1. What is Estate Planning and what does it have to do with me?
Estate planning is the what attorneys and financial advisors advise that their clients engage in to optimize their exposure to probate proceedings and estate taxes (as may be applicable). Probate is the critical aspect in these circumstances as it is a costly, time consuming court proceeding that heirs to an estate are often subject to in the absence of adequate estate planning. This also can be a strategy to avoid being subjected to frivolous claims before and during probate, which can eat into the value of an estate rapidly. Please consult with a lawyer to ascertain if probate and asset protection is a factor that would affect your estate and the extent of such exposure along with potential solutions under the law.
2. When are participants taxed on retirement plan contributions?
Usually participants are taxed on retirement plan contributions at the time there is a distribution from the plan to the participants, with a few notable exceptions (e.g. Roth IRA, etc.) Please consult a lawyer or financial advisor/professional to learn whether this applies to your circumstances.
3. Is it possible to reduce my potential inheritance tax bill by giving my home to my children now?
Yes, there has been a historical advantage to conveying real estate in an inter vivos (during the lifetime of the donor) manner. Please consult with a lawyer to make sure this is sound advice in your particular case based on various factors, including but not limited to the sunset provisions for estate taxes (as applicable.)
4. What is the difference between removal and deportation?
‘Deportation’ is a term of art that has fallen out of favor in the immigration law context as it often can connote an extrajudicial manner of being banished from the U.S. The law as it currently stands has instead substituted the word ‘removal’ as the correct phrasing for being ordered to leave the U.S. by an immigration judge. Please consult with a lawyer to learn whether either term is applicable to your circumstances.
5. What happens if cancellation of removal is denied?
A denial of any immigration relief applied for with an immigration judge usually results in an order of removal, which can be critical to an individual’s rights under the law and more significantly can affect ability to remain in the U.S. going forward. Please consult with a lawyer to learn whether such relief is applicable in your circumstances.
6. Can you be deported if married to a US citizen?
Yes, being married to a U.S. Citizen would not prevent an order of removal in many cases. Please consult with a lawyer to learn whether or not your case is subject to exceptions and whether marriage-based relief is applicable in your specific circumstances.
7. What is a green card?
“Green Card” is a colloquial term that harks back to the times when Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status was issued on a green colored card. The cards currently being issued for LPRs are currently not green and contain a lot of security related information including your photo and biometric information embedded in the card.
8. Why would a green card application be denied?
There are many cases and scenarios whereby an application for LPR status can be denied, usually based on the applicant’s inability to meet the burden of proof to demonstrate that their application for such relief is generally legally viable or even bona fide (applications made to evade immigration laws.) Accordingly, there are many complicating factors that can affect the ability to obtain an approval of any application under the law, and addressing these complications are usually why getting advice from a lawyer is so valuable in today’s environment.
9. Do all contracts need to be in writing to be valid?
Generally yes, a contract usually denotes a writing to evidence an enforceable agreement between two parties, however there are exceptions to this rule such as holographic statements and implied agreements, yet it is not recommended to test the limits of the law in these circumstances. Please consult with a lawyer to see if any exceptions may apply in your case that would allow you to enforce an agreement that was not set down in writing.
10. What can I do if I have breached a contract?
A breach of an agreement can have varying outcomes, which usually are laid out in the terms of the agreement. Please consult with a lawyer to see if your situation can be remedied in such circumstances by offering to cure the breach or whether the agreement is enforceable against you.
11. When is a contract deemed to have been performed or discharged?
A contract is usually deemed to have been discharged when the mutually promised conditions laid out in the contract are fulfilled, or by written release and/or the purpose for the agreement is no longer at issue. Please consult with a lawyer to ascertain if your contractual obligations have indeed been met under the terms of your agreement and whether your efforts to perform meet the standard that the courts would deem to be full performance under the contract laws of your state.