We often get calls asking about Affidavits of Heirship, and if they are a good alternative when a loved one dies without a Will. Affidavits of Heirship can be a tempting alternative to instigating a probate proceeding because of the substantially lower initial cost, but there are limitations and risks associated with this alternative. Most financial institutions and title companies fail to advise clients of these limitations and risks.
We continue to have a lot of new and existing clients whose loved ones have died with real property interests in other state. They are often surprised when we advise them that in order to transfer title to those interests, they will need to file and go through that state's probate process. Typical out of state real property interests include vacation homes, beach condos, rental homes, ranches, farms, and mineral interests.
The IRS requires that a person or entity possessing an IRS employer identification number ("EIN") has 60 days in which to report a change in its "responsible party" designation using an IRS Form 8822-B. Further, beginning May 13, 2019, the "responsible party" can no longer be an entity but must be an individual. Currently, the IRS is not imposing penalties for failure to notify it of this change, but the IRS has cautioned that an applicant may not receive a notice of deficiency or notice of demand for tax if it does not have a current "responsible party" designation on file.
We get a lot of telephone calls and emails from potential clients regarding the creation of a new business or real estate venture or investment. Invariably the potential client asks us for our estimate of the charges to create the new entity and then asks us why they shouldn't use the self-help legal services websites to advise and form their new entity. The online entity formation tools seem to be cheaper and fairly simple to use. We typically inform these potential clients that the lower cost offered by such options does come at a price that they may well end up paying down the road.
With the new year starting, I thought it would be good to review and re-post my simplified checklist of the twenty-six items you can do to get your estate in order prior to death.
Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. Divorces impact and disrupt family, financial and personal matters and are normally emotionally charged events in the couple's life. Divorces also impact decisions that were made in regards to estate planning while the couple was married. It is important to know how a divorce will impact your estate planning and the decisions and selections you made during that process.
Setting up an LLC in Texas is a relatively simple task that requires very little information. To successfully form an LLC in Texas you only need to provide the name of the LLC, the registered agent's name and address, identify the LLC's members or managers, a statement of the LLC's purpose, and identify the LLC's organizer.
We get a lot of calls and emails from potential clients who state that our fees for legal services are too high, and they will just go online and use one of the popular online document preparation services to prepare their Will at a faction of the cost. It is true that our fees are higher than the online document preparation services sites. However, what most people don't consider is that we don't just fill in the blanks to prepare your new Will. We use our extensive knowledge and experience to analyze each client's personal situation, objectives and needs, and give advice and counsel relating to the best and proper way to handle their estate planning needs and objectives. Experience and expert counsel is what you are paying for, not just the preparation of a new Will or document.
With the advent of self-help legal websites and advances in on-line entity formation tools offered by many states, it is now easier than ever for anyone to form their own legal entity without the assistance of an attorney. However, the convenience offered by such options does come at a price that you may well end up paying down the road. Here are just a few of the things that you may be missing by opting to go without personal, professional legal representation in setting up a new entity:
S corporations are a creature of the Internal Revenue Code. They are corporations which have timely filed an S election with the IRS to be treated as a "pass through" entity; meaning that they generally pay no corporate-level federal income tax. The federal income tax attributes flow through to the shareholders of the corporation. Most small business entities are "pass through" entities-either S corporations or limited liability companies, taxed as partnerships or sole proprietorships.