Getting Property Back After Divorce

Getting Property Back After Divorce

It’s somewhat common for divorce agreements to include instructions for one spouse to transfer certain property to the other. However, after the divorce is finalized, you may find that your former spouse is not compliant with the settlement and refuses to relinquish your property.

Filing an Order to Show Cause

When your former spouse refuses to release items into your possession, you have the option of taking legal action. Filing a replevin will call a hearing between you, your spouse and a local judge. During the course of hearing, each partner will present his or her case, and the court will decide how to move forward. If the judge rules in your favor, a member of local law enforcement will seize the item from your spouse’s possession.
Additionally, if your spouse refuses to give you property agreed upon in your settlement, you may choose to file an action stating that your spouse is in contempt of court. When an individual violates a court order, such as a divorce agreement, they may face significant fines or even imprisonment if they do not comply.

Make Sure It’s In a Court Order or Decree of Divorce

If, after ongoing efforts, your spouse has decided to return your property — or if you are handing over items to your spouse — it is always in your best interest to attempt to secure a signed receipt. By having your spouse sign a document noting that the item was transferred, it eliminates all possibility that he or she may claim that items were not returned properly.
If your former partner refuses to sign a receipt, have a friend, family member or neighbor serve as a witness to the exchange. Should you have a concern for your safety during the transfer, you can call a local police department and ask if they can send an officer to the meeting.

Divorce can be a learning opportunity not only for the couple going through it, but also for any adult children they have who are in relationships of their own. Even fully grown children of divorcing parents are likely to have a difficult time adapting to the major changes a divorce can bring. But it also provides some important lessons.
The following are just a few things you can learn from your divorcing parents. First, no one is perfect: Everyone has certain character weaknesses and areas they can improve. This is important to remember whenever you are dealing with difficult family situations, whether it’s an argument with your spouse, a disciplinary scenario with your children or a moment of frustration involving a friend. It’s important to understand this in your relationships and work together to continue improving.

Don’t make a big deal over small issues: Whenever you’re involved in a long-term relationship, there are going to be small issues that annoy you. You’ve likely seen your parents handle these things poorly. It’s a learning opportunity — the small problems will pass, and addressing them in a way that doesn’t blow them out of proportion will ensure that everyone will move on. You are resilient. As humans, we can generally handle a lot more emotionally than we give ourselves credit for. Watching your parents come out of a divorce and rebuild their lives, you can see what people are truly capable of. They take a bad, painful situation and come out of it whole. If they are capable of that, so are you. Always need to be prepared for change. Even when we get comfortable with our lives, there’s always the chance that a curveball will come our way. With the proper mindset and some adaptability, you’ll be able to manage these inevitable challenges.

Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/getting-property-back-after-divorce/

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Trusts

Trusts

There are lots of different types of trusts. Trusts are estate-planning tools that can replace or supplement wills, as well as help manage property during life. A trust manages the distribution of a person’s property by transferring its benefits and obligations to different people. There are many reasons to create a trust, making this property distribution technique a popular choice for many people when creating an estate plan.

How to Make a Trust

The basics of trust creation are fairly simple. To create a trust, the property owner (called the “trustor,” “grantor,” or “settlor”) transfers legal ownership to a person or institution (called the “trustee”) to manage that property for the benefit of another person (called the “beneficiary”). The trustee often receives compensation for his or her management role. Trusts create a “fiduciary” relationship running from the trustee to the beneficiary, meaning that the trustee must act solely in the best interests of the beneficiary when dealing with the trust property. If a trustee does not live up to this duty, then the trustee is legally accountable to the beneficiary for any damage to his or her interests.
The grantor may act as the trustee himself or herself, and retain ownership instead of transferring the property, but he or she still must act in a fiduciary capacity. A grantor may also name himself or herself as one of the beneficiaries of the trust. In any trust arrangement, however, the trust cannot become effective until the grantor transfers the property to the trustee.
Example: A grantor transfers money to a bank as trustee for the grantor’s children, with the bank instructed to pay the children’s college expenses as needed; the bank carefully manages the money to ensure there are funds available for this purpose. The children do not have control of the funds and cannot use the funds for any other purposes.

