Tasks a Business Lawyer in Sanford NC Can Handle for Small Businesses

A business lawyer in Sanford NC can assist small businesses in a number of meaningful tasks.  This early assistance allows a small business owner to start off on the right foot.  Some of the key ways that a business lawyer in Sanford NC can assist include:

Choose a Business Entity Type

There are various types of businesses that the business owner may want to consider.  Each different type has different effects on liability and on the tax structure of the business.  Forming a corporation is often much more complex in nature than forming a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability corporation.  A business lawyer can help prepare articles of incorporation and assist with instructing business owners of how the corporation must be managed to maintain its separate identity.

Filing a Trademark, Patent or Other Intellectual Property

Intellectual property filings are best handled by a professional.  Patent applications are complex and thorough.  Some people wait years after filing for a patent before they are ultimately approved.  When a business selects its name and trademark, it must ensure that it does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property.  Additionally, a business owner will not want to devote time and money in support of a name that it will later need to abandon.

Creating Contracts

Businesses may need contracts for a variety of reasons, including contracts with vendors, buy-sell agreements for business members or shareholders, non-disclosure agreements when third parties are consulted about something new in the business and employment contracts.  Businesses may also need contracts to purchase or sell assets and real estate.

Litigation

Businesses may be subject to lawsuits from employees, partners, customers or others.  If the business is sued, a business lawyer may assist with protecting the legal interests of the business.

Trusts and Estates Attorney in Sanford NC Explains Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

A trusts and estates attorney in Sanford NC can explain the possibility of using more complex types of trusts.  One such trust that a trusts and estates attorney in Sanford NC may recommend is that of a grantor retained annuity trust.

A grantor retained annuity trust is a special type of trust that allows the grantor to receive income from the tax while minimizing tax liability.  The grantor receives annuity payments from the trust for the number of years specified in the trust.  This income is derived from the interest from the assets that comprise the trust.

A grantor retained annuity trust is not for everyone.  It makes the most sense to use this type of trust when the grantor’s estate would exceed the federal exclusion amount.  This type of trust serves as a freeze transaction and is optimized in a low interest rate environment.  The value of the gift is ultimately reduced to that of the remainder interest after the annuity income transfers.

The grantor pays the income tax that is generated from the income of the trust, similarly as if the asset would be in the name of the grantor.  Therefore, the beneficiary does not have to pay any income tax for the gift.  There are certain ways to maximize the use of this type of trust as a wealth transfer tool. This includes incorporating rapid appreciation during the term of the trust, optimizing gift tax valuation discounts and using cascading grantor retained annuity trusts or sequential trusts.  This is accomplished when a person establishes an initial trust for a certain term.  When the income is received from this trust, a second trust is established with those funds.  Then, the income from both trusts are established to form a third trust.  In this manner, both the assets and the income may eventually be transferred to heirs without gift tax implications.

Essential Roles of a Probate Attorney in Broadway NC

A probate attorney in Broadway NC serve many important roles.  The most significant one is the assistive role with the estate’s personal representative.  A probate attorney in Broadway NC helps with the probate process from start to finish.  Some of the essential roles he or she performs include:

Locating Assets

A probate lawyer can review the will, trust and other documents in order to identify probate assets and non-probate assets.  This can help ensure that money and other assets are not accidentally forfeited or forgotten.

Evaluating Assets

A significant process involved in probate is determining the value of various assets.  A probate lawyer has contacts with professional appraisers and can seek a professional appraisal to support the documents that the personal representative submits to the court.

Requesting Court Permission

Once the values of certain assets are known, the beneficiaries may prefer to have the monetary value of the asset rather than the asset itself.  He or she may request the court’s permission to sell certain assets including real estate and may assist with the contracts associated with these sales.

Retitling Assets

A probate attorney may also help with retitling real estate and other assets to effectuate the legal transfer.

Preparing Tax Documents

The probate lawyer may also assist with determining whether estate taxes or inheritance taxes will be due.  He or she can determine where these funds will derive from.  Additionally, he or she may address any income tax issues.

Payment of Bills

A probate attorney may also advise on the payment of final bills after creditors have been notified of the testator’s death.

Preparing Documents for the Court

A probate attorney may assist with preparing the various accountings and other documents required by the probate court.  He or she can also ensure that filing deadlines are met.

