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Wills, Probate and Estate Law

An “estate plan” is a package of documents, including a will, which states how you want your assets to be distributed in case of death or severe illness.

The advantage of an estate plan is you can make your own decisions, instead of a probate judge deciding based on government laws of distribution. The other advantage is peace of mind, because you are taking care of your loved ones as a special gift to them.

An estate plan includes a will, at the very least, and should also include powers of attorney for medical decisions and for financial decisions, in case you are unable to state your wishes. Other estate plan documents may include:

a trust or several trusts
guardianship papers for minor children
a “living will” detailing your specific preferences in case of severe mortal illness
a property ownership review, to scan for joint ownership and other property that are not covered by a will
a life insurance component
organ donation and burial instructions

It’s a good idea to schedule a routine review of your estate plan every few years to insure it stays up to date with your preferences, and with estate tax and/or capital gains legislation.

Don’t put this off! It’s the easiest thing in the world, and you’ll know you are providing the very best planning for your loved ones.

Word to the wise: Lots more about estates at www.LawCookies.com

Presidential elections

Check out this awesome video: the American election process:

 

This video was previously posted at www.AmericanElectionsNow.com

Own a Business? Want to Save Money at Tax Time?

Consider incorporating. Both Canada and the US as well as other western countries provide tax benefits for corporations. If you own a business, and you have an income high enough to experience very high tax rates, consider incorporating. More at www.lawcookies.com

7 Tips to a Great Marriage

Tip one:

 Today, treat your partner the same way you treated her or him, when you were first together.

This tip alone will transform your relationship. That’s right – even if you stop reading right now, you can change your relationship by treating your partner the way you did when you were first together.

Can’t bring yourself to do it? Do what you can. Take small steps, and it will get easier. Simple, easy . . . and very powerful!

 Tip Two:

 Start a list that says “things I love about my partner.” Each day, add one more thing to the list. 

 Everything matters. Keep adding to the list. Word to the wise: tomorrow’s tip will make this easier! 

 Tip three:

 This is the “flipside” exercise. 

 For everything about your partner that you don’t like, focus on the “flipside” – the positive side of whatever is bothering you.

 Is she constantly cleaning, obsessively neat around the house? How great to be married to a good housekeeper who always keeps the family home beautiful.

Is he rigid, stubborn, never changes his mind about anything? Your spouse is probably very loyal, solid, and predictable – and that is a wonderful trait.

 Does she spend money like water? She is probably very generous and open-hearted with family, friends, and children.

And on and on.

For everything that you don’t like, there is a always, always a positive “flipside.” Find the flipside, and you will find it much easier to truly appreciate your spouse.

Tip four:

Say please, when you ask, and thank you, when your partner gives to you in any way.

Thank you for working so hard for us at the office.”

Thank you for studying so hard so we can have a better life.”

Thanks for watching the kids today. I know it can be a big job.”

 Please and thank you are so easy, and so important. Start today and keep on keeping on!

 Tip five:

 Are there things you really wish your partner would do more often, or maybe stop doing? Try this:

 Catch them in the act! Not the act of doing what you don’t want, but the act of doing what you want. 

 I notice you handled that very calmly and well. Nice work.” can make a huge difference for next time.

 (By the way: this works great for children, too.)

 Tip six:

 Touch your partner today, in a way that makes her or him feel good. 

 That does not have to mean sex! Consider your partner: would she appreciate a hug? Can you kiss as you come in the door? How about a gentle pat on the shoulder as you walk by? 

 Try holding hands for just a few minutes watching television. Every day, small gestures of love can make a huge difference in your relationship. 

 Tip seven:

 Today: listen. 

 Put down your laundry, put away the computer, set your newspaper aside and give your partner your full attention. 

 What is he saying? What exactly happened? How does she feel about it? 

 Uh-oh. Did you fade out there for a bit? Come back in to focus, and if you missed something, ask. Pretend you’ll be tested afterwards and really focus on the your partner’s comments.

Read more at www.Better-Marriage-Now.com

“Pay Off My Mortgage, or Save?” part I

Pay off home early, or save/invest?

Don’t even ask this question until you’ve covered these bases:

You have a robust emergency savings account and paid off high-interest loans like credit card and “payday” loans.

You’ve carefully considered retirement plan matching funds (if available) and you’ve reviewed your finances for balance: investment diversity and values-orientation through regular, automatic-pay charitable giving.

Cheat Sheet:

  • Emergency savings account: three to six to nine months of expenses, in an easy to access savings vehicle
  • Pay off high-interest debts
  • Contribute to employer-matched retirement funds
  • Review for diversity and regular, automatic charitable giving
  • Pay off other debts

Now —  Pay off the home mortgage, or save? We’ll walk through the steps in Part II for what works best for YOU and your situation.

Tune in to www.CashUniversity.ORG for Part II. See you then!

“Should I incorporate my business?

The answer is: maybe.

Incorporation has some major advantages: primarily, a corporate entity is a “person” in common law, which means it can sue and be sued on its own, and if the corporation is bankrupt or subject of a lawsuit, it, NOT you, is responsible to pay the bills.

What does that mean?

If you are at all concerned about your business being subject of a lawsuit of any kind, or going bankrupt (that is, running out of money to pay creditors), then you should consider incorporation.

Incorporation has some negatives too: extra fees to establish and maintain, plus a fair amount of ongoing paperwork.

And since a corporation is considered a legal “person”, how do you think the tax revenue people view it?

That’s right: a corporation has to pay taxes all on it’s own. Fortunately corporate tax rates tend to be low in most jurisdictions. But you will have to file a tax return for your corporation, and you will have to pay taxes on corporate revenues, and then pay again out of the revenues that are paid to your own account.

Take a look at the free law video series at http://www.LawCookies.com. I’m posting the first of three here to give you a taste . . .

Learn more about Incorporation http://nextstepjobsearchers.blogspot.com/?zx=593783715aeb3258