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Important Legal Knowledge for Real Estate Professionals

 

Getting Ahead as a Real Estate Agent

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I have some advice for real estate professionals out there. We deal with a lot of real estate professionals, we like a lot of the ones that we use, and if you do need a good real estate professional, I can certainly put you in touch with somebody that we trust.

My unsolicited, I guess, advice for real estate agents is this: Learn a little bit about the law, especially when it comes to real property and estate planning. Understanding the law, with respect to real property and estate planning will make you seem a lot smarter to your clients.

Now, I’m not trying to give you advice on how to conduct your career, but I will tell you that in sitting down with a lot of  agents, going out to lunch, what they tell me is, these days, because of the internet, because of websites like Zillow and just because of the ability to go online and do a lot of the selling and buying, a real estate agents’ job is really changing from simply listing properties, showing properties, which are things that, now, everyone has a better opportunity to do them on their own, to really being experts about the things that they’re trying to accomplish for their clients, and getting their clients the help they need, and so that’s one reason why a real estate agent should consider getting a deeper understanding of how estate planning works.

 

Real estate agent, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

How to put your house in a trust, differences between joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and tenants in common, or community property with rights of survivorship. There’s really a lot that a lawyer knows about real property and estate planning that would make it so that a real estate agent was that much more impressive and conversant and savvy with their clients.

If you’re a real estate agent listening to this video and you’re interested in meeting with me or setting up some kind of a seminar or presentation, reach out and we’ll see if it’ll work.

I have a few different presentations that I do for real estate agents, and I’d be very interested, in this upcoming year, to sit down with you personally, or with a group of you, to talk about how to learn a little bit more about the law and how that might benefit your career. Thank you.

How Long Does It Take to Sell an Estates Assets?

 

The Time Period to Sell Estates Assets

Transcript:

Hello, I’m Jonathan Barlow. I’m a probate and estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. People often ask us the question of how long does it take to have assets transferred to me after Mom or Dad have passed away? How quickly can I get the bank account transferred to me or how soon can I have the house put into my name? The answer to that question depends largely on the value of those assets. The Nevada statute set out what those values are and what we have to do in those circumstances.

 

Estates under $25,000

First, there’s total assets under $25,000. There’s a level between $25,000 and $100,000, and in general, anything above $100,000. I’m going to describe briefly these three categories. Under $25,000, if there is no house or land importantly, you can have those assets transferred to you in about 40 days. The statutes say you have to wait 40 days after date of death and after 40 days, you can prepare a document or have a document ready that says, “Mom passed away. She had the following bank account, the following car. We list the assets there. I’m the closest next of kin. I have resolved her debts and I’m entitled to receive her assets.”

Assuming you’ve filled that document out appropriately, you can take that into the bank on Day #40 after Mom passed away, present them with that affidavit, and they would process it through their legal department and in about an hour’s time, they should come back to you with the check with Mom’s bank account and giving that money to you. That’s the fastest you can do it, when it’s under $25,000. There’s a same process with the DMV that you can get car tiles transferred in the same manner when it’s under $25,000.

 

Estates between $25,000 and $100,000

The second level is between $25,000 and $100,000. This is also a fairly quick process but you have to wait 30 days after date of death and after 30 days, you can file a document in the probate court. It does require probate court filing. However, it’s quick and abbreviated. Within about three weeks time after filing, you can have a court order that says, “Hey bank, transfer the bank account or give the bank account to so and so or to so and so.” To whomever it’s supposed to go to.

estates, asset, inherit, probate, Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

That court order could also transfer the title to the land or the house also and so you take that down to the county recorder and that would transfer the house to you. That’s a 30 day wait after Mom or Dad have passed away. You’ve filed your document and then you have a hearing about two to three weeks after that. That’ll take care of estates under $100,000.

 

Estates over $100,000

Now if you’re over $100,000 in assets, you’re in a situation that’s going to require generally a full probate process. Those full probate processes can take … At the very quickest, you’re going to be done in about four months. That’s really cruising through there. In general those usually take six to nine to twelve months, possibly longer depending on what type of assets you’re dealing with and it’s a very involved process at the probate court, a lot of court filings, a lot of court requirements that you have to keep up on.

Now here at Clear Counsel Law Group, we specialize in the probate, in taking care of those things whether it’s under $25,000 or over $100,000, we file hundreds of probate cases to deal with those estates from very small to several million dollar estates. We also specialize in the estate plan part of it, so if you have an estate that’s over $100,000 and you’re concerned about your children having to go through this probate process that’s time consuming, it’s expensive, it’s public, and you want to make it very easy and very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away, even if they’re over $100,000, come and see us and talk to us because there’s some really great tools that you can use right now and put in place that make it very simple for your children to get your assets after you pass away.