Creative Provisions a Real Estate Attorney in Broadway NC Can Add to a Purchase Agreement

A real estate attorney in Broadway NC is intimately familiar with how competitive the housing market can be.  Sometimes the difference between whether or not a sale goes through is how sweet the provisions are for the seller.  A real estate attorney in Broadway NC may add the following provisions to your sales agreement:

No Inspection Clause

While many people want to perform a home inspection before a purchase is made and this is generally advised, these inspections can sometimes be a way to stall the deal or ask for a price reduction.  If you have a reason not to request an inspection, such as already having a home warranty, planning to purchase the lot for the land or stripping the home down to its studs for a complete overhaul, you may decide to do without this clause.

Rent-Back Agreement

Sometimes a seller wants to be assured that the sell goes through before actually looking for another home.  If he or she plans to buy the next home, the seller may be concerned about having to carry two mortgages at once.  Agreeing to rent the home back to the seller gives the seller the needed equity in the home to enter his or her own purchase contract while also allowing him or her to only have to move once.

Easement

In some instances, a seller may need to access adjacent land.  For example, if he or she maintains a business on a separate building on the land or maintains framing land, granting an easement to the seller can provide additional time for him or her to secure new land for these business purposes.  The easement may contain a specific expiration date so that the travel through the land is not indefinite.

Having a Business Lawyer in Lee County NC through the Life of Your Business

A business lawyer in Lee County North Carolina serves many important roles and can be a vital asset to a business.  From start to finish, a business lawyer in Lee County North Carolinacan assist in the following ways:

Business Formation 

A business lawyer can help form a separate legal entity.  He or she can advise which business form makes the most sense depending on the needs of the business owner and taking tax structures and exposure to liability into consideration.

Contract Formation

Businesses must enter into a number of contracts throughout the life of the business, including contracts for a lease or real property purchase, equipment purchases, contracts with vendors, employee contracts, confidentiality agreements and others.  A business lawyer can use his or her business knowledge to include provisions to protect the business.

Compliance

There are many local, state and federal laws that a business must comply with, including zoning laws, employment laws and tax laws.  A business lawyer can explain which laws the business must abide to keep it out of regulatory trouble.

Litigation

A business lawyer can also assist if the business becomes part of litigation.  Whether it is being sued or it needs to sue another person or entity, a business lawyer serves in an instrumental capacity, filing pleadings, collecting evidence, completing discovery requests and trying the case.

Succession Planning

A business lawyer can also help a business determine how it will pass on or terminate upon the death, disability or retirement of the business owner, if applicable.  A business lawyer can help draft a succession plan so that the family inherits the business or so that it is passed in a way that reflects the wishes of the business owner.

Protecting Fido and Fluffy with a Trusts and Estates Attorney in Broadway NC

When a person considers hiring a trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina, it is usually in contemplation as to how to help other people.  He or she may want to carefully draft a will to leave assets to a spouse or children or make a trust that will protect his or her family’s future for years to come.  However, a trusts and estates attorney in Broadway North Carolina can also be retained to provide planning regarding pets.

For many people, pets become a member of the family.  They may supplement a family that has children or sometimes take the place of children in a person’s life.  When a person is contemplating final wishes, he or she may consider what will happen to the family pet.  This is especially important if the individual is single.  However, even if the individual is fairly comfortable that the pet will be inherited by someone he or she trusts, the person may still feel better getting this information in writing and ensuring that funds are available for the pet’s use and maintenance.

North Carolina law has a specific statute that details the creation of trusts for the use of caring for a pet.  This statute states that no portion of the trust is to be used for the trustee or otherwise unless the trust explicitly states otherwise.  Additionally, the trust remains in force until the death of the last animal.  Upon termination, any remaining trust funds are transferred in accordance with the trust instructions or as part of the residuary clause of the will if there are no relevant instructions.  A trusts and estates attorney can draft specific trust instructions that the trustee can carry out.

A Real Estate Attorney in Sanford NC Explains Disclosure Requirements

A real estate attorney in Sanford North Carolina is familiar with all aspects of the buying and selling process for real estate in North Carolina.  A real estate attorney in Sanford NC can explain what disclosures are required to be made by law and can represent an affected party when these disclosures are not made.

For all real estate transfers in North Carolina, the seller is required to submit a Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement.  This form is used to document known conditions and material defects of the property.  The broad nature of the disclosure is meant to compel sellers to reveal to potential buyers the issues that the seller is actually aware of in the home.  This may be a bad roof, a problem with radon exposure, leaks in the basement, issues with the water supply or other issues.  By properly disclosing these defects, the seller can ensure that the buyer makes an informed decision about the property and avoids litigation in the future.

