Archive for the ‘Texas Business Attorney’ Category

Texas Estate Planning FAQ [Part II]

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This is the second in a series of FAQs that address common questions we receive regarding estate planning issues at the Texas estate planning law office of Thomas D. Reino. If you are considering creating an estate plan, updating your estate planning documents or just have general estate planning questions, the best way to obtain detailed information is to schedule a consultation. We have provided answers to basic questions, but you can obtain more detailed information during your initial meeting with a Texas estate planning attorney in our office.

Why can’t I just use legal software to prepare my own estate planning documents?

Although you can use this type of software, there is significant risk associated with using these generic programs. Texas has very specific legal requirements for a last will and testament and other estate planning documents. These programs may not take into account the specific Texas substance and form requirements for particular estate planning documents to be enforceable. If a will is not prepared properly, the will may be determined to be invalid so that state intestacy law dictates how your property passes rather than your will.

Is it true that probate should be avoided at all costs?

While probate can be time consuming, slow and costly in many jurisdictions, Texas has a process called “independent administration” that avoids these pitfalls. While in some states the drawbacks of probate make it essential to have a living trust to avoid probate, this is not necessarily the case in Texas. This expedited process can take as little as three months depending on the circumstances and may be no more expensive than use of a living trust. The tax implications of a will and living trust are also similar so probate is not necessarily a process to avoid at all costs like it might be in some other states.

Do I need a durable power of attorney?

If you become incapacitated because of a coma or mental incapacity, a durable power of attorney for financial decisions permits you to designate someone as your “attorney in fact” to manage your financial affairs. The power of attorney can provide broad powers to dispose of property, manage assets, execute contracts and manage all your financial affairs with broad discretion, or the authorization can be narrowly tailored to a single task like executing a specific contract.

Will my heirs have to pay estate tax?

The federal estate tax is levied against the “taxable estate” transferred to one’s heirs. The value of one’s taxable estate is based on the fair market value of assets in the estate less liabilities and funeral costs. The majority of parties pay no estate tax because $5 million (adjusted for inflation) can be transferred without any estate tax liability.

What does intestacy mean?

If you do not have a will or trust, state law will determine how a decedant’s assets are distributed upon death without regard to a decedent’s wishes or intentions.

At our Arlington estate planning law firm, Thomas D. Reino carefully evaluates your estate to create an estate plan that is appropriate for your specific situation. While this blog post provides answers to some common estate planning questions, the best way to get more detailed information is to contact us at 817.303.2133 or send us an email at tom@tomreinolaw.com so that you can set up an initial consultation.

Texas Estate Planning FAQ [Part I]

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

There are many questions we receive from those throughout Texas about estate planning and probate issues. The most effective way to obtain detailed legal advice on issues related to protecting your estate as well as disposition of your assets is to schedule a free consultation with a Texas estate planning attorney. However, we understand that sometimes it is helpful to have basic general information when considering whether to put together an estate plan or meet with a probate attorney. We have provided answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding a range of estate planning issues below.

Why do I need an estate plan?

An estate plan ensures that your wishes are observed in terms of disposition of your property at death and that your family is provided for because of your financial planning. Your estate plan also should include tools so that you can designate the type of extraordinary medical care you wish to receive and designate someone to make decisions regarding your medical and financial matters if you become incapacitated. Parents even use estate plans to designate a guardian for their children in the event they die.

Do I really need an estate plan if I already have a will?

While a will is a valuable estate planning tool, it does not cover all estate planning issues. Although your will may indicate how you want your assets distributed among your family and/or friends, it does not take effect unless you have passed away. This means that it does not address who will manage your financial affairs or make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. There are a range of documents that must be executed to have a complete estate plan, which typically should include at least the following: durable power of attorney, directive to physician (also called a living will), medical power of attorney, last will and testament and HIPAA authorization. Although there are other estate planning documents that may make sense given your individual situation, these are a good foundation if you are building an estate plan in Texas.

What kinds of medical issues can an estate plan cover?

There are a range of health care issues that may be covered by your estate plan including the following:

HIPAA Authorization: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal statute that restricts who may have access to your medical records and information and prescribes penalties for violating your privacy. If you prepare a HIPAA authorization, it permits you to designate who may have access to this information so that your medical provider and insurance company will share information with the individual that you designate.

