Prince is not alone

PrinceGrowing up with older sisters, Prince was a huge part of my childhood.  And my love for his music never stopped.  Purple Rain (my favorite Prince album) was in heavy rotation on my playlist for the past few weeks, so I was crushed to hear the news of his death last Thursday.  Many people were shocked and saddened to hear about Prince’s untimely death, but even more shocked to learn that Prince did not have a will. But I wasn’t. Over half of Americans don’t have a will in place.  That half includes celebrities, business persons, dignitaries, your neighbor Joe, and probably many of you reading this post.

Prince is not alone; Bob Marley, Sonny Bono, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Steve McNair are just a few of a long list of celebrities that did not have a will. So what are the consequences of not having a will at death?  Most often chaos trying to settle the estate, even when the estate is small. Below are 3 significant consequences of dying without a will.

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What is Probate?

So you finally made a will, but what happens to the will after you die?  It must be submitted for probate!  Below is an infographic describing the probate process.

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For more information about the probate process, contact Charlotte Key.

Estate Planning for the New Year

The New Year often brings life changes, such as weddings, graduations, births and sometimes losses.  When life changes, it is important to think about how those changes will affect our relationships and to plan accordingly.  It is important to think about how your estate plan is affected as our lives change and evolve.  Below are estate planning tips for life changes that you may experience in 2016.

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Starting a Business Series Part IV: Policies and Procedures

company agreement partnership agreement dallas texas  Over the past few weeks, I have discussed the process necessary to start a new business, including creating a business plan, choosing your entity structure and creating a team of competent professionals to assist with various business matters.  For my last post of the series, I want to address implementing policies and procedures for your new business.  Many small business owners are so excited about the new business that he or she does not stop to implement policies and procedures for how the business will operate.  There are certain policies that should be in place in any business.  Below I discuss the most important policies that every new business should immediately put in place.

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Starting a Business Series Part III: Creating an All Star Team

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Whether you are sole proprietor, LLC or corporation, every business must build a team of advisers to help the owners run the business efficiently.  One mistake that many business owners make is thinking he or she can do everything without any help.  As a new business owner, I quickly realized that I knew a lot about my areas of practice, but little about running the business side of a law practice.  I soon put in place a team of advisers to handle certain aspects of my practice.  Part III of this series discusses what advisers every business should have in their all-star team, the role these advisers play and how to find them.  Continue reading

Starting a Business Series Part II: Entity Structure

start a businessI often talk to people that have recently formed a business on their own and our conversation always end with the person saying, I should have talked to you first!  Normally during the conversation I end up telling the person either i) the person formed the wrong type of entity; ii) the person didn’t actually form an entity, they just filed an assumed name certificate; or iii) the person formed an entity, but there are more steps to complete!  Choosing the correct entity structure for your new business is one of the most important steps in the process and should not be taken lightly.  Consider the following tips when deciding on the right entity structure for your new business.

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Starting a Business Series Part I: The Business Plan

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Have you been thinking about starting your own business?  Have you been operating your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership and want more liability protection?  Well the end of the year is a great time to set up a new business.  For the next four weeks, I will do a four part series on starting a new business to get you all set before December 31st.

To kick off the series, I will discuss one of the most important initial steps in starting a business: creating a business plan!

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)
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