The disclosure is only related to those defects that the seller has actual, and not constructive, knowledge of.  This means that the seller has actual information about a particular condition.  The seller is under no obligation to inspect the property to reveal conditions of which he or she is not aware.  However, the buyer is free to hire a home inspector to perform a check for him or her.

If the seller does not provide this disclosure at the time required by law, the buyer can rescind the offer within three days of actually receiving the disclosure.   Additionally, North Carolina law allows the seller to hire an inspector to prepare a report on his or her behalf.

Three Signs You Will Need a Probate Attorney in Sanford NC

Many executors decide to hire a probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina to help them with the often time-consuming process of settling the estate.  A probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina is familiar with state law regarding estates and how the local probate court works.  While not every estate absolutely requires a probate lawyer, some surefire signs that you will most likely need one include:

Decedent’s Assets Were Not Transferred Outside of Probate

Probate is only concerned with those assets that the decedent’s estate owns after his or her passing.  It is possible to transfer many assets outside of the probate process.  Life insurance proceeds, funds from retirement accounts and funds from bank accounts can be transferred pursuant to a beneficiary designation form or through a payable on death designation.  Other property that is owned as joint tenants with the right of survivorship can also pass outside probate.  Assets help in a living trust also pass outside probate.

Estate Has More than $20,000 in Value

Like many other states, North Carolina has small estates laws that allow heirs to inherit without having to go through the full extent of probate.  In North Carolina, these estates have a value under $20,000.  This process allows a person to sign an affidavit and present it to the holder of the decedent’s assets, such as a bank account.  It is not for use for estates that owns property.

Family Members Don’t Get Along

If the decedent had a prior marriage with children and a current spouse, children who will not understand having different splits of the inheritance or family members who have already threatened to use, it is likely that a lawyer will need to be hired.  He or she can help safeguard the estate’s assets to the extent possible and defend against any frivolous lawsuit.

Lemon Springs Real Estate Attorney: Trouble with Covenants

One of the ways that a Lemon Springs real estate attorney helps clients is by assisting with separate contracts that affect their ownership interest.  While a purchase agreement is an important document, covenant agreements and agreements with property owners associations can have a daily impact on the client’s ownership and lifestyle.  A Lemon Springs real estate attorney can provide the following services:

Amending Restrictive Covenants

Neighborhoods and communities may have extensive restrictive covenants that specify the color the house can be, yard ornaments that can be displayed, types of buildings that can be erected and activities that cannot be completed on the grounds.  Often homeowners are required to pay dues to maintain the neighborhood, common grounds and their own properties.  If a homeowner feels that there are restrictive covenants that are too – well, restrictive – a real estate attorney may be able to help draft revisions to these covenants for the homeowners association’s consideration.

Protection of Rights

A real estate attorney can raise valid arguments to protect the homeowner’s rights from an overzealous association.  This may be by showing that the homeowners association has not enforced action against property owners who have committed similar violations or by analyzing the contract language for instances of ambiguity.

Explanation of Options

A real estate attorney can explain the options that are available to his or her client.  In some cases, a simple conversation between the lawyer and the association may be able to resolve the issue.  In other cases, negotiations between the respective lawyers may yield a result.  Mediation may be recommended if the lawyer believes that the parties may be able to work through a solution with the help of a neutral facilitator.  Litigation may be necessary in some situations.

Lemon Springs Family Law Attorney: How Debt Is Affected by Divorce

While much of a divorce case centers on how property will be divided between the parties, a Lemon Springs family law attorney can recommend taking a careful look at the debt that is involved in the case.  By tending to this aspect of the case, a Lemon Springs family law attorney can help his or her client start off on firmer financial footing after the divorce.

If a person is legally responsible for a debt, this does not change simply because they got divorced.  Even if an ex agrees to pay for a debt that is in the other spouse’s name, the family court does not have jurisdiction over creditors.  Some spouses may agree to take on additional debts and then decide after the divorce that they want to get back at the spouse and do so by wrecking his or her credit.  Creditors generally have the legal right to pursue the indebted spouse regardless of what the divorce decree states.

In order to avoid some financial issues related to divorce, some spouses may close out joint accounts or by removing the other spouse’s name from the account if he or she is no longer responsible for it.  This can help prevent last minute charges that are made on the accounts and help the spouse start to re-establish credit in his or her own name.  If a spouse misses a payment on a joint account or an account that is in the other spouse’s name, this will impact the spouse’s credit.  A divorce lawyer may make recommendations specific to the case, such as selling off property to pay off joint debt or refinancing the mortgage in the spouse’s sole name.