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Fargo Legal Issues Blog

Minimizing the negative impact of certain family law choices

When a North Dakota couple makes the decision to end their marriage, it is likely that both parties will have to endure significant financial changes. Even in the most amicable of situations, a divorce will be costly, both immediately and often well into the future. It is possible for a person facing the prospect of divorce to take certain steps that can help minimize the potential negative impact of certain family law choices. 

Long-term financial security is a priority when going through a divorce. This means that it makes sense to think about what will work best in the future, not just what seems best in the moment. It can help to go ahead and make a post-divorce budget and start abiding by it now. This can help ease the difficulty of an impending financial transition. 

Changing a company's entity and important business law decisions

When a North Dakota business owner starts a company, he or she makes decisions based on an uncertain future. It's impossible to know what a business will look like years down the road, and some of the business law choices made during the formation process may no longer make sense or work for the company. Sometimes, it may be necessary to change a company's entity.

During the business formation process, an owner will choose the structure for the business. This is a choice that will determine the type of business a company will be, such as a limited liability company, sole proprietorship and more. This is a choice that impacts the financial responsibility the business owner will have for company debts, and it also affects taxes. 

The many different duties of an estate plan

Many people in North Dakota wonder what the future holds for them and their families. While there may be concerns about what will happen to their assets and family members upon their death, there are, fortunately, steps that can be taken to provide peace of mind, including the creation of an estate plan. While most people think of such an option as being only for the wealthy, there are many pieces to an effective estate plan that can help in a variety of different situations. 

Perhaps most importantly to parents, an estate plan can name who will provide care for minor children. Additionally, parents can name someone to be a guardian of the estate and manage assets for the children until they can make such decisions on their own. A carefully created estate plan can also potentially reduce the chances of conflict between family members when wishes are clearly expressed. Some tools, such as a living trust, can maintain privacy regarding the state and shorten the probate process.

Real estate mistakes that could cost buyers in the future

When a person is searching for a home in North Dakota, it's easy to allow excitement to drive the decision-making process. While buying a home is an exciting time, it's beneficial to think carefully about the implications of all choices before moving forward. Many people make real estate mistakes that come back to cost them significant time and money in the future. 

Some of the most common mistakes that people make are making low-ball offers or assuming that all prices are negotiable. This is not always the case, and it can be smart to do some homework to better understand home values and prices in the desired area. Buyers also may be tempted to get caught up in the details and bonus features in a home without taking the time to carefully inspect the quality of the home's construction. 

Key issues for family farmers planning their estate

Estate planning is often legally and financially complex, but if you’re the owner of a family farm, every financial, legal, emotional and cultural issue possible seems to crowd into the decisions.

You don’t have to solve it all at once. Your task may be clarified by focusing on your values and plans and those of the generations to which you’re leaving the family business.

Family law choices that will help kids post-divorce

Ending a marriage is a process that involves difficult emotions. Sometimes, North Dakota parents may want to act on their own emotions instead of what would truly be best for the kids. Instead, it is smart to set temporary feelings aside and think about what would truly be best for the kids in the long term. With this as the focus, it is easier to make family law decisions that truly benefit the kids for years to come. 

There is significant evidence that supports the fact that children benefit when allowed to have strong relationships with both their father and their mother, even after divorce. Kids need financial support from their dads, but research shows that quality time with dads is critical for their well-being. Parents can allow their kids to do this by crafting a reasonable custody order that splits parenting time. They may also consider living close together for the benefit of the kids. 

Questioning one's abilities to handle probate

Most North Dakota residents understand that settling a deceased loved one's final affairs is a monumental task. As a result, it is wise to consider how accepting the role of executor and taking on probate proceedings could affect one's life before agreeing to it. When considering whether one may suit this position, assessing certain details is wise.

A person's temperament could play an important part in determining whether he or she could make a good executor. If a person is quick to anger, does not handle stress well or is easily intimidated by having to handle important tasks, being an executor may not fit that individual. However, a person with a relatively calm temperament who feels comfortable working with others and is not easily quelled when beneficiaries question his or her actions may be ideal for the position.

A buyer should be ready before making a real estate purchase

Buying a home is an exciting step, especially when it is a buyer's first North Dakota home. In the excitement of the prospect of owing a home, it is smart for a buyer to slow down and ensure that he or she is not getting more than bargained for. Caution and preparation are two key steps to avoiding costly errors in a real estate purchase. 

One of the most important steps in the home buying process is for a buyer to figure out exactly how much home or she can afford. It is a mistake to buy too much house, which is a commitment to mortgage payments that can become overwhelming. This can lead to significant financial struggles. Another common real estate mistake is to fail to budget for things like closing costs and other fees a buyer may have to pay before closing.

The LLC business structure is popular due to its many benefits

One of the first steps of starting your own business is selecting the structure for that business. It is important that you choose the right business structure for your situation because your business structure can affect taxes, your control over your business, the amount of paperwork your business must complete and the amount of personal liability you could be exposed to.

A limited liability company (LLC) structure is a popular option for many entrepreneurs. This is easy to understand because an LLC utilizes benefits of both the corporation and partnership structures.

Common misunderstandings about estate planning and probate

It is not always easy to think about the future, and a person may find it overwhelming to think about what he or she may need to have in place to be fully protected. Estate planning and probate are commonly misunderstood, and as a result, people often do not have what they need for the future. Common misunderstandings can actually be quite costly, leading to issues and complications long-term.

One of the most common erroneous assumptions a person has about estate planning is that this is only necessary for the rich or famous. In reality, North Dakota adults of all income levels can benefit from making plans for the future. Additionally, people often assume that estate planning is only to outline what they want to happen to their property, but that's not all it can accomplish. It is also possible to plan for health care needs, potential disability and much more.

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