Archive for September, 2011

Probate Timelines Need Professional Guidance

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Probate timelines are not something one generally considers without the guidance of a professional. Specific actions are required to meet the deadlines in Texas probate courts; if the necessary steps are not taken to meet the deadline, the deceased’s beneficiaries could possibly be unable to obtain the assets that they are entitled to. Also, it is imperative that the deceased’s estate is left untouched and is not improperly drained of any assets. Due to this, an administrator is appointed in the overseeing of the probate proceedings.

Probate can take up to a few months or as long as a few years, it depends on how complicated the estate turns to be. That being said, it is of the utmost importance that you hire competent attorney that you are comfortable with because you may quite possibly be working together for a lengthy period of time; especially if you have to deal with difficult circumstances regarding an estate.

To begin the Texas probate process, it is wise for the heirs of the deceased to seek out the assistance of a probate attorney. A legal professional who is experienced in all aspects of procedures and paperwork that is required to begin the proceedings is essential to your planning. A competent probate lawyer will provide you with sound legal advice regarding important matters. For example: federal and state estate tax issues, probate costs, expected time frame of the probate proceedings and more.

Begin properly plan for your future and the future of your loved ones. You know how you you’re your estate handled. Make certain your wishes are carried out. Planning can eliminate much confusion as well as protect everyone involved. Children and elderly family members needs and wishes should be considered. Contacting Thomas Reino will be the first step toward preparing well thought solutions prior to a situation occurring.

Although none of want to think about an untimely death, it would be irresponsible to not plan for it.  To not make arrangements to take care of our spouses and children would be irresponsible.  The grief will be enough to deal with, without the added stress of legalities. Do you want all your hard work over the years to be in vain and all your assets go to the state simply because you weren’t prepared?  I should think not.  Contact Thomas D. Reino at (817) 303-2133 when you need thoughtful solutions, and planning for events that could take place, eventually will come to pass or if you have questions about Texas estate planning law.

How Arbitration Clauses Affect Businesses

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Arbitration is a way of solving conflicts through the use of a mediator. This mediator is meant to be an independent third party that is not associated with the conflict. Many companies have started adding an arbitration clause in their contracts to prevent issues from going to court. People may think that arbitration is cheaper and less messy than trying a case in front of a judge. That is not true; it has its problems. One problem with arbitration is that the arbitrator is sometimes partial. In some cases, the mediator leans in favor of his or her repeat clients.

In most cases the repeat customers are large businesses. Because situations like these arise, a court trial is an alternative that is less biased. Surprisingly, small businesses are adding their own arbitration clauses to their business contracts. This has the potential to cause problems for them. Problems come up when the customers can’t or won’t pay their debts to the small businesses.

Now, instead of simply filing a lawsuit to collect payments, companies have to pay extra money to work out an arbitration suit. Because these clauses are added, if a lawsuit is filed, the judge can order it to be settled through arbitration. When this happens, court filing fees and arbitration fees are still applied to the company. Arbitration is not necessarily the quicker or less expensive option.

Going to the courthouse and filing a suit to get a default judgment is much less of a hassle and is less expensive. It is not over after that. The small business must then file an action through court in order to collect payments. Filing this action imposes another fee on the small business. Through all this, it becomes a huge hassle to collect a debt. There are some things that small businesses can do to work out a more efficient arbitration clause in their contracts.

One option is to exempt their own debt collections from the arbitration clause when they are writing their contracts, meaning that debtors can not use arbitration as a way to solve collection issues. Arbitration has many positive outcomes and it works well for many companies, but not all. For small businesses, arbitration may need to be specified in order to have the desired results.

In this day in age you need an individual you can count on, and at the Law Offices of Thomas D. Reino you get what you see. For more information on business law, or to get business law legal council please contact us by either phone at 817.303.2133, or by fax at 972.264.0891.

Effects Arbitration Has On Small Businesses

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Arbitration terms in a contract are something that small businesses should definitely be concerned about. Large companies use these provisions often in their contracts with smaller companies and their customers. Because large companies give arbitration companies the most business, so they come their best customers. These are the companies that provide arbitrators with repeat business. This raises problems for the small businesses and consumers that have contracts with these larger businesses.

The larger businesses have an unfair advantage because they give the arbitration companies so much use. This gives the arbitrators an opportunity to be biased. In a utopian society there would be no such prejudice, but we don’t so there is always the chance for prejudice. Naturally, it would be easy for an arbitrator to take the side of their repeat customer. It also works in the favor the arbitration company to vote in favor of their repeat customer. If they did not vote in their favor, the company wouldn’t come back and use them for mediations. It is not just partiality that is an issue in these situations.

Giving up the right to a judge and jury in a situation also hurts the small businesses. Large businesses have reputations of taking advantage or running over small businesses. When put in front of a judge and jury, small businesses can often find sympathy because people like them judge them. Many of those who have found their way into the jury suit have had run-ins with big companies that have not ended well. For this reason, juries have been known to award sizeable verdicts or punitive damages to small companies.

In the case of arbitration, the arbitrators have their own careers to think about and tend to rule in favor of the big companies. They do not have the same sympathy that jurors may have. Arbitration is not a bad thing, and it has its own place. It is often cheaper and quicker than the court system. Between companies of the same size where neither company has an advantage, it has the potential to be much less biased and in turn, more efficient option.  If you are a consumer or own a small business, arbitration clauses are something to be aware of and to watch out for.

In this day in age you need an individual you can count on, and at the Law Offices of Thomas D. Reino you get what you see. For more information on business law, or to get business law legal council please contact us by either phone at 817.303.2133, or by fax at 972.264.0891.

Texas Probate is Proper Preparation for the Future

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

In general, the word “probate” is not often used in everyday conversation, and is a something most people do not understand. Basically, probate is the process in which a court recognizes that someone who is deceased, either does or does not have a will, and then grants, to what is called an Executor or Administrator. The Executor has the power and responsibility to administer the estate of a deceased person. Within that responsibility lies many responsibilities including the duty to pay creditors, transfer title to various assets, if needed, and distribute the remaining assets to the heirs (no will), or to the beneficiaries under the will. Probate is less cumbersome in Texas than in other states, yet the assistance of an attorney is usually necessary and required by the court. You must find legal counsel you trust and can depend upon to guide you through this process. There are different ways an estate can be administered. Your attorney will not lead you astray, rather guide you to receive the most of the situation.

In addition to a will, a person or couple may want to create a Trust, a Powers of Attorney, (including medical) and select a guardian(s) for themselves, if they should ever become incapacitated; or for their children, if they were to pass away before their children reached the age of 18 years. By stating your wishes of guardianship, the cost and expenses of court proceedings to determine such matters can be avoided and a burden removed from your loved ones after you have gone.

When a will is combined with other estate planning tools such as a Directive to Physician, Powers of Attorney, Designation of Guardians etc., the work involved can be considerably greater and a fee will be determined after a thorough discussion concerning your situation and your choice of the estate planning tools you wish to use. The possibility of incurring gift and estate taxes may also need to be discussed.

You have worked hard, throughout your life, to provide for your family. Our families are the reason we get up every day and every decision we make directly effects them and their well been. Although none of want to think about an untimely death, it would be irresponsible to not plan for it. To not make arrangements to take care of our spouses and children would be inconsiderate. The grief will be enough to deal with, without the added stress of legalities. Do you want all your hard work over the years to be in vain and all your assets go to the state simply because you weren’t prepared? I should think not. Contact Thomas D. Reino at (817) 303-2133 when you need thoughtful solutions, and planning for events that could take place, eventually will come to pass or if you have questions about Texas estate planning law.