Value an Estate

Get the details.

To work out the value of the estate, you will need details of all assets e.g. bank accounts, savings accounts, property, etc. You will need details of all debts e.g. utility bills, loan repayments, mortgages, etc. and all significant gifts they gave away in the last seven years before they died. This means you will have to write to the asset holders and ask them for the value of the asset at the date of death. You are trying to ascertain the value of the estate at the date the deceased person passed away. This is an important point as some assets will increase in value, e.g., a bank account gaining interest.

Money in a joint bank account or owned jointly will automatically pass to the other owner or owners, half of the money will need to be added into the calculation for the estate.

Tip: To value non-monetary assets (cars, antiques, etc.) it is recommended that you use a professional valuer if the asset is worth more than £500.00. If the deceased left a lot of belongings such as furniture, jewellery, etc. you can hire a professional valuer who will value everything at once and provide you with a succinct report.

Tip: You will need to get three valuations of any houses from three different estate agents and then use the average to give you a figure for the property.

Total up the assets and the debts. Add all of the assets together to reach the total asset figure and total up all of the debts to reach the total debt figure.

To find the value of the estate, you will need to subtract the debts from the assets. Take the total debt figure away from the total asset figure to be left with the final value of the estate.

Assets – Debts = Estate value.

If the estate value is over £325,000.00 then usually you will need to pay inheritance tax. For more information on when and how to pay inheritance tax.

Regardless of whether or not you need to pay inheritance tax if you need a grant of representation you should fill out the right inheritance tax form. This needs to be completed to obtain the Grant.

If there is no inheritance tax to pay, but you need a grant, then you need to fill out form IHT205. If there is any tax to pay you will need form IHT400.

Send in the forms when you apply for the grant of representation. You should send your application to your local Probate Registry.

Settle Court Case

When we hear the word, “Settlement”, images of money are immediately conjured into our minds. Most of the settlements we hear about in the media are for large sums, anywhere from $50K to millions of dollars, often involving celebrities or powerful business moguls. Many people might ask, “If a party knows they are innocent, then why would they agree to settle the case?”

People settle cases for all kinds of reasons:

1. Save on lawyer expenses
2. Avoid public attention
3. Reduce stress/Time in court
4. Reduce risks of harsher sanctions from potentially losing in a trial.

Defendants often settle criminal cases for “plea” bargains. (An admittance of guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment) for similar reasons that defendants agree to settle in civil cases.

Nobody likes being in court! It is costly, time consuming, stressful and can be somewhat intimidating. Whether you are being sued for a credit card debt or facing criminal charges, the potential of being garnished, put in jail, missing time away from work and family, the presence of armed guards, black robed judges, etc… the entire process can be a bit frightening, especially for those who do not spend much time in the courts. (Which is usually most people unless you are a legal professional, police officer, or a habitual criminal.)

When we decide to settle a case, we have to weigh our options. Defendants and Plaintiffs settle for the same reasons believe it or not. If a defendant believes he has a weak defense or is simply fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle, if a plaintiff believes he has a weak argument or he is fed up with the court process, he is likely to settle. Time is money, and people do not like to have their’s wasted!

In essence, settlements happen when people come to a conclusion after assessing in their minds a “cost-benefit-analysis”. Let us take a look at the perspective from a defendant and plaintiff’s point of view in a hypothetical discrimination case.

John sues Corporation-Z for racial discrimination. John has several witnesses who have agreed to testify. Corporation-Z learns that these witnesses with be participating. Corporation-Z believes that John has a good chance at defeating them in court. Corp-Z offers John $10,000 to settle the case out of court. If John were to win the case in court, he would probably sue for much more in damages, however, if John takes the offer, he can save himself attorney fees and months (possibly years) going to court cases.

Although Corp-Z is in a disadvantageous position, they are well-funded and will be able to drag the case on for a long time. John is a simple 9 to 5 employee with very little resources. However, John feels that he has strong evidence and is unwilling to settle for $10,000, he refuses the offer and decides to see it through to the end. Corp-Z offers another amount for $15,000, John still refuses.

Corp-Z files several continuances to drag out the case. John is getting tired.

John later finds out that several of his key witnesses have decided not to testify. John is now getting worried. Corp-Z has not yet learned that the witnesses have backed out. The next court date is in 6 weeks. John must act fast! Due to these new circumstances, his chances to win the case have gotten much lower.

At this point, John has several options:

Contact the defendant and accept their $15,000 settlement offer.
Send the defendant one last counter offer for a higher amount before agreeing to settle.
Rebuild his case, look for new evidence, take the case to trial and potentially win big or end up with nothing if he loses.

