Nobody likes to think about the inevitable but life can change in an instant. Does anyone ever plan to have a car accident or fall ill? Of course not. But we buy car insurance and medical insurance anyway. If you have children, own a business, or anticipate having a family, a last will & testament makes your assets and wishes known to the people who are important to you. Make 2015 the year you get your affairs in order!
2. Stop paying for speeding tickets.
Most people get a citation for speeding, running a red light, expired registration, or any other traffic violation, and they look up the ticket number online or call the court before the deadline and pay the fine. Big mistake! You are entitled to a jury trial in traffic cases. This means the state (usually the city or county in traffic court) has the burden of proving you committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Before you pay that ticket, think about calling an attorney to represent you. We are often able to get your ticket dismissed or your fines significantly reduced.
Even if you don't want to try your case, many offenses are eligible for deferred disposition, also known as probation. If you take this option, you simply pay a fine and promise not to commit the offense again for a period of six months to a year, as determined by the court. If you can successfully avoid being pulled over during that period, your ticket will be dismissed.
3. Think about Incorporating Your Business
Did you know that if you own a business as a sole proprietor in your own name, and you are sued in connection with your work, all of your assets are at risk? If you're a start up with no money, you may be considered “judgment proof,” but you will (probably) not always be broke, and it's a good idea to plan for the future. In the event that you are even moderately successful in your business, it's a good idea to consider incorporating your business. Not only does it protect your personal assets from creditors, but there are a number of tax benefits available to corporations that could save you some money around tax season.
If you're interested in starting the year off on a proactive note, be sure to contact an attorney at (713) 574-8626 to schedule your initial consultation.