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March 15, 2020
A Prenuptial Agreement offers Protection
A prenuptial agreement may not be the first thing a couple thinks about when they decide to get married. However, it should be considered as a valuable tool for protecting each party’s interests. Half of new marriages end in divorce. The number is higher for second and third marriages. A prenuptial agreement can ease the divorce process and make the transition back to single life a smoother one.
When properly prepared by an experienced family law attorney, the prenuptial agreement can help a person maintain financial stability after divorce. Generally, it can help you keep your assets. By identifying any property acquired prior to the marriage, the prenuptial agreement protects this property from being included in community property with your spouse. You can also identify any debt owed by your future spouse to relinquish your financial responsibility.
In addition, a prenuptial agreement can plan for the division of property and preserve wealth for your children from a prior marriage. For example, after your death, your separate property can be inherited by your children from a prior marriage instead of being inherited by your spouse. A prenuptial agreement may be your best option for planning for unique situations.
February 15, 2020
Determining Child Custody
In California, the Family Law Court issues legal orders that determine each parent’s responsibilities after a divorce or legal separation. The term “custody” recognizes which rights each parent has, while the term “visitation” is used to identify the actual time a parent spends with the child. Custody and visitation arrangements must ultimately be in the best interest of the child, while each parent will also need to accommodate their own new lifestyle or family situation.
In most cases, the judge will approve a parenting plan created by the parents. When parents cannot agree, they are sent to mediation to work out the issues. Because the child custody agreement is binding and enforceable, it is important that you are prepared to meet with the family court mediator. Consulting with a skilled child custody attorney prior to this process can help you understand your rights to ensure you are fully prepared for this situation.
The family court mediator will evaluate many factors before making the final recommendation. Each parent’s emotional stability, relationship with the child, family history, and more are examined. In some cases, supervised visitation may be recommended if the child needs time to become reacquainted with a parent. In situations where being around a parent may cause physical or emotional harm to the child, the mediator may recommend no visitation. In these situations, the parent is prohibited from having contact with the child.
January 15, 2020
Understanding the Divorce Process in California
Making the decision to file for divorce may be one of the toughest challenges you’ve had to face. Or, perhaps your situation has made the decision an easy one. Either way, this decision will allow for big changes to happen in your life. Understanding the intricacies of the divorce process can help relieve some of the stress that comes when a marriage ends. Because there are many considerations that need to be examined in a divorce, it is important for you to protect your rights by seeking the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney.
While the divorce will end the marriage, it will also involve dividing the marital estate, creating a child custody and visitation schedule for the children, and/or establishing financial payments of spousal support and child support. These legal and financial decisions can affect your life now and far into the future. Coming to terms with the ending of your marriage and the process of building a new life can seem daunting when you are frustrated by numerous legal challenges.
Depending on your situation, there are several options that you might consider when filing for divorce. When both spouses can reach amicable solutions, your divorce may be handled through mediation or negotiation. If you and your spouse cannot agree on certain issues, or in cases involving complex issues, divorce litigation through the court may be necessary. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Robert M. Baskin can protect your interests and help you plan for long-
Filing for divorce establishes a timeline for when items are to be completed by the divorcing spouses. The minimum time requirement is six months before the divorce can be finalized. Even after a divorce is finalized, it may be necessary to modify some of the terms of the agreement if circumstances for either ex-
December 30, 2019
Why you need an Estate Plan
Estate Planning is the process by which you can control who will inherit from you upon death. There are numerous estate planning devices that may be drafted and utilized during your lifetime to protect your assets. They may used to provide for your medical care in case of illness or incapacitation, protect your business interests, be used to donate funds to favored charities, and pass on your assets after death to named beneficiaries.
Estate Planning is crucial to provide for your personal care, protect assets from high taxation, and in case of business ownership, provide for your loved ones into the future.
The primary estate planning devices include wills, trusts, advanced medical directives and life insurance trusts.
December 15, 2019
The Use of Wills
While many think of wills when beginning the estate planning process, there are several drawbacks to leaving your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries via a will. Whether a holographic (handwritten will), an attested will (signed and witnessed), or a statutory will (a fillable form that must be signed and witnessed), all must be filed with the probate court upon death.
All probate filings are in the public record, resulting in a loss of privacy for not only the decedent, but for the heirs and beneficiaries as well.
Probate is costly in both time and money. Several legal procedures must take place before assets may be distributed. The larger the estate, the more costly it will be as the probate court fees are based on a percentage of the total value.
Based on the complexity of the will and any litigation which may arise, wills may take months to years to fully settle.
December 1, 2019
Why Choose Trusts?
Trusts are Estate Planning tools that hold and distribute assets in numerous ways. In addition to providing maximum protection against high taxation, they are not required to be filed with the court. This ensures that the terms of all trusts are kept confidential from the public.
Whereas wills typically serve a singular purpose – the distribution of assets upon death – trusts may serve numerous purposes.
Well drafted trusts allow for the protection of assets for future generations. They may be set up to contribute to charities, provide for the education of loved ones or other beneficiaries, protect beneficiaries by doling out funds as needed or on a set schedule, and provide for you in case you become ill or incapacitated.
November 15, 2019
Why Business Succession Plans are Necessary
Should you hold a business ownership interest, whether as a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation, business succession plans are crucial. These allow for your business to continue normal operational procedures in case you become unable to carry out your duties on behalf of the business.
By setting forth the details for a smooth transition of power, you are protecting your business and financial interests for future generations. While litigation is not always preventable, establishing a comprehensive business succession plan will drastically reduce friction between parties and help alleviate the possibility of litigation.
November 1, 2019
The Importance of Trust Administration
When choosing a trustee, it’s crucial to consider familial relationships and take into account how these relationships may devolve and result in litigation. Many choose family members to act as trustees on their behalf. California law imposes fiduciary duties and restrictions upon trust administrators.
These duties include the following:
Failure by the trustee/trustees to carry out their duties in a manner which maximizes the benefits for all beneficiaries may well result in litigation based on a breach of fiduciary duty. Trustees found in breach may be held personally (financially) liable for harms caused.
As a result, it’s generally preferable to name a professional trust administrator who understands the duties that must be fulfilled to avoid litigation. Please discuss this option with your estate planning attorney.
October 15, 2019
Probate is the formal term for the legal process that requires filing a will with the court so it may be validated, debts paid, and assets distributed. When a will is found to be valid, the executor will carry out his or her duties which will be overseen by the probate court.
All cases filed with the probate court are public record. This results in a loss of privacy, as anyone may access these records.
Another downside of probate is the fact that it may be extremely expensive based on the valuation of your estate, the number of financial and real estate holdings, and the oversight by the court.
Wills also take much longer to wrap up than trusts, in light of the fact that they are managed according to court scheduling. The larger the estate, the longer it will take for probate to be completed.
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