Option 1 is the safest- Defendants and Plaintiffs have the option to offer and/or withdraw settlement offers at ANY TIME. In this scenario, the defendant, Corp-Z is likely to accept to settle unless new evidence has been obtained.

Option 2 is a little risky- In this situation, John has learned that his witnesses are refusing to testify. Corp-Z has not yet found out, however, if they do find out, they are very likely to withdraw any offers to settle, as they will be likely to defeat the suit. John can attempt to negotiate one last time to get a higher amount from the defendant, but it will take some time to sort out the particulars, and time is something John doesn’t have with a looming court date. The closer the trial date gets, the more likely the defendant is to find out about the witnesses backing out.

Option 3 is highly risky- If the case goes to a trial by jury and John has other evidence besides witness testimony, the jury could still see it his way. If his witnesses are his key pieces of evidence, then he is at high risk for losing. This option would require very careful consideration. If John wins the case through jury, he will likely receive a huge pay-out, if he loses the case, he could end up losing everything or even end up being counter-sued by Corporation-Z.

Factors to consider:

Is John poor? How bad does he need money? If he loses the case, will he still be financially sound? Is he looking for justice or a pay-out? What are his goals in this lawsuit? Is he mentally and emotionally prepared to stay in court for several more months? These are questions John has to ask himself before making a decision on how to proceed.

From the Defendant’s perspective:

Corporation-Z is a business and they have a business to run. Handling these legal matters are a huge cost and burden on the operation. Negative publicity can also hurt the business extensively. Even if Corporation-Z discovers that the plaintiff, John, has lost his key witnesses, it still may be beneficial for Corporation-Z to settle. Typically, when settlements occur, non-disclosure agreements must be signed stating that the allegations against the company cannot be publicly discussed. If Corp-Z refuses to settle and defeats John, John may still end up retaining his right to discuss the trial and his allegations to public organizations causing bad press not to mention the extra legal fees it may take to try and sue John later for defamation.

In this situation, if Corp-Z discovers that John has lost his witnesses, Corp-Z can agree to settle, for the same amount previously offered or for a lower amount, (since Z now has bargaining power!) or Corp-Z can withdraw all offers and attempt to win in trial.

Corporate attorneys are famous for their slogan to, “Always settle, settle, settle”.

While Corporation-Z has a good chance at defeating John, they may end up spending triple the amount of their settlement offer attempting to defeat the suit, also, Corporation-Z isn’t fully aware if John has any other additional evidence that is not yet known. Victory is not always guaranteed. In court, just as in a boxing match, the ability to appear weak when one is strong, and the ability to appear strong when one is weak, is very crucial in the negotiation process of settling a case.

Timing:

Losing a lawsuit that goes to trial can result in dire consequences.

Income garnishments
Loss of employment as a result of being garnished by multiple entities
Loss of public reputation
property being seized
injunctions being placed against yourself or your business
liens being places on your assets
Tax refunds being withheld
Negative credit score
(These are just a few examples)

Some may be tempted to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in light of being sued for a debt, however, I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless your debts exceed $10,000. I’ll save that discussion for another article.

Timing is very critical when it comes to successfully mitigating a civil or criminal case. Let’s say you owe a credit card company $10,000. Typically, after you default on your loan for more than 90 days, the credit card company will likely sell your debt to a third party collector. A few months to a year later, you are likely to be served with a warrant stating that you are being sued for the amount by the third party debt collector who purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the creditor now has the upper-hand. Since you have essentially ignored all attempts to collect, it is assumed that you are avoiding the debt and do not have the means to pay it back. A smarter decision would have been to inquire about hardship programs or attempt to settle the debt with a partial amount before you were sued. (Always get everything in writing). However, since things have escalated to a court hearing, the creditor now probably believes that they have a great chance to win the case.

When most people owe a debt, they stick their heads in the sand and do nothing. If you are sued for a credit card debt, your goal now is to re-establish your bargaining power! Even if you owe the debt, make them prove it! File an answer to the lawsuit, file a discovery request, ask for continuances! ( I can help you do these things by offering a template to follow.) Once the creditor sees that you aren’t going to be like the other 99{fc9b9e645cfa3f0260113bd55c8ac632406804c28cdcfa479fb39914c8692a21} of people who don’t show up to court and allow for a default judgement, the creditor will be likely willing to settle the debt for a fraction of what they are suing you for.

