Think about the last time you looked at or signed a legal document. Was it full of words you did not understand? Did some of the words seem like they might even be made up? There are no shortage of these types of terms in the legal field. The estate planning process is no different. Your estate planning attorney should be able to explain any foreign concepts to you and make sure you understand what is going on. Two phrases that often come up in estate planning are “per stirpes” and “per capita.” These two small phrases can have a major impact on how assets are distributed after death. These each represent a different type of distribution style. It is important to understand what each means so that you can choose the right method for your estate.
In Latin, per stirpes means “by the roots.” In estate planning, this type of distribution is all about your family tree and following a distribution pattern according to each “branch” of the tree. Each member of a particular branch of the family tree will receive a proportionate share of the estate. To understand this more, here is an example. A widowed husband without a will has three children. One child is deceased but with two children of his own. The decedent’s estate will be split evenly between his three children. Since one of the children is deceased, that child’s heirs will split his portion evenly. The “roots” in this situation are the three children, with the shares of the estate being split among them.
Per capita is also a Latin word meaning “by the head.” Instead of splitting the shares of an estate among a branch of the family tree, in per capita every living member will receive an equal portion of the estate. Using the same example as above, the two remaining children of the decedent split the estate evenly. The decedent’s grandchildren receive no shares of the estate.
The biggest difference between per capita and per stirpes distribution is that if a member of a group on the family tree is no longer living, their share is not passed on to any of their own heirs. The remaining members of a group receive the entire amount, there is no passing onto the next generation in place of a deceased member.
In California, choosing the way you want your assets to be passed to your heirs can be complicated. Per capita and per stirpes are both viable options that you need to discuss with your estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of Kris Mukherji is here to help you with all of your estate planning needs. We make sure to discuss all of the available options with you so that you can make an informed decision about how you want your assets distributed after death. Estate planning needs to be done early and updated often. Contact us today to get started.Read More
Whether you are drafting or signing a contract for your business, it is important to look it over carefully so you know what exactly you are asking someone to agree to, or what exactly you are agreeing to in the case of signing. Reading the fine lines of a contract might not be the most exciting step in running a business to you, but it is important. The following are elements that you should be on the lookout for whether you are drafting or signing a business contract.
Negotiation: First and foremost, it is important to mention that negotiation is a key part in most contract formation. Each side needs to have the ability to express the terms and conditions they want present in the contract. From there, negotiation can take place to ultimately decide what those terms and conditions are.
Basic Elements: In California, there are basic elements that must be present in order for a contract to be enforceable. These are, at the bare minimum, what must be present in a contract.
Parties: Everyone that is going to be held to the terms of the contract need to be listed and identified appropriately.
Rights and Responsibilities: The point of most contracts is to outline the responsibilities of each party involved. Make sure the terms of the contract are spelled out clearly. Do not rely on a purely oral understanding of the contract. This is where it is important to read the entire contract because the responsibilities and rights of each party are often spread throughout the contract in various parts, not contained to just one paragraph.
Remedies: Every contract should include a provision for what should happen if things go awry. While you do not want there to be a breach of contract, knowing that there is a plan should something happen is imperative.
Confidentiality: Is this contract confidential? Or, are the terms and conditions going to be available to everyone? Make sure to include the requisite language of confidentiality, depending on your specific needs.
Disputes: Should there be a dispute during the term of the contract, it is important to spell out how that dispute should be handled. Arbitration, court, and mediation are common types of dispute resolution named in contracts.
Termination: Does either party have the right to terminate the contract? What are the conditions in which termination is appropriate? Be sure to include provisions about terminating the contract and the process to do so.
Incorporated Documents: If there are other documents relevant to this contract, make sure they are clearly referenced in the contract.
Signatures: In order for a contract to be enforceable, it must be signed by all parties involved. Be sure to check for the proper signatories who have the authorization to sign the contract.
The business attorneys at the Law Offices of Kris Mukherji are here for all of your contract needs. Whether you are drafting or signing a contract, we can help you understand and interpret the contract, as well as help you decide what terms and conditions you need to be present in the contract. Contact us today for a consultation.Read More
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
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