Medical Power of Attorney: A medical power of attorney permits you to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incapable of making decisions or unconscious. This document will authorize someone to act in your interest in making health care decisions if you are incapacitated by severe injury like a car accident or suffer incapacity because of age.

Directive to Physicians: If you suffer a terminal condition, a directive to physicians (also known as a living will) permits you to decline extraordinary medical measures or designate those measures that you find acceptable.

At our Arlington estate planning law firm, Thomas D. Reino carefully evaluates your estate to create an estate plan that is appropriate for your specific situation. While this blog post provides answers to some common estate planning questions, the best way to get more detailed information is to contact us at 817.303.2133 or send us an email at tom@tomreinolaw.com so that you can set up an initial consultation.

Understanding Your Will

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Today, we live in a world that is constantly throwing us “curve balls”, which we can never expect. However, we can expect the things that we know about life: birth, growth, and ultimately death. When going through either stage of life you need to make sure that you are properly taken care of, and always understand what needs to be done at the end of the day. When we are born we rely on our parents and family to take care of us, which covers most of our expenses. As we grow, our independence grows as well and leaves us with more responsibility. However, what should you do to make sure that your loved ones are cared after when you are not here?

Many individuals are familiar with the role of a will, and its actual purpose. One, or multiple family members make a will, which distributes that family member’s assets, property, and money to other family members or friends. However, would you be surprised if I told you some older individuals still do not have wills made?

When individuals do not have wills made they are simply leaving it in the hands of a court, or legal entity to decide who gets what. While small families usually do not have an issue with this method many large families are easily left almost with nothing at the end of the day. Without a will, something that you intended for a spouse, or child for sentimental or other reasons can easily be given to someone else, or just pushed under the mat.

Wills are there to make sure that your family members are taken care of after you are no longer with them, whether it is insurance, putting a roof over their heads, or simply making sure that they have a book that inspired you to hopefully inspire them.

When making a will, an individual needs to seek a highly experienced, and dedicated probate attorney in order to make sure that their will is air tight. Remember, you want to make sure that your possessions are handled as you and your family would want them. When you make a will now you are showing your family how much you truly care about them.

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.

Domain Names and Your Business

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Technology has rapidly changed the way that individuals not only do tasks, but also ultimately live their lives. Technology not only has made our lives easier, but also more efficient especially when it comes to our businesses. When you have a business technology is not only an important aspect within your actual work place for potential customers, but also for advertisement purposes in order to gain more cliental. However, one thing that you should consider before even deciding your business name and open is that of your potential name on the Internet.

Imagine that you had a stain on your nice dress shirt and needed to get it dry cleaned. Without hesitation you would go straight to your computer or smart phone device and use a search engine to look up laundromats within your area. Usually you’ll find one that is either within a relatively close distance, or one that you’ve heard great things about. From there you always remember that laundromats and their website URL. However, due to availability on the Internet of domain names many businesses are forced to consider not only other domain names, but also ultimately their business name as well

Let’s say that your business name was Sports Edition and you sold sporting products to consumers. You would automatically assume that when you wanted to take the company to the web you would have the domain www.sportsedition.com.  Yet, you find out someone else has already purchased that URL space. You now not only have the problem of coming up with a URL domain name that consumers would recognize and use easily, but you also potentially have to come with terms with the possibility of changing the business name in order to relate one with the other.

Many individuals today are buying up domains in order to sell them back to companies and make a large profit from it. When you are taking into account either starting a business or taking it to the internet make sure to check into all of your ideas with other business that could be similar because a trademark infringement could be occurring, which you could potentially be sued for.

When this occurs you need a reliable attorney you can count to be with you and your business every step of the way.

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.

Arbitration Clauses Within Your Small Business

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Today, the United States is in an economic recession whether you believe it or not. Of course, some individuals remained untouched or uncaring to the situation only phased by that of inflated prices on the goods they usually purchase or gas, but a recession is much more than that. When a recession occurs you not only have to worry about paying more for less, but also that of job opportunities becoming less and less, bankruptcy, and more and more businesses going out of business with each day passing. Yet, will the recession affect your business especially when it comes to arbitration clauses?