Testamentary Trusts and Living Trusts – They are different


Trusts fall into two broad categories, “testamentary trusts” and “living trusts.” A testamentary trust transfers property into the trust only after the death of the grantor. Because a trust allows the grantor to specify conditions for receipt of benefits, as well as to spread payment of benefits over a period of time instead of making a single gift, many people prefer to include a trust in their wills to reinforce their preferences and goals after death. The testamentary trust is not automatically created at death but is commonly specified in a will and so as a will provision, the trust property must go through probate prior to commencement of the trust.
Example: A parent specifies in her will that upon her death her assets should be transferred to a trustee. The trustee manages the assets for the benefit of her children until they reach an age when the parent believes they will be ready to control the assets on their own.
A living trust, also sometimes called an “inter vivos” trust, starts during the life of the grantor, but may be designed to continue after his or her death. This type of trust may help avoid probate if all assets subject to probate are transferred into the trust prior to death. A living trust may be “revocable” or “irrevocable.” The grantor of a revocable living trust can change or revoke the terms of the trust any time after the trust commences. The grantor of an irrevocable trust, on the other hand, permanently relinquishes the right to make changes after the trust is created. A revocable trust typically acts as a supplement to a will, or as a way to name a person to manage the grantor’s affairs should he or she become incapacitated. Even a revocable living trust usually specifies that it is irrevocable at the death of the grantor.

Irrevocable trusts transfer assets before death and thus avoid probate. However, revocable trusts are more popular as a means of avoiding the probate process. If a person transfers all of his assets to a revocable trust, he owns no assets at his death. Therefore, his assets do not have to be transferred through the probate process. Even though the grantor of the trust died, the trust did not die, so the trust assets do not have to be probated. However, trusts avoid probate only if all or most of the deceased person’s assets had been transferred to the trust while the person was alive. To allow for the possibility that some assets were not transferred, most revocable living trusts are accompanied by a “pour-over” will, which specifies that at death, all assets not owned by the trustee should be transferred to the trustee of the trust.
Example: Mark sets up a revocable trust, which states that on his death, his assets should be distributed to his children in equal shares. Mark transfers his house to the trust, but does not transfer some rental real estate he owns. At Mark’s death, the trust can distribute the house outside of the probate process, but the rental real estate will have to be probated. Based on the will, the probate court will order the rental real estate be transferred to the trustee, who will then distribute it according to the terms of the trust.

What is a Successor Trustee?

Although a grantor may name himself as trustee of a living trust during his lifetime, he should name a successor trustee to act when he is disabled or deceased. At the grantor’s death, the successor trustee must distribute the assets of the trust in accordance with the directions in the trust document. In many states, certain people must be notified at the death of the grantor.

Trust Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help for a trust, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/trusts/

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Regulations for Business

Regulations for Business

Businesses and companies operating in the U.S. must adhere to many levels of federal, state, and local regulations meant to balance the interests of business with those of the public as a whole. This section provides an overview of business regulations and information to help businesses become compliant, including links to important federal regulatory forms, state-specific links to information and contacts pertaining to licenses and permits, and a collection of links to important federal business regulations.

Business Compliance Lawyer

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) regulates many business activities and “compliance” in a business context frequently refers specifically to the employer’s compliance with DOL regulations regarding to employer/employee relations and workplace conditions. Complying with DOL regulations requires following regulations and laws relating to – Wages & Hours Worked – Benefits: Health, Retirement, and Leave – Hiring Issues – Termination Issues – Equal Opportunity (think also of the EEOC) – Safety and Health In the Workplace (think of OSHA) – Whistleblower and Non-Retaliation Protections – Plant Closings and Layoffs – Unions and Union Members – Posters – Recordkeeping.

In addition to regulation of these issues by the federal government it is important to be mindful of the fact that states and localities may issue their own regulations on these and other topics that also require businesses within their jurisdiction to remain compliant with their terms.

Strip Club Laws and the Regulation of Sexually Oriented Business
Sexually oriented businesses (SOB) such as a strip club, a sexually explicit theater, an adult video store, or other kinds of adult oriented businesses are subject to regulations above and beyond the typical regulations that all businesses are subject to. These regulations may severely restrict or ban activities significantly and are best considered well in advance of establishing a new business. Common regulations include – Zoning – Zoning laws impact many different kinds of businesses, but SOBs may be subject to additional restrictions that prevent opening an SOB close to a school or church, or ban SOBs from designated areas such as the downtown commercial district of a city. Zoning laws specific to SOBs are valid as long as they are intended to minimize the negative effects of these businesses.

