estate planning

Why Estate Planning is Essential in Business

When you start up a business, the last thing you will be thinking about is the time when you will be unable to carry on. However, it is important to take a reality check in this matter because no one lives forever and many people die well before they expected to. If you leave your business without any plans for a time when you are not there to run it, all your hard work may be lost and your family left without the assets you expected them to inherit.

Once you speak to a good commercial lawyer such as Lynn and Brown you will see that there are many ways to protect your business assets and ensure they are passed on to your family, but they vary to a certain extent depending on the type of business structure you used to set up the business. It could be a sole trader, partnership, have several co-owners and so on. But one thing is for sure; no matter what type it is, if there is no estate plan or Will, much of the value will be lost, going to the state to cover the cost of settlement.

Financial_Planning

Financial Planning for Loss of Income

Loss on income can happen due to many reasons, not necessarily anything to do with your health. It could simply be that the company you work for is finding it difficult to get clients and so have to retrench some staff.  Good financial planning by an expert financial advisor such as Andep can mean the difference between losing your home or not losing it.

In fact, it is not only people who are paying off a home that would be negatively impacted by a sudden loss of income. With rent as high as it is these days, it is easy to get to the stage where your income is not enough to both pay the rent and buy food. But a good financial planner will allow for these kinds of problems when working out a plan for you and your family.

How to Ensure a Fair Division of Property at Divorce

Any lawyers will tell you that even though a divorce may be stressful, there are certain things that should not be left to chance. One of them is the division of property. If valuable assets are held by two people who divorce, it is only fair to divide them up. According to experienced divorce lawyers Robertson Hayles, unless you get advice from family lawyers it is possible that you’ll decide to forego your share just to have it all over and done with. You may live to regret that decision.

It is all very well to make a verbal agreement about the division of property, but who’s to say that your ex will not renege on their end of the agreement. A verbal agreement is not something that will hold up in a court of law. Leaving it all up to a verbal agreement is only going to prolong the agony, if you don’t decide to just let your ex take everything simply for the peace of having no more hassles with them.

make-a-Will

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

Most family or specifically Wills lawyers would agree that it’s important to have a Will no matter what age you are. However, since people don’t like to think about dying, they also don’t want to make a Will. This can be a big mistake, because if they have any assets at all, these will be frozen at the time of their death and no one will be able to access them for many months.

In addition, because the judicial system will become involved in deciding who should inherit their property or other assets, the end amount will be much less, since the cost of the court case will be taken out of the assets. And if the cash assets don’t cover the cost, any property will have to be sold to pay it. So if you want your family members to inherit your home, it may not be possible for this to happen without a Will.

Financial-Agreements

Tips to Setting up Financial Agreements Between Families

These days when it is difficult to get a loan to purchase a home, financial agreements between families can be really helpful. It is essential to consult with lawyers to ensure such agreements are legally binding and fair so that there can be no squabbling over it. Having a verbal agreement is not wise, as one party can change their mind or mistake the meaning of the agreement and it can cause a big split in the family that even family lawyers may find difficult to work through.

Money is usually the number one problem in most relationships, often because one person wants to spend it and the other person doesn’t. So when it comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars any disagreement is likely to have far-reaching effects. In fact, it is far better not to have such an agreement in the first place if it is likely to split the family.

Violence-Restraining-Order

How a Violence Restraining Order Can Help You

We often hear in the media news about people taking out a violence restraining order (VRO) against someone they fear is going to harm them.  To do this they have to apply to a court for the order and the police are the ones who serve it – or give it – to the person who is being violent or aggressive.  Often it is taken out by a spouse or de-facto against her partner – or in some cases – his partner.

While it doesn’t stop them from harming the person if they really want to, there are penalties for breaking the VRO. This can be enough to stop them from frightening or threatening someone where their action is not enough to bring a legal punishment against them. Sometimes people get so bitter and angry they act in ways that are stupid and not really what they are usually like.

Court-Divides-Assets

How a Court Divides Assets After a Divorce

When it comes to divorce, family lawyers are the ones to help and most lawyers will tell you that when two people split up there is usually a great deal of bad feeling. While this can be expected, it doesn’t make fair division of assets easy or even very likely.  If the two people cannot agree on the division of property or other assets, the court has to decide.

