife has with the family. In a recent case, the wife was forced out of the husband’s home by his brothers and sisters as he had no will and no children and the siblings inherited the property. Another case ended well when the children of the prior marriage donated the house to the second wife.

Women need to make sure their documents and those of their spouse or significant other are up-to-date with the law. Louisiana inheritance laws changed significantly in the 1990s and most wills written during that time or before are outdated and cause unnecessary expense when being probated, not to mention anguish for surviving relatives. These old wills with usufruct language need to be changed.

In conclusion, keep in mind your particular circumstances, whether you are single or married, with forced heirs or no forced heirs or have had one marriage or multiple marriages. If you want to protect yourself and your children you should have a will that is compliant with current law and updated to your current life situation.

In Louisiana law wills are necessary to protect the property rights for your family. To learn why and how or whom to contact to draft a proper legal will, visit

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Tips About Lawyers That You Should Know

When seeking a good lawyer, follow best practices steps to locate just the lawyer for you. This is not as trivial as selecting a chocolate bar, so it’s extremely important you realize the importance of the decision. Continue to read to learn how to choose just the right attorney for your needs.

Always ask for a lawyers history before agreeing to use his services. The lawyer may be legally practicing, but there is no guarantee he is a success. Learn about their record so that you’re confident that they can accomplish the job properly.

If there is a lawyer who is aggressively seeking your business, you should avoid them. This is typically a scam where lawyers are simply looking for money. Really study up and choose a lawyer that’s right for you.

Ask plenty of questions when meeting with your lawyer. If you have chosen a good and fair lawyer, he will understand your anxieties and will take the time to explain how things work and how they are progressing. You may want another lawyer if the one you have will not give you any details.

Keep track of all of the interactions you and your attorney have. Note the date, time, what was discussed, any monies paid and what the lawyer says your bill is up to. That can assist you with later problems, like strange fees or big bills.

Keep your financial situation in mind. You may have a case, but can you afford it? Research the fee schedule of all attorneys you are considering. Discuss your budget and your expectations before signing an agreement. Understand that things may cost more than you initially thought.

Only use attorneys that are trustworthy. This is especially true if you are finding a lawyer for your business or professional matters. Blank checks and retainer fees are not unusual in this case. In such cases, your financial future is at stake. Protect yourself in all ways.

When choosing a lawyer, research their reputation thoroughly. Online reviews, coupled with bar association reports, will give you an accurate idea of whether a certain lawyer is right for you. Doing this research will help you save a lot of time and money.

Be sure to quiz each lawyer thoroughly. During your first meeting, the attorney should answer any question you may have, whether the question is big or small. You are interviewing them, so it’s their responsibility to show you during the interview why they should be the lawyer that you choose. If you do not, you must move on and interview another lawyer.

Be sure you properly communicate with your lawyer. If your lawyer needs something pertaining to deadlines for your case, be sure you give it to them. It can only help you in the end.

If you’re trying to get a lawyer, be sure that they’re a specialist in the case type you’re dealing with. Real estate law, patent law, and criminal law are just a few specialties of lawyers. Figuring this out beforehand is going to allow you to save your time so that you don’t have to make a bunch of calls later.

Keep in mind that lawyers can’t work miracles. If you come across a lawyer that claims that he will definitely win your case, he is a blantant liar and should be avoided at all costs. If a lawyer says he is always a winner, you can be pretty sure he is a liar.

If you want to reduce your costs, see if there are tasks you can perform to avoid fees. Maybe you can assist in getting the court appearance paperwork ready. If you must have paperwork for the county courthouse, see if you can gather them and deliver them yourself. In that way, you won’t have to pay your legal staff.

You may want to ask your regular lawyer to refer you to another lawyer that specializes in what you need. Most lawyers have a specialization, so asking one lawyer about those they know can help. Due to the fact that your lawyer already has you as a client, they won’t want to lose your future business and will do whatever they can to assist you in your needs.

