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Las Vegas, NV Estate Planning & Probate Blog

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nevada Secretary of State Fees to Increase under SB 483- Effective July 1, 2015

Pursuant to SB 483 of the 2015 Nevada Legislature, effective July 1, 2015, certain Nevada Secretary of State fees will change as follows:

What does this mean for you?

For many of our clients who have Limited Liability Companies (rather than Corporations), the fees will only increase $25.00 annually.  For those with Corporations (or other entities listed above), the fee increase will be more drastic- a $500.00 fee for the state business license plus a $25.00 increase in filing fees.

Some clients may wish to explore converting their existing entity structure from a Corporation to an LLC, as appropriate.  As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns!

-Tiffany Ballenger, Esq. 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chris Phillips & Tiffany Ballenger selected to 2015 Super Lawyers

We are pleased to announce that Chris and Tiffany, founding partners of Phillips Ballenger Estate Attorneys, have both been selected to the 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers list.

Christopher Phillips has been selected to the 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers list. No more than 5% of the lawyers in this region are selected by Super Lawyers.  Chris practices in the areas of probate, trust, and estate litigation.

Tiffany Ballenger has been selected to the 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers Rising Starts list. This exclusive list recognizes no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the region.  Tiffany practices in the areas of estate planning & business planning.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nevada is voted Best Trust state in America (again)...

Tiffany Ballenger, Esq., Phillips Ballenger Estate Attorneys:

Good news for Nevada residents, practitioners & those who form Nevada based trusts- Nevada wins "by a landslide" once again for best state to form a trust. 

Here's the article from Trust Advisor.com-

 


Read more . . .


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Phillips Ballenger Announces Military and Teacher Discounts

We are happy to announce that all current and former Military service members and current teachers will be offered a discount on Estate Planning, Asset Protection (including LLC formation and Nevada Asset Protection Trusts) and Short Sale/Loan Modification retentions. 

This is our way to thank you for your dedication and service to our country and community!

-Tiffany Ballenger, Esq.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Update on the Mortgage Debt Cancellation Tax Relief- 2014

Update on the current status of the mortgage debt cancellation tax relief provision that expired at the end of 2013.  As soon as the last one-year extension was passed on New Years’ Day 2013, NAR (National Association of Realtors) began working on another extension of this critical tax provision.  With NAR’s encouragement, champions of this provision introduced bi-partisan bills in both the House and Senate (H.R. 2994/S. 1187), to extend the provision for one or two years. Unfortunately, the current prospect of these bills being enacted in the short term is not particularly high. We are facing four big hurdles. 

1. The Chairmen of both of Congress’s tax committees (Senate Finance and House Ways and Means) have committed to passing comprehensive tax reform legislation before the end of 2014.  As part of reform, they have both indicated that they plan to go through the long list of expiring items, including mortgage debt cancellation, and cull those that are not worthy of permanence and make all the “worthy” ones a permanent part of the tax law.  However, tax reform is unlikely to be completed in the coming months. If Congress were to extend the expiring provisions now, it might appear that they were giving up on tax reform.  This is not a signal they wish to send.

2. There are over 50 such expiring tax provisions (often referred to as “extenders”).  Congress rarely passes single tax provisions by themselves. The rules in both the House (and especially the Senate) could allow for added amendments that would turn a simple bill with wide support into a politically divisive bill.

3. The extension of the tax relief “costs” money to the Treasury.  The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a one-year extension of the mortgage debt cancellation relief would cost $3.7 billion.  Some Members of Congress will insist that amount be offset by raising taxes elsewhere or cuts in spending – an ongoing debate in Congress. 

4. The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the next United States Ambassador to China.  His departure from the Senate will turn the chairmanship over to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.  As with any change in committee leadership, there will be an adjustment period.

In sum, NAR tried to have the extension passed by year-end but it was not possible. Because of the factors listed above, NAR has so far decided not to issue Member-wide Call for Action at this time, but has instead focused on working with Congressional leadership and the bill sponsors to find additional support for moving this legislation now that Congress has returned to Washington.  Our lobbyists are in daily meetings with Members of Congress, pressing for an extension and providing the most up to date data on short sales and foreclosures to continue to highlight this as a top priority. 

What can you do?  First, you can contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to act on these bills.  The more Members hear from constituents, the better. 

At this point our best estimate is that Congress will pass some extension of this law, probably late in 2014, and make it retroactive.  There is precedent for Congress doing this, but no guarantee.

Thank you to the National Association of Realtors for this timely update (permalink to the original article: http://www.realtor.org/articles/2014-update-on-mortgage-cancellation-tax-relief).

Tiffany Ballenger


Friday, August 16, 2013

Nevada Law Update: Nevada Homeowner's Bill of Rights

Nevada Senate Bill 321 Assists Homeowners Facing Foreclosure


Read more . . .


Friday, August 16, 2013

BOOT CAMP: Foreclosure and Loan Workout Procedures

Education Event! Tiffany Ballenger presents for the National Business Institute, Monday September 16th, 9am- 4pm at the Gold Coast:

Not for the faint of heart, this fast-paced course is designed to provide a comprehensive procedural orientation to the foreclosure process and alternatives to foreclosure. Expert faculty will identify all of the options available for loan defaults and guide you through their mechanics - from forbearance agreements and loan modifications to short sales and the foreclosure process itself. Along with this engaging seminar, you'll receive a reference manual filled with in-depth, detailed information on each of the options discussed, so you can dig into specific laws as you need them. Get the most bang for your buck - enroll today!