Alcohol can be an issue – some local ordinances prevent the service of alcohol in certain kinds of SOBs. In Las Vegas, for example, topless clubs may serve alcohol, but fully nude clubs may not. Age Requirements – Most ordinances set a minimum age for patrons, frequently 18 years and older or 21 and older where alcohol is served. Nudity Rules – Some localities ban full nudity, require nipple or genital covering, or allow full nudity only if alcohol is not served. Contact with Patrons – Some regulations permit “lap dancing,” or other forms of limited contact, while others have strict distances that performers must keep between themselves and patrons. Licensing – Some jurisdictions require exotic dancers to register, maintain a valid license, and pass a background check in order to perform. Taxation can also be an issue.

Business Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need help with your business, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/regulations-for-business/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/182055181047

Joint Tenancy in Utah

Joint Tenancy in Utah

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship is one of the most popular ways to arrange estate planning because it covers almost all types of property you can own and typically helps avoids the probate system. By avoiding the probate process, you can save time, money, and any legal hassle for yourself and your loved ones after your death. Read on to learn more about joint tenancy with right of survivorship and how you can avoid probate.

What Is Joint Tenancy?

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship is a type of property ownership that allows multiple people to share property with equal rights. The “right of survivorship” refers to the right of the surviving joint owner, who will automatically inherit the share of joint tenancy property owned by a deceased joint owner. The majority of states require the share of property to be equal between joint owners.

For example, your brother, your sister, and you equally own a property in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. If your brother passes away first, you and your sister will each own 50 percent of the property because your brother’s share of the property automatically passes to the remaining surviving joint owners. If your sister passes away after, you will own the whole property as a sole owner.

How Can I Create Joint Tenancy?

At common law, four unities are required to create joint tenancy with right of survivorship – The Unity of time: The property interests of all joint owners must be conveyed at the same time. The Unity of title: The property interests must be conveyed in the same instrument. The Unity of interest: The property must convey the same interest to the joint owners. The Unity of possession: The property must convey a common right of possession or enjoyment.

If any one of these unities is not met, there is no valid joint tenancy with right of survivorship. The language in the legal document of creating joint tenancy with right of survivorship must be clear because some states consider “joint tenancy” as “tenancy is common,” which is a less restrictive type of joint ownership.

Avoiding Probate

Probate is a legal process of transferring of property upon a person’s death, which is supervised by a probate court. A probate process requires attending the court regularly to properly follow necessary legal formalities, settle any disputes, pay debts and taxes, and transfer and distribute any remaining property. Although it may seem simple, this process can be time-consuming and costly.

To save time and money, there are ways to avoid probate when transferring property. Among several ways to avoid the probate system, jointly owned property with the right of survivorship is one of the most common methods to avoid probate. Upon the death of one joint owner, the surviving joint owner gets the share of property that was owned by the deceased joint owner without probate. There are some situations in which probate may be unavoidable. First, probate cannot be avoided when the last joint owner dies. The property must go through probate upon the death of the last owner of the joint tenancy property before it can be transferred to someone else.
Though very rare, another unavoidable probate exception is when joint owners die simultaneously. In this situation, each joint owner’s share of the joint tenancy property would pass either by the terms of their individual wills or intestate succession.

Joint Tenancy Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need help with a joint tenancy issues or other estate matter, please call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/joint-tenancy-in-utah/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/182046125217

Trademarks and Business Names

Trademarks and Business Names

Naming a business can be a creative challenge, but it’s worth the time to really explore potential names to maximize trademark protection and ensure that your name helps rather than hurts your business. For one, you want to make sure you’re not using another company’s trademark. Not only will it expose you to legal action, but changing business names can really set you back in terms of getting recognized by customers. And by not trademarking your name, you risk having your brand diluted by other uses of that name.
When naming your business, keep these three ideas in mind – Is the name available and not currently used by someone else? Can the name receive trademark protection? If you plan on making a website, is the name available as a domain name?

Why You Should Get a Trademark

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines trademark as a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Together, they may be referred to as “marks” generically.
Simply put, trademark protection gives you the exclusive rights to use a name. Having this protection is extremely important because it allows you to establish a brand and reputation for your business, separating you from your competitors. If someone tries to use a business name that is confusingly similar to your own trademarked name, you can prevent them from using that name and seek damages for any harm done.