Know about your case before talking to a lawyer. How will you be able to find a lawyer for your needs if you are unaware of what your exact needs are? Conduct a bit of research on your legal situation. Then you’ll be better equipped to make wise decisions.

You should now know what it takes to find a good lawyer. Use these tips and take your time to compare different lawyers before choosing one. The information we have presented here will help you make this important decision.

Asset Protection Trust & Estate Planning

You have worked your entire life accumulating assets. These hard earned achievements can be lost in a short period of time if they are not protected. If you are sued, all of your assets are at risk. They are also at risk if you file for bankruptcy. Seeing as the best thing to do is to protect those assets, lawmakers have passed various acts that will protect certain assets.

Regardless of what you read in asset protection blogs, many people believe only the wealthy are targets. This is far from the truth. No matter how many assets you have, whether your IRA & retirement plan investing account is $ 10M or $ 200,000, you are a target as long as you own those assets in your name. There are many legal circumstances that can place your assets at risk. Civil lawsuits and divorce can be perfect examples of where people lose their unprotected assets. No matter how safe you think you are from being sued, it is almost always best to take extra precaution. This is why asset protection is so important. It will help you safeguard those assets if there ever is a time where a lawsuit is filed on you.

There are various state and federal laws that determine what type of protection many of your assets can have from judgments and creditors. For example, your Traditional and Roth IRAs have a protection cap of $ 1 million from any bankruptcy proceeding. Any money that has been rolled over from other retirement accounts, such as 403(b) and 457(b) plans, are completely protected by law. It is important to remember that this protection is only in effect during a bankruptcy proceeding. They will not be protected from other court judgments.

In addition to IRA accounts, qualified retirement plans are also protected by law during bankruptcy. ERISA plans are also protected, so an ERISA asset protection retirement plan is not needed if you are going into bankruptcy.

Consider your large assets, such as your home. The amount of protection on your home can vary depending on what state you reside in. There are some states that offer limited legal protection, while other states will not provide any protection at all. Again, this is why it is imperative that you have an asset protection plan in effect. If the state and federal laws do not offer protection, you will already have a plan in place that will protect all of your assets.

State laws will determine how much protection is given for life insurance and annuities. In some cases, the cash surrender value of the life insurance policy will be protected. However, this does not always happen. In other cases, the only protection is for the beneficiary’s interest. Again, there are many states that offer no asset protection at all. If you need to know what laws are in place to protect your assets, check with your state’s official website to find out what protection is offered.

Just because there are laws in place, this does not mean that you will be safe from creditors during a lawsuit. No matter what kind of protection is offered by your state, it is always best to consult with an expert on asset protection planning such as Estate Street Partners. This is the only way you will be sure that your assets are protected, regardless of the type of legal proceeding.

Too many people rely on just the protection offered by their state. This often leads to a disastrous outcome. These people usually end up losing most, if not all of their assets. There are many strategies that are effective when planning for asset protection. Proper planning can actually deter creditors from attacking your estate and may save you from your assets from being lost. Proper asset protection planning may even save you from a lawsuit being filed in the first place. What contingent lawyer will take a case if he cannot find assets in your name when he does an asset search? None.

Learn how to protect your assets from potential frivolous lawsuits, preserve your wealth by recapturing lost tax dollars, defer capital gains taxes, eliminate inheritance taxes, reduce taxes on your income streams, eliminate probate and estate taxes. You will receive tax efficient wealth transfers to your next generation. We will utilize means of domestic LLCs and international offshore tax haven strategies and customize our program to meet your highest yield expectations and more. Contact us today if you have any questions. Rocco Beatrice, CPA, MST, MBA, CWPP, CMMB, CAPP, BSBA
Asset Protection
Asset Protection: Estate Planning
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Develop An Estate Plan By Creating A Trust

According to Dean Betts Jr., Esquire, a Georgetown, DE lawyer at The Betts Law Firm, P. A., estate planning is vital in case you are incapacitated or pass on suddenly, and oftentimes a trust can be a part of that. Here, Betts talks about what a trust can do for you, although he cautions that it is not for everyone

It is important to develop an estate plan. Most people understand that having a will is vital to ensure that their assets are passed on to their intended heirs. They do not always realize, however, that a comprehensive estate plan should also include an Advanced Health Care Directive, also called a living will, and a General Durable Power of Attorney. In addition, Revocable Living Trusts and Testamentary Trusts are also useful tools when it comes to estate planning.