In any situation, whether you’re faced with the under $25,000, under $100,000, over $100,000, here at Clear Counsel Law Group we’re specialists in these areas. We’ve done hundreds of these cases. We’ll be able to help you answer your questions and get those assets to you as quickly as humanly possible as quickly as the statutes will allow you to do that. Give us a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group and we’ll be glad to help you with those things.

 

Three Essential Estate Planning Tools You Must Know

 

The Three Estate Planning Tools Everyone Needs to Know

Transcript:

Jonathan: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m a estate planning attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today, we are talking about people who have relatively few assets and what estate planning tools they might use in order to transfer those assets after they pass away. I want to talk about three tools that they might use today. The first is a will. The second is joint ownership. The third is beneficiary designations.

In order to illustrate how these three tools might work, let me introduce you to one of my hypothetical clients. Her name is Helen. Helen lives here in the Las Vegas area. She has two children, Bob and Suzy.

 

An Estate Planning Hypothetical

Helen’s estate basically has three assets. She has a condo, has about sixty thousand dollars in equity in the condo. She has her bank account and the bank account has three, or four, five thousand dollars in it. She has a car that she’s paid of. The car is worth five or six thousand dollars. Now, Helen, can use all three of these tools to help transfer her assets after her death.

The first thing that she really should do is to prepare a will. A will is a document where Helen can say who she wants to receive her assets after she passes away, in what percentages, in what amounts, under what conditions. Helen can also say in her will who she wants to be in-charge of that process. Who is going to be the executor, the person responsible to make that happen.

Helen can use the will to say, “I want to split my assets equally between my two children.” She could also say, “I want to give Bob seventy percent and Suzy thirty percent.” Whatever the case maybe, she can say that in her will.

The second thing that Helen can also do is to use joint ownership as a way to transfer her assets after she passes away. What joint ownership means is that say she goes into her bank and explains to them, “Hey. I want to add Suzy on to my bank account.” The bank make designations and changes on bank account to add Suzy as a joint owner and she owns it as the same time as Helen.

When Helen dies, the joint owner, in this situation, Suzy, becomes the one hundred percent owner of that bank account, simply by virtue of Helen passing away. Suzy would just have to take a death certificate into the bank, say, “Hey. Mom has passed away.” The bank would essentially just give that money in that account to her without any other work necessary.

 

Estate planning, las vegas, nevada

 

The third tool that Helen might use to make it easier to transfer assets in a smaller size to say is beneficiary designations. The most common example of beneficiary designations that we think about would be a life insurance policy. Generally, if we have life insurance on our life, we name somebody as the beneficiary to receive that money after we pass away.

We can do the same thing with other assets. For example, in Nevada, there’s a special form of deed that somebody can sign to name beneficiaries on their house. Helen could sign this beneficiary deed and say, “Upon my death, the house shall be transferred to Bob and Suzy.”

After Helen passes away, Bob and Suzy prepare a document with her death certificate that notes that she’s passed away and the ownership of that house transfers automatically to them without any other work. No probate work or other work required. It becomes a very easy way to transfer that condo that only had sixty thousand dollars in equity in it to her children after she passes away.

Those are three simple tools that can be used to transfer that and there’s a frequent questions that Brian has right now that the people often ask me.

 

Brian: What if there’s a will that has two beneficiaries, but the asset is being held in joint tenancy?

 

Jonathan: That’s a great question. Again, same example. Helen has two kids, Bob and Suzy. Yet, she did just what I described earlier, she went in to the bank and she said, “I just want Suzy to get one…” She added Suzy as the joint owner of the bank account.

The effect of that is that even though she said in the will that she wanted Bob and Suzy to share whatever she had, the joint ownership designation, the joint account designation is going to trump the will. Meaning, Suzy is going to get that account one hundred percent with no legal obligation to share with her brother Bob. Even though the will says that were supposed to share it fifty-fifty.

Again, we want to be careful about how we use those joint designations to make sure that they do actually match up to what you want to do. You may say in the will, “I want to share it with him equally,” but if you make a joint beneficiary designation or a joint account ownership for a beneficiary designation, there’s contrary to that, those will apply and be enforced rather than what you say in the will.

With all three of these tools, the will, joint ownership, and beneficiary designations, there are pros and cons to how they’re used. You want to be careful that that matched up with what you want to accomplished and that they do what you’ve said they want to do.

If you have any questions about this and want help with discussing these three tools and how they work for people with smaller estates, it’s time to give us a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group.

