We are all sad when one of our favorite celebrities passes away. After spending years watching them in movies and on television, seeing them in magazines, and everywhere else, it can feel like a close friend has passed away. People all across the country recently mourned the death of beloved actor Luke Perry. Whether you watched him as the bad boy on Beverly Hills 90210 or the father of Archie on Riverdale, Luke Perry probably inhabited your television screen at some point. Last month, Perry suffered a massive stroke and was rushed to the hospital. He remained on life support for one week before his family ultimately made the decision to discontinue life support when it was clear recovery was not an option.
While Luke Perry was famous, he is no different than the rest of us when it comes to estate planning. Sometimes, people think they might not need an estate plan because they could not possibly have enough assets to require one. This is untrue, however. An estate plan is beneficial for everyone, from Luke Perry to your neighbor down the street.
Forbes reports that Perry did in fact have an estate plan, leaving his family with the peace of mind that they can carry out his last wishes as he would have wanted. While the story is tragic, there are some lessons that can be learned through Perry’s death. In 2015, after a colon cancer scare, Perry had a will drafted. Additionally, the fact that Perry’s family was able to end the life support being given to him indicates that a more elaborate estate plan was in place.
An estate plan will be different for every person, depending on their circumstances, but there are a few key pieces that need to be included:
- Last Will and Testament: This is the piece of an estate plan that everyone thinks about. A will sets out the decedent’s plan for how assets will be handled after death, as well as the general oversight of the estate.
- Advanced Directive: An advanced directive can come in many forms – durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, etc. A power of attorney can be given to someone to handle business affairs, healthcare representation, and many other aspects of one’s life should one become unable to make his or her own decisions. Without an advanced directive, Perry’s family would have likely had to go through the court system to remove the life support being provided.
While Luke Perry’s death is certainly a tragedy, it is an opportunity for us all to look at our own estate plans and determine if we are prepared should something tragic happen. The estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Kris Mukherji are here to help you with your estate planning needs. We know you do not want to burden your loved ones after your death. Let us help you come up with a plan that ensures your wishes will be carried out. Contact us today for a consultation.Read More
Being involved in a car accident can be a jarring experience. No one expects to be in a crash when they set out to a destination, but car accidents happen every day. If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Depending on the severity of the accident, damages resulting from a car accident can place a significant financial burden on you after an accident. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if a personal injury suit is an option for you.
A personal injury attorney is instrumental in preparing your personal injury claim, but there things that can be done following an accident, before you contact a personal injury attorney that can boost your chances of recovering damages.
Seek Necessary Medical Attention
The first step that needs to be taken following a car accident is to assess yourself and any passengers to see if medical attention is needed. Personal injury suits are filed after car accidents to collect compensation for injuries that result in damages. Injured victims must be able to provide evidence of their injuries, including medical records. Even if you do not think you are seriously injured at the scene of the accident, you still need to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries can take a few days to fully manifest after an accident. Follow up with your doctor as soon as possible to check for any delayed injuries.
Call the Police
Car accidents in California need to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. The other driver might try to convince you that the police do not need to be involved, especially if he or she was at fault. Do not listen to this. Call the police so that an officer will come to the scene of the accident and file a police report of the incident. This report can be instrumental in a personal injury case to back up any claims that you might be making.
Gather Your Own Evidence
The police will document their findings, but taking your own photographs at the scene can be extremely helpful for future litigation proceedings. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and anything that might have contributed to the accident. If there were witnesses, it is also a good idea to get their contact information or otherwise obtain a written statement from them.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kris Mukherji can help you following a car accident. We want to be involved from the get-go, but there are some steps that only you can take at the scene of the accident. If you have been involved in an accident and want to pursue a personal injury suit to recover damages, contact us today.Read More
Probate refers to the legal process, or processes, that occur after the death of an individual. The term probate covers a variety of legal topics that can arise after death. These include contesting a person’s will, identifying assets of the deceased, paying the debts of the deceased, distributing assets when the deceased left no will, and more. Depending on the issues, the probate process can take as little as a few months or as much as several years. Probate is not a necessary process after someone dies; instead, it can be avoided all together.
Before understanding the process of avoiding probate, it is important to have a general concept of what probate is. If an individual leaves a will, the will often names an executor to the will to oversee the distribution of assets, deal with financial responsibilities, and generally oversee the estate. If there is no will in place, the probate court will distribute the deceased’s assets according to state law. Additionally, if there is no executor of the estate named in the will, the court will appoint someone to administer the estate.
Having a will does not mean that you can avoid probate. There are many ways that probate can be avoided in the state of California.
- Revocable Living Trust: A revocable living trust holds all of your assets. A living trust is not subject to probate after death. The assets of the trust are not considered part of the estate that is subject to probate. You can operate as the trustee of the trust and appoint someone to take over after your death. All of your assets and property can be included in the trust, leaving no assets or property to go through the probate process.
- Property Value: If the value of the property is less than $150,000, it is not necessary to go through probate. Instead, all that is required is a title transfer. If the deceased has a surviving spouse, they are usually the recipient of the property
- Transfer on Death Deed: A revocable transfer on death deed is a tool used to name another to inherit property after your death. These types of transfers do not have to go through probate.
