The Steps of Probate

The Steps of Probate

Below, we will be looking at the basics of the steps of probate. To understand the ins and outs of probate further, get in touch with an attorney at Bell & Shah Law.

Step 1: Determine if There Is a Will

When someone dies, the first step is to see whether a will exists and whether it is valid or not. This will determine whether there is an executor or an administrator. If there is a will, then it may name someone as the executor. If there is not a will, there will be an administrator. The administrator is appointed by the court.

Step 2: Gather Information and Begin Duties

The representative of the estate (executor or administrator) will then take possession of the property and ensure it is safe until it is all distributed. Those who take this role have a lot of responsibilities. The person who is named as the executor might be a family member or friend. However, it could also be an attorney.

The representative will ensure that all debts are paid and will locate the Will if one exists. They will collect assets and death benefits, get certified copies of the death certificate, check out safety deposit boxes, manage digital assets, notify the Franchise Tax Board, and notify the Social Security Administration if the decedent was receiving monthly social security benefits.

Step 3. Finding Beneficiaries and Heirs

In addition to the above duties, the representative will also need to find the heirs and beneficiaries. They may be named in the will. If there is not a will or if there are other issues, the representative will have to look for other ways of finding the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. This could be living trust, joint tenancy agreements, etc.

Step 4: Inventorying Property

The representative also has to identify all of the decedent’s property and items mentioned in the will. They will need to take a full inventory, as well, and make sure that everything is there and in order.

Step 5: Transferring the Property to the Right People

Once they know the beneficiaries and the property, they need to make sure that everyone gets what they are supposed to receive. They also need to determine the best way to transfer it to those people.

Talk with an Attorney

If you are looking to put together a will and you want to name an executor, or if you need to know more about what could happen during probate and how to avoid it, talk with an attorney at Bell & Shah Law today!

Why an Attorney Should Review Your Rental Agreement

Why an Attorney Should Review Your Rental Agreement

Are you a landlord who has properties being rented out or that you want to rent out? If you do, then you need to have a rental agreement. You might have a standard agreement you found online or through a template. Maybe you are using an old agreement that hasn’t been updated in years. Regardless, you will want to have an attorney review it.

Make Sure You Are Following the Laws

There are certain laws you need to make sure you are following when you are a landlord. You can’t discriminate when it comes to renting out your property, for example, but you may not know all of the ins and outs of how this and other laws work. There could also be outdated text in old rental agreements you are using that could put you at risk.

In some cases, the attorney could find that you and your property aren’t fully protected in the agreement. In those cases, you can work with the attorney to redo the contract before it is presented to the new renters. Although having them draft a new rental agreement may seem inconvenient, most can handle this in a relatively small amount of time.

What If You Are the Renter?

Most of the time, renters don’t think they have to worry about standard rental agreements they have to sign before they can rent an apartment or house because they are standard. While this may be true in many cases, you have to realize that you are still signing a legal agreement. There could be language in there that is not only not in your favor, but that could be illegal, as well.

Rental agreements tend to be relatively simple, so hiring an attorney to look at yours should be fast and affordable. Although it might not be needed, it is something you will want to consider, particularly if you think there is anything odd in the agreement.

Find a Quality Attorney

Whether you are a landlord or you are someone who is renting a piece of property, you are going to need to speak with an attorney. You will want to talk with an attorney who knows and understands real estate law. Keep in mind that not all attorneys are capable of providing you with this type of knowledge. Make sure you are working with the best.

Turn to the experienced lawyers here at Bell Shah Law when you have any type of rental property questions. We will put our years of experience to work for you and ensure you and your real estate are properly represented

Using an Attorney to Set Up Your Small Business

Using an Attorney to Set Up Your Small Business

When you are starting up a small business, you have a lot on your plate. You want things to be as smooth and simple as possible, but we all know that things don’t always work out this way. Issues often arise, and you need to make sure you are handling them the right way. If those problems stem from your product or your messaging, you can probably handle them… but they might involve matters best left to an attorney.

There are countless benefits of using an attorney to help set up your small business. Let’s look at some of the best reasons to work with these lawyers below.

Help Choosing the Right Business Structure

This is one of the most important early steps when you are setting up your business. if you don’t structure properly from the start, it could cause problems for you later. For example, you might be exposed to more liability if you aren’t an LLC. You might not fully understand the tax implications of the different structure options. An attorney can help you with this.

Contract Creation and Review

Even small businesses will be dealing with all manner of contracts and agreements. It might be rental agreements, employee contracts, freelancer contracts, etc. Regardless, you will find that having an attorney go over these agreements and contracts before you sign them or give them to people to sign is essential. It can help to keep you from making a costly mistake.