How Should You Own Your Property?

 

 

What Is the Best Way to Hold Your Property?

Transcript:

Jordan: I’m Jordan Flake with Clear Counsel Law Group. I’m an attorney who does estate planning primarily. Occasionally, questions will come up about how property ownership works and operations of law. What I mean by that is how do you hold property in such a way that it will accomplish some of your estate planning objectives? We call this non-attorney estate planning, usually because it doesn’t necessarily require an attorney.

When you purchase a house, you can just tell your real estate agents and the title company how you want to take title to that property. Let’s just use the example of a client who said, “My wife and I and a friend own this duplex together, the three of us. We want to make it so that the last of us to die, the survivor among the three of us, gets all the property?” They don’t necessarily have to go see an attorney to make that happen. They can just tell the title company that they’d like to own the property in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship

What that means is that everybody just owns the property and then the survivors own the property and then the survivor of the survivors gets all the property. That’s called joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Now there are other ways to own it. There’s something called tenancy in common, which means each would get one-third, one-third, one-third and their undivided one-third share would go to their estate when they passed away.

 

property, estate planning, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

That wouldn’t accomplish the objectives of which they were requesting from me. Normally, a better way to do all of this is to put it all into a trust because then you can clearly delineate who gets what and when and under what circumstances. Brian, do you have any questions on this form of ownership?

 

Brian: Is it difficult to change the ownership from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common?

 

Jordan: You can do that just by recording a deed. We can help you prepare the deed that would change the vesting status, it’s called vesting status meaning what happens when a person passes away, but we can prepare a deed that will change the vesting status and we don’t charge much to do that. In fact, we don’t charge at all for the consultation. Any other follow-up questions on this though?

 

Brian: Of the options you described, you said that a trust is preferable to just having it recorded on the deed.

 

Jordan: When you prepare a trust, you also prepare a deed, generally transferring the property into the trust. A trust operates like a box, then you can put property inside that box. The house or the duplex in this case would be something that you’d likely want to deed into the trust. Then the trust gives specific instructions about what happens to that property. Say the husband and wife pass away, but their friend at that time is an elderly gentleman, who’s incapacitated just because of old age.

The trust will prepare for that contingency, whereas merely creating a deed that puts the house into joint tenancy with rights of survivorship doesn’t address that contingency. A trust is much more comprehensive and flexible in terms of addressing several different possible scenarios. That’s what we do as estate planning attorneys. We look out and say, “How can we preemptively address all of these things that can and do happen to people?” That’s why it’s really important to set up a consultation with me. I don’t charge for the initial consultation. I’d be happy to go over this or any other situation that you’re looking at. Thank you.

How to Disown an Adult Child

Do you need to remove an adult child from your estate in Nevada? Please call our Nevada estate lawyers today for a free consultation. (702) 522-0696

 

Is It Possible to Disown an Adult Child?

Transcript:

Hi. I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I specialize in estate planning. One question that I sometimes get is, “Can I disown my adult child for various reasons?” You may have had falling out with your son or daughter and you just really don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Reality is a lot of the disowning process just happens by operation of law. When someone turns 18, they essentially are considered an adult and have their own rights, responsibilities, and duties, and are really no longer your legal responsibility once they turn 18.

Aside from that though, one thing that a lot of clients will do if they have a child who they have disowned or the relationship cease to exist is disinheritance. What that means is you come into an attorney’s office and whatever you were planning on giving to anyone, you need to explicitly state that you want to disinherit your child. It’s really important that the disinheritance provisions are drafted correctly because if not, you could be facing a situation where your disinherited child comes back and says, “Whoa, it’s very unclear that … They didn’t say anything. They didn’t say the right things about disown me. He told me before he passed away that he wanted me to have something.” They can make all kinds of claims in those circumstances.

 

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The law requires that you specifically disown your own children, and so those provisions have to be drafted correctly. If you’re worried about where your assets go after you pass away and possibly, you have a situation in your family where you don’t want your assets to go to a certain child, then please give us a call, so I can meet with you for a no-charge consultation. We’ll go over your options. Thanks.

What You Need to Know about Power of Attorney

 

Power of Attorney and Your Estate Plan

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jordan Flake. I’m an attorney with Clear Counsel Law Group. I specialize in estate planning. I got a question from a client about how to become a power of attorney. Can you just essentially declare yourself to be power of attorney of someone? Or, do you have to write it down? What’s the process?

