KMM   Law Offices of Kathleen M. Moore

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Legal Tip of The Month

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Phone:  954-366-3694

Fax:       954-302-4969

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

 

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A LEGAL CHECKUP—ARE YOU HEALTHY LEGALLY?

 

Doctors recommend periodic checkups.  Cars need regular exams.  A legal checkup may be necessary for you, your family and your business.  This is done through a review of areas in your life and your business where problems are likely to occur, so the required steps can be taken to avoid them.  Listed below are some of the areas to review.

 

For You and Your Family

Wills and Estate Planning—Review your current estate planning documents to ensure you have the key documents and that they are up to date.  If your will and other documents were made a long time ago, changes may be needed due to increased wealth, changes in your marital status, the addition of new children or grandchildren, death of heirs, changes in your wishes about who should receive your property and changes in tax laws.

Property Ownership—A key issue in a legal checkup is making sure title to all your assets, including your home, car, stocks, bonds and bank accounts, is held in proper form

Estate Planning Questionnaire—Estate planning questionnaires are available to assist people in creating and reviewing their estate documents.  These questionnaires serve two purposes: to help someone review their estate to make sure their estate passes as they wish and also to leave a comprehensive list of one’s assets to whomever is responsible to carry out their wishes after one passes.

 

For Your Business

Business Form—One of the most important issues for almost every business owner is what structure to use.  Now is a good time to review your current business form to ensure it is still the correct entity for your business or if it would be helpful to change.

Business Records—It is very important to make sure that you have the records your business needs and that they are kept in the proper form and right location to help protect you from being personally liable for claims against the business.

Employees—Another aspect of your business to review includes all issues relating to employees, including a review of your employee manual, your procedures for hiring, disciplining and terminating employees and to make sure your business is following minimum wage, family leave and other labor laws.

Business Contracts—Periodically it is a good idea to review your sales, purchase orders and other standard contracts for necessary provisions to protect you and to draft any necessary changes that help reduce your liability.

Succession Planning and Emergencies—It is important to make sure your business has an effective way to deal with emergencies that may result in an interruption to your business.  Additionally, you should ensure that a succession plan is in place that achieves your desires regarding transfer of ownership of the business, including who will be the new owners, the manner of transferring ownership and other key succession issues.

Other Issues—Finally, a legal checkup will help make sure you have all government licenses and permits required for your type of business and that other legal compliance steps are being satisfied.

 

Like checkups for your physical health, a regular examination of your legal health can keep you fit as well.  If your legal affairs are in good condition, your checkup should provide recommendations to keep them that way.  But if your legal affairs are in poor condition, the checkup will alert you to warning signs, so steps can prescribe to avoid problems.