- Transferring Accounts: For many types of accounts, a Transfer-on-Death or Payable-on-Death beneficiary can be named. The beneficiary takes ownership of the accounts after the death of the owner. These forms can override a beneficiary that is named in the will.
If you have questions about estate planning, or are looking for an attorney to make sure your estate plan is property set up, contact the estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Kris Mukherji. No one wants to leave their loved ones with the task of sorting through assets and figuring out what to do. We can help you establish an estate plan that takes away that responsibility from your loved ones and leaves a direct plan of what should be done. Contact us today for a consultation.Read More
We live in a litigious society. It would not be completely unheard of to suddenly find yourself at the center of a lawsuit. Car accidents, bad business dealings, extensive health bills that exceed the limits of your health insurance coverage, and even professional malpractice claims leave you open to the possibility of owing damages to another party. No one wants to think about his or her hard-earned assets being taken away. Estate planning gives individuals an opportunity to protect their assets in a variety of ways. One way to do this is through a domestic asset protection trust. A domestic asset protection trust is a trust that can protect personal assets.
Domestic asset protection trust are set up to personally protect various assets from creditors or lawsuits. Most states do not allow for a personal asset protection trust be set up. California law does not allow for a personal domestic asset protection trust, but that does not mean a trust can not be set up in one of the 14 states that allow them. The trustee of a domestic asset protection trust must be in the state that allows the trust formation.
Domestic asset protection trusts must be irrevocable and contain a spendthrift clause. Irrevocable means that once the grantor has transferred assets into the trust, they have effectively lost ownership of the trust. The beneficiaries of the trust would have to give the grantor permission to modify, amend, or terminate the trust or its terms. A spendthrift provision is a clause in an irrevocable trust that protects the assets of that trust from creditors. Since the grantor effectively lost the rights to ownership of the trust assets, creditors are not able to attach an interest to the assets in the trust.
Who Needs a Domestic Asset Protection Trust?
Those individuals who have a greater risk of being liable to others are usually good candidates for a domestic asset protection trust. Others who have a high net worth or a large amount of assets are also prone to lawsuits or creditors trying to obtain their assets.
While a domestic asset protection trust is way to protect your assets, the transfer of assets can not be done in a fraudulent way. Courts might find the transfer of assets to be fraudulent if they happened after the commencement of a lawsuit, or after a creditor has tried to obtain your assets. As such, it is important to speak with an estate planning attorney to make sure the set up of your trust is done in accordance with all laws.
The Law Office of Kris Mukherji is here to help you with your estate planning needs. From domestic asset protection trusts, to wills, and other types of trusts, our attorneys can help you determine what the best plan of action is for protecting your assets in a legal way. We know the thought of losing assets can be devastating, and no one wants to get caught up in a legal battle over assets. Contact us today for a consultation.Read More
More and more people are turning to naturopathic medicine as a solution to many health-related problems. Because of this increasing popularity, more and more naturopathic clinics are starting to appear and many individuals are considering opening their own businesses to take advantage of the trend. The business needs to be formed properly. An experienced business law attorney, like the the Law Office of Kris Mukherji, can help to make sure the formation of your business is done according to California law.
A naturopathic doctor corporation is a professional corporation. The Naturopathic Medicine Committee of California recognizes this type of corporation in California. The corporation’s main function revolves around providing the best services to individuals seeking care through a naturopathic doctor.
Steps to Forming a Corporation
There are many steps that must be done in order to legally form a naturopathic doctor or chiropractor corporation:
- Filing Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State: The Articles of Incorporation are the “basics” of your business. The articles must include the name of the business, the purpose, shares the business is able to issue, street address, mailing address, and the registered agent of the corporation. There are many limitations and rules regarding the name of a business and who can be a registered agent. A business attorney can ensure you are complying with all laws.
- Prepare Bylaws: Most every corporation needs bylaws that are the rules of the corporation. These are not a filing requirement of the secretary of state, but almost every California corporation has bylaws.
- Appoint the Professional Corporation Directors: For professional corporations, the general rule is that the directors must be licensed so that they can conduct the professional activity the corporation exists for.
- Board of Directors Meeting: A board of directors meeting must be held.
- Stock Issue: Stock of the corporation must be issued to the stockholders.
- Statement of Information: This must be filed within 90 days of the Articles of Incorporation
- Taxes and Fees: all applicable California taxes and fees must be paid.
- Obtain a Business License: Corporations must obtain a local business license and make sure that they are complying with any local laws.
- Other Federal Obligations: If there are additional obligations remaining, these must be satisfied.
As you can see, there are many steps to forming a naturopathic doctor or chiropractor corporation. Each of the steps in formation must be done accurately and in accordance with the law. The Law Office of Kris Mukherji is here to help you with your business formation needs. We know that the key to a successful business is starting out strong. A business can not start strong without proper formation. Contact us today to get your naturopathic doctor or chiropractic corporation started.Read More