Power of attorney is a very important mechanism in estate planning because it essentially gives another person the right to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. It’s a right that you can give to someone else. Obviously it has to be somebody that you trust a lot, because you wouldn’t want to let somebody else make financial and healthcare decisions for you unless you really knew that they were going to act in your best interest. Also, you can’t simply just say it. It actually has to be written down. There’s also a lot of formalities in the law that need to be met and fulfilled in order to give that document credence and validity.

 

Power of attorney, las vegas, nevada

 

One important thing to remember about power of attorney documents is that the entity that will often be enforcing those or rejecting them, as the case may be, would be a bank or a hospital or doctor’s office or an insurance carrier. It’s not always going to be interpreted by a judge. That’s why it’s very important to make it very crystal clear, so that somebody without a law degree can actually understand what the power of attorney is intending to do and what it says and leave no doubt whatsoever as to the fact that you’re giving someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf.

If you feel like you need to make a power of attorney document

Why an Online Seller May Desire an LLC for Protection

 

Why an Online Seller Should Consider an LLC

Transcript:

 

Jonathan: Hello, my name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m an attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. I actually had a friend that this question came from recently. She told me that she created an online store where she started to sell some little nick knacks, some little crafts that she had been creating. She had starting earning a little bit of money and then kind of … Some of her stuff went viral a little bit and she became very popular. She started making serious money. She asked me, “Do I need to think about creating a business? Do I need to think about creating an LLC or something like that to do my online business with?”

The answer to that question is maybe. It’s up to you. You don’t have to. There is no law that says you have to create an LLC to run your business. You can run it through yourself as an individual. That’s called a sole proprietorship. The business is treated just as you are. There’s no separation between you and the business.

The question of whether you should create an LLC really gets down to the question of accessing risks and rewards of the LLC. An LLC can give you asset protection. Meaning that is somebody had a dispute with the business and say they’ve got a court to tell the business that the business had to pay them money back on a judgment or something like that they would only be able to go after the assets that are in the business in order to pay that judgment. They wouldn’t be able to come after you individually.

 

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If you’re operating as a sole proprietorship there is no protection. Somebody that has a claim against the business could come after your personal assets. They could potentially get to your personal income. They could get to your personal bank accounts in order to pay a business related debt, because you didn’t have that business set up to create that separation.

A second consideration is more of a practical consideration when you’re doing this, which is often having an LLC gives a form or appearance of legitimacy as a business. People think they’re doing business with an actual business and they may want to … Make them more likely to do business with that person or with that business, rather than just an individual person. Those are some considerations you can think about in considering whether it’s time to transition from a sole proprietorship into an LLC. Brian do you have a question about this?

 

Brian: A quick question. Will it be expensive for the online seller to form an LLC?

 

Jonathan:  In the state of Nevada an LLC is not really that expensive to create. The main expense you have to pay is you have to pay the state of Nevada a filing fee to create the LLC. Then on each year, an annual basis, you have to file an annual filing fee with the state of Nevada, right now that’s a few hundred dollars on an annual basis to get that. To start it’s about $400 or $500. On an annual basis it’s about $200 to $250 to do that. It’s not terribly bad, so that’s another consideration. Is my revenue to the point that it justifies creating some more of these administrative type expenses that you’re going to have to pay. If you’re not making a ton of money it may not make sense to put money into an annual filing fee with the state, but if you’re making quite a big amount of money then that may be a very, very small percentage of your business operations and it makes sense to get that protection through the LLC.

If you have questions about your growing business, your growing online business and you’re finding it booming and you want to make sure that you’re protected and your business is protected give me a call here at Clear Counsel Law Group and I’ll answer your questions.

Filing for Divorce with Your Assets in a Revocable Living Trust

 

How to Handle Your Assets in a Revocable Living Trust if You Get Divorced

 

Transcript:

Jonathan: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m a probate and estate planning attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One question that we often get asked in connection with our estate planning practice is: If I’m going through a divorce and my assets are held in a revocable living trust with my spouse, what should I do?

The short answer to that is that first you should make sure you talk to your divorce attorney about that so that that can properly be divided through the divorce process. I’m not a divorce attorney so I don’t know how that part works, but if you’re wanting to make plans because you know you’re going through divorce and you want to make sure those assets are protected, you can make lists and create some separate interest in those assets by going through and designating your interest in those assets and separating out what’s called the community property interest in that property. You can create documents, either a will or another trust, to hold your interest in the community property.

 

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In short, it’s best to come in and probably create wholly new documents for yourself, whether a wholly new will or a new trust, to hold your interest in those marital assets. Now again, those are all still going to be subject to what happens through the divorce process and the property settlement agreements, the divorce decrees, things of that nature. The judge is going to able to allocate those, but you want to be able to protect your interests, make sure that if something happened to you in the interim before the divorce was finalized should you pass away that your interest in the assets go where you want them to go.