Benefits of Creating a Trust
A trust is a legal document that creates an entity that can receive property and administer that property in accordance with its terms. For example, if you are leaving money to a minor, you can put it into a trust for when that person reaches a legal age and has the maturity to handle the money. Someone will be named Trustee of that trust to manage the money on behalf of the person the money was left to.

Trusts can be used to shelter assets from creditors and ex-spouses as well as to provide for young or less responsible beneficiaries to enjoy the benefits of your gifts without being able to frivolously spend the money. But thats not all they can also be useful in avoiding probate fees and in distributing assets outside of the probate process. That keeps the information out of the public view for people who are concerned about keeping their financial matters private.

Types of Trusts
Trusts can either be Revocable or Irrevocable Living Trusts, or Testamentary Trusts provided in a persons will. A Revocable Trust is a trust that can be changed during the lifetime of the creator of the trust. That can obviously offer some flexibility in ones ability to change the trust document. Once that person dies, thought, the Revocable Trust reverts to being an Irrevocable Trust, which cannot be changed. Irrevocable Trusts can also be set up initially in certain circumstances, most often to qualify for government benefits. A Testamentary Trust is simply a trust that is created by a persons will.

In addition to Living and Testamentary Trusts, you may also hear a lot about Spendthrift Trusts. A Spendthrift Trust is one you would set up for a person who is not responsible for whatever reason. The idea is that you are leaving the money to a specific person for his benefit, but someone else controls the money for him. That person is called the Trustee. The Trustee decides what money to give to the beneficiary, how much, when, and for what purposes.

While trusts can be very useful in protecting assets from creditors or people who are not responsible with their money, they are not for everyone. I recommend that you consult with an attorney to determine whether a trust is suitable for your specific situation. Trusts can add a level of complexity to a situation, and they can also create certain transactional costs, such as the filing of separate tax returns and the administration of property by someone other than the person creating the trust.

This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Dean Betts is a writer for Yodle Law Marketing, a business directory and online advertising company. Find alawyer or more lawyers articles at Yodle Consumer Guide.

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Estate Planning Lawyer : How They Help

Estate Planning Lawyers are those who assist others in creating the last will. Not only that, the estate planning lawyers also help to establish a trust in the event of death of an individual by protecting the assets of inheritance. When you are preparing a will, it is really important and necessary to take help from a probate law attorney as they will listen to your needs and preferences and will provide you with helpful advices so that you can develop strategies which will help you in estate planning accordingly and will benefit the selected beneficiaries.


An estate planning lawyer can assist those who need to create a will. For example, if you have a ailing parent or a relative, you can take help from the estate planning attorneys. Even though your family might not be super wealthy and might not have a mansion, the attorneys can help you and the individual making the will in so many ways. They can help an individual by looking at all kinds of assets you have, your house, your auto mobiles, your financial portfolios, life insurance policies and so forth.  According to the wish of the individual taking the service, the attorney can help the individual to disinherit one of the heirs by taking all kinds of strategies so that the certain asset or assets cannot be passed on to that certain person. Also, when individuals are mentioned in a will to inherit the assets, the attorneys work their best so that the mentioned individuals get what they have inherited through the will without much problem. However, when you are taking help from estate planning lawyers, make sure that you talk with them about everything. It is often seen then when the will creator passes away, chaos is born due to all the misunderstandings and stuffs. Therefore you should take precautionary steps even before the will is created and convey every detail to the lawyer and discuss about it thoroughly.


