or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction. Historically some societies have enacted specific laws governing adoption whereas others have endeavored to achieve adoption through less formal means, notably via contracts that specified inheritance rights and parental responsibilities. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensive statutes and regulations.
Business, Corporation & Partnership:
A limited liability company (abbreviated L.L.C. or LLC) in the law of the vast majority of United States jurisdictions is a legal form of business company that provides limited liability to its owners. Often incorrectly called a "limited liability corporation" (instead of company), it is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability, and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. It is often more flexible than a corporation and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner.
A Corporation is a separate legal entity. It is formed by filing corporate organization forms in the state where the corporation is located, and by designating shareholders, each with a specific number of shares. The corporation also creates a Board of Directors to oversee the corporate business.
The three major categories that make up elder law are:
Estate planning and administration, including tax questions;
Medicaid, disability and other long-term care issues; and
Guardianship, conservatorship and commitment matters, including fiduciary administration.
Basic estate planning documents include a will, medical and financial powers of attorney and a health care directive (living will).
With a will you control who inherits your assets. Otherwise, Washington law controls who inherits your assets. A will also allow you to:
Control how and when your heirs receive your assets (at death or later in a trust)
Choose a person to administer your estate, called a personal representative
Choose a guardian for minor children
Create a Special Needs Trust for heirs that are disabled and receiving government benefits
Medical and financial powers of attorney are an inexpensive alternative to guardianship. With these documents you appoint a person to make medical and financial decisions for you when you are not able to do so. They can be effective immediately or at disability. A power of attorney terminates upon your death. If you become incapacitated and so not have a power of attorney, a guardian may be appointed by the court to make decisions for you.
A health care directive is a document that notifies health care providers that if you are in a terminal condition or permanent unconscious condition, you refuse life sustaining treatment and you may also refuse nutrition and hydration.
Medicaid Planning - Special consideration should be taken when doing estate planning if there are concerns that either you or your spouse may require long term care, such as a nursing home. If one of the spouses enters a nursing home or receives other costly long term care, certain limited planning techniques can be employed to minimize the economic effect on the well spouse and/or deplete all of an individual's assets.
A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability. Most countries and states have laws that provide that the parents of a minor child can designate who shall become the child's legal guardians in the event of death.
Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. A special guardian may, for example, be given the legal right to determine the disposition of the ward's property without being given any authority over the ward's person. A guardian appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to a single action in litigation is a guardian ad litem.
Probate is a process by which property of a decedent is retitled. As with any legal proceeding, there are technical aspects to probate and trust administration: Creditors need to be notified and legal notices published. Trustees need to be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors' rights into account. A Petition to appoint a personal representative may need to be filed and Letters of Administration obtained. Homestead property, which follows its own set of unique rules in states like Florida, must be dealt with separately from other assets. There are time factors involved in filing and objecting to claims against the estate. There may be a lawsuit pending over the decedent's death or there may have been pending suits that are now continuing. Real estate may need to be sold to effectuate correct distribution of assets pursuant to the estate plan or merely to pay debts. Estate taxes must be considered if the estate exceeds certain thresholds. Other assets may simply need to be transferred from the decedent to his or her heirs.
A property easement gives the holders of the easement the right to use another’s property in a limited manner as descried by the easement agreement. The most common easement grants parties to cross over another’s property using a designated path or road. When discussing a property easement it is critical to fully understand the easement rights and limitations that the parties must respect. If an easement is being used improperly, the injured party must take timely action by contacting a real estate attorney. Property easements can and often will attach to the property and therefore a buyer will have to abide by existing easements. It is critical to search for property easements that existed prior to purchasing real estate. Easement agreements should specify the type of easement, the specific easement rights granted, whether or not the easement attaches to the property or grants easement rights to specified people, whether or not the easement can be transferred, and how to modify or terminate the easement.
Quit Claim Deeds: A quitclaim deed is a document that allows a property owner to release his property interest to another. A quitclaim deed transfer is a means of exchanging interest in property, but differs from a standard property grant deed in the sense the person granting the property gives no guarantees about their interest in the land. This means that if a person releasing their rights to another using a quitclaim deed has no rights to begin with, then the quitclaim deed transfer gives the receiver no recourse against the grantor. Filing a quitclaim deed is a final and critical step in a quitclaim deed transfer. Using a quitclaim deed in lieu of a standard grant deed can be a risky process, and any receiver or a property interest via a quitclaim deed should do significant research to determine the transferor’s interest is legitimate. Consult an attorney familiar with quitclaim deeds in the area before agreeing to a quitclaim deed transfer.
Special Needs Trusts:
A special needs trust is created to ensure that beneficiaries who are disabled or mentally ill can enjoy the use of property which is intended to be held for their benefit. In addition to personal planning reasons for such a trust (the person may lack the mental capacity to handle their financial affairs) there may be fiscal advantages to the use of a trust. Such trusts may also avoid beneficiaries losing access to essential government benefits.