Panama City Probate Attorney
Helping Clients with Probate Disputes in Panama City, Florida
Are you involved in a probate dispute in the Panama City area? Interested parties in an estate conflict include the Personal Representative, heirs, beneficiaries, and other similarly situated individuals. Problems concerning an estate's assets, debts, and administration are not uncommon, and it's important to have effective representation. If you need legal assistance from a probate attorney to help you resolve the matter fairly, please consider calling this office to discuss the details. As a Panama City probate lawyer, I can provide the effective and thorough assistance you need to handle most probate matters, including disputes that arise between family members, beneficiaries, Personal Representatives, and others involved in the probate process.
Following a person's death, disputes frequently occur over the estate that remains. Problems include disputes over wills and trusts, and they are just as common when no will was established (intestate disputes). Cases of alleged fraud concerning the estate planning documents, pending civil litigation or business disputes impacting the estate, and allegations of improper conduct during the administration process are all ripe for litigation.
The majority of probate disputes concern conflicts about inheritance. Unequal inheritance among beneficiaries is normal, but it often leads to hard feelings and sometimes real conflict. These cases may be based on allegations of undue influence, duress, or lack of capacity on the part of the decedent prior to death. Disputes may also be based on allegations such as financial misconduct, elder abuse, fraud (to name a few) on the part of caretakers, family members, accountants, power of attorney holders, and any other person who may have had access to the deceased. These types of problems typically have to be resolved before the estate can be finalized, and securing effective legal representation to protect your interests is absolutely critical.
Whatever the situation may be, choosing an experienced and capable attorney may be the most important decision you make. Greed is a powerful force, and it is often the motivation for improper/illegal activity. At death, questionable conduct must either be accepted or challenged by one or more of the remaining interested parties. In these cases, I work exclusively with clients whom I believe to be on the right side of the table. I have refused some potentially good clients because of this, but I am fine with that. Manipulation of an elderly person for purposes of financial gain is inexcusable. I refuse this kind of work at the planning stage (when I am suspicious), and I will not defend it after the fact.
Do you need legal assistance with a probate dispute? Contact the Panama City Probate Lawyer, Max W. McCord III to discuss your situation today.
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.