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Facts about Probate you need to know

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries and any debt owed to creditors is paid off. In general, probate property is distributed according to the decedent's last will and testament, if there is one, or according to state law if no will exists. The inner workings and process of going through probate can be difficult. The Attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah can help you to get through the process of probate. Below are some facts you need to know about probate to help you in the future.

 

What is Probate?

Probate is the court process of changing the title on assets owned by a deceased person. If a person owns bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, or other assets in his or her individual name at the time of death, no one will be able to gain access to those assets until the court has appointed a Personal Representative (formerly called executor). The Personal Representative will be able to go to the bank or other financial institution where the assets are located with the court appointment in hand, and change the name on the account from the deceased person’s name to the name of the estate.  Once that is done, the Personal Representative as the legal representative of the estate, will have access to the account and can sell investments, pay bills, make distributions, etc.

 

Not Everything Needs to be Probated

There are a few instances that assets won’t need to probated. For example if a husband and wife have a joint bank account and the husband dies, the joint bank account belongs automatically and entirely to the wife.  She does not need to probate the account in order to get access to it.  Similarly, if a deceased husband left an IRA, 401K plan, life insurance policy, or annuity of which the wife is named as the beneficiary, she does not need to go to probate court to gain access to those assets. If you are not listed as a beneficiary or are on the account then you will need to go through the probate process.

 

Probate takes Time and Money

The reality is that it usually takes the courts several months to process even the most routine probate filing.  During that time period, no one has access to the probate assets.  That can mean expenses such as the mortgage payment, real estate taxes, and the funeral bill are not paid for months.  Court filing fees and legal fees to prepare the file probate documents and advise the Personal Representative can be significant.

 

For help in navigating the probate process and even possibly avoiding it in the future you will want to seek the help of the attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah. We can help you to get your assets and final wishes in order.

Why you should make Tax Planning a Priority this year

While we all may dread that time of the year when April 15th rolls around and we have to sit down and do our taxes, have you ever thought about getting a head start on taxes and creating a tax plan with your attorney? Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County has attorneys that are well versed in tax law and can help you to come up with a beneficial tax plan for this year. Listed below are just some of the reasons why you should make tax planning a priority this year.

 

To Pay Less Taxes

Reducing your tax in the current year or in future years can be accomplished easily with some planning. Depending on your situation this can be very beneficial for you. If you are included in any of the instances listed below then you definitely need to sit down and do some tax planning.

·         You are self-employed or a business owner.

·         You have investments with significant unrealized gains or losses.

·         You have had a major life-changing event during the year, like selling a home, marriage or divorce, if you’ve retired or had a child.

·         If you’ve had a dramatic change in your income (up or down), or a change in jobs.

·         If you have moved, especially between states.

·         If you are sending a child to college for the first time.

·         If you purchase health insurance from the government health exchange.

 

To Implement Planning Ideas

While some tax planning strategies can be accomplished in short order at the last minute, most require much more time for proper analysis and implementation. This is especially true when it comes to business owners who are trying a new strategy, making a change in the business, or changing ownership in the company.

 

Familiarizing yourself with New Tax Laws

Earlier this year we found out we will be affected by some major changes in tax law. Taking the time to make a plan and familiarize ourselves with the changes will only prove to be beneficial. Being proactive gives you the ability to benefit from the changing environment. Talking with the attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County will help you to learn more about the new tax laws and how you can alter your spending or business strategies to stay ahead of the game and come out making more money and spending less during tax season.

What you Should Know about Special Needs Trusts

 

Trusts are great when it comes to protecting your assets, setting up plans for the future, and putting trustees and beneficiaries in a position to take over when you are no longer living or able to take care of yourself. Special needs trusts are made specifically for the benefit of those with physical and/or mental disabilities, including those with mental disabilities who lack the capacity to manage their own finances. Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah can help you with the process of setting up a special needs trust to give you the peace of mind you need when taking care of your loved ones. Below are some basic facts you should know about special needs trusts.

 

Distribution of Assets

When you are involving a loved one with special needs in your trust as a beneficiary you need to make sure you still have their needs in line with what you wish to pass down to them. Often times, people with disabilities qualify for government assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, and subsidized housing. Many people make the mistake of leaving assets to their disabled loved ones through a will. This is problematic because acquiring assets, such as a lump sum of money, can disqualify your loved one for these types of government assistance programs. Instead you can set up a special needs trust instead of a will which the trustee has total control over the management of the funds, and the beneficiary does not, government program administrators, like the ones from SSI and Medicaid, ignore the trust assets when considering eligibility.

 

Addressing Special Needs

What is great about a special needs trusts is that they address the specific needs of the disabled person whereas other types of trusts do not. Even if a family is not interested in government benefits, they should still consider a special needs trust to address those specific needs. You never know what the future will hold for your loved one and having that spelled out in your trust will help take away a lot of the hard decisions.

 

Taking the time to talk with the lawyers at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah to set up a special needs trust is a must. They can make sure all of the proper wording and wishes are within the trust so you don’t have to worry about your loved one’s future. Set up a consultation with us today to learn more.

