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Middlesex County Estate Planning and Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be a smart choice for your business

New Jersey business owners understand how difficult it can be to run a successful company. If you are going through a tough phase in the life of your business, you may find yourself facing a significant amount of debt and limited resources with which to deal with it. If this is the situation you are in, you may consider the benefits of filing for bankruptcy. 

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be a practical way to deal with your debt and allow your business to continue operations. There are many benefits to Chapter 11 for businesses in financial trouble, including allowing you to effectively deal with outstanding financial obligations in an organized manner. As a business owner, you would be prudent to always be aware of your legal options.

Livestock owners have a unique estate planning concern

Many estate plans are drilled down to naming who will get what assets. For people who own livestock, there is a need to ensure that those animals are cared for after the owner passes away. This isn't always easy, but it might be a better option than the beloved livestock going to the slaughterhouse or being sold to the highest bidder.

One thing to remember is that not everyone is going to be able to meet the needs of livestock. Horses, cows and other farm animals need special care. If the animals have been used for breeding or are valuable, they might have very specific needs.

Are you a long struggler when it comes to debt?

One of your tactics for dealing with difficult situations in life may relate to just sticking it out. After all, no bad time lasts forever, right? While this type of approach may work in some cases, it may benefit you more to take proactive measures to address certain predicaments, especially when it comes to your finances.

When many people first accumulate debt balances, they often believe that they can keep their credit use under control and pay off the balances as needed. Of course, a number of circumstances could upend this type of plan, and a substantial amount of debt could accrue in a relatively short period of time. Still, you may think that trying to handle the financial issues on your own over time would be better than filing for bankruptcy.

Estate administration duties can be difficult for loved ones

The estate administration duties that must be done after a person passes away can sometimes be complex. Trying to determine what debts must be paid and in what order, handling tax returns and finding assets and heirs can all be hard to do when the emotions from the loss are still so raw.

When you are trying to create your estate plan, make sure that you take those factors into account. Your estate administrator needs to be someone who will be able to handle those tasks, even when he or she is dealing with your death. We know that this can be something difficult to think about, but making sure that the person you choose is ready to take care of matters might help.

Appointing someone to handle financial decisions for you

When most people think about their estate plan, they automatically turn to the will and trusts. While it is true that these are major components in the estate plan, there is a lot more to think about. One consideration is how your finances will be handled if you are unable to make these decisions on your own because you are incapacitated.

You need to set up a durable financial power of attorney so that you know your affairs will be handled if you can't do it yourself. The person you appoint for this job should be one that you know will act in your best interests and take care of matters in a way that you would approve of.

Estate plans can come under the scrutiny of some individuals

There are some common misconceptions about what happens when a person has a will and then passes away. One thing that happens in the movies is that there is likely a very dramatic reading of the will that starts a family brawl. While these events might happen in such a dramatic fashion, there are often some other points that occur.

When a family member passes away, the surviving family members might already know the contents of the will. There likely won't be any issue unless there are some changes from what they were last told. If there are issues, there are a few things that might occur.

Are you afraid bankruptcy will ruin your credit?

When debt becomes too much to handle, it can feel like that is the only thing on your mind. You may constantly wonder when creditors will call, if you could ever pay off your debt or if you might lose your home or other property due to your outstanding liabilities. It might even cross your mind to file for bankruptcy.

At first, you may feel as if there are more negative aspects to bankruptcy than benefits. However, you could find it helpful to ask yourself if you have the right information regarding the downsides to this debt relief method. For instance, many people want to avoid bankruptcy because it can lower credit scores, but did you know there are many ways to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy?

School gets $1 million from former teacher's estate

A former teacher has left a wonderful gift to the Dumont Public Schools in New Jersey. The woman spent 45 years teaching children who had learning disabilities. She retired in 1990. However, she frequently visited the classrooms where she once taught.

She passed away in 2011. Recently the school received a check for $1 million from her estate. It seems the teacher did not have any immediate family or children. The popular teacher left the generous gift to help special education students with scholarships to further their education.

Reorganization bankruptcy: is Chapter 13 right for you?

If you are overwhelmed by debt and unsure of how you will ever emerge from your financial situation without support, you may find it beneficial to consider the benefits of filing for consumer bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not the ideal choice in every situation, but it could be an appropriate way for you to pursue a better financial future. 

For some New Jersey readers, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem like the most ideal course of action. However, due to eligibility reasons and other factors, Chapter 13 could be the right way forward for you. It can be helpful to understand what you can expect from this process and how you can benefit from this specific chapter of consumer bankruptcy.

Experts claim stepchildren often get unequal bequests

Unequal inheritances are one of the main reasons for estate disputes between siblings. Inevitably, a lot of the children who got less -- even if their parents thought they had a good reason -- feel like they were treated unfairly.

This does not happen as often with traditional families, where all of the children belong to the same two parents. Research shows that parents will more often leave all of these children the same amount in assets.

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