How to get Trademark Protection


To be protected, a trademark needs to be distinctive. There are many ways to be distinctive when naming a business. For example, a word may be fanciful (redbull for an energy drink), arbitrary in the context it is used (amazon for a bookseller), made up or purposely misspelled (google) or suggestive of the underlying product (slate for an online magazine).
Trademarks do not need to be registered to gain protection, they simply need to be used. Although registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is not required, it is advisable because it greatly strengthens your claim to a trademark if a dispute arises down the road.

Choose a Unique Name

Choosing a distinctive name that conveys what your business does without using generic terms can be very difficult, so here are a few ideas to get you started.

Keep it simple : ideally, you want your name to be as simple as possible, especially if you plan on making a website with the name. You want to create a name that is simple to remember and potentially simple to type as well. Try to avoid making long, complex names and avoid using any easily misspelled words. Make it unique : this is the real challenge for most people when naming their business. You want your name to be unique, because the more unique it is, the more likely you are to receive trademark protection and avoid any potential infringement claims. On the other hand, you want it to relate in some way to your business and to tie in to whatever it is you are offering, which typically involves keywords that are not unique at all. Striking this balance is the essence of finding a good name for your business.

Don’t limit new business : avoid choosing a name that is so restrictive that you will be unable to expand your business. For instance, if you created Bob’s High Heels, and you want to start making sandals, your name is so specific that you may find it difficult to attract customers to your new sandals. Talk to family, friends and your professional contacts about any proposed name to see what they think. You may be surprised at the reaction to some names! It’s better to find out now rather than after you’ve spent a lot of money creating signs and stationery for your new enterprise.

Make a list of existing businesses that you respect and see if they seem to have anything in common. Maybe they’re all fanciful names, or maybe they’re all more conservative names – either way it will give you an idea for what kind of name you prefer. Finally, don’t choose anything too trendy, since your business name will still need to sound good in twenty years.
Avoid generic words and geographic names : try to avoid extremely generic words standing alone in your name, such as “shoes” if you are a shoe company (eg, Bob’s Shoes). Also avoid using generic geographic names, such as California, because you are less likely to be able to register names with a geographic reference for trademark protection. Note that one way around this is to add something else to the name in an attempt to make it more unique. Any one of these words is generic on its own, but the combined name is unique and still conveys the meaning of the business.

Trademark and Business Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/trademarks-and-business-names/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/182028144772

Debts After Someone Dies

Debts After Someone Dies

Settling the affairs of a loved one who has passed on can be difficult. Family members are often left to make important financial decisions on behalf of their deceased relative during this already emotional time. These decisions often involve whether to repay any debts owed by the debtor after death – including credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage loans, and other financial obligations. Relatives, however, are generally not responsible for paying the debts of the deceased – and creditors are sometimes left to swallow the cost of the debt, despite creditors who would make you believe it is your obligation to repay the debt.

Are You Responsible for the Debts of a Deceased Relative?

From an estate administration perspective, debts after death are generally repaid through a person’s estate – whether or not there was a will – and relatives are not responsible for paying off debts that were not jointly owned at the time of the debtor’s death. When a person dies, his debts often die along with him. Whether you are responsible for repaying the debts of a deceased relative depends on whether you owned any part of the debt at the time of the debtor’s death, or have received substantial benefits from the debt itself (as in the case of a loan used to pay your personal living expenses.)

What Happens To Credit Card Debt After You Die?

Credit card debts belong to the credit card account holder and relatives should not have to pay for their deceased family member’s debts unless they co-signed on the loan or it is a debt from a joint account. However, those who live in community property states, where property and assets acquired during a marriage are considered jointly owned, may be liable for the debt.
Therefore, creditors are often out of luck when there is not enough money in a decedent’s estate to go around. Even so, creditors will often go to grave lengths to collect any and all debts owed to them — even from the deceased – through requests from spouses and relatives. Payments on behalf of a deceased relative, however, are voluntary, not required.

For relatives seeking to get an accounting of debts owed by the decedent after death, executors of an estate can request credit card balances of the deceased’s account. Under a provision of the new CARD Act, the issuer has 30 days to provide the balances and can’t charge any penalty fees or interest if you or the estate pays off the balance within 30 days after it provides that information.

If a person believes they are being unfairly contacted, or even harassed, by overzealous debt collectors, it may be wise to speak with a local debtor – creditor attorney to help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

What About The Mortgage After Death?

