If your parents died without a Will, it is challenging to know how to divide their property and assets legally. When there is a death without a Will, it is known as dying “intestate.” If this is your situation, you must determine how your state laws dictate asset distribution. Below, we will explore the steps to take and the legal processes involved when handling your parent’s property if they pass away without a Will.
Tag: Family Law
When your child turns 18, they officially become adults in the eyes of the law. As adults, it is time to prepare the 9 Legal Documents Adults need. Yes, we realize this is not what an 18-year-old wants to think about at this time in life. However, while this transition is often marked by newfound independence and responsibilities, it requires various essential legal documents. These documents are necessary to protect your new adult’s rights and well-being. Here is a list, along with some essential information, regarding the 9 Legal Documents you should consider for your child’s coming of age:
When it comes to parental rights, the legal landscape can differ significantly depending on whether you are a married or unmarried couple. These differences can have far-reaching implications, impacting various aspects of child custody, visitation, and decision-making authority. Below are a few of the differences in parental rights between these types of couples Therefore, shedding light on the importance of legal recognition and the steps unmarried parents can take to protect their rights.
People often ask, “Do I need a Will?” If you do not have one, you will not be in control of what happens to your assets upon your passing, and you could leave your family in a challenging mess. Delaying these thoughts is human. You may feel uncomfortable about having a Will drafted because thinking about your death may feel scary. Also, you may feel overwhelmed about making so many decisions at once. And, as attorneys, we understand. This is why we are here to help make drafting a Will more manageable.
Having a Will drawn up allows you to control who will receive your assets upon your passing. If you do not have a Will when you die, the law will determine who receives your property. The Will also allows you to name who will be in charge of administering your Estate upon your passing. This will include paying your debts, collecting any assets owed to you, and distributing any of your property. If you do not have a Will, the Court will decide who will administer your Estate without your input. Also, in a Will, you can name who you want to be the Guardian of your minor children. And all of these are important things to have outlined.
As of January 1, 2019, alimony tax law has changed.
If you are paying or receiving alimony after January 1, 2019, you may question, “Is my alimony tax deductible? The short answer is that you will no longer be allowed to claim the alimony as income. Or list the alimony as a deduction on your taxes. Before January 1, 2019, the spouse receiving alimony could list it as taxable income. And the spouse paying alimony could list it as a deduction, but this is no longer true. This applies to all alimony orders entered after January 1, 2019. This new change in the tax law will not apply to any Orders for alimony entered before January 1, 2019.
Are you a step-parent who helps your spouse, the biological parent, raise your step-child? And, do you wish to formalize your relationship with this child through step-child adoption? Taking this step means the child will legally be your child. Here are a few things to consider before doing so.
For a step-parent to adopt a child, the other biological parent’s parental rights will need to terminate. In some cases, the biological parent may consent and allow the adoption. However, if consent is denied, termination of parental rights must be legally proven. Therefore, understanding Tennessee Law to identify the appropriate legal grounds is essential to step-child adoption. Once the termination takes place, the step-parent adoption can proceed.
Are you getting married and want to protect your assets? Then, you should be considering a pre-nuptial agreement. This is a negotiated document signed by a couple before their marriage. The document will typically lay out ownership of property, money, and assets. Additionally, the document will be binding in Court provided the document is entered into freely, knowledgeably, and in good faith. All assets of both parties must be fully disclosed, or the document will not be considered enforceable. And, each person must have an attorney to ensure each one has full knowledge of what is going on. As well as what is being signed. This helps ensure the agreement is enforceable.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives certain powers to someone you appoint to act on your behalf. The Power of Attorney will specifically lay out the powers that are given to the person whom you appoint. There are two types of power of attorneys that you can sign. A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you. A Durable Power of Attorney will appoint someone to handle everything else for you, including making deposits, paying bills, filling out insurance paperwork, etc. Signing a Power of Attorney ensures that someone you trust will manage your financial affairs and make healthcare decisions in the event that you are not able to do so for yourself. A Power of Attorney is especially important if you have health problems that you foresee affecting your ability to handle matters for yourself in the future.
Simply because only one spouse’s name appears on the Deed to property, does not mean that spouse is the sole owner of the property. Each spouse has an ownership right in the property if it were acquired during the marriage, regardless of how the property is titled. This means that a spouse is still entitled to their equitable share of the property in a divorce proceeding. A spouse can also have a marital interest in any property that is acquired before the marriage. Even if the property was acquired before the marriage and a spouse’s name is not on the property, that spouse may still have an interest in the appreciation of that property since the marriage. If a spouse has contributed to the property in any way, they can possibly claim an interest in the property.
Signed into law on December 22, 2017 the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” makes changes to the existing tax code. One of the important implications for our clients is the changes to alimony.
Under the previous law, alimony was deductible by the spouse paying alimony (the obligor). Alimony received was considered taxable income on the tax return of the spouse receiving the spousal support (the obligee). Accordingly, such alimony was taxed as the oblige spouse’s income.
The 2017 Tax act now changes this law going forward. For divorces after December 31, 2018, alimony paid cannot be deducted by the obligor spouse. At the same time, the obligee spouse does not have to pay taxes on alimony received.
This is a marked change in the existing tax laws regarding alimony, which has been the norm for seventy-five years. It is important to note that the new law only affects divorces entered after December 31, 2018.
If you have any questions about divorce or alimony, contact Angel Kane at (615) 444-8081.