Arbitration clauses are an aspect of business that some are familiar with, but others are not. It basically is there to encourage the repeated customers to keep coming back and spending. Yet, at what expense? Today, many businesses are not only having issues with the arbitrary customers, but it is even impacting their overall business.

Today, many customers that are deemed arbitrary are coming into stores and spending. From there, you can assume the phrase, “Put it on my tab” will come up, which as an arbitrary customer they are use to. However, these customers are not always paying their bills, which can be large sums that impact not only what items the customer purchased, but also how much money the business has to pay their bills at the end of the day.

Yet, a bigger part of having arbitrary customers and clauses is that when this occurs and you want to get your money back it is not as easy as you might think. Many people assume that they after they have tried to get their money back from the customer and that has not ended as expected they can seek the help of the law and file a complaint. However, when you file a lawsuit it costs money to do so, which individuals can easily fight back.

When you have issues with your arbitrary customers make sure that you get the legal advice and help that you need in order to get the money you deserve so that your business is still up, running, and successful by the end of the day. Make sure when contacting your attorney that you reexamine your current arbitrary clauses in order to prevent issues in the future.

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.

Understanding The Negative Aspects of Your Business

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

As we have all come to understand in one-way or another the world we live in today is not perfect. Of course we are presented with more opportunities and equality today than that of our past generations the United States has seen it is still not in a state of harmony. From our economic hard times, to wars occurring on again and off again people are always coming to grasp with the idea that things are not always good, but can get bad sometimes. Just like the world we live in, businesses are not always in a perfect state of harmony, but have problems themselves.

Conflict is an aspect of life that no one aims to participate in on a day-to-day basis. We have to deal with conflicts with sensitivity, understanding, and logic in order to not only solve a problem that exists now, but that could also come down the road later in the business. When a business goes through its multiple processes it comes into contact with numerous other businesses, investors, and even consumers who impact the company in one way or another. So when a problem occurs you are seeking to not only help benefit each party that is associated with the issue, but also setting the stage for future agreements and problems.

When you send a notice that a contract has been breached by an individual or another company as well as when you have to send a cease and desist notification it is something that no one gets pleasure from. Before actually sending either letter you need to take a few factors into mind. One thing is the legal agreements and relation that you have with the other individual and whether or not it will impact their support and others similar to them in the future. Also, you need to make sure that when considering drafting and sending one of these letters that if the individual has any past links, contracts, and positive cooperation with the company or business in the past that they receive more of a priority in order to remain on good terms with.

Overall, your business is like an a child that has to be nursed, taken care of, and eventually set into the world to complete its task and purpose. Make sure that when your business is in the process of participating in their purpose that everything is taken into account from start to finish.

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.

Starting Your Business Up: Start To Finish

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Businesses today contribute greatly to our economy and employment. We rely on these businesses not only for the products that they sell and distribute, but also the opportunities it provides to hundreds upon thousands in order to actually get these products sold. A business is like a machine it needs many multiple parts and pieces in order to function. Just like a machine the smallest part of the machine can impact the overall function completely and have negative or adverse effects that impact the business short and long term. However, how much of an impact does your start up have to do with your overall business plans and future?

When starting a business up individuals usually have to decide as to whether or not it is a LLC or a corporation, which ultimately impacts the taxes of the company. However, some people also choose the avenue of being an incorporate due to the fact that it tends to draw in more and more investors as well as business capitalists in more than one way. When starting your business up it is always a great idea to seek the legal advice and consul of an experienced business lawyer to help make sure that your business is starting well off, and looking to the future with well off perspectives.

When an investor is considering investing their time, their energy, and ultimately their money in you and your business it is important to present all aspects to them including legal agreements that can help impact and benefit them and their needs in the future. An investor is always looking for a product, an individual, or business that they see will be successful in the future and when outlined properly will drive not one, but many investors over with a check in hand.

Although the purpose of the actual business is important it is very important to make sure that legal documents, legal matters, and anything that has to do with not only the business, but private investors and other agreements with business are drafted, read, and signed with ultimate clarity so that no party feels as if they are being left in the dark now and later.

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.

How To Prevent Business Fraud

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

As we grow up we experience many things in our lives that shape and form our personalities and character, which ultimately make the individuals we are today. Our parents teach us that our behavior impacts situations and others around us and impact our options that we have. However, one of the most important things that our parents could have taught us is that of right and wrong and how it is not only viewed, but the reactions to both. Yet, one has to think that with the world we live in today was everyone taught that lesson?

