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Irvine Business Litigation Blog

Setting up an estate plan after a divorce

For some people, bringing an unhealthy marriage to an end represents a fresh start, or a second chance at happiness. There are different ways in which people change their lives in the wake of a divorce, whether they are able to enjoy activities that were impossible or challenging to participate in during their marriage or they find a sense of freedom and have the energy to pursue new interests.

Ending a marriage can have a financial impact in many different ways, whether someone begins to receive spousal support or child support payments or they are required to make such payments. Property division and other financial matters may affect you and for some people, this is a perfect time to set up an estate plan. Whether you plan on remarrying or staying single for the rest of your life, or if you have kids or are childless, there are many different factors you may need to go over.

Including stepchildren in your estate plan

When it comes to estate planning, it is important to keep in mind that each family is unique and the details surrounding a will or trust vary from one to the next. For example, some people may not have any children, while others have several children or stepchildren. If you have stepchildren and wish to include them in your estate plan, it is important to keep related legal factors in mind as you create or revise your trust or will. For example, whether you have adopted your stepchildren or not could affect your estate plan.

Stepparents who wish to provide for their stepchildren and ensure that they are taken care of (even in the event of a parent’s death) may find estate plans very helpful. Setting up an estate plan that includes your stepchildren could give you a sense of peace and may also help your stepchildren feel more accepted and secure in the family. Estate planning can strengthen bonds between family members and lead to a greater sense of financial and emotional support.

3 Ways To Protect Your Interests In A Business Transaction

Making deals and ensuring income is often the top priority for many business owners. Because of this this, business transactions and contracts have become the bedrock of the corporate world. But when these deals take a turn for the worst, they can become expensive problems for everyone involved.

Creating an enforceable contract and planning for potential legal disputes is the first step in preventing business transaction disputes. Learn three ways that you can protect your interests in a business transaction and how to stop the escalation of a contractual dispute.

Wage violations from an employer's perspective

As an employer, you may run into all sorts of workplace-related challenges. For example, you might have to figure out how to handle allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination, as we have discussed on this blog. In some cases, these allegations may not even be true or certain details may have been greatly exaggerated. However, the consequences can be damaging nonetheless. Moreover, there are other employment-related violations that may wreak havoc on your company, such as allegations of wage violations. It is essential to understand the different types of wage violations that occur, take steps to prevent such incidents in the workplace, and address accusations properly in the event they arise.

From denied overtime to paying a worker less than minimum wage, there are many wage violations that employees accuse their employers of. The consequences of these allegations can be highly damaging for a business on a number of levels. Not only can they shatter worker confidence in a company, but they can generate bad press and sour key partnerships. Moreover, the financial consequences can be damaging as well. Unfortunately, some employees falsely accuse an employer of wage violations, in which case it is essential for the employer to carefully go over the entire situation and do everything they can to prove their innocence.

Business lawsuits over an employee’s injury

In the workplace, things can go wrong in many different ways. For example, litigation may arise as a result of allegations that an employer failed to pay an employee properly, or because a worker claims they were discriminated against or sexually harassed. However, work spaces across various fields can present certain dangers that may result in a work-related injury. These injuries can be challenging for the entire company, in certain circumstances. Moreover, they may result in ligation against an employer.

If your business is being taken to court because of an employee’s injury, it is important to review all of the details surrounding the situation. Workers become injured in all sorts of ways, from traffic collisions that took place while they were on the job to slip-and-fall accidents. Sometimes, injured workers believe that an employer was responsible for the injury because of their negligence or disregard for worker safety.

Dealing with an employment contract dispute

Employers may run into a number of problems with their staff members, from the application process and the moment they are hired to daily responsibilities and the termination of a worker's position. However, when a dispute arises over an employment contract, this can be a particularly challenging time for a business owner. These disagreements can lead to a heated dispute and may involve any number of issues, from allegations that an employee was wrongfully terminated to those involving compensation and obligations. If such a dispute has arisen within your company, it is critical to handle the entire situation with care.

In addition to employee accusations, an employer may also decide to take legal action over an employee's failure to abide by an employment contract. Sometimes, these issues can be resolved without going to court, but litigation may be necessary in some cases. If legal action has arisen, you should carefully prepare your side and have a solid understanding of relevant laws and what to expect in court, whether you filed suit against an employee or vice versa. By preparing and reviewing these matters beforehand, you may find peace of mind in addition to increasing the likelihood of an end result that is more optimal.

Preventing sex-based discrimination

Employees may take legal action or file a complaint against an employer for a number of reasons, whether they believe that they were denied benefits they were entitled to or were not compensated properly. However, allegations of discrimination can be especially challenging for victims of mistreatment in the workplace and the companies they work for. From discrimination due to race or religious beliefs, there are many reasons why an employee may be mistreated. However, sex-based discrimination takes different forms and is very concerning.

As a business owner, it is important for you to recognize some of the different ways that sex-based discrimination manifests and do what you can to prevent future occurrences of this offense within your company. For example, an employee may be denied a position due to their gender, even though they were the most qualified candidate. However, sex-based discrimination may also include mistreatment based upon an employee's gender identity, sexual orientation, or transgender status.

Mandatory arbitration agreements may soon be illegal.

In today’s day and age, it is commonplace for employers to include mandatory arbitration clauses within their employment contracts.

After all, arbitration can expedite the resolution process, protect your business’ reputation and spare the costs associated with litigation.

Talking to loved ones about your estate plan

Our law firm recognizes that estate plans can be challenging for a multitude of reasons. In fact, simply deciding which type of estate plan is best, such as a will or a trust, can be difficult. However, there are far more emotional and stressful issues you may be facing. For example, you could be unsure of how to divide your estate among your loved ones after you pass away. Or, you could be worried that your decisions will create a rift in the family or leave some beneficiaries very upset. With that said, it is important to make sure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

Depending on your circumstances, it could be smart to discuss your estate plan with loved ones. If beneficiaries have any questions about the estate or reasons for your decisions, it may be helpful to explain why you have decided that certain arrangements are best. It might be a good idea to have this discussion with one person at a time, or with the entire family, depending on the details surrounding your family. Moreover, you do not have to explain yourself if you do not feel like doing so would be in anyone's best interests.

Protect your heirs with a spendthrift trust

People in California who have a large estate need to think about what may happen to their wealth upon death. Even though you may have named beneficiaries, you need to ask whether they are responsible individuals. Too many times, those who receive a lot of money from a trust do not know how to spend it wisely, and it can disappear very quickly. If this may be the case in your situation, consider setting up a spendthrift trust to protect your heirs and your wealth.

According to Forbes, a spendthrift provision provides the trustee with directions as to when and how to distribute the funds. In most cases, the named beneficiaries are given a certain amount of money to live on but they are not able to access the entire sum of the trust. These distributions may continue throughout the heir's lifetime, or the remainder of the funds may be released once the heir reaches a certain age. This helps protect the beneficiaries from spending too much too fast or using it for bad habits such as alcohol or drugs.

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