Do You Really Want to Buy that Condominium

If you do, or already have, be sure to pay your homeowner’s association dues. If you don’t, the HOA can and often will sell your home. You should get normal notices that you are behind with your dues and the HOA or its agent is required to also give you notice that if you don’t pay up, your home will be sold (I’ve had clients swear to me that they never got this notice). The next notice you get will be from whoever bought your home, giving you three days to vacate the premises. You may still be liable on your mortgage, but you’ll be on the street and someone else will own your home.

If you have a lot of money to hire a lawyer, you MIGHT be able to set the sale aside. But don’t count on it.

What’s More Important, Your Will or Your Living Will?

A will, often referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is a pretty important document, as explained elsewhere on this site.   But it only passes assets to your heirs AFTER your creditors have been paid and often, the expenses of a last illness are so massive that all of the estate goes for medical expenses.

This is why a living will, or, more property, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, is often the more important document.   Who cares who takes under a will if there is nothing left to take after expenses of last illness are paid?  And the sad part about it is that those expenses often are incurred to preserve a life, the quality of which is such that the patient would far prefer to be dead.  He didn’t work hard all his life to leave his estate to Renown, St. Mary’s or some stranger doctor.

And this isn’t intended to criticize doctors or hospitals, for their job is to save lives and they do a darn good job of it.  BUT, If the quality of your life is so bad, if you are so miserable, wouldn’t you at least consider asking the doctor to pull the plug?  Especially if the chances of recovering to the point of enjoying life again were very remote.  If you could talk to your doctor, intelligently . . . if the doctor knew you were in your right mind, he or she would, no doubt, honor your reasonable DNR wishes.   But what if you are in a coma?  What if Alzheimers has taken control of your mind?  In those circumstances, the doctor needs a bit of help and, though you might not be able to help her then, you can help her NOW, while you are not in a coma and before Alzheimers takes over.   You do this by executing a living will.  A living will is sort of a schizophrenic document…it does two things: First it tells your doctor what your wishes are if you are in a terrible way with no prospect of recovery.  Secondly, it authorize a trusted person to tell the doctor what you want done in regards to DNR matters.

If, on the other hand, there is some possibility that some miracle cure might show up and you are the type of person who wants your life prolonged for as long as possible, your living will can do that too.

Since you might be the only one who knows where your living will is, and since that won’t help much if you are not able to speak when the living will is needed, Nevada’s secretary of state has kindly agreed to store your living will for you.  Just get on to her web site and follow the directions to the “Living Will Drop-Box.”

So, is your will more important than your living will?  I don’t know.  You tell me.  Probably depends on the circumstances.  But as we see it, you need them both.

5 Reasons You Need a Will

  1. If you die unmarried and without children, a will is needed to avoid disputes among your heirs and, occasionally, to prevent your assets from escheating to the State.
  2. If you die with children or a spouse, a will is needed to ensure that your heirs don’t fight over who is going to be your personal administrator.  Also, a will enables you to disinherit heirs who have proved themselves undeserving of your largess.
  3. If you want to tell anybody anything concerning the disposition of your assets after you die, you must have a will.  A living trust does not do this as it deals with assets owned by the trust and not with your assets.
  4. A will can save on probate costs if it authorizes your Personal Administrator to administer your estate under Nevada’s Independent Administration of Estates Act (NRS 143.300 et. seq.).
  5. Unlike most living trusts, a will preserves your right to have a guardianship court determine, after notice and a hearing, when you have become unable to handle your person or affairs.

Ten Business Bankruptcy Tips

  1. No matter how big you are, unless you have inherited great wealth, you are probably not too big to fail.
  2. Develop a financial disaster plan.  If you have a year or two advance warning, consider putting your business assets into a separate business entity such as a corporation or an LLC.
  3. Don’t give an unlimited personal guarantee of corporate debt.  If the bank insists,  seek another bank. See if the bank will accept security in lieu of a personal guarantee. Sometimes the bank will settle for a “bad boy” guarantee, wherein you simply promise not to interfere with the bank’s attempts to collect its loan.
  4. Keep good books and records.  When times get tough, don’t lay off the bookkeeper.
  5. If you have to “feed” your company on Thursday, to make payroll, take back a secured interest in company assets later on that same Thursday  Perfect that security interest immediately.
  6. Don’t wait until you are too broke to fund a chapter 11 or chapter 12 proceeding before seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.  He or she will need a good retainer as you won’t be able to pay attorney fees after you file without a court order.
  7. Remember, if your business is earning enough to cover rent/mortgage/utilities/payroll and payroll taxes, no matter how much debt you have, you may be able to reorganize in Chapter 11 or 12.
  8. Don’t wait until the bank is ready to foreclose before seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.
  9. If your attorney recommends a bankruptcy lawyer, go back to that attorney after your bankruptcy case is concluded for your other legal needs.
  10. Report ALL your assets and ALL your liabilities on your bankruptcy schedules, no matter how disputed, no matter how contingent.