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Does a landlord need an estate plan? The short answer is that having an estate plan is important for everybody, and especially important for a landlord. In addition to personal property, a landlord will have real property and business interests. In other words, the landlord both owns real property and has an interest in business – the business of collecting rents and managing rental properties. For these reasons, it is appropriate for a landlord to have an estate plan and a business succession plan as well.

For most people, including landlords, an estate plan involves three documents:

(1.) a Will, which controls the disposition of your property after your death.

(2.) A Health Care Directive, which names someone – usually a close relative, such as a spouse, or a friend – as your health care agent, a person who is authorized to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make the decisions your self. For example, if you are in a coma and otherwise unconscious, the doctors can talk to your health care agent to make medical decisions related to your care.

(3.) A Power of Attorney, which lets the person who you appoint as power of attorney to make financial decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. For example, if you are in a coma and otherwise unconscious, your power of attorney can make financial decisions (related to bank accounts, real estate, investments, etc.) for you.

In addition to a will, a health care directive, and a power of attorney, a landlord (or any small business owner, really) should have a business succession plan as well. Although a business succession plan is beyond the scope of this blog post (watch for a more detailed post on succession planning in a few weeks), the reasons for having an estate or business succession plan are the same.

First, having an estate or business succession plan puts you in control. For an estate plan, you get to control what happens to your property after you pass away. For a business succession plan, you get to control the process by which you will gradually take a backseat in the business and turn the day-to-day operations of the business over to others.

Second, I bet that you will feel a profound sense of satisfaction, relief, and accomplishment once your estate plan and business succession plan is created. Your loved ones will appreciate that you took the time and energy to plan for your death in advance.

The best way to determine what is right for you is to meet with an estate planning attorney. To that end, I invite you to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss your specific situation. Everybody who calls gets a free 5 minute mini telephone consultation. An in person meeting is $250, and that amount is credited to your account when you retained me to represent you in drafting your Will, healthcare advance directive, power of attorney, and other estate planning documents.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in the state and federal courts of Minnesota, and the advice that he gives is applicable to that jurisdiction only. Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.






 
 
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I am often asked when is the right time for a person or business to file for bankruptcy protection. The short answer is that you should file as soon as possible, and unless there is a good reason for not doing so.

For example, you might want to wait for a period of time if you have recently paid a large amount of money to a creditor or made a major purchase not in the ordinary course.  If you do not wait, the bankruptcy trustee can undo that payment or transaction and take the money back.  However, if you can qualify to file bankruptcy now, and there is not a good reason for waiting, then I would generally recommend filing for bankruptcy sooner rather than later.

Individual persons can file for either chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Individuals who make their living from farming or fishing have a few different options as well. Small businesses are limited to filing for Chapter 7, although businesses can also file for chapter 11 – but chapter 11 is far beyond the scope of this blog post.  Personally, I like chapter 7 better because it wipes all of your debts out at once and is a lot faster than chapter 13. However, your net income (your gross income after payroll deductions and expenses) has to be below a certain level for your family size in order for you to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

I prefer to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on behalf of the debtor, unless there is a good reason for choosing chapter 13 bankruptcy. A good reason for choosing chapter 13 would be if the debtor makes too much money to qualify for Chapter 7, or if the debtor has a lot of equity in a house.  Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to explain to you the differences between chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and which one is a better option for you.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer and small business debtors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Please note that only individual debtors can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, not businesses.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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There was one decision this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The case is unique because the applicant was represented by an attorney, but is ordinary because it stands for the proposition that quitting a job without good reason to quit caused by the employer makes an applicant for unemployment benefits ineligible for such benefits.

A14-0775, Kennedy N. Mogere, Relator, vs. Minnesota Masonic Home Northridge (Corp.), Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Kennedy Mogere challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit his job without good reason to quit caused by the employer, arguing that the ULJ failed to fully develop the record. Because the ULJ fully developed the record and sufficient evidence exists to support the decision, we affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar called "Bankruptcy 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy"  The seminar will be held on Friday 11/21/14 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-14175181349

Here is the official description:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumers and small business, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: One standard CLE credit has been applied for.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.

 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar called "Bankruptcy 101: Everything You Need to Know About Bankruptcy"  The seminar will be held on Thursday 7/31/14 from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-12194422847

Here is the official description:

This seminar covers the basics of bankruptcy for consumers and small business, including the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, exemptions and ways to keep non-exempt property, and what to expect at the Meeting of Creditors and other bankruptcy-related court hearings.  Intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not handle bankruptcy cases, this seminar will introduce you to bankruptcy.

ATTORNEYS: This seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit.  The event code is 193933.

WARNING: Tim is a debt-relief agent, and his office is a debt-relief agency.  Tim helps people like you to file for bankruptcy relief.


 
 
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The short answer is yes, a small business can file for bankruptcy protection in the same way that a person can.  A small business can file either Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on whether

(1.) the business is an incorporated legal entity (such as a corporation or limited liability company)

(2.) you want to continue operating the business after the bankruptcy

(3.) you are personally liable for corporate debts; and

(4.) the amount and nature of the business' debts.

Chapter 7 erases most debt right away, but ends the business.  In other words, the business ceases to exist as a legal entity, and all of its assets are sold and the proceeds distributed to creditors.  Chapter 13 is not available to incorporated entities, but may be available to sole proprietors and qualifying partnerships.  Chapter 13 puts you on a payment plan for a number of years.

With both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, the business has to stop operating when the bankruptcy is filed.  Filing Chapter 11 allows a business to continue operating and restructure debt, but is usually too cost-prohibitive, time-intensive, and uncertain to be a viable option for small business.  Because Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are more realistic options for small business, I'm not going to go into further detail about Chapter 11.   For more information on the different types of bankruptcy, please see my earlier article on bankruptcy in this blog.

Business owners sometimes sign personal guarantees for business debt.  This means that the business owner individually and personally promises to pay business debt in the event that the business does not.  In such a case, the owner may wish to consider filing for bankruptcy as well because, if the business gets rid of the debt by filing for bankruptcy, the creditor will try to collect payment from the business owner.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents business debtors and business owners in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.  If I think Chapter 11 is a better option for you, I will refer you to an attorney who specializes in Chapter 11.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Tim is licensed in Minnesota stat  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.