Similar to credit card debt after death, mortgage debt belongs to the borrower of the mortgage loan. If a spouse was named as a joint owner on the loan, then he or she would be liable for the loan debt after the death of the debtor spouse. Just as with the deceased’s unsecured debts, a note associated with a mortgage is not forgiven simply because the borrower dies. Instead, the surviving spouse can decide whether to continue to make payments on the note – and thereby continue to live in the home – or sale the house to pay off the existing loan. Life insurance policies are not part of the estate, and proceeds from life insurance policies go directly to the named beneficiary. Beneficiaries are therefore not obligated to use the proceeds to pay for any remaining debts the debtor may have after death.

Free Consultation with a Probate Lawyer

When you need help from a probate lawyer, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/debts-after-someone-dies/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/182020082967

Immigration and Divorce

Immigration and Divorce

Although all couples experience stressors to their marriages, those living abroad as immigrants often find these difficulties are amplified when living a new culture, far from friends, family and their previous support systems.

According to a new study on immigrant marriages, the so-called “trailing” spouses of workers from other countries often feel isolated and without an identity in their new home abroad. When onerous travel and excessive work hours are added to this, a common result is divorce.
But getting a divorce as an expat can be tricky, especially if one of the partners has returned to the United States. International custody battles are common, and sometimes it is unclear which country has jurisdiction over divorce proceedings. There is also the tremendous expense of relocating family members and households.

International custody concerns

In terms of custody issues, most cases fall under the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1980, which requires that the children remain in the country where custody is under dispute. However, many Middle Eastern countries are not members of the convention and will automatically award the father custody. In some cases, one partner has returned home to the United States with the children, only to have the partner abroad invoke the Hague Convention. Others have had difficulty even leaving the country with their children.

In some countries joint bank accounts are prohibited so when couples separate, one partner (who is often female) can be cut off from access to the funds necessary for support. And countries like England may not find a prenuptial agreement enforceable, since their law finds them against public policy. In any event, you will want to obtain legal help to navigate what can be a complicated process.

How Can I Protect My Child Against My Ex Leaving the Country?

If your ex is a foreign national – who is either legally in this country or illegally in this country – who now has joint custody or visitation with your child, you may have serious concerns that he or she could flee the country with your child. Once that happens, recovering your child is a complex and expensive process. You get little help from the U.S. State Department, and the Hague Abduction Convention is only available to you if the host country is one of the 73 signatory nations. Eventually, you might get your child back, but the heart-wrenching fight can ruin you financially. This is definitely a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure, so here are preventative steps you can take:
First, have the court restrict international travel in your custody order — A court order empowers law enforcement to stop a child from leaving the country with a U.S. or foreign passport.

Enroll your child in the U.S. State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) — Once you enroll your child in this program, a passport application your ex files will raise a red flag, and the State Department must verify that parental consent requirements have been met. That means that you and your ex must have appeared in person with the child to provide consent before a passport was issued. Make sure you watch for warning signs — If your ex quits a job or sells a residence, consult with your attorney about getting temporary restrictions placed on visitation or custody. Contact the embassy of your ex’s country of origin — Your child may have dual citizenship and may be eligible for a passport from your ex’s home country. Contact the local embassy to see if your ex has applied on behalf of your child. Be sure to lock up your child’s passport — The State Department will not rescind a U.S. passport that’s been issued, so if your child already has one, you’ve got to take possession of it and place it under lock and key. If your ex has the child’s passport issued by the U.S. or a foreign embassy, you can get a court order compelling your ex to surrender the passport to you. When you get it, put it in a bank safe deposit box that only you can access.

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help for a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/immigration-and-divorce/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/182002039112

Will Requirements

Will Requirements

Wills are the most common way for people to state their preferences about how their estates should be handled after their deaths. Many people use their wills to express their deepest sentiments toward their loved ones. A well-written will eases the transition for survivors by transferring property quickly and avoiding many tax burdens. Despite these advantages, many estimates figure that at least seventy percent of Americans do not have valid wills. While it is difficult to contemplate mortality, many people find that great peace of mind results from putting their affairs in order.

Wills vary from extremely simple single-page documents to elaborate volumes, depending on the estate size and preferences of the person making the will (the “testator”). Wills describe the estate, the people who will receive specific property (the “devisees”), and even special instructions about care of minor children, gifts to charity, and formation of posthumous trusts. Many people choose to disinherit people who might usually be expected to receive property. For all these examples, the testator must follow the legal rules for wills in order to make the document effective.

