liable

Landlords: Don’t Be Liable!

ARE YOU LIABLE?

As an estate planning attorney, it is common for me to engage in discussions with potential clients involving property ownership and how such property will be distributed to future generations or charities.

HOW IS YOUR PROPERTY OWNED?

While engaged in these conversations, it is always important to consider how such property is currently owned. Property owners are typically proud to notify me that the properties are owned in their personal names, until I uncover the potential liability that is coupled with such ownership.

PROPERTY OWNERSHIP IS RISKY

Let’s keep it simple.  It is very risky to own property, other than your home, in your personal name. It is generally a better choice to own any rental and/or investment property in some form of formal business organization, such as an LLC or Corporation.

WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ACCIDENT OCCURS?

If an accident of some sort occurs on the rental property, for example, resulting in a significant injury or fatality, the injured person or his/her heirs will likely attempt to sue for damages. The owner of the property (you, if it is owned in your personal name), will be the likely defendant. As such, you, personally, could be liable for damages awarded. Conversely, when the property is truly rental or investment property, owning the property in a properly formed business structure such as an LLC can shield you from personal liability in the event of an accident and/or injury to someone on the property.

At The TGQ Law firm, we can help landlords take the proper steps to protect themselves. It is in your best interest to know that you’ve done what you need to do to avoid being liable.

If you have any questions about property that you own, feel free to contact us for further information. Give us a call at (734) 707-3232.

estate planning

10 Common Reasons For Estate Planning

Failing to plan is often another way of planning to fail.

In other words, we all have an estate plan in place…in one way or another. Either you have planned the care for your children and assets according to your interests, or you have left it up to someone else.

Simply put, estate planning is a good idea for many reasons.

The following is a brief list of common reasons for completing your plan (will, trust, etc.) sooner, rather than later.

Estate Planning allows you to:

  1. Designate who will manage your affairs if you become disabled and when you pass away;
  2. Avoid probate, during your lifetime and once you are gone;
  3. Minimize the amount of tax payable by your estate at death;
  4. Protect children from a prior marriage if you pass away first;
  5. Protect assets inherited by your heirs from lawsuits, divorces and other claims;
  6. Provide for children who may not be capable or experienced in managing money without giving them a “windfall;”
  7. Insure that a specific portion of your estate actually gets to grandchildren, charities, churches, etc.;
  8. Eliminate potential liability associated with joint ownership;
  9. Protect a portion of your estate if you pass away first and your surviving spouse remarries;
  10. Assure an education for children/grandchildren, despite what they (or their parents) dream of doing with the inheritance.