This is not the best way to deal with things, because it can take a long time to finalise and it will cost a great deal, but sometimes it is the only way. So what does a court take into account when deciding on how to split up the assets? It doesn’t simply divide them down the middle and give one half to each person. Other things are taken into account. These are usually: –

Buying-Existing-Business

13 Tips for Buying an Existing Business

Many people think having their own business would be easier than working 9-5 for someone else, but in fact it is harder because when you own a business the buck stops with you. It is wise to always consult a lawyer’s list before making a final decision about buying an existing business and to keep that lawyer on so you have quick access to help should any problem crop up.

When you own a business, the responsibility for everything being right rests on your shoulders – and sometimes you have to step into the gap when an employee doesn’t show up at the last minute. If anything goes wrong, you are the one who has to fix it, or at least ensure that it is fixed by someone else who knows what they are doing. While there are many responsibilities, there is also a great deal of satisfaction at meeting the challenge successfully.

Financial-Agreements

How To Ensure Your Financial Agreements are Fair

Whether you own a business or are entering into some kind of financial agreement unrelated to business, lawyers will tell you to never sign on the dotted line unless you fully understand everything within it. In fact, consulting with family lawyers like robinson family lawyers about financial agreements is the best way to ensure the other person is not taking unfair advantage of you.

Financial agreements can be very simple or they can be much more complicated and you are unlikely to understand the implications of everything you read in it, even if you think it is clear.  In business there are many ways of saying things legally that spin the meaning around to give favour to the person who is offering the agreement.  Unless you have a lawyer go over it and explain it all to you, it could be that you are disadvantaged in some way.

Protect-Intangible-Business

How to Protect Intangible Business Assets

If you have recently started up a small business, you most likely consulted commercial lawyers and other professionals to ensure everything was set up legally.  Of course there is a lot of information online these days, but often it is difficult to understand, or you may not be sure if certain legal requirements actually apply to your business.

In all the busyness of getting your business up and running, you may  not have thought about protecting those intangible business assets, even though you’ve taken out insurance to protect the stock and all those other things you need to run the business.

What are the intangible assets?

Legal Tips for When a Relationship Goes Bad

Often, young people – and not so young people – jump into a relationship too quickly, then find several things about their partner they just cannot stand. Family lawyers are available to help you when a relationship goes bad and it is essential to take their advice to heart so that you remain safe and get through that divorce with the least possible emotional turmoil.

Lawyers would be the first to tell you it is important to follow the law, so here are some tips to help you know what the law expects – and what it does not.

What To Do When Facing the Threat of Litigation In Business

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have. It may be a SEO Agency or you maybe an electrical contractor, but they are all the same in the sense that no business wants to go through litigation. If you have a small business, the expense and other costs of litigation are like to put you right out of business, or at least take many years to recover from. That is why it’s important to consult with litigation lawyers immediately in order to find a resolution before it is too late.

The reason for the litigation may not even have been the fault of your business, but going through the courts to prove it is not only costly, but time consuming and is still likely to cause a loss of reputation, even if you eventually win the case. The actual details get lost over time and all anyone remembers is the court case, the gossip and the problem that you were accused of. They may not even remember – or believe – that you were innocent.

The Problems In Small Business That are Likely To Result In Litigation

When you own a small business, such as a digital marketing agency the last thing you need is for someone to file a litigation case against you. Litigation lawyers will be needed to help you fight the case, but even the best lawyers sometimes fail to get you off. Much depends on the circumstances of the case and whether or not there is substantial proof against you.

There are many problems that can cause litigation: –

  • Poor standards of safety in the workplace. As we know, poor safety standards cause accidents. If employees are hurt on your premises, they can easily sue you. If a customer trips and falls, they can sue you.
  • Poor working conditions. This is slightly different from poor safety, as it could be something like overcrowding, lack of amenities, poor lighting and so on.

