Thursday, June 27, 2013

Take The Time To Update Your Will

No group has been the subject of more jokes than lawyers. Perhaps this stems from the fact that most of our contact with the law is in regard to something negative (i.e., a divorce, a will contest, a criminal charge, a mortgage foreclosure). Those unfortunate situations may taint your impression of attorneys. As a lawyer, I decided that I could go around being upset at the lawyer stereotypes portrayed in these jokes or roll with the punches and have a good laugh along with everyone else.
Thus, I'm including some of my favorite lawyer jokes/stories as part of my monthly newsletters in an attempt to show that I do not take myself too seriously, have a sense of humor and am a real person who just happens to be an attorney. I hope you will enjoy these inserts in our newsletters each month and that they will add some levity to the more serious and important information contained therein.
Best regards! Mark D. Klein
A woman and her little girl were visiting the grave of the little girl's grandmother. On their way through the cemetery going back to the car, the little girl asked, "Mommy, do they ever bury two people in the same grave?"
"Of course not, dear," replied the mother. "Why would you think that?"
"Because the tombstone back there said, 'Here lies a lawyer and an honest man.' "
TAKE THE TIME TO UPDATE YOUR WILL
By some accounts, 70% of adult Americans do not have a will. If you have at least gone to the trouble of making a will, consider yourself
ahead of the curve and pat yourself on the back. Then come back to earth and understand that your work is not completely done. A will is not a static instrument. To serve its purposes, it must keep current with life changes, including an individual's financial circumstances, and with some external factors, such as tax laws. With the help of a professional, you should periodically review your will, staying alert to new or different circumstances that might call for updates.
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
Obviously, a marriage usually brings a new beneficiary into the picture, and a divorce may remove one. Some of the changes in a will prompted by a change in marital status may not be so apparent. For example, when a widow or widower remarries, the will may need to be updated to show how children from the previous marriage and the new spouse are to be provided for.
ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS
A new child is a new beneficiary, but a will can and should cover more than just the distribution of property to heirs. Parents can name a guardian, and even an alternate guardian, to care for their children in the event that something happens to both parents. Absent such a provision in a will, a court will appoint a guardian.
The death of an executor, guardian, beneficiary, or trustee creates a gap in how the will is supposed to operate. Fill in the gaps by making necessary changes, such as naming a new individual or, in the case of a deceased beneficiary, simply removing him or her from the will.
CHANGING FORTUNES
If you enjoy an unexpected windfall, you may still want the larger pie divided up as before. But it is likely that some changes in your will are called for. If the increase in the potential estate is large enough, it might trigger the need for planning to avoid or minimize estate taxes. A reversal of fortune could also suggest some changes. For example, you may have to revise downward that fixed sum you were planning to leave to a favorite charity.
MOVING OUT OF STATE
You will not have to start from scratch if you move to another state, because all of the states recognize a will that was properly created in another state. Nonetheless, legal advice should be sought in the new state because changes in the law from state to state could require some tinkering with the will. There may be more than tinkering involved if you move to or from a community property state.
CHANGES IN TAX LAWS
The government's intentions can change even if your intentions have not. Some of the changes benefit individuals with wills, but you can take full advantage of them only if you are aware of them. The big item here is changes to the federal estate tax exemption, which is the amount an estate can reach before it is subject to a (hefty) estate tax. In recent years the exemption has headed up, but there are no guarantees about what Congress will do with the exemption going forward.
YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND
If you decide you want to change beneficiaries, a guardian, an executor, or anything else in a will, you can do so. For example, you want to make sure that the beneficiaries in your will are the same as the beneficiaries you have named in your insurance policies and retirement accounts. Otherwise, the beneficiaries actually named in those documents, not the beneficiaries under the will, will get the money from the policies and accounts. Bear in mind that no amount of talking about your new intentions will make them happen. The changes must be indicated in a properly executed will.
You should keep the finished (at least until the next update) product in a safe place. When "they" say "keep this with your important papers," think of your will. Your family should know where to find the executed will. An unsigned copy of your will in its latest form is a good starting point for the next periodic review.
LETTER OF INSTRUCTION
Even the best drafted will is not likely to cover everything needed for a smooth disposition of your estate. To supplement the will, consider executing a letter of instruction. It generally is not legally binding, but it can go a long way to expedite the process and provide information not to be found in the will.
Some items appropriate for a letter of instruction include a list of bank, brokerage, and mutual fund accounts; directions on where to find important documents or personal property; user names, PIN numbers, and passwords necessary for access to electronic records; and contact information for legal and financial advisors. Be sure to list any life
insurance policies, as beneficiaries will collect on those policies outside of the will. Any advance plans for the funeral and burial also should be mentioned in the letter of instruction.
ADVERTISING
Mark D. Klein, Esq. is a senior attorney at Klein Law Corporation, a Southern California-based law firm providing legal assistance to businesses and individuals alike. Klein Law Corporation provides an extensive range of legal services aimed at helping clients with issues involving corporate law, business law, intellectual property matters and estate planning while actively working with entrepreneurs starting business ventures and those purchasing or selling businesses.
The foregoing information is presented by Klein Law Corporation as a news reporting service to clients and friends of the firm and is distributed with the understanding that Klein Law Corporation is not rendering legal advice and assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. If you have questions about the subject matter presented or desire to obtain more information on legal issues related to your business, please contact us at mark@KleinLawCorp.com


