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Churches and Charities – Advantages and Disadvantages of Incorporation

If you are actively involved in the leadership of a church or charity that is not currently incorporated, then chances are that the issue of incorporation has been a discussion item on the agenda of more than one meeting. Leaders of unincorporated churches and charities have often heard that it is prudent from a legal standpoint to conduct the activities of a church or charity through a corporation, but are unclear as to the reasons why incorporation is a prudent course of action. When considering whether to incorporate a church or charity, the leadership of the church or charity should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating the church or charity, in order to make an informed decision. The discussion that follows is intended to provide the reader with some idea as to the advantages and disadvantages involved in incorporating their church or charity. ... Read more

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Buying a New Home from a Builder

I frequently get asked by clients to outline the differences between a purchase of a resale home and a purchase of a new home from a Builder.

From a legal point of view, the most significant difference is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale itself. In other words, the contract is the difference. The contract in the purchase of a resale home is one your real agent will go over with you and one that has many traditional answers pursuant to the law that has developed around that Agreement. ... Read more

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Joint Ownership

Jointly held assets, whether real estate, bank accounts or other investments are not part of the Estate. There is a right of survivorship and by law the asset becomes the property of the surviving joint owner, regardless of what the Will says or whether or not there is a Will. Probate fees are not payable on the value of such assets, and ownership can pass without the necessity of a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will (formerly called Letters Probate). If a client arranges his or her affairs so that most of the assets are owned by him or her with another as joint tenants, the value of the property is not part of the Estate for probate fee purposes until the death of the second owner. ... Read more

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Probate Planning

One of the goals many people have in Estate Planning is to minimize taxes and other estate administration costs such as probate fees. The purpose of probating a Will is to establish the authority of the personal representative to deal with the estate assets. Although the authority of Executors (now called “Estate Trustees”) stems from the Will, financial institutions and other third parties sometimes require judicial confirmation that the individual purporting to be the Estate Trustee has proper authority. Where there is a Will, the court is simply verifying that it is valid and is the latest Will. If there is no Will, the court is actually appointing the Estate Trustees and their authority to act stems from the court appointment. Terminology has changed. The court used to issue “Letters Probate” to validate a Will and “Letters of Administration” to appoint an Administrator if there was no Will. The court now issues a “Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will” or if there is no Will, a “Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will”. ... Read more

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