When the planning of estate is done in final stages, it should be initiated when the individual is in good health or the disinherited individuals might contest for their share of inheritance. If you really want to make sure that your final wishes are followed through and through, take help from lawyers who are well adept in planning of estates. It is because they will help you to ensure that your final wishes about who will inherit what will be followed as your wish when you pass away.


They can help you create your will without any mistake. Precision has to be maintained as one missing initial, name or a word that has been misconstrued can change the complete document of the inheritance of your estate. As the laws maintaining the passing of assets and estates are technical, you will have to take help from the lawyers who specialize in planning of estates. BE sure to check what you state requires as these laws vary from one state to another. One minuscule mistake can make the documents that you have created to be void and null and therefore you have to make thorough arrangements with your estate lawyer to make sure that everything is right.

For more details please visit our site to  estate planning  or  elder law attorney .


When you decide to sell your house, it is a huge step. You may be able to sell easily in real estate USA or you may find it hard. Here are a few starters: Before selling your house you must ask yourself why you want to sell. You may have to move to a new company or you need money for something. If you want to move out of your house just for the sake of moving, it is not a good enough reason. Be sure you don’t regret your decision later on. If you are moving out of your house, have an arrangement necessary so you aren’t left without a place to live once your house is sold.Before putting up your house in the market, you need to make sure your house is presentable. All the repairs must be done prior to the market revelation. Be mentally prepared that a lot of grubby and dirty people will be moving around in your house, touching your things and making snarky comments on the shortcomings.

Real estate USA can be tricky at times. You need to work out the flaws. Hire a seller’s representative. You owe him a 6% commission as per real estate USA law states. They always sell better and fast. He will be able to negotiate the price and selling of the house. You need to make the closing on the home.The key to best deal is an effective marketing or your house. We live in the information age. We have numerous ways to market and publicize a thing. You can put up an ad of your house on internet, tell everybody about your house sale, put up a ‘for sale’ board outside the house and most effectively, hosting an open house. This helps the prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your house thus make a better decision at the end of the day. In preparation to the sale of your house, you must make all the necessary repairs. It may cost you much but you will get it back once your house is sold.

You must clean the house and put away all the clutter. Even the cabinets should be clean because you never know what people might be tempted to see. Your house should be as inviting from the outside as it is from the inside. The best way of securing a good deal is through an agent. You can sell it by yourself but you won’t be as good as a professional. Agents can be hired through various ways. They are available on sites of real estate USA. Once you receive an offer, you have to assess the offer including the price, terms and contingencies according to the USA laws and regulations and then decide whether you accept or decline the offer. If you accept and you have an agent, he will receive 6% commission as per the real estate USA laws.Then comes the closing which implies you are closing the deal. You have accepted the offer, exchanged the money and the keys. Congratulations! You have sold your house.

An Attorney Can Save You From Legal Problems

There are many reasons people seek out lawyers. It can be overwhelming if you don’t have experience with lawyers. You not only need to feel comfortable with them, you need to understand how an attorney will charge you, and what process to follow for communicating with him or her. You should consider what you’re about to read to help you find a lawyer.

A bad decision to make is picking the first lawyer who comes your way. Your research needs to be done well, because you’ll have to pay dearly if you don’t do it. Research all you can about the attorneys who interest you.

Hiring a lawyer should be the first thing you do if you are in trouble with the law. Be sure not to take matters into your own hands because it can create a situation that raises the possibility of you breaking the law. Lawyers have the experience necessary to take care of your situation.

Think about your issue long and hard prior to looking for legal counsel. Think carefully through the issue at hand. Lawyers are not only there to represent you in court, they also can give you advice about legal matters such as contracts. Even if none of these apply to you, you may need expert legal advice if the matter involves a complex business transaction or large sums of money.

Ask all lawyers that you visit for proof that they have won cases like the one you are fighting. Look up cases that he has won or lost, rather than just taking his word that he is excels in the field you need help in. You might be able to find the information you need online, or you can get it directly from the lawyer.