Professional Associations vs. Limited Liability Companies

When forming a business and figuring out all of the legalities involved you will need to have some knowledge pertaining to the different types of entities you can form and how each on works differently. Talking to an attorney at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County will help you to decide which entity set-up would work best for you and your situation. To shed a little light on Professional Associations vs. Limited Liability Companies we have provided some of the basics of each for you below.

 

Professional Associations

A PA is a professional entity formed for the purpose of providing a professional service. Typically, the people who own and govern the PA must be licensed in the profession in which the business is engaged. Some states limit the availability of this business entity to very specific professions, such as medical doctors, veterinarians and architects. Similar to Corporations, some state require that you have a board of directors in place and the entity itself will be formed to outlive its members.

 

Limited Liability Company

An LLC is a more common and flexible business entity that is not restricted to any specific profession. In an LLC, the owners are not personally liable for the debts of the business, much like a corporation. LLC’s also don’t require a board of directors. Income for an LLC "passes through" to the owners, meaning that there is no corporate tax, and the income is taxed only once. You can choose to have either a single-member LLC or a multi-member LLC. It all depends on how you want to divide your ownership and assets.

 

Start the Process

Now that you have an idea of what kind of business entity you will need to form for your business needs you can begin the formation process. The first step is to contact the attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County. They can walk you through the structure you need and help you with putting together the necessary paperwork needed for each state. Call us today to schedule a consultation so we can help you get the process started.

Facts about Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are always unfortunate for everyone involved. The more you know about what causes motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them the better. If you do find yourself to be the victim of a motorcycle accident you can trust the personal injury attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo to help you with your case and get you the money you deserve. Below are some facts about motorcycle accidents we want you to be aware of.

 

·         Only about ¼ of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

·         In multiple vehicle accidents, 2/3 of the accidents are caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcycle's right-of-way.

·         The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

·         Visibility and conspicuousness of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.

·         Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are significantly overrepresented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented. Although the majority of the accident-involved motorcycle drivers are male (96%), female motorcycle passengers are significantly overrepresented in the accident data.

·         The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist just less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.

·         The likelihood of injury is extremely high in motorcycle accidents: 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury.

·         The use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves, etc., is effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are frequent but rarely severe injuries.

·         The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were injuries to the chest and head.

·         The use of the safety helmet is the single most critical factor in the prevention of reduction of head injury.

 

For more information regarding personal injury claims make sure you talk to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo. We can give you the answers you need.

The Basics of a Business Partnership

Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County Attorney can help you establish a variety of entities. If you are looking to establish a Partnership then you will want to get to know the basics of a business partnership listed below.

 

Sharing the Liability

Partners in a partnership are personally liable for all business debts and obligations, including court judgments. There are a few exceptions to this personal liability. Some of the partners can have limited personal liability if the partnership is set up as a limited partnership. This is a partnership in which only the general partner, who runs the business, has personal liability, while the limited partners, who are basically passive investors, can lose no more than their stake in the partnership. Owners who are concerned about personal liability can choose to incorporate their business or operate as a limited liability company. LLC’s are a great option when it comes to the protection of the each of the partner’s assets.

 

Creating a Partnership

Creating a partnership is easy enough to start. The first step is to agree to be partners. The next is to complete the proper registration with the state and IRS. While the owners of a partnership are not legally required to have a written partnership agreement, it makes good sense to put the details of ownership, including the partners' rights and responsibilities and their share of profits, into a written agreement.

 

Ending a Partnership

If you or your partner chooses to dissolve the business, each of the partners must fulfill any remaining business obligations, pay off all debts and divide any assets and profits among themselves. If you want to prevent this kind of ending for your business, you should create a buy-sell agreement, or buyout agreement, which can be included as part of your partnership agreement. A buy-sell/buyout agreement helps partners decide and plan for what will happen when one partner retires, dies, becomes disabled or leaves the partnership to pursue other interests.

 

For more information regarding partnerships and how to set it up properly then you will want to consult with one of the experienced attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Utah County. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

 

How to Know if you need a Collections Attorney

When you a small business owner you rely on the payments from your customers to pay your bills and stay in business. So what happens when your final notices just aren’t working? How do you get the money you are owed? The Attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo can help you get the money you deserve with a collections attorney. Listed below are some ways a collection attorney can help you in your situation.

 

How to Collect Business Debts

If you’ve completed the work or delivered the product, sent the invoice, and have received no response, you still have some options. Use a measured approach to collect on the account. Start by sending a debt collection letter, reminding the customer or account-holder of their missed payments and providing an opportunity to correct the situation. You can send an initial letter, a follow-up letter, and a final demand letter before escalating further. If you still don’t have a response from your customer you can begin the legal processes of collecting debt.

 

How a Collections Attorney can Help

A collections lawyer can help you in a number of ways. First, you can receive personalized help with your situation. A lawyer will be able to explain the proper procedures and help you draft a well-crafted debt collection demand letter or offer other solutions to your issue. A lawyer may also be able to advise you on whether to use a collection agency or seek a court-based remedy to ultimately collect on the debt, by filing a lawsuit and hopefully receiving a judgment in your favor. A collections lawyer can also guide you through the process of collecting on your judgment.

