This trust has many names: Revocable Trust, Family Trust, Living Trust, etc. The simple trust is used in a modest estate plan where sophisticated tax planning is not needed. In the most common form, a person or a couple has a house that will need to pass on to children at death. Without a trust in place, a probate will be necessary. Why? Simply put, because it is hard to sign a deed after you have died, so someone must be given the power to do so in your behalf. The very first judges in Utah were LDS bishops who became probate judges for this reason. They were given the power to sign or appoint someone else to sign for the deceased person. If you have a trust, you appoint a Trustee (which is you while you are alive but then goes down a list of Successor Trustees after you die), so there is no need for a probate because you have already appointed the person to sign in your behalf.
Innocent or guilty, the defendant in a domestic violence case is a person with the right to a fair trial. By definition, the offender is a spouse, sibling, parent, friend or close relation. It is easy for a third party observer so say, “Send them to jail and throw away the key.” Due to the nature of Domestic Violence, these cases are fraught with several emotional and legal pitfalls that the defense attorney must be aware of and be able to address. The role of a defense attorney is to represent the defendant’s rights in court.
There is a basic principle of property law that people get to do whatever they want with their money or property until somebody legally takes it. This principle is extremely important in debt collection law, since the creditor’s ultimate goal in debt collection is to get the debtor’s money or property that can be sold for money. To the creditor, that means that the debtor can sell property, spend money, quit jobs, move out of state, and do a number of other things that may frustrate the creditor’s ability to get money or property later, up until the day that the creditor gets a writ from the court to take specific property.
If a debtor has more than one creditor, then those creditors may be in a race to get the debtor’s property. Unfortunately for the creditors, the debtor is allowed to choose to make it easy for one creditor and hard for another as long as the debtor is not in bankruptcy (there is such thing as forcing a debtor into bankruptcy, but it is rarely done and generally hard to do).
So you are ready to start a business, what should you do? If you and a friend decide to go into business together, but don’t file anything, that is called a general partnership. Both of you can bind the business and both have liability for those decisions. Judgement creditors can go after your personal assets to pay for a business debt that has gone to judgement. Small business is what fuels the state and national economy, so governments want to encourage new small businesses. So, starting several hundred years ago Britain developed the corporation, a system which allowed people to invest without risk except as to their investment and have the company run by a board of directors and officers. This is still used by most large businesses, but can get pretty cumbersome for small businesses, including being taxed twice. It does have the very important benefit of limiting the liability of the investors, so a judgement creditor can only go after the corporation assets, not the individual investor.
Wills and Trusts take care of your stuff after you die. But what about between now and then? What about when you are unable to make the decisions for yourself? This is where Powers of Attorney come in. They give a third party rights to act in your name in certain circumstances. There are two general areas where Powers of Attorney may be needed:
No one ever expects to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). For most people, the arrest is a shattering experience. There are the flashing lights, and the officer at the car door. First come the questions and the field sobriety tests, then the handcuffs and the trip to the station for booking. These experiences are followed by more questions and warnings and finally by being asked to blow on an intoxilizer machine, or having your blood drawn. The final humiliations are either booking into jail to sleep it off and wait for court, or a call to friend or loved one to post bail. None of these are pleasant experiences. Read more…
Debt collection used to be much simpler for creditors than it is today. Historically, failure to pay debt was punishable by imprisonment, the stocks, and in some areas even death. Debtor’s prisons continued to exist until some decades after the American revolution. Some creditors, in their fury over non-payment, wish these punishments were still legal, especially if the debtor is particularly dishonest or obnoxious. But the bottom line is, the laws today are more humane for debtors, so creditors need to be more educated in order to understand their rights.When a debtor fails to pay, the ultimate goal of a creditor is to get money (or property that can be sold for money) from the Debtor. There are many possible strategies to accomplish this, but at the root of all these strategies is understanding what the law will and will not do to allow a creditor to get the debtor’s property by force. Read more…