It’s not really that much different than traditional estate planning even if you’re not going through a divorce, because you still have these same questions you need to answer, which is: If I die, where would I want my property to go, whatever that property might be? Whatever that property might be will be determined by the divorce court, but you get to determine where that goes should something happen to you in the interim while you’re going through the divorce process. Brian has a question about this.

 

Brian: Sorry, just to clarify, you’re recommending creating an additional trust to hold your interest in the first trust? Is that correct?

 

Jonathan: That is an option to do that. As one of the co-owners of that trust, you have an equal interest, as does your spouse that you’re divorcing, in those assets in the trust. It’s a community interest, but you have the right to say what happens to your part of that interest. I would probably do it through a wholly new document. Like I said, through a new trust or a new will, just to create separation from the one that you’re currently working with that’s going to be split up anyways when you divorce. You don’t have to do it that way. You certainly could do it through some form of an amendment to the current trust. You could take assets out of the trust, for that matter, and put them into your own individual name.

There are various techniques. The main thing is you want to make sure that you have written down and made very clear your instructions of what you want done with your interests, your property interests, should something happen to you when you pass away, or should you pass away. That’s the best case scenario, best thing to do if you’re going through a divorce, to make it very clear what you want done in that situation. If you have any questions about estate planning, if you’re going through a divorce and don’t know want to do about your assets, certainly give us a call here at ClearCounsel Law Group and we can walk you through this process. We’ll help you review your current trust and make determinations about what you do need to put down in writing to make it very clear what should happen with your assets in the event of your death.

 

How is a Corporation a Nonprofit?

 

 

How the Government Determines is a Corporation is a Nonprofit

Transcript:

Hi my name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m an attorney here at Clear Council Law Group. I often have business clients ask me, “What makes a corporation a not for profit corporation or  nonprofit corporation?” The short answer to that is that you elect to be treated as a nonprofit corporation when you create the corporation with the state. The longer answer to that question is this: what makes a not for profit is simply as it says in it’s name. You operate the business without the intent to generate profit that is paid out to the owners of the business. In other words, if the business does make profit, that profit has to stay within the business. It can’t be passed out as distributions to the owners of the business. The owners are not profiting on the business of the corporation.

 

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Now, a lot of people use not for profit corporations or nonprofit corporations in connection with a charitable entity or a charitable organization under the federal tax laws. These are sometimes called 501CS organizations. They are usually created for a charitable purpose. You create the not for profit corporation at the state level. You then obtain the 501CS status from the IRS. Together you’re able to operate a charitable entity. That’s basically the nuts and bolts of how you become a not for profit corporation and how that could be an advantage to people in that situation. If you have any questions about not for profit corporations feel free to give me a call here at Clear Council Law Group and I’ll do my best to answer those questions for you.

 

Is It Necessary to Register Your LLC in Multiple States?

 

 

When Should You Register Your Small Business in Multiple States?

Transcript:

Jonathan: Hello. My name is Jonathan Barlow. I’m a business law attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group. A question that we recently received was this: If I have a Nevada LLC and I then do business in another set outside of Nevada, do I have to register in that other state as well?

The short answer to that question is yes, you should register in that other state. Now you can continue to keep the home state as Nevada and you would be treated as what’s called a foreign entity in the other state. Typically, if you’re doing business in another state, those state laws will require that those businesses also register with their state, and that therefore they can collect their filing fees and other things that they want from you in order to continue to do business. You could run afoul of the laws of those other states and face penalties, and interest, and problems like that if you fail to register in another state where you’re doing business.

 

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Now they’re may be exceptions to that rule in those other states. Of course if you go outside of the state of Nevada to do business, I strongly encourage you to talk to a competent attorney in those areas who can advise you specifically about those state requirements. Brian had a question about this.

 

Brian: A quick question. How much business do you have to do in another state before you need to consider registering in that state?

 

Jonathan: That’s a great question. How much business do you need to do? Again, each state’s going to have a different requirement. There may be different amounts of revenue levels before you have to register. There may be exceptions to registration. Nevada has certain businesses that don’t have to register with the state to do business in the state of Nevada. To give you a specific answer to that question, I can’t do that because it’s going to be state-specific depending on what state you go to. Again, you can set it up in Nevada, and Nevada have has very favorable laws related to LLCs and corporations. Makes it a good place to file for your home base, including no state income tax. If you do take your business outside of the state of Nevada, you can talk to me or other attorneys who would be able to advise you specifically about what you should do in that other state. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to to give us a call here at our office and we’ll answer your questions.

 

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