While you are fighting the lawsuit, whether your intention is to get it dismissed through lack of evidence,lack of itemization or your goal is to settle the debt for a lesser amount, you must act swiftly! If you do intend to settle the debt, be sure to make the number attractive but not too high. If you owe $10,000, offer them 30{fc9b9e645cfa3f0260113bd55c8ac632406804c28cdcfa479fb39914c8692a21}, because they are likely to counter back asking for 50{fc9b9e645cfa3f0260113bd55c8ac632406804c28cdcfa479fb39914c8692a21}.

If the creditor is not willing to settle and/or you lose the case, enroll in a “slow-pay” program. That’s right! If you lose a lawsuit, you can enroll in a “slow-pay” program whereas you may only be paying $20 a month or so to the creditor. (Albeit for a very long time!). Through the slow-pay process, you can pay with a check or money order. In order for the plaintiff (or creditor) to garnish your wages, they have to get an approved garnishment order from a court. If you miss a single-payment through the slow-pay program, some jurisdictions automatically issue a garnishment order because of your lack of ability to keep your promise to pay.

Federal law protects workers from being fired if they are being garnished by a single entity. However, if two or more entities are garnishing you, federal law allows employers to fire you because of the administrative burden your garnishment orders are costing to the company you work for.

Any legal case must be taken seriously whether it be criminal or civil. Even traffic court can cost us! If you ignore a traffic ticket, don’t be surprised if you later find out that your drivers license has been revoked! Reinstating a revoked license is time consuming and can cost hundreds, even thousands, depending on the liens placed upon the license.

In many criminal cases, district attorneys will offer “plea deals”. This “deal” is basically where you agree to admit guilt in exchange for a lighter punishment. Plea deals can benefit both parties. The district attorney meets his conviction quota, you receive a lighter sentence than you would if you lost your trial, and the process of court is sped up.

Going back to the lessons we learned earlier about, “Appearing strong when you are weak, and to be weak when you are strong”, accepting plea deals is an art within itself just as accepting settlements are.

Set Up DFW On Site Drug Testing

Find a Third Party Administrator

When you are ready to set on site testing in DFW, you will want to find a third-party administrator. This can be a consortium who will take care of maintaining the records, and performing various tasks as you agree upon. They will help to keep you compliant. The most important aspect is to choose an administrator that is reliable, and has a great reputation for managing drug and alcohol testing programs.

Implement a Program

You will need to implement a full program. This includes talking about the various details as to how the on-site drug testing will happen, where it will happen, and who will be tested. For example, how often do you want each employee tested? Will all employees be tested, or simply those who operate machinery? Identifying the various aspects will help to mold your program. Plus, when you work with a medical review officer or an administrator, they can provide you with tips on how to create the best possible program.

Talk to Employees

Employees need to know that you will be setting up on-site drug testing. Those who use drugs in any capacity may decide that they want to quit. You should simply allow them to do so, and you can work on finding higher-quality employees – ones where you don’t have to worry about them failing a drug test. All of your employees will need to sign off on the fact that they are agreeing to drug tests in a random fashion.

Schedule Random Tests

Once the program is up and running and employees are aware that drug testing can happen randomly, this can start to be scheduled. Employees won’t know when they will be called to be tested. This is the point. You don’t want them to know because you want to take them by surprise. This will make it easier to learn whether they are using drugs in their spare time or not.

Examples of Larceny

• Petty-this is where the property amounting to a smaller prices is being stolen. For a crime to be considered petty larceny the object stolen has to be less than four hundred dollars. If they are convicted of this crime they will have to pay a fine or do jail time.
• Grand-this is also known as felonious larceny and occurs when the property stolen is more than four hundred dollars. In New York, the amount of the robbery has to be more than one thousand dollars for it to be considered a felony. If you are convicted of this misdemeanor are subjected to time in prison. If the crime committed is a crime of a large magnitude can result in longer prison time. In addition to going to prison, you are also liable for fines related to the crime, court fees, and restitution payments.

Examples of larceny

• Snatching a purse-if the offender uses force to snatch the purse and instills fear in the victim it is known as robbery. If there is no force or fear in the victim then it is larceny.
• Shoplifting-this crime occurs when an individual shoplifts certain items from a store and does not pay for them. It also happens if you switch price tags so you are paying an lesser amount that what the actual value is.
• Embezzlement-this crime is when there is misappropriation of funds from an account that belongs to the victim.
• False check -this is a crime when the person issues bad checks to an owner for acquiring the property.