Small business owners are already in a rut thanks to the economic state the United States is currently in. Business owners are making sure that their profits are still coming in and the customers are still present. With so many things dealing with their overall business already one could probably not imagine that of yet another issue. However, business fraud is something that can be equally real and seen within many businesses all across the country.

When protecting you and your business you should make sure to take precautionary steps in order to make sure that your business does not face the possibility of being able to confronted fraudulently. When an employer is adding more employees to their business it is advised that a full background check is done in order to make sure that there have not been any past discrepancies.

A business should also have one set employee to be in charge of a system of checks and balances in order to report the possibility of suspicious behavior or actions that are or have taken place. Random audits are also a great idea to make sure that all money is being counted for exactly and properly.

Even though we would like to trust everyone out there the world simply is not like that. Business fraudulency is a real crime and offense and can impact a business in more than one way in the present and future.

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.

Small Businesses Look Forward To More From Banks

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Today, one aspect of life from individual to individual is that of money. We rely on money for many different things on a day-to-day basis. From food, gas, clothing, necessities, luxuries, and just paying the regular bills we are use to money is what we are expected to take care of all of these with. With a recession in hand individuals are cracking down on expenses and differentiating as to what is a necessity and what is not. However, what is the recession doing for small and large businesses alike not only in Texas, but nation wide?

Currently, the recession has been expanded to a longer period of time than that of what it was originally thought to last. Many variables and ideas have been theorized as to why this is occurring. One largely believed idea is that of banks, and what is truly at hand.

Many banks have had to tighten up on that of lending money and loans, especially to smaller businesses. However, small businesses depend on these for many different things and even when the possibility of expansion is present.

Recently, banks throughout Texas have not only identified the issues, but have also promised to set a new standard with a new year currently upon us. Banks within the Austin area have vowed to increase lending to small businesses within the time period of three years that amounts up to $20 billion. With this new promise on the horizon many businesses have begun to hire on more employees and are beginning to look at more and more possibilities of expansion to help increase business and employment opportunities.

Inevitably, one thing that Americans are starting to understand is that money stimulates money, and without stimulation you cannot have a reaction, especially a positive one in which many citizens and businesses need alike. In the future, one can only hope with so many possibilities existing that not only will the recession decrease, but also the economic prosperity increase.

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.

Selling, Buying, and Everything Between With Businesses

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

There comes a time in most small business owners’ lives when they reach the point of being tired of running their business. If they have no one to hand their business down to such as a brother, daughter, son, niece, or nephew, they may look into selling their small business. As one may suspect, there are many legal precautions that have to be taken when selling one’s business, and if done correctly, the sell can prove very profitable to the business’ former owner.

The first step that has to be taken is finding a buyer. Once a buyer for the business has been found, the legal sell of the business actually then begins to take place. Your lawyers and yourself should then consider the possibility of creating an “earn-out” agreement. With this form of agreement it usually sets the standard of a minimum price that is agreed upon by the buyer.  From their, the company can then receive future payments from the buyer that will inevitably increase many various aspects within the company.

As assumed the seller will be the beneficiary of a “sell-out” agreement or settlement. This agreement usually has a lower starting price that attracts many buyers, which can be later inflated as needed. If selling a business, an individual or company is advised to contact a lawyer, or legal consul so that they can review and advise your business buyout, contracts, and examine carefully a companies sell-out agreement; and increase the positive aspects for selling your business while still allowing the to buy the company that if different could not possibly buy the business due to overall expenses that can be inferred.

Every company sell-out, merger, or partner-sell of a business must be handled carefully from start to finish to ensure all parties associated are getting the finishing products that are expected at the start.  If selling a company, it is always advised that an individual should make sure that their the earn-out agreement covers all aspects of a business and is clearly seen through all legal documents associated with it.  Buyers can be viewed the same and should take the necessary precautions in order to make sure that the final product they thought they were signing on to is truly what they got, and if not what will be done in place of it. With the right procedural precautions, buying or selling a business can be done quickly and efficiently. It is all about taking the time to do it right, and do it thorough.

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.