Month: November 2013

HOUSTON FAMILY LAWYER’S ADVICE FOR NEWLYWED FINANCES

Whether you are planning to get married or are already enjoying your wedded bliss, there is no time like the present to get financial advice from a knowledgeable family lawyer in Houston. You and your partner should put more planning into your financial future than you did into your wedding, after all, one only lasts a day and the other is for the rest of your lives!

Financial discussions are not always easy, but laying out a clear roadmap early on can actually be beneficial to the overall health of your marriage. Money issues are a huge contributor to unhappiness in a partnership, and Houston family lawyers have seen time and again how working together earlier can avoid a lot of stress later on in the relationship.

Planning for the Future

It is impossible to peer into the future and know everything that you and your spouse are going to face together, but there are some pretty obvious considerations to make. Talking with your partner and possibly with a family lawyer in Houston can help you determine how you plan to approach many of the biggest financial considerations facing newlyweds.

· College and/or student loans

· Purchasing a home

· Planning for children

· Funding retirement

· Life insurance policies

· Other large purchases (cars, furniture, etc.)

· Travel

Planning for these types of things can cause some stress, but it can also be fun. Knowing that you eventually want to be able to take a trip to Paris and then taking concrete steps to make it happen can be a wonderful bonding experience and will also pay off in the experience of a lifetime. Family lawyers in Houston see all too often how couples get into financial difficulties by taking trips or making large purchases when they have not planned ahead to make them realities.

Planning for the Present

While just as important, sometimes figuring out what to do about finances right now is a little less fun. Still, you and your spouse need to take the opportunity to look at your current financial situation in order to make your long-term goals a reality. There are some considerations that are especially important for newlywed planning, too, when it comes to how to combine (or not) your finances.

· What are your expectations when it comes to money

· Which finances and accounts will be combined, and which will not

· How will you deal with debt brought into the marriage

· Will there be resentment if one spouse makes more money than the other

· What are your views on using credit

Budgeting

In order to develop a long-term plan, you and your partner will need to use the above information to create a workable budget. This should include:

· Income (wages, businesses, investments)

· Assets (accounts, stocks, retirement, property)

· Debts (school, home loans, business loans, credit cards)

· Expenses (ongoing and incidental)

By laying out what you have and what you need, you can develop a plan to help meet your current requirements, as well as to save for the future. A good family lawyer in Houston can help you put all of this information into perspective to create workable plan to meet your financial needs.

SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING 101 | SPECIAL NEEDS LAWYERS IN HOUSTON

Special needs lawyers in Houston recognize that when you have a family member with a disability, there seems to be no end to the additional considerations that need to be made in daily life. It is not unusual to get so caught up in the day-to-day concerns that parents and caregivers have little time to even think about estate planning. However, special needs planning is a vital part of caring for those who need help caring for themselves.

There is a lot of information to understand when it comes to special needs planning in Texas, but today is just about taking one small step forward by learning the basics of a special needs trust.

The Special Needs Trust

It is not enjoyable to think about how your loved one will continue on without you, but it is incredibly important. Putting off planning is a bit of a dangerous proposition should the unexpected happen. Instead, getting to know how your assets can be used to continue to care for your loved one is incredibly important.

The special needs trust is one of the best tools you can use. By putting funds into a trust, you may even be able to ensure that your loved one’s care continues without affecting his or her eligibility for government aid in the future. Simply leaving your assets in a will does not afford this same kind of protection and can cause some pretty big disruptions and upheaval.

The most pressing aspects that a special needs lawyer in Houston will discuss with you in creating the document are:

· Naming a Guardian – This is the person who will be responsible for the physical well-being of your loved one.

· Naming a Trustee – This person will manage the assets of the trust for your loved one’s financial support.

· Providing Instruction – As the primary caregiver, you have more insight into your loved one’s needs than anyone. The trust will allow you to lay out those needs, as well as your wishes for him or her.

While it is possible to name the same person as the guardian and the trustee, it may not be the best option, so be sure to discuss this with a special needs planning lawyer in Houston. He or she will also help you develop the instructions for the special needs trust and will likely have insight into areas you may have overlooked, including the individual’s personal, emotional, housing, medical, and educational needs.

Special needs planning lawyers in Houston should have specialized knowledge in this area, so be sure to discuss your attorney’s qualifications and experience when choosing the right one. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with our attorneys in Houston, contact our office at (281) 218-0880.

BUSINESS LAWYERS IN HOUSTON OFFER A LEG UP IN PURSUIT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

Part of the American Dream is to create wealth for yourself and your family, and business lawyers in Houston have seen again and again that one of the best ways to do this is by founding your own small business. While creating wealth is certainly the goal for many small businesses, the owners’ concern should extend to properly protecting that wealth for the next generation.

Doing Things Right

Making your business a success depends upon doing things the right way. There are tons of laws and regulations that extend to conducting business in Houston. From licenses to inspections, your industry will affect just what types of regulations you need to adhere to. In order to make sure you are in compliance, you will likely benefit from working with aHouston business lawyer.

There is an incredible range of legal obligations that may relate to your business, and while you can do some research on your own, it is always best to back it up with solid legal advice. For example, you may need to provide contracts to your customers. While you can possibly draft these on your own, it makes financial sense to have them reviewed by an attorney who is able to ensure they extend all the right protections to you.

Business owners may also benefit from working with a business lawyer in determining the right type of business structure. In some cases, a simple sole proprietorship or partnership may be the right choice, but there are many, many times when some form of corporation is preferable due to the protections it affords. An S-corporation, C-corporation, LLC, or LLP is often a better choice, because it can help keep business and personal assets separate and protect one in situations where the other is vulnerable.

Growing Your Business

As your small business grows, a business lawyer in Houston is instrumental in smoothing the transition to a larger company. Perhaps you want to offer shares in your corporation or create bylaws for your organization. There are very specific legal requirements that go into developing these aspects of your business, and working with a business lawyer in Houston is the most responsible way to move forward.

Should your business outgrow you, or vice versa, you will also want to consult with a Houston business lawyer about how to sell it or create a succession plan. This protects partners and shareholders, and can even have an impact on your personal life and finances. Legal direction is necessary for ensuring all parties are treated fairly and understand the implications that come along in the form of taxes and other responsibilities.

Business lawyers in Houston are familiar with the laws that govern all aspects of running a small business within the state, and utilizing their expertise is a huge step toward laying a foundation for success in realizing the American Dream.