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

OUR 10 POINT UNMATCHED LEGAL REPRESENTATION GUARANTEE


OUR 10 POINT UNMATCHED LEGAL REPRESENTATION GUARANTEE

Have you ever heard of a law firm offering a 10-point guarantee?  At Klein Law Corporation, that’s exactly what you get!  Consider our 10 Point Unmatched Guarantee:

GUARANTEE #1:  We Will Conduct A Complementary Detailed Analysis of Your Business (known as our “ON-TRACK REVIEW”) During Our Initial Consultation and Give You a Roadmap of What Needs to Be Done.

During our initial consultation, during which we do not want you to feel rushed and often takes upwards of an hour, we provide you with an in-depth analysis of your current financial situation with one of our top attorneys. At the end of our meeting we will be in a position to give you a roadmap of what needs to be done. Such is done in an honest and non-self serving manner. Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #2:  Our "No Wait Policy" Guarantee.

Since we know your time is valuable, if you are on time for your first appointment, we will not keep you waiting like doctors and many attorneys are notorious for doing.  If we keep you waiting more than 10 minutes after our scheduled time, we will pay you $25.00. Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #3:  Our Initial Complimentary Consultation Will Provide you with Helpful and Meaningful Information and Answers to Your Business Related Questions. 

We feel that the information we discuss with you at the initial consultation is so valuable that, regardless of whether or not you decide to retain us, you will have been benefited by such. Just having knowledge on these matters can alleviate a lot of the unnecessary concern and stress you have been dealing with.  If you cannot honestly admit that we provided a valuable service to you, we will pay you $25.00. Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #4:  Our Office is a “Legalese" Free Zone.

Our attorneys will communicate with you in English (or Spanish) – not in the dreaded legalese!  When we refer to certain documents, procedures, or hearings by their proper legal name, we will make sure to explain everything to you in everyday language — free of legalese.  Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #5:   Flexible Payment Plans.

We offer several options besides our traditional hourly-based rate, including flat fees and high/low project ranges.  This takes the element of uncertainty out of the professional relationship.  We fully understand that in today’s bottom-line oriented business culture, legal fees are an expense, and not an investment, which companies need to contain in order to stay competitive Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #6:   An Attorney is Involved at All Phases of Your Matter.
                                                     
Unlike competitors who only allow you to visit with the secretaries and paralegals because the attorney’s time is considered too valuable, when you deal with us you will have a real attorney involved throughout all phases of your legal representation. Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #7We Are Committed to Keeping You Promptly Informed of the Progress of Your Matter.

Whatever your legal needs, they can only be fulfilled if your attorney is there when you need him.  At KLEIN LAW CORPORATION, we understand that our responsibilities are to be available to you, whatever the circumstances, and to produce high quality work in a timely manner.  We promise to involve you and communicate with you regularly, promptly return all telephone calls and emails, usually within 8 hours, and stay in regular contact with you to keep you informed of all developments on your matter and the progress we are making.  Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #8:  Our Information Privacy and Confidentiality Guarantee.

We guarantee that when you come and speak to us about your financial situation, your information will be kept confidential to the highest degree.  To adapt the popular saying “What you say in our offices stays in our offices.”  Furthermore, we allow you to submit information to us using our encrypted website.  Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #9:  Non-Judgmental Attitude.

As we handle 100s of sensitive matters for our clients every year. We strive to make each client feel important and show them the dignity they deserve - regardless of the difficulties they are facing.  By maintaining a non-judgmental attitude, our clients and prospective clients are treated courteously and respectfully and do not feel embarrassed or worried about the sensitive things they share with us.  We have represented everyone from business executives to attorneys to rock stars to professional athletes and know that they all have one thing in common – the need for competent legal services.  Guaranteed!

GUARANTEE #10:  Highest Ethical Standards.

We assist our clients in making sound legal decisions while adhering to the highest standards of professional ethics and excellence.  The importance of this cannot be overstated in light of today’s well publicized business scandals.

We’re sure you will realize that the above guarantees help make us a truly unique law firm! To experience this for yourself, you are invited to call us at (949) 453-7979 to discuss, in detail, any of the above Guarantees or how we may help you on your road to a fresh start.

Mark D. Klein, Esq. is a senior attorney at Klein Law Corporation, a Southern California-based law firm providing legal assistance to businesses and individuals alike. Klein Law Corporation provides an extensive range of legal services aimed at helping clients with issues involving corporate law, business law, intellectual property matters and estate planning while actively working with entrepreneurs starting business ventures and those purchasing or selling businesses.

The foregoing information is presented by Klein Law Corporation as a news reporting service to clients and friends of the firm and is distributed with the understanding that Klein Law Corporation is not rendering legal advice and assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. If you have questions about the subject matter presented or desire to obtain more information on legal issues related to your business, please contact us at mark@KleinLawCorp.com