Inheritance Funding Works

There are companies which are willing to give you money in exchange for renouncing your inheritance benefits in their favors. This may sound a bit crazy, but keep in mind that companies can afford waiting several years, in order to get their “reward”. If this is not the case for you, then getting an inheritance loan is your best option.

Of course, the first step of the process is determining your eligibility. You must be an intended Heir of an Estate in Probate, or are a Beneficiary of a Trust. Next, you must talk with a specialized layer and see if you can transfer your inheritance rights and benefits to another person or company. There are cases when the transfer is impossible and your loan demand will not be approved. And this can happen due to many reasons, like geographical location of some terrains or the others’ inheritors rights.

Next, determine the value of the inheritance. Most companies accept to give you a loan if you meet a minimum specified value. Talk with representatives and make sure you meet the minimum requirements.

If you are sure that you want to renounce your inheritance for money, announce the estate administrator about the changes. This financial representative will tell you more about the taxes which must be paid and if there are any other debts to be paid before being able to change the beneficiary.

Once you’ve paid all the taxes and you’ve consulted financial specialists, it is time to gather all documents and send them to the lender. The necessary paperwork includes:

• An official death certificate for the deceased
• A copy of the will
• Any probate court documents or letters
• Documentation of the appointment of the estate administrator
• A certification from the administrator of the amount of your planned inheritance

MRO Services

Chain of Custody

It is imperative that a chain of custody is followed every step of the way. If for any reason, the chain is broken, the results of the drug test become invalid. You don’t want this to happen because it may be of the utmost importance for what is going on. For example, if an employee injured him or herself on the job, and then tested positive, you may be pressing charges. If the chain of custody is broken, however, the results may get thrown out in court. This means that you wouldn’t be able to prove that the person was on drugs when the injured themselves.

Real-Time Updates

You have the ability to obtain real-time updates on everything that the medical review officer does for your company. This includes learning about which employees have recently undergone drug and alcohol testing, as well as what the results are. If anyone tests positive, you can receive an alert. It will make it easier to find out what is going on with the program.

Translator Services

There may be instances when you have employees that do not speak English. When they are going through the drug and/or alcohol testing program, translations need to be made. This will allow the person to know what their rights are, and how to conduct themselves. Further, if they were to test positive, you want to make sure that they understand what it means and what help is going to be provided to them.

Expert Testimony

Particularly when you are seeking legal action for someone testing positive, you may need a medical review officer to provide expert testimony. They may go into the court, or provide telephone litigation support. Either way, it’s a service that you can tap into as it is necessary.

Legal Disputes

Let’s start with this one, since it has, more or less, already taken place. A small landowner in Nebraska named Bill parks his tractor in the shed after a long day of work in the fields. He wipes sixteen hours worth of sweat off his brow while he opens his mail. All bills. Two men in dark suits approach him at the front door and hand him a subpoena. The farmer opens the subpoena, quite surprised to learn he’s being sued by a major U.S. corporation for copyright infringement. It’s a huge settlement they’re after – in the millions. He doesn’t have one tenth of what they’re asking in damages. Since he sits on a tractor most days, he hasn’t got the faintest notion how he could be named in a suit for copyright infringement. He’s certain they’ve got a case of mistaken identity and places the document at the bottom of a pile of correspondence, making a mental note to consult his lawyer about what to do with the nuisance suit.

Rest assured, it’s no mistake. The large U.S. corporation spent millions in developing a strand of DNA for corn that is resistant to a pesticide they also own. When you buy their corn seeds and use their pesticide for your crops, you’ll get excellent results. They copyright the strand of corn DNA they worked to develop. To protect the investment in DNA research they hire over seventy-five corporate lawyers to aggressively prosecute copyright ‘thieves’. They have to establish a legal precedent that attracts a lot of publicity; they intend to branch out into other food stuffs, such as eggs that last longer on the shelf, wheat that produces heavier grain, chickens that add weight quickly, beef that responds to their brand of steroids in cattle foods. The list is endless, and it’s all going to be done by protecting copyrighted DNA strands.

Bill consults his country lawyer about the suit, explaining that he has stolen nothing in his life from anyone. The lawyer does a bit of researching and discovers he’s opposed on the brief by some of the best legal minds in history, paid for by a Dow Jones multinational. He first explains to the multinational that his client doesn’t know how the patented corn seed got into his fields. Possibly the seed cleaning company that strips seeds off Bill’s corn for next year’s crop has intermingled patented seeds with his. He tries to offer a settlement but this is not what the corporation wants. They want a trial. They wish to establish for the record that they’re prepared to sue if anyone grows their corn without paying them for the seeds.