  • Learn what loss mitigation solutions are available in residential situations and how to put them in place for your clients.
  • Walk through the foreclosure process and sale to avoid legal missteps when you're guiding clients through them.
  • Ensure your forbearance agreements include crucial provisions to protect collateral.
  • Be prepared to handle the entire short sale process.
  • Understand the lender liability surrounding loss mitigation options.
  • Maintain an ethical practice by understanding what conflicts of interest may exist when dealing with troubled real estate loans.

Who Should Attend

This practical, basic-to-intermediate level course is designed for:

  • Attorneys
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Title Insurance Professionals
  • Lenders
  • Paralegals

Course Content

  1. The Foreclosure Process
  2. Forbearance Agreements - Structure and Important Provisions
  3. Loan Modifications
  4. Short Sale Procedures
  5. Deeds-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
  6. Receivership
  7. Lender Liability Issues
  8. Ethical Considerations When Dealing With Distressed Property

Continuing Education Credit

Sign Up Here: http://www.nbi-sems.com/Details.aspx/R-62826ER%7C?ctname=SPKEM
 

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.00 *

Institute of Certified Bankers – ICB: 7.25 *


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Education Event

Tiffany Ballenger, Esq. will be presenting at the "Leaving a Legacy" workshop sponsored by the City of Las Vegas and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women on Wills, Trusts, and Probate on Saturday, June 8, 2013.  For more information and to sign up, please contact Li'Shey Johnson at NCBW100EDC@gmail.com.  Workshops also include speakers on Credit Repair, Life Insurance, First Time Home-Buyers Programs, How to Write a Business Plan, Labor & Enployment, Social Media, & Marketing Your Business. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma

Phillips Ballenger will be donating 100% of proceeds from consultation fees for the remainder of the month to the American Red Cross to aid in relief efforts in Oklahoma.  Our hearts go out to the citizens of Oklahoma and the thousands affected by this tragedy. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

What Could Happen If You Write Your Own Living Trust?

Readers often ask me about do-it-yourself estate planning. Lawyers want to know how to discourage clients from using books or software and websites that spew out documents for free or for a fraction of what they charge. Meantime, consumers ask, “What’s wrong with that?”

The trouble with do-it-yourself planning is that even if your situation seems simple, there are many oddball things a layman wouldn’t think of that can go wrong, especially with wills and trusts. These mistakes can end up costing you or your heirs a lot more than you saved in legal fees.

Eileen Guerin Swicker, a lawyer with her own practice in Leesburg, VA, recently told me about a really doozy. It involved a client who set up his own living trust.

By way of background, both a will and a living trust can be used to transfer assets, and each has unique uses and features. For example, only a will can name guardians for children who are minors. (For how to choose a guardian, see my post, “Adam Yauch’s Will Reveals His Private Dilemma.”) And unlike a will, a living trust can take effect while you are alive, so it can be used to hold assets for your benefit if you become unable to manage them yourself.

The client who Swicker told me about set up his own trust in 1984, using a 3-page form that he bought at an office supply store. He recorded a deed to transfer his home into the trust, and absentmindedly dated that deed 1983 (in other words, one year before the trust was created).

Flash forward to 2009 when this fellow, who had paid off the mortgage on the house, wanted to borrow against it. He planned to give his adult daughter $300,000 in cash so she, in turn, could pay off the mortgage on her own house. Great strategy (see my posts, “5 Ways To Help Family Pay For Housing,” and “The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received”).

But at this point, his clerical error of 25 years earlier came back to haunt him. Why? Because the title company said he didn’t have a clear chain of title to his home, so the bank wouldn’t give him the loan. The man, who by then was 75, called Swicker’s previous law firm in tears, asking for help.

Fixing the problem was a convoluted process that took two weeks and wound up costing the client $2,000 in legal fees. That’s about twice what he would have had to pay back in 1984 if he had had the firm draw up the trust instead of doing it himself, Swicker says.

After that, Swicker hoped the client would call back and ask lawyers to help bring his estate-planning documents up to date. But by the time Swicker left the firm eight months later, he still hadn’t done that. Says she: “It was one of those classic cases of somebody who dug a hole, and kept digging it deeper.”

-Deborah L. Jacobs, Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/08/16/what-could-happen-if-you-write-your-own-living-trust/


Monday, April 8, 2013

Protecting an Elderly Mother's Assets

Dear Liz: Could you advise us on how to protect our 93-year-old mother's assets if she should become ill or die? She does not have a living will or a trust regarding her two properties.

Answer: "If" she should become ill or die? Your mother has been fortunate to have had a long life, presumably without becoming incapacitated, but her luck can't hold out forever.

Your mother needs several legal documents to protect both herself and her assets. Perhaps the most important are powers of attorney for healthcare and for finances. These documents allow people she designates to make medical decisions and handle her finances for her should she become incapacitated. In addition, she may want to fill out a living will, which would outline the life-prolonging care she would and wouldn't want if she can't make her wishes known. (In some states, living wills are combined with powers of attorney for healthcare, and in others they are separate documents.)

These legal papers aren't important just for the elderly, by the way. You should have these too, since a disabling illness or accident can happen to anyone.

Your mother also should consider a will or a living trust that details how she wants to parcel out her estate to her heirs. Of the two documents, wills tend to be simpler and cheaper to draft, but a living trust means the court process known as probate can be avoided. The probate process is public, and in some states (particularly California) it can be protracted and expensive. A living trust also could make it easier for someone to take over managing her finances in case of incapacity or death.

You can find an attorney experienced in estate planning by contacting your state's bar association. Expertise and competence are important, so you may want to look for a lawyer who is a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an invitation-only group that includes many of the best in this field.

If she or you are trying to protect her assets from long-term care or other medical costs, you'll need someone experienced in elder care law to advise you.

-Liz Weston, Los Angeles Times

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/29/business/la-fi-montalk-20130331


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