 

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure whether you can collect the debts you are owed on your own or if you need a collections attorney, schedule a consultation with the Attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo. We can advise you on the steps you need to take in order to get the money you are owed.

Your Rights in a Home Owners Association

 

HOA’s or Home Owners Associations can have its upsides and its downsides. It all depends on your personal preference of neighborhood and the rules you have to adhere to. We at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah can help you with any issues that may arise when living in a HOA. Listed below are your rights as a home owner in a HOA neighborhood.

 

 ·         Homeowners deserve to be informed of their voting eligibility if they do not qualify to vote per the governing documents before a vote is held.

 

 

·          Homeowners deserve a response to an inquiry, unless of course the inquiry is ludicrous or threatening, or the demand(s) are intended to harass.

 

 

·         Homeowners deserve a reasonable opportunity to vote in importantelections or to appoint another to vote on their behalf.

 

·         Homeowners should expect that HOA financial and other records will be kept in a routine manner for reasonably easy access.

 

·         Homeowners should get a timely notice and a fair opportunity to be heard if the HOA intends to take disciplinary action against them.

 

·         Homeowners should get a timely notice and a fair opportunity to be heard if the HOA intends to take disciplinary action against them.

 

Every HOA varies by state and location. We always advise you to obtain your rights when you move into an HOA. If you feel like your rights have not be adhered to the lawyers at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson Law Firm in Provo, Utah can help. We have experience when dealing with Home Owners Associations and are well versed in the rights that are available to you.

 

How Bankruptcy can affect your Business

 

 

 

 

You will often hear a lot about personal bankruptcy and how it can affect your home and family, but what if you are an owner of a small business? The bankruptcy attorneys at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo can help you with all over your bankruptcies needs as a business owner. Below are just some of the things that could happen when you file for bankruptcy and the different types of bankruptcy to consider filing with a small business.

 

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

This type of bankruptcy is referred to as liquidation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is suitable for a business that does not plan on staying open. This is because this type of filing does not include any type of repayment plan. This is the suitable choice for sole proprietors and small businesses. However, the bankruptcy code allows for the debtors to keep some “exempt property.” But with this type of filing, it is expected that there will be some sort of loss of property. Consulting with your attorney at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo before filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is always recommended.

 

Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

This type of bankruptcy allows your business to recover. So Chapter 11 is referred to as repayment and sometimes reorganization. The filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is suitable for corporations and limited liability companies although some sole proprietorships have chosen to file Chapter 11. Because it allows an organization to recover and restructuring is included, Chapter 11 does involve additional scrutiny by the bankruptcy courts. Small businesses that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy are treated differently than regular bankruptcy cases and are called a “small business case.” A small business case is referred to by the bankruptcy code as a case with a “small debtor.”

 

The Impact of Filing for Bankruptcy

In the case of a sole proprietor, if you as the business owner choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the business automatically files, as well. This is the case because you are a sole proprietor. There is nothing that separates you, the owner, from the business. Because there is no separation when a sole proprietor files for bankruptcy, their personal credit standing is a risk. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is considered to be the choice for businesses with a large amount of assets. Although Chapter 11 bankruptcy affords your business the chance for reorganization and restructuring, it often is a complicated and costly process. You will need to retain an accountant and a bankruptcy attorney from Robinson, Seiler & Anderson in Provo to assist you with these matters although the bankruptcy code makes it possible for small businesses to file.

View Our Testimonials Announcement

Norman H. Jackson, Utah Court of Appeals Judge, Retired, has joined the law firm of Robinson, Seiler & Anderson, LC, effective April 2017.  Judge Jackson was one of the seven founding Judges of the Utah Court of Appeals and served terms as Presiding and Associate Presiding Judge.
 
Judge Jackson was the senior attorney in a Richfield law firm for eighteen years.  The firm engaged in legal, business and tax cases, including practice before State and Federal Courts, U.S. Board of Land Appeals, Utah Public Service Commission and Arizona Corporation Commission.  Clients included counties, cities, banks department stores, communications and credit associations, irrigation companies, auto dealers, building supply stores, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. They took “every type of case that came through the door,” from criminal defense work to a patent royalty dispute for the inventor of the Frisbee. Judge Jackson has been a lifetime rancher doing business in Utah as Jackson Cattle Company and Arizona as EJ Cattle Ranches.
 
Judge Jackson’s professional service includes terms on the Utah State Bar Commission, Bar Foundation (President and Vice President), Air Travel Commission, and Utah Information Technology Commission.  He served on the Judiciary’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee for thirteen years and initiated and supervised the Appellate Court Mediation Office.  He developed and advanced a realistic and workable framework for both of Utah’s Appellate Courts to use in reviewing trial court and administrative agency decisions.  He published three editions of Utah Standards of Appellate Review while participating in more than 2,000 appellate court decisions.  
 
Judge Jackson’s experience will complement the other outstanding lawyers at Robinson, Seiler & Anderson, LC.  The firm will continue its representation of injured individuals, as well as clients in real estate, business, estate planning, tax, contract and education matters.
 

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