How to Get Legal Aid if You are a Minor

Being arrested is often frightening, especially if you don’t know exactly what is happening or why. In Western Australia, if you are arrested for an offence and you are a minor, you can get legal aid from the government’s Youth Law Team. There are a team of criminal lawyers who can help you with advice or help you if you’ve been arrested and have to appear in court.

Everyone has certain rights, even if they are a convicted criminal. If you are a minor, you have just as much right as anyone else to be represented in court, not to mention the right to remain silent or only answer police questions with a lawyer present.

If you don’t know who to turn to, these lawyers will help you with

The Difference Between a Fixture and a Chattel – and Why It Matters

If you are buying or selling a house you may hear something about fixtures and chattels. It’s important to have your property lawyers explain the difference in these terms, since they are usually included in the terms of agreement and the purchase/sale documents. If you don’t understand what they refer to, you could be disappointed once the removalists like Brilliance Removalists Melbourne leave and you move into your new home to find out something is not there when you expected it to be.

Fixtures

Generally speaking, a fixture is something that is attached to the land or property. However, even though it may seem very obvious as to what is attached and what isn’t, there are some variations, just to keep you on your toes. In some cases, chattels can become fixtures and fixtures can become chattels. In one case of selling an old theatre, the question arose as to whether the seats were fixtures, since they were actually bolted to the floor and to each other. Oddly enough, a court decided they were not fixtures, but chattels, so they were not to be considered part of the theatre. This was in spite of the definition of a fixture being anything that is attached to the land through anything but its own weight.

Sleeping-Lawyer

Court Rules Sleeping Lawyer Violated Defendant’s Right to a Fair Trial

Texas murder convict Calvin Burdine came within hours of execution in August of 1987, despite having had a lawyer who slept for periods of up to ten minutes throughout the trial. Fortunately, the court granted him a stay of execution, and Burdine appealed his conviction on the grounds that his public defense attorney, Joe Cannon, had fallen short of the adequate counsel provided for by the Sixth Amendment.

Evidence-Preservation

The Case for Evidence Preservation

This week Rolando Cruz celebrated the 13th anniversary of his exoneration from Illinois’ death row. Cruz was wrongfully convicted in 1983 due in large part to a co defendant’s statements implicating him. Even though Cruz was never physically linked to the crime scene, DNA evidence did exist. With the help of a volunteer legal team led by Professor Lawrence C. Marshall at Northwestern University Law School, Cruz was able to secure DNA testing on the evidence found near the crime scene which proved he could not have committed this crime.

Crime-Labs

Crime Labs Expose Preventable Forensic Errors

Police crime labs in both Detroit and Baltimore have recently come under fire for shocking errors discovered in the testing, analysis, and use of forensic evidence.

Last week the Detroit police crime lab was shut down after an audit in June of the ballistics division revealed a 10% error rate in 200 firearms cases they reviewed. A fear that this error rate pervaded all divisions was the main reason for the closure of this chronically under-funded and over-worked lab.

The discovery in the ballistics divisions has put the integrity of all forensic evidence testing and analysis in Detroit at risk. And the ramifications of the lab closure could be far-reaching. Innocent people may have been wrongfully convicted from flawed forensic evidence leaving dangerous criminals free to commit more crimes.

Forensic-Science

Fixing Flaws in Forensic Science

In recent decades, the use of forensic science in criminal investigations has skyrocketed. In the media, TV crime dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation portray forensic evidence collection and analysis as a flawless science that can quickly and accurately identify the perpetrator. Yet time and again, inaccurate or misleading forensic evidence and testimony has helped to convict the wrong person.

Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson were convicted of a crime they didn’t commit based on microscopic hair comparison – a notoriously unreliable forensic test. Williamson was sent to death row and Fritz spent a decade in prison before DNA testing proved their innocence. Brandon Moon, another innocent man, went to prison for seventeen years after a state forensic crime lab analyst gave erroneous testimony at his trial.

post-conviction-DNA-testing

Post-Conviction DNA Testing Shouldn’t Depend on Miracles

By now everyone knows that DNA testing is a powerful scientific tool for proving guilt or innocence in our criminal justice system. Often post-conviction DNA testing provides the only evidence that can correct the injustice of wrongful conviction.

