Estate Planning

Estate Planning. The process of arranging for the distribution of a person’s estate.

An Estate is the net worth of a person. It is the sum of a person's assets, legal rights, interests and entitlements to property of any kind - less all liabilities at that time.

Estate Planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

The following are some common terms used in Estate Planning.

  • Will or Testament.: A legal document by which a person, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death. A will is an important tool to help your loved ones provide a funeral that meets your wishes, dictates proper obituary information and provides financial information needed to close your estate promptly.

  • Living Will or Health Care Directive. Instructions given specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity, and appoints a person to make such decisions on their behalf.

  • Power of Attorney. A written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter.

  • Probate. The legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will.

Real Estate

Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters and concerns such things as commercial and residential property ownership, development, and transactions.

The following are some common terms used in Real Estate Law.

  • Leases and Rental Agreements. A contract written for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset.

  • Purchase Agreements. a written instrument which evidences the transfer of title to personal property from the vendor (seller) to the vendee (buyer).

  • Eviction. The removal of a tenant from rental property by the landlord. Depending on the laws of the jurisdiction, eviction may also be known as unlawful detainer.

Small Business

Small Business. Privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

The following are some common terms used in Small Business Law.

  • Incorporation. The forming of a new corporation.

  • Corporation. A separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members.

  • Partnership. an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.

  • Sole Proprietorship. Owned and run by one individual and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business.

  • Limited Liability Corporations. A flexible form of business enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures organizations.


Bankruptcy. The two common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 filing is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts are subject to a “means test,” to determine eligibility.

Chapter 13 filing is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. Your debts must not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. You must file a plan to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them using your future earnings.

The filing of either of these types of bankruptcy immediately stops most kinds of collection activity.

The following are some common terms used in Collections/Bankruptcy.

  • Reaffirmation Agreements. A debtor may wish to pay a debt, even though that debt would be discharged in bankruptcy. For example, a debtor may wish to keep a vehicle. As a promise to pay that debt, a debtor must enter into a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor. Reaffirmations are voluntary and not required by law.

  • Debt Negotiation or Settlement. An approach to debt reduction in which the debtor and creditor agree on a reduced balance that will be regarded as payment in full.

  • Garnishment. A means of collecting a monetary judgment against a defendant by ordering a third party to pay money, otherwise owed to the defendant, directly to the plaintiff.

  • Levy. An action, where property of a judgment debtor is taken for public sale to satisfy a monetary judgment.

Back to top