Bill and the country lawyer lose the case which costs him more than he can pay in damages and legal costs. He appeals. The appeal also loses right up to the Supreme Court since copyright law is sacrosanct in the U.S. Intellectual property, in this case a section of DNA, is property protected by the highest court in the land. Bill’s house, farm and equipment are sold at auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds given to a multinational worth more than a quarter trillion in market cap. The proceeds don’t cover the cost of one of the lawyers for one year, but they’ve earned an important victory – they own food.

Corporate Lawyer on Staff

Contracts and other business agreements

Whatever your business, chances are good that you routinely enter and execute contracts with a variety of parties. Typical corporate contracts include sales contracts, leases (real estate and otherwise), supply agreements, and partnership or corporate structure documents. The consequences can be severe if one of these agreements contains an unfavorable or unenforceable provision. While your business staff may be skilled negotiators, a lawyer can review these documents to help protect your company from litigation or other negative effects from unenforceable contracts.

The human resources minefield

Employment law is a complex area of law with radically different requirements for different types of businesses and employees. A general counsel can assist you and your human resources staff with common legal issues surrounding employee leave, benefits, and hiring practices.

Regulatory compliance

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be subject to various regulatory requirements at the local, state, and federal levels. Examples include securities regulation, environmental regulation, campaign finance/political regulation, and intellectual property filings. Since regulatory infractions can result in substantial fines, it is important to remain on top of these ever changing rules. A lawyer can help you identify relevant requirements and complete any necessary filings or reports to the government.

Tax counseling

Your tax liability and responsibility depends in part on the corporate structure of your company. While you should use a certified accountant for tax preparation, a lawyer can assist you with tax planning and counseling to help you minimize your overall tax burden. A lawyer can even help you structure your business at the outset in a way that reduces tax liability.

Litigation and crisis management

While the other examples have concerned mainly “chronic” legal issues, having a lawyer on staff can also help you in case of “acute” legal issues such as civil or criminal litigation or government investigation. In addition to drafting pleadings, a lawyer can assist you with settlement negotiations.

Laws Be Beneficial for Society

• Allows order to be maintained: The maintenance of order is a very important process in a modern, civilised place. Disputes are very likely to arise anywhere, which is, in fact, very normal. However, things take an ugly turn when these disputes turn into violent conflicts. Disputes, if left to by themselves, can even result in riots and wars, both of which are very destructive to the society and chaos will prevail. In such cases, only strict and nicely implemented laws can allow the punishing of the defaulters. Also, laws allow the settlements of such disputes in an easy and non-violent way. The proper enforcement of these laws will allow more regard for laws.

• Allows more safety of the citizens and members: Laws are also very important because they ensure more safety. An example of such a law is the speed limit laws, which decrease the rate of road accidents allowing more road safety. If such laws were not there, the rate of traffic accidents would have increased drastically. Also, laws allow the punishment of defaulters, thus dealing with the criminals. This warns the potential criminals and makes the world a safer place.

• Promotion of discipline: Discipline is introduced to the masses through the enacting of laws. This also stops those actions of the people which can be harmful to the society. This means that people become more orderly and lead better lives. The enforcement of enacted laws reinforces this conduct.

About Limits of Human Laws

This was possible because man, in his evolution, succumbed to the Lucifer principle of letting himself go, where they try to accommodate their weakness in their mundane laws. But in actual sense, there ought to be one law in existence, the law of nature, which, if all people chose to follow it, could manifest differently in different parts of the world based on the spiritual maturity of the people involved. But the intellect insists on discrepancy in the legal system, where arbitrariness rules. For example, the natural laws insist that whatever a man sows, that shall he reap. This the legal system ought to have followed up in their administration of justice, but it is not so. This is partly their fault and partly not their fault.

Take an example. A man commits murder. He is arrested and brought to court. Every evidence, real and circumstantial, points to his guilt. The judge has no option than to find him guilty and sentence him to death. But in actual sense, the Judge does not have all the facts. For one, the murderer is only an executor and not the originator. All over the world, far away from the seat of justice, people who have experienced similar issues like the ones that provoked the murderer may have wished their victims murdered silently. All these wishes rises up as thoughts to a power center where they are intensified. The murderer happens to be the person who was just in a position to execute his own action. So he drew strength from the power center and physically carried out the deed.Every other person involved in the thought are also guilty. But because we believe that thoughts are free, they cannot be tried. But in the eyes of Natural laws-some would say eyes of the Creator, it is one and the same-they are guilty and must reap what they have sown according to the Law of sowing and reaping.