Reduce the Risk of Lawsuits

Working with an attorney will ensure that your business is legal and that you are following the state and federal employment laws. This will reduce the chance of you making mistakes that could land you in hot legal water.

Protection of Intellectual Property

You need to be sure all of your intellectual property is protected. This includes things like original works, logos, inventions, product designs, etc. Your attorney can ensure you have all of the proper paperwork filed for copyright, trademark, patent, etc. It’s best to do this as soon as possible.

Get in Touch with an Attorney

As you can see, there are some great advantages to using an attorney when you are setting up your small business. Keep in mind that you don’t need to hire a full-time attorney for your business at this stage. Instead, you can simply employ the services of the attorneys at Bell & Shah, when you need them. Contact Bell & Shah today to see how we can help your business with.

Using Your Attorney to Assist During Licensing Applications

Using Your Attorney to Assist During Licensing Applications

Many industries exist that require owners and other professionals within those businesses to obtain certain licenses to operate within the statute of the law. Regardless of how minute certain procedures seem, one thing you do not want to be in violation of is any form of regulatory compliance.

Among these industries are physicians, contractors, pharmacists, and restaurants. One industry you may not have placed on this list was the real estate sector. In fact, realtors have one of the most heavily scrutinized and meticulous processes for individuals wishing to become licensed.

Using an Attorney for Licensing Applications

Many would-be entrants into the real estate industry employ the services of their attorneys during the licensing process. This may seem extreme, but consider the following pieces of information regarding the situation:

  • Licensing applications exist in industries where consumers need protection.
  • The critical segments of information and vital processes that applicants learn give them knowledge regarding fair and safe practices for doing business.
  • Boards that oversee these licensing applications want to be sure, without any doubt, that individuals who are approved understand these practices.
  • Because of the importance of compliance laws within certain industries, failure to operate without a license could damage the professional futures of individuals in violation.
  • Additionally, fines may be imposed and could lead to possible jail time in the most extreme situations.

Any other area that requires such a critical process warrants the use of an attorney. Why should the real estate license process be any different?

Attention to Detail

Using an attorney for the real estate licensing process doesn’t just protect you from potential mistakes on your end but any injustices during the review process. All applicants are entitled to a fair and unbiased review, and an attorney can ensure you get exactly that.

Using an attorney for becoming a licensed real estate agent will protect you in the following areas of importance:

  • Was everything filled out correctly according to state requirements?
  • Is all of your information accurate and up to date, satisfying all demands from the licensing board?
  • Do you need assistance understanding any language contained within the application?
  • If your application is rejected, do you need help understanding the grounds for denial?
  • In the event of rejection, do you feel like an appeal is warranted?
  • Do you have any type of dispute regarding the denial process?

An attorney can assist with advice regarding whether you have a case for an appeal or dispute. Additionally, ensuring everything is filled out properly and satisfies all requirements from the board will save you a lot of time and potential headaches in the long run. Looking to find out more about any business licenses you may need? Then reach out to us here at Bell Shah Law today!

Common Business Transactions Where an Attorney Can Help

Common Business Transactions Where an Attorney Can Help

It doesn’t matter if you own a large multinational business or a small, local business in Chicago. At some point, you are going to need to have the services of an attorney to help you to better protect your business interests. After all, the act of being in business carries with it a certain amount of risk. Having an attorney can help to mitigate the risk and improve your business growth.

Attorneys can help with some of the common types of business transactions that take place in your company. Below are some of the main areas where you could benefit from using a good attorney.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Many companies, particularly those that are looking to grow, will want to merge with or acquire other companies along the way. This can be a complex and difficult process. However, it doesn’t have to be when you work with an attorney that can help with all areas of sales and purchases. A good attorney can help to set up business entities, as well. Of course, there are other areas in business when working with an attorney that can help your company.

Employment Contracts

If you have a business, you likely have employees unless you are doing it all on your own. When you have employees, you need to be sure that you are bringing them onboard correctly, and that you have good, legally binding employment contracts. Attorneys can help to set these up for you.

Non-compete Agreements

You might also need non-compete agreements. These are used to ensure that your employee will not use the information they learned when they were employed with you to start a rival business and compete with you when their employment ends.

Leases

If you are a landlord or you lease buildings to other businesses, having an attorney that can handle the leases and contracts is important. Even if you are leasing a building for your company, it’s good to have an attorney look over the lease before you sign. It ensures you understand the lease and that you don’t get into a bad lease that could come back to haunt you later.

These are just some of the types of business activities and transactions when working with the attorneys at Bell & Shah, LLC, that will be beneficial. When you take the time to choose a highly qualified, reputable business attorney, you will find that they can handle these issues, as well as all of the other things you need. Contact us today to get started!

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