Panama City Probate Lawyer
If you have questions about an inheritance issue, you should consider seeking qualified legal assistance. As a Panama City probate attorney, I can provide the help needed in most inheritance matters. I understand the difficulty and emotional factors that may be involved in inheritance issues, and I make every effort to ensure that my clients' problems are resolved efficiently and fairly, according to Florida law.
How are inheritance rights determined in Florida?
In Florida, the probate process is the most common way estate inheritance issues are resolved. A person may set up the distribution plan for his or her estate in any manner they see fit (with several exceptions). This assumes the plan is reflected in a form that is valid and legally binding. In order to be valid, estate planning (testamentary) documents must meet certain legal formalities. A Last Will and Testament is the most common estate planning document.
After a Will has been admitted for probate by the court, a Personal Representative will be appointed. The Personal Representative's role is to collect all the assets and property of the estate, pay any enforceable debts of the estate, expenses, and taxes the estate may owe, and then distribute the inheritances as provided in the Will.
If the deceased person died without a Will (referred to as dying "intestate") the inheritance rights are governed by the Florida Statues. These laws determine who is entitled to receive a part of the estate. For example: If the deceased person left behind a spouse, the spouse will generally be entitled to receive at least a portion of the estate (assuming no prenuptial agreement). When a legitimate dispute arises among heirs or beneficiaries, it generally must be resolved before the estate assets can be distributed. To find out more about inheritance rights for a particular situation, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney about the specifics of your case.
Do you need legal assistance with inheritance rights? Contact Panama City Probate Attorney, Max W. McCord III, for competent legal help.
What are some of the benefits of conducting business through a legal entity?
One of the most important benefits is the protection of your personal assets against the claims of creditors. Generally speaking, directors, officers, managers, members, and stockholders (the interested parties) are not held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business entity. The interested parties should be limited in their personal liability to the amount invested in the company. Another legal benefit is the transferability of ownership, which can be done either in whole or in part. Also, some estate tax planning options are only available to business entities. Retirement funds, such as 401ks may be established more easily. Also, a business entity can acquire and establish its own credit rating.
What are some of the mistakes people make when going into business?There are always risks involved in going into business. As most people know, a majority of small businesses do not succeed in the long run. Mistakes of new business owners may include the lack of a realistic business plan, underestimating costs and tax liabilities, and unfavorable business contracts/agreements. Even more problematic is a failure to understand the business or the marketplace, underestimating the competition, and/or not being effective at managing a business. Responsibility for these latter areas ultimately falls to the owners, but sound legal advice can substantially improve the chances of success.
How can I be protected from liability claims that arise from my business?
Generally speaking, business owners doing business as limited liability companies, corporations, or limited partnerships do not have personal liability for the obligations or debts of the business. This assumes that no personal guarantees have been executed. If the business has been properly created, it is a separate legal entity. The details of formation are important, and the filing fees must be paid. If properly created and maintained, the assets owned by the business should be the only ones that are subject to debt or other liability considerations.