But what if all the biological evidence is destroyed while you’re still in prison? What if there is evidence but it’s not discovered until after state-imposed deadline for seeking DNA testing? What if the state denies your petition for testing because you accepted a plea bargain to avoid a harsher sentence for a crime you didn’t commit? And what if you’re indigent and can’t afford an attorney to help navigate the complex legal and scientific issues involved in obtaining a DNA test?

DNA-Testing

Increasing Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing

DNA is a powerful scientific tool for proving guilt or innocence, but barriers throughout the criminal justice system are preventing this tool from being used effectively.

Increasing Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing: A Policy Review is a new publication from The Justice Project designed to foster a dialogue among policy makers and to help states implement better DNA testing procedures and practices. This policy review provides an overview of problems with current post-conviction DNA testing laws, offers solutions to these problems, profiles cases of injustice, highlights states with good laws and policies for DNA testing, and includes a model policy.

The-Justice-Project

A New Website for The Justice Project

Welcome to The Justice Project’s new website!

Along with a fresh, new look, this website has been designed to inform, engage and empower citizens and supporters of The Justice Project (TJP) as we work together to increase fairness and accuracy in the criminal justice system.

TJP’s website makes it easier to find important information about the primary causes of wrongful convictions and the reforms needed to prevent them. Through our Profiles of Injustice, you can read the true stories of innocent people convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. Each wrongful conviction is a window into our criminal justice system’s failure to find the truth, and a reason to demand change.

criminal-justice-system

Introducing the Justice Newsladder

I’ve been engaged in social justice advocacy for more than 25 years. In that time, I’ve seen how important a fair and accurate criminal justice system is to our society. When crimes are committed, our system should determine the truth. Unfortunately, time and time again, the system gets it wrong.

Earlier this month, Glen Chapman of North Carolina became the 128th prisoner on death row to be released since 1972. The courts found that detectives committed perjury at Chatman’s trial and withheld potential evidence of his innocence from his defense attorneys. The forensic evidence was so bad that one of the two homicides pinned on Chapman may in fact have been a drug overdose. Chatman, who spent 14 years behind bars, was also a victim of bad defense lawyering.

Kirk-Bloodsworth

Justice Department Holding DNA Testing Program Hostage

The day President Bush signed the Innocence Protection Act into law was one of the proudest days of my life. The law, part of the Justice for All Act of 2004, included a new program named after me: the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program.

The program provides federal grants to states to conduct DNA testing that can exonerate the innocent and help identify the truly guilty. At the time, the program’s creation seemed a fitting end to a terrible chapter in my life, my 20-year struggle to prove my innocence after being convicted and sentenced to die for the brutal rape and murder of Dawn Hamilton, a 9-year-old girl I had never met.

Innocence-Protection-Act

The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms

Passage of the Innocence Protection Act in the closing days of the 108th Congress was a watershed moment. To be sure, the bill that finally became law was a shadow of the more ambitious criminal justice reforms first championed five years earlier by Senator Pat Leahy, Congressman Bill Delahunt and others. But the enactment of legislation designed to strengthen – not weaken – procedural protections for death row inmates was rich in symbolic importance and promise.

Writing in the April 2001 issue of The Champion (”Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform on the Horizon”), I said optimistically: “The criminal justice pendulum may be swinging back in the direction of fairness. The Innocence Protection Act of 2001, introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives earlier this year, promises meaningful reforms in the administration of capital punishment in the United States.” Four years later I’d claim that prediction was fairly accurate. While the reforms in the final bill are not as meaningful as I and others had hoped, the pendulum clearly swung. (Title IV of Public Law 108-405, Justice for All Act.)

Sen-Orrin-G.-Hatch

Statement from Senator Hatch on Passage of 5107

HATCH BROKERS DEAL AND DNA BILL PASSES SENATE
Washington – Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today praised the Senate’s passage of the “Justice for All Act of 2004,” to provide funding and assistance to the criminal justice system in order to realize the full potential of DNA technology to solve crimes and protect the innocent.

“After days, months and now years of hard-fought negotiations we finally reached an agreement. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is one of the most significant bills that will come out of the 108th Congress,” said Hatch.