When choosing a lawyer, research their reputation thoroughly. When you consult both the bar association and online testimonials and reviews, you will be able to easily decide whether or not to hire a particular lawyer. That brings a positive outcome.

Talk to your local bar association to check out any lawyers you’re considering. If you find one or two, you shouldn’t be too worried. However, if you find more than that, you may want to think of looking elsewhere.

It is always important to get the fee arrangement in writing, before giving up any money. This is good since you will only have to be concerned with the case and not the finances. In addition, it will give you a chance to organize your finances.

Check the friendliness of the people at the law office. You should pay attention to how quickly the receptionist picks up the phone and how politely you are treated. If they are late in returning your calls, look elsewhere.

Lawyers cannot win every case. If you come across a lawyer that claims that he will definitely win your case, he is a blantant liar and should be avoided at all costs. You can never be 100 percent certain how a case is going to go, so if a lawyer guarantees you a win, be suspicious.

See if you can do anything to lessen the attorney costs. It’s possible that you can help to make phone calls or prepare paperwork. If you must get documents at the courthouse, inquire about getting them picked up by yourself so you don’t have to pay the law office for it.

Stay away from lawyers who seem overly confident about their ability to win your case in no time. Any lawyer who believes this is not a good lawyer. Each case comes with its own set of issues; therefore, you need an attorney who is willing to try your case individually instead of trying it like other cases. Make a smart choice.

Preparation will make the first step easier regardless of your reasons for seeking a lawyer. As long as you keep the tips that you just read in mind, you should do well navigating through each stage of the process. This advice will make the entire process much easier.

Why should you use a solicitor for probate matters and estate planning law?

Probate is the name of the process where legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the decedent) is transferred to his or her proper and rightful beneficiaries. The term ‘probate’ itself refers to a proving of the existence of a valid will, or determining and proving one’s legal heirs if there is no will in place. The legal position in the UK is that the deceased can’t retain property, therefore there needs to be a process that determines who gets the decedent’s property. That process is probate.
The principle function of probate is to transfer the title of the decedent’s property to the heirs and/or beneficiaries. Generally probate would not normally be needed if there is no property to transfer. However another equally important function of probate is the collection of any taxes due because of the deceased’s death or the transfer of property. The probate process also provides mechanisms for payment of outstanding estate debts and taxes, for setting a deadline for creditors to file claims to ensure that the heirs or beneficiaries will not be hounded by unpaid creditors indefinitely, and for the distribution of the remainder of the estate to the rightful heirs.
Generally probate is necessary before the deceased’s property can be legally distributed. In the case of smaller estates, a less formal procedure is followed, yet this is still under the supervision of the probate court. Even when there is a valid will, a court still needs to allow others to object to the will, and if there are objections, to determine if the will is valid. This legal process will eliminate any possibility that:
The will was the result of fraud, mistake or “undue influence.”
The will was made at a time when the deceased was not mentally competent to make a will.
There was a later will which, if valid, would replace the older will.
The will was not properly executed.
The ‘so-called’ will is a forgery.
The will is not fully valid for some other reason, such as a pre-existing contract.
Other claims against the deceased’s estate impact what the beneficiaries under the will would be likely to receive.
If the decedent owned property in his or her own name for example, no knowledgeable third party would accept title to the property, nor would any bank would approve a mortgage, unless the estate went through probate so “clear title” could be given the new buyer. Similarly, few third parties would enter into any other transactions involving the decedent’s property before the will is admitted to probate and/or someone is lawfully appointed to act for the estate. 
The probate process in essence clarifies a will and protects an estate from challenges to the specified beneficiaries of inheritance. Although using probate for a will is an effective and necessary process, some matters of a will can be handled without involving a probate court. Much will depend on the nature and shared ownership of the property in the estate. Probate can be a tricky legal area, and generally the best advice would be to consult with a qualified solicitor with specialist knowledge of probate and estate planning law.  

This article on wills and probate was published by Jones Gough Solicitors

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