Formal requirements for wills vary from state to state. Generally, the testator must be an adult of “sound mind,” meaning that the testator must be able to understand the full meaning of the document. Wills must be written. Some states allow a will to be in the testator’s own handwriting, but a better and more enforceable option is to use a typed or pre-printed document. A testator must sign his or her own will, unless he or she is unable to do so, in which case the testator must direct another person to sign the will in the presence of witnesses, and the signature must be witnessed and/or notarized. A valid will remains in force until revoked or superseded by a subsequent valid will. Some changes may be made by amendment (called a “codicil”) without requiring a complete rewrite.Some legal restrictions prevent a testator from giving full effect to his or her wishes. Some laws prohibit disinheritance of spouses or dependent children. A married person cannot completely disinherit a spouse without the spouse’s consent, usually in a pre-nuptial agreement. In most jurisdictions, a surviving spouse has a right of election, which allows the spouse to take a legally-determined percentage (up to one-half) of the estate when he or she is dissatisfied with the will. Non-dependent children may be disinherited, but this preference should be clearly stated in the will in order to avoid confusion and possible legal challenges.

Some property may not descend by will. Property owned in joint tenancy may only go to the surviving joint tenant. Also, pensions, bank accounts, insurance policies and similar contracts that name a beneficiary must go to the named party.

Appointing a Representative

A will usually appoints a personal representative (or “executor”) to perform the specific wishes of the testator after he or she passes on. The personal representative need not be a relative, although testators typically choose a family member or close friend, as well as an alternate choice. The chosen representative should be advised of his or her responsibilities before the testator dies, in order to ensure that he or she is willing to undertake these duties. The personal representative consolidates and manages the testator’s assets, collects any debts owed to the testator at death, sells property necessary to pay estate taxes or expenses, and files all necessary court and tax documents for the estate.

Choosing a Guardian

Testators who have minor or dependent children may use a will to name a guardian to care for their children if there is no surviving parent to do so. If a will does not name a guardian, a court may appoint someone who is not necessarily the person whom the testator would have chosen. Again, a testator usually chooses a family member or friend to perform this function, and often names an alternate. Potential guardians should know they have been chosen, and should fully understand what may be required of them. The choice of guardian often affects other will provisions, because the testator may want to provide financial support to the guardian in raising surviving children.

When No Will Exists

You’re looking at probate my friend. If a person dies without a valid will and did not make alternative arrangements to distribute property, survivors may face a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive legal process. Dying without a will leaves an estate “intestate,” and a probate court must step in to divide up the estate using legal defaults that give property to surviving relatives. The court pays any unpaid debts and death expenses first, then follows the legal guidelines.

The rules vary depending on whether the deceased was married and had children, and whether the spouse and children are alive. If the intestate individual has no surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren, the estate is divided between various other relatives. Therefore, intestacy may mean that people who would never have been chosen to receive property will in fact be entitled to a portion of the estate. Additionally, state intestacy laws only recognize relatives, so close friends or charities that the deceased favored do not receive anything. If no relatives are found, the estate typically goes to the state or local government. Intestacy also poses a heavy tax burden on estate assets. When made aware of the consequences of intestacy, most people prefer to leave instructions rather than subject their survivors and property to government-mandated division.

Free Consultation with a Wills Lawyer

When you need help with a will, trust, probate or estate, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/will-requirements/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/181994139247

Business Names

Business Names

When trying to come up with just the right name for your business, the options can be overwhelming. You want a name that resonates with your target market, one that will stand the test of time (avoid trendy names), and a name that is available. Even if another business doesn’t have your preferred name, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t have other meanings that could hurt your image. The following ideas should help you in choosing the right name for your new business.

Consider making the name descriptive, so that potential customers are immediately informed of the purpose of the business. Research has shown that businesses with names that identify their products or services are more successful than non-descriptively named businesses.
Keep the description general enough so that you can, if desired, expand into related products or services in the future.
Consider the impact of the name — how it will sound when spoken. Try writing down a list of words that could describe your business, then mixing them up into different combinations and saying them out loud to see how they sound.
Think about the visual impact of the name — how it will look on signs, advertisements, business cards, etc. As with the sound of the words, try playing around with various looks by writing them down on paper or typing them into your computer.
Make sure you choose a name that is easy to understand, pronounce, and remember.
Make the name unique – at least unique enough to distinguish your business from others in the field.
You should choose a name that will not be easily imitated by competitors.
Think about how the business name could be shortened by the public. Just as a child’s initials can spell out an embarrassing word, so could the abbreviation for a business.
Come up with a list of several potential names, and then try them out on close friends and family members to get their reactions.
Think about your ideas for a while, to see how they sound and feel with the passage of time.

Keep alternatives in mind, in the event that further research reveals that the name you would like to use is not available.
Think about the meaning of your chosen name in other languages if there is a possibility you could expand into foreign markets. When Chevrolet introduced its Nova car in Mexico, for instance, it discovered that in Spanish “nova” means “no go.”
Here are some things you should stay away from.Don’t select a name that is too long or confusing. Don’t use your own first or last name as part of the business name if the venture is very risky. If the business fails, that failure will be more closely related with you personally if your name and the business name are the same.

Don’t choose a trendy name, since trends and fads pass quickly, and you don’t want your business to appear outdated.

Don’t include a geographic designation, like the city or state where the business is located, in the name of your business if you’re thinking of expanding into other markets in the future.
Don’t include unacceptable terms in the name, like profanity or obscenities.

Don’t imply by the name that your business is somehow affiliated with or approved by a branch of the government.

Don’t consider names that are very similar to those belonging to other businesses in your area. Not only would such similarity confuse consumers, it may make it impossible to register your business’s name or, worse yet, subject you to legal claims by the owners of the other businesses.
Don’t use names identifying a particular living individual other than yourself, the name of a deceased president with a living widow, names that merely describe your business or that mis-describe your business, primarily geographic descriptions, or names that are primarily your last name if you are considering registering your business name.

Free Consultation with a Business Lawyer

When you need legal help for your business, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/business-names/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/181973669147

Divorce and Minor Children

Divorce and Minor Children

Divorce is not easy for anyone involved, but it can present particular hardships for the children of a failed marriage.

A clear sense of how children react to a divorce may help parents better help their children through the process and secure better long-term outcomes. Parents should be aware of these issues, and try to follow these guidelines – Respect the relationship. Just because partners may divorce doesn’t mean that a child is divorcing a parent, even an absent one.

Respecting their desire to maintain a strong relationship with their mom or dad — for whom there is no replacement — will help your child deal with the aftermath of divorce.

Parents need to be especially vigilant to avoid putting their children in the middle of conflicts between parents. Sometimes children try on their own to smooth the relationship between them, but they shouldn’t have to shoulder that responsibility or have their loyalty pulled in opposite directions.

Many times parents will act out of guilt and go easy on their children after a divorce, understanding the difficulties it creates in their lives. Parents need to resist the temptation to be too soft and still discipline their children in appropriate ways.

Sometimes children will try to fill in the holes left by divorce, such as attempting to solve a parent’s loneliness or taking on an authoritative role over younger siblings. Even though kids are trying to help, they need to be encouraged to attend to their own needs, interests and personal development rather than take on undue responsibilities.

Grounds for Divorce – Being in Jail or Prison

While the state of Utah does allow no-fault divorces, you can still also pursue a fault-based divorce if you wish. In such a scenario, it is your responsibility to prove the other spouse’s misconduct in the marriage caused its irretrievable breakdown. Common grounds for fault-based divorce include adultery, cruelty, substance abuse and insanity.
Imprisonment can also be used as a ground for divorce in Utah. It may or may not be more advantageous to file for no-fault divorce or separation rather than waiting for a prison sentence to be handed down. But if you do pursue imprisonment as a ground for divorce.

To do this, you need to file for divorce on the ground of imprisonment. Make sure you speak with a lawyer before you do this. Remember, you must be able to prove a judge sentenced your spouse to a prison term and that it occurred during your marriage. In Utah, your spouse must be sentenced to at least three consecutive years in prison, with that sentence beginning after your marriage began.
Proving your spouse was sentenced to prison is easy — that information is public knowledge to anyone who wishes to see it. You must also meet the residency requirements to file for divorce, which is 180 days in Utah.
After you file for divorce, you will submit a copy of the paperwork to the court and your spouse. Typically you are able to have this paperwork professionally served, but if your spouse is in prison this step could have some extra complications. There are specific legal requirements for how to serve court papers to a prison inmate. You might, for example, need to send all the documents to a prison litigation coordinator, or mail the papers to the prison’s warden with your spouse’s inmate number included on the envelope. You can speak with the prison administrator for more information about how to go about this.

Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/divorce-and-minor-children/

from Salt Lake City Estate Planning https://saltlakecityestate.tumblr.com/post/181965838497