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December 2016 Archives

Life Insurance And Estate Planning

LifeInsuranceAndEstatePlanning.jpgIt may be uncomfortable to think about what you want to do with your assets once you pass away, but planning is essential. One of the most common ways of estate planning is by using life insurance. It is an effective way to ensure that your loved ones will benefit financially and feel more secure after your death. The advantage of life insurance is that it is easy to acquire as well as can offer tax-free protection for beneficiaries.
Before understanding more about Life Insurance, you may want to check out our previous blog posts about estate planning, wills, and trusts. For a brief summary, estate planning is basically a process in which you decide what assets you want to pass on to your family or loved ones. You also decide who will handle your affairs if you at any point become unable to mentally or physically. It's basically just a way for you to get your financial affairs in order. It is often a good choice to get an attorney to help you with your estate planning. There is some information or issues that may come up that an experienced attorney can help you with. One of these issues could be estate taxes, which are to be paid by in order for the right to transfer rights after death. You definitely want to try to get an estate plan that helps you to avoid paying taxes, or pay very little. 

The Penalties For Not Filing Taxes

ThePenaltiesForNotFilingTaxes.jpgAre you the type of person that usually avoids filing their taxes? Whether it's an issue of not having enough money, or not knowing all the information that is needed, filing your taxes is an absolute must. You will have to face the very serious consequences of your actions. Sooner or later the IRS will catch the people who avoided filing their taxes. Failing to file your tax return will end up being more costly to you in the long run.
Those who do not pay their taxes will usually face a large criminal penalty, fines, and even imprisonment. If you make over a certain amount of money each year, you have to pay a tax on that income. This requirement is made known in the Internal Revenue Code.
Not filing your taxes and not paying your taxes are completely different. You will be penalized for both not filing as well as for not paying. If you calculate your return and realize that you do not have enough to pay, then you definitely don't want to not file. You will end up paying a penalty of 5% per month. If you do not file you will have to pay 4.5% for not filing and 0.5% for not paying. The penalty can add up to 47.5% which is why you want to make sure you file and pay your taxes! The penalty you will have to pay is not worth it.
If you fail to file then the IRS might file a substitute return for you. This substitute return will not help to save you money. Usually if you were to do this on your own, your accountant might include standard deductions, but this would not. The bottom line is that you don't want to end up spending more money. 

Understanding A Power Of Attorney

UnderstandingAPowerOfAttorney.jpgThe power of an attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. There are different types, which give a different level of control to the person depending on the circumstances. You can appoint multiple agents, but then you would have to decide if these agents should jointly or separately make decisions. This has the potential to cause arguments or disagreements.
It is important to note, a power of attorney document is only valid if you are competent when you sign it.
There is a general power of attorney, a special power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a durable power of an attorney. Each plays a different role and has a different authority.
A general power of attorney has broad power to act on another person's behalf. They can handle financial and business transactions, settle claims, buy life insurance, employee professional help, and more. This method is useful if one person will be out of the country, or if they have become physically or mentally unable of managing affairs. This power of attorney is often included in estate plans. 

Benefits For People With Disabilities

BenefitsForPeopleWithDisabilities.jpgSometimes a chronic medical condition can become so bad that it affects your ability to work. It's always unfortunate news when this happens, especially when it can lead to a situation where you must become unemployed. Besides dealing with unemployment, you will probably have medical bills to handle as well. You may qualify for disability which will allow you Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The Social Security income disability program is the largest of several Federal programs that help assist people living with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are insured. This means that you have worked for long enough, and have paid for Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial needs.
The Social Security Administration's blue book is a list of medical conditions that automatically qualify an individual for Social Security benefits. The individuals who qualify have severe medical conditions. These impairments are separated based on whether you are an adult or child. The childhood list of impairments is very similar to the adult list, but just includes aspects relating to conditions that affect growth. 

Unmarried Couples With Children

UnmarriedCouplesWithChildren.jpgMore and more couples are deciding to not get married or choose to hold off on it. This is usually for a variety of reasons. Some couples in a committed relationship do not feel the need to get married as a sign of commitment to each other. They feel marriage is an outdated system. Many couples are actually choosing to wait until they are much older to get hitched. Other couples may be concerned about the divorce rate being around 50%. Whether a couple stays unhitched due to these reasons, or perhaps for other reasons, couples are still choosing to have children.
Many people would imagine that if a couple chose to have a child, but not get married, then the girl is probably extremely young, most likely a teen. This may be true for some cases, but a majority of unmarried parents are adults in committed relationships. The decision to not get married has an impact on the parents' legal rights.
The laws and rights that pertain to parents vary from state to state, but usually couples who are not married have less rights than those who are. Being an unmarried couple can create a challenge when dealing with the legal system. If you are an unmarried couple it is definitely important to make sure you know your state's laws. You would never want to be in a situation where you lose custody of your child simply because you are unfamiliar with the rights you have according to what state you live in. 

Claiming Self-Defense

ClaimingSelfDefense.jpgUnfortunately some situations involving violence or assault may become so out of hand that both parties persue actions towards each other as a means of defense. In criminal law, an individual may try to make a self- defense claim, but it is not always justified. Usually the person claiming self-defense is being accused as someone who has committed a violent crime like assault, battery, manslaughter, or even murder.
We see cases like this arise more and more everyday. There are always incidents where someone is unfortunately shot to death, and the shooter in the crime may claim that this action is justified because they were defending themselves. Often a question the court will want to know is if that person perceived as a threat was armed or not. This can make all the difference in a court case, as well as who made the first move of violent action.
We even see situations in which someone who may have been abused for a while takes action is some instance against their attacker. The question now arises, "was this person's life in danger or not?" The Battered Woman's Defense is being allowed in courts as a defense in situations like these. 

Obtaining A Work Visa

ObtainingAWorkVisa.jpgPeople need to travel for work for a variety of reasons. Employers in the U.S. will hire foreign workers for specialty jobs that require a specific set of skills. Usually these workers will obtain a visa for temporary stay in the Unites States. In order for someone of a different country to be able to work in the United States, they must receive a visa. There are many different work visas, so the way to obtain one all depends on which type of work and application you are applying for.
The most common work visa is the H1B work visa. This visa allows you to also apply for a green card. If you want to be a permanent resident, you must apply before your work visa expires. If you do not apply then you will have to live in your country for at least a year before you can reapply for another work visa. 

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