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Please see our frequently asked questions below.

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Estate Planning

  • Do I really need an estate plan?

    Answer is: Everyone 18 years or older should have an estate plan in some form. At a minimum, all adults should have a financial + healthcare power of attorney, advanced healthcare directive, and HIPAA release form.
  • What if I already have a will, isnt that all I need?

    Answer is: Though a will is often recommended, it is only one of many tools utilized in estate planning. Even the most basic estate plans will include more than a will. Over time, things change and so will your estate planning needs.
  • Who will take care of my children in the event of death or incapacitation?

    Answer is: This scenario though not likely, is still a reality of life. Also, as divorced and mixed families have become much more common, deciding on guardianship of a child can be quite difficult. As a result, families of all types have put off estate planning for this very reason. If a guardian is not named however, the court will appoint one. This in and of itself can be an even more troubling thought.
  • What will happen to my Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other online accounts in the event of death or incapacitation?

    Answer is: It is very hard to say — each provider treats such events differently. However, much of the worry can be taken out of this issue by planning ahead. We recommend compiling a list of usernames and passwords to be stored in a safe place. If privacy is a concern, this information can be released only upon such an event.
  • I found some forms online, why do I need an attorney?

    Answer is: Indeed, technology has made legal forms more readily accessible via the internet. However, if the job of an attorney were to simply fill out a form, we would have already been in the form business. Though some people feel comfortable drafting a plan, it may unfortunately (1) not accomplish their wishes, (2) not meet their estate planning needs, or worse yet (3) be defective and unenforceable. Estate planning is some of the most important planning anyone can do, as it can touch upon every aspect of your life — both now, in the future, and after you are gone.
  • What are the benefits of an attorney drafted estate plan?

    Answer is: An attorney’s value proposition in any particular estate plan is far more complex than many realize. A knowledgeable attorney will:

    1. Tailor a plan to best fit your wishes and needs;
    2. Document client competency to deter a future contest;
    3. Ensure the plan is properly executed and attested; and
    4. Be available to make changes or additions to your plan.

  • What if I'm unsure about what plan is best for me?

    Answer is: Let us assess your needs and educate you as to our recommendations. Sometimes prospective clients hear about particular planning techniques — e.g. “My friend said I need a living will, can you do that for me?” We will first assess your estate planning needs to determine what makes sense for you; there is no one size fits all.

Asset Protection

  • What is asset protection planning?

    Answer is: Asset protection planning expands upon traditional estate planning. With an emphasis on protection, this form of planning has a primary purpose of shielding assets from future liabilities. e.g. creditors, lawsuits, liens, etc.
  • Do I need asset protection planning?

    Answer is: Asset protection planning can benefit many individuals. The recommended planning will depend upon the particular situation and ultimate goal. Often, an individual will protect assets from their own liabilities to provide for family. In other situations, an individual may want to protect an inheritance from the child’s liabilities.
  • Does my business need asset protection planning?

    Answer is: Your business may not necessarily “need” asset protection planning, but nonetheless you may “want” it. Many businesses can and do function without asset protection planning. However, those with such planning can better protect their assets from future liabilities. Much like an insurance policy, you hope to never use it, but are glad it is there when needed.
  • I'm worried about long-term care / nursing home costs, what can I do to protect my assets?

    Answer is: One of the fastest growing forms of asset protection is Medicaid planning. Long-term care / nursing home costs can be devastating to an individual or couples estate. With nursing home costs that can exceed $80,000 a year, life savings can be wiped out very quickly. You should consider Medicaid planning if you are 65 years or older, or otherwise have health issues that may require long term care.
  • Will asset protection always work?

    Answer is: Though such planning will better your odds, no legal planning of any sort will guarantee the intended outcome. Remember, the alternative is not planning at all — leaving you no better off.

Business Law

  • Do I need need an attorney for my business?

    Answer is: Every business can benefit from legal advice in at least some way. Everything from selecting the type of entity, drafting its governance documents, to planning for a business exit — these are important aspects that are often overlooked. Not only can planning prevent unnecessary outcomes that can hinder a businesses success, but it let’s you focus on what you do best.
  • Do I really ``need`` to incorporate my business?

    Answer is: Not every business requires incorporation. However, the cost of maintaining such an entity has become quite affordable — especially with the introduction of the Limited Liability Company. Incorporation can provide personal protection from business liabilities, as well as business protection from personal liabilities. If the business has more than one owner, then we always recommend a formal business entity be utilized.
  • Should I form a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company?

    Answer is: Perhaps neither! This depends on such things as the type of business, how it is financed, the owners, where it is located, and ultimate goal in mind. There are pros and cons with each. In assessing what entity is right for your business, we will take into consideration a wide array of factors.
  • I'm looking to sell or purchase a business, where do I start?

    Answer is: You are at the right place. If you are looking to sell or purchase an existing business, proper structuring of the transaction is vital. Will there be a sale of stock or only the assets? Are there outstanding liabilities? Environmental concerns? The list goes on — a comprehensive plan is vital to any such business transaction.
  • What does it mean to peirce the corporate veil?

    Answer is: This is most prevalent where the business entity serves no other purpose than as an alter ego of its owner. Often times, this comes as a result of failing to maintain the most basic of corporate formalities.

Real Estate Law

  • Do I need an attorney for my real estate transactions?

    Answer is: For most transactions, an attorney should be utilized at some point in the process. If at anytime you are unsure or have a question pertaining to a given transaction, always seek advice. Deeds, easements, purchase agreements, leases and the like are far too important to leave to guesswork.
  • I'm purchasing a home and the seller is giving me a quit claim deed, what does that mean?

    Answer is: A quit claim deed is just that, the seller is “quitting all claim” to the property. With any real estate purchase, a title search should be conducted. If there is an encumbrance of any kind, such as an easement, mortgage, lien, or other owner — you obtain all that the person was entitled to. Sometimes you get “everything,” other times you get nothing. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney before accepting such a deed.
  • I am purchasing an easement and the seller has offered to draft it, do I need to do anything else?

    Answer is: Purchasing an easement is not as simple as drafting the document, it must be executed and filed with all formalities. Also, the type of easement, duration, and proper title are all important factors. If there is an encumbrance on the property, your easement may be worthless if approval by the first in line lien-holder is not provided.
  • The city/township has my property overassessed, what can I do?

    Answer is: Property owners often overlook property assessment when purchasing real estate. In some states, the tax bill post-sale can double or even triple depending on state law. This comes as a result of never challenging the assessment. If your home is assessed above its current market value, an attorney may advise you in challenging the valuation.
  • I'm thinking of entering into a land contract, as I am unable to obtain a mortgage, is this wise?

    Answer is: For some, a land contract can be a great way to purchase a home. However, many times the seller will require an interest rate that is substantially higher than market, a shorter overall term, or even an inflated purchase price. This can be a recipe for disaster. Before agreeing to a